Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (Cedar Hill) is at 1411 W St. S.E. Perched high on a hill, it was the final home of a man born into poverty who escaped slavery at age 20 and devoted the rest of his life to passionately advocating equality for all. Cedar Hill is where the “Sage of Anacostia,” who died in 1895, engaged in lively dinner table political discussions and pored over philosophy and law books, continuing a lifelong love of reading that began at age 8 when Douglass was a Baltimore house servant.
Park rangers lead 30-minute guided tours of the house, which features many original 19th-century Victorian furnishings. The visitor center's interpretive exhibits and 17-minute film “Fighter for Freedom” document Douglass' life. The view of downtown Washington from the top of the hill is outstanding.
Note: Tours begin at the visitor center; visitors can either climb 85 stairs or take a paved ramp to reach the house. Baby strollers, backpacks and large bags are not permitted inside.
Time: Allow 1 hour minimum.
Grounds free. A ticket is required for the guided house tour; visitors (except those taking the first tour of the day) should arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. Advance reservations are highly recommended; a service fee is charged.
Hours: Grounds daily 9-5, Apr.-Oct.; 9-4:30, rest of year. Guided tours depart daily at 9, 12:15, 1:15, 3, 3:30 and 4, Apr.-Oct.; at 9, 12:15, 1:15, 3 and 3:30, rest of year. Closed Jan. 1, Thanksgiving and Christmas.