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Otis Mason House


It should be noted that the house on Woodlawn’s property right beside the Sharpe Stables Complex is another building of historical significance. Former Woodlawn owner, John Mason, deeded to his son, Otis Tufton Mason, 65 acres of land from the Woodlawn property during the civil war in 1865. The Otis Mason house was built in two stages, with the earlier back portion of the house being built in 1854. Mason was well-known within the Woodlawn and Washington D.C. communities. He donated some of Woodlawn Plantation’s land to Woodlawn Baptist Church next to the stables, often delivering sermons there. Mason was well known as an intellectual in circles. He became the head of the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institute. According to the Washington Post, by the end of his life, Mason had become an anthropological icon. In 1902, , he was “the most familiar figure in the field of American anthropological science”. 

Unfortunately, not finding Mr. Mason or the house having more historical significance to Woodlawn’s history, the bypass proposal has Rt. 1 run through the property where the house stands. Meeting notes include recommendations of possibly moving the house to another location, rather than saving it where it stands.