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Needwood Mansion

Needwood Mansion Rock Creek Regional Park

History of Needwood Mansion

This three-story, late-Federal brick residence, the main block of the present building, is a locally early example of a formal, consciously styled dwelling.
William George Robertson built the house in 1856. An insurance policy, which he took the following year, described the residence as “a new two-story brick dwelling with
slate, and adjoining former wooden buildings–five rooms and 2 passages–2 chimneys–built and finished in a substantial manner.” The three-bay, double-pile house has a side entrance. Parapets on each gable end link paired chimneys. Brick is laid in common bond, lintels are wooden with a raised molding, and sills are stone. Three-part windows are found on each level above the front entrance. The original doorway had sidelights that were replaced in 1948 by the present doorframe.

William George inherited the 759-acre tract from his father William Robertson in 1842. William G. did not live long to enjoy his new home. In 1861, a lightning bolt killed him just as he turned his horse into Needwood’s main gate. Robertson left a widow, Mary Victorine Key Scott, and ten children.   Mary Victorine Key Scott, daughter of John Scott and relative of Francis Scott Key, lived in the house until the 1870s, then moved back to her native Baltimore.