Mitchell Park stands today as a unique piece of Washington history.  The original property of 600 acres was deeded in 1663 to George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore.  However, in late 18th century, much of the original property was force conveyed or sold to the newly established City of Washington and other individuals.  What remained was an estate on land that is now Mitchell Park or otherwise known as the Holmead-Kall Estate.  Development followed quickly after the Civil War, and land was partitioned into smaller lots.  Elizabeth and Morton Mitchell bought a portion of the land in 1901.  However, Mr. Mitchell died shortly after and his wife gave the property to the District in 1918, with the stipulation that her dog's burial plot not be disturbed.  This grave site still stands in what is now the playground.

 

The German Republic purchased a portion of the Holmead-Kall estate for their embassy.  During World War II, the government confiscated the property and annexed it to the adjacent Mitchell Park, creating the park we know today.

 

In 1980, The D.C. Department of Recreation and Parks made an archaeological dig in Mitchell Park and discovered the foundation of the Holmead-Kall Home.  The buried foundation was placed on National Register of Historic Places in 1995.  According to archaeologists, the Holmead-Kall site is valuable because it is one of the few sites in Washington that date to the 18th century.

MITCHELL PARK IS LISTED ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES.

  • Original 600 acres deeded in 1663 to George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimor
  • Several generations later the land passed to an Englishman, Anthony Holmead who passed it to his nephew
  • 1750 Anthony Holmead II built a manor house, Belair
  • 1794 Holmead was forced to convey or sell most of the southern portion of the estate to the newly established city of Washington
  • He sold Belair the same year due to heavy taxation retaining 56 acres
  • 1795 he built a two-story brick home on what is now Mitchell park
  • This remained in the hands of Holmead descendants until the 20th century
  • Mrs Sophia Kall, Holmead’s great-granddaughter sold the property to Thomas Davidson
  • Davidson sold the western section of the park property to Elizabeth and Morton Mitchell in 1901
  • Mr Mitchell died shortly and his wife gave the property to the District in 1918
  • In 1906 the German Republic purchased the remaining portion for their embassy
  • In 1914 the property was confiscated by the US government
  • The Germans repurchased the property in 1922
  • The Holmead home was demolished in 1929
  • During WWII the US government again confiscated the property and annexed it to the adjacent Mitchell Park

TIMELINE

MITCHELL PARK HISTORY