History of the lost 1804 Sidney estate, beloved by Margaret Bayard Smith

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A grassy knoll on the campus of the Catholic University of America, just to the northwest of the university's main library, is the site where one of the city's most historic country farmhouses once stood. Called Sidney by its owners, Samuel Harrison Smith and his wife Margaret Bayard Smith, the 1804 farmhouse and estate became a cherished refuge from the dirt and grime of the early capital city and an early social center. Margaret saw her country residence as a place to preserve "this sweet glow of the soul." The stolid house would survive more than a century and a half, weathering two wars and eventually being subsumed into CUA as a relic of the past, the city growing rapidly around it.