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District of Columbia Historical Markers, Washington, DC

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Historical Marker

Historical Marker

It is perhaps no surprise that Commodore David Porter, hero of the War of 1812, chose Meridian Hill on which to build his estate. From this knoll, Porter had a direct line of sight to the President's mansion. Though no match for the grand buildings it looked down upon, Porter's manor house was a handsome brick and stucco structure with a large front portico.

Years later, while in use as an Army hospital, Porter's mansion burned to the ground. It was never rebuilt.

The grand vistas of Meridian Hill would later attract another colorful character. Joaquin Miller, lawyer, poet, and by some accounts horse thief, built a cabin on this site. The "finest view in Washington" did not satisfy Miller for long, however. He wandered frequently, taking his poetry to Europe, Alaska, and California before settling in Oregon. In a seeming reflection of this restless tenant, the cabin was moved to a new location in 1912. Today it rests on a serene bank of Rock Creek, a setting that would surely have appealed to Miller's poetic nature.

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District of Columbia Historical Markers

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DC, Washington

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David Porter

Sources
Posted By: Ray Gurganus

  1. Email: Ray Gurganus, personal photograph;

Updated: 7-26-2020