Montrose Park occupies land that belonged to ropemaking magnate Robert Parrott during the early 19th century. Parrott generously allowed Georgetown residents to use his tract of land for picnics and meetings. The area became known as Parrott's Woods and by the early 20th century it had fallen into disrepair. Sarah Louisa Rittenhouse spearheaded a group of women who petitioned Congress to buy the acreage and establish Montrose Park "for the recreation and pleasure of the people."
Adjacent to Montrose Park is Dumbarton Park, a wilderness area of 27 acres that was established by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss who purchased Dumbarton Oaks House in 1920. Mr. and Mrs. Bliss hired Beatrix Ferrand to create the masterful 10 acre formal gardens around the house. The Blisses gave a majority of Dumbarton Oaks to Harvard University in 1940.
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