Ball-Sellers Open to Public

Ball-Sellers Open to Public

Tours now available to see one of Arlington's oldest historic landmarks.

The oldest house in Arlington has once again opened its doors for another season of visitors. Many Arlington residents might not know that the modest Ball-Sellers house, built by John Ball shortly after he was granted 166 acres by Lord Fairfax in 1742, even exists in the quiet Glencarlyn neighborhood. But according to curator-in-residence Julie Edwards, "Everybody that lives in this community loves this place."

The house itself is dwarfed by an attachment that was added in 1880. As one walks around the backyard to the original structure, one notices the arbor at the entrance that sustains a purple wisteria that may be more than 100 years old.

The small main room allows a glimpse into country life several hundred years ago. It showcases a tiny bed, several spinning wheels, and a striking sense of how small people used to be. The second room holds a case of artifacts collected over the years, many of which were found on the property.

The original roof still exists, protected by an outer roof that was added by thoughtful, later owners. It is best viewed from the loft, which Ball's daughters are thought to have shared as a sleeping space. The volunteer docents maintain the house and grounds, and are available for tours Saturdays between 1 and 4 p.m., April through October. The cabin is located at 5620 Third Street South, Arlington. Appointments may be scheduled by calling 703-525-8295.