Arlington House

The Robert E. Lee Memorial

About the Park

Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, sits in the middle of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. Originally built by the grandson of Martha Washington to honor George Washington, it was later inherited by Robert E. Lee's wife. The Lees resided there until the Civil War.

Key activities:

  • Arlington House. Free tickets for self-guided tours are available at recreation.gov. The self-guided tour takes 15-20 minutes. There is no parking at the house; you use the parking at Arlington National Cemetery. Allow up to a half hour to walk up the hill. There are also gardens on both sides of the house.

  • The Slave Quarters. Behind the house are two buildings that now offer exhibits discussing the lives of the enslaved people at Arlington.

  • The Museum. Past the north garden there's a small museum that interprets the life of Robert E. Lee.

 

Arlington House NPS Site

Discussion Topics

  • George Washington "Washy" Custis built Arlington House and filled it with memorabilia of George Washington to memorialize him. If you built a memorial for a family member or ancestor, who would it be? What things would you use to remember them?
     

  • Robert E. Lee was reputed to be of high character, but chose to fight for the Confederacy against the United States. Have you ever known someone you felt was a good person who made a bad decision? How do you deal with that?
     

  • After Robert left to join the war, Mary Lee stayed at Arlington as long as she could until it was eventually deemed too unsafe to stay there. She packed her most valuable belongings and left. She and Robert would never live at Arlington again. If you had to leave your house quickly, what kinds of things would you bring with you?

Maps

Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial map