What You'll Do
Originating from the rich Seneca Quarry on the banks of the Potomac River, rust-colored sandstone served as the building material for hundreds of structures throughout D.C., including the Smithsonian Castle, the Luther Place Memorial Church, McClellan Gate and the mile-long boundary wall at Arlington National Cemetery.
Grab your hiking boots and you camera as you join author and historian Garrett Peck to explore the ruins of the once grand quarry, visiting such landmarks as the stonecutting mill, 50-foot quarry wall, and restored quarry master's house. While safely navigating the creeks and crumbling buildings of the quarry, Peck shares stories of the site's golden age, weaving tales of great floods and financial scandals that nearly destroyed presidents.
- See Where the Smithsonian Castle's Red Sandstone Came From
Visit the site where workers once mined the sandstone that was used to construct some of D.C.'s most distinctive buildings
- Hear the Stories from a Historian
Garrett Peck, author of Smithsonian Castle and the Seneca Quarry shares tales of the quarry's golden age and its influence on the area
- Explore the Quarry's Ruins
Tours safely walk through the abandoned buildings and overgrown creeks of the quarry site, offering scenic vistas and natural beauty
Each event is capped at 25 participants; each event requires a minimum of 8 participants in order to take place.
Garret Peck, historian and author of books on prohibition and the Potomac River, has spent years learning about the nation's capital. His latest work, The Smithsonian Castle & The Seneca Quarry, investigates the history behind the quarry that gave D.C. its distinctive redstone architecture and played a key part in the economy and politics of the Reconstruction Era.
- Saturday (1 p.m.)
December 7 | December 21
January 4 | January 25
Where You'll Meet
Tours begin at the parking lot by Seneca Aqueduct, at the very end of Riley's Lock Road in Seneca, Maryland.
Riley's Rocky Road
Washington, Maryland 20837Get Directions