The Women Who Lived at CIA

From the website of the Central Intelligence Agency:

ImageA quarter mile from CIA’s Headquarters building, within the confines of CIA property, sits a four story Georgian Revival house at 6200 Georgetown Pike. The house is the oldest standing structure on CIA grounds. Built in 1926, the house was occupied by Margaret Scattergood and Florence Thorne for 53 years. Looking for a quiet retreat, they purchased the house and 20 acres of land in 1933. Margaret was a Quaker and a pacifist who devoted a significant portion of her time and funds to advancing liberal causes.

Neither Margaret nor Florence could have ever predicted that within 30 years of purchase, their home would be enclosed on CIA property, behind its protective barriers, while hundreds of CIA officers came to work just a stones’ throw away.

Margaret Scattergood was born into a wealthy and religious Quaker family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1926 she moved to Washington to work for the American Federation of Labor (AFL). There she met Florence Thorne, 17 years her senior, who eventually became the research director for the AFL. The two women struck up a friendship that lasted a lifetime.

Margaret and Florence purchased a plot of land that contained a wood-framed house, a modest tenant house, a guest house/office, two car garage and a barn. They dubbed it, “the Calvert Estate,” in tribute to Florence’s distinguished lineage (Florence’s mother was a direct descendant of Sir George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore of Maryland). The land consisted of gently rolling slopes with tall, mature pine and oak trees that lined the driveway. There was an apple orchard that produced delicious apples they sold at market. Margaret spent much of her time riding on the land; she was a skilled horsewoman and spent many hours in the saddle.

More here. [Thanks to Ali Minai.]