About the Scattergood

Visible from Virginia Route 123, the 32-acre Scattergood-Thorne property has a rich history. It was once part of 2,800 acres acquired in 1719 by Thomas Lee from the Fairfax family. Lee named his land, which ran along the Potomac River from Little Falls to Great Falls, “Langley.” After Lee’s death, the land passed to his son; it later was divided among the family members. By 1852, a 935-acre parcel was named Rokeby Farm. Today the CIA Headquarters occupies two- thirds of the original Rokeby Farm.

In 1933 Margaret Scattergood and Florence Thorne purchased a 20-acre tract of that farm, and in 1935 added an adjoining 12 acres. The Misses Scattergood and Thorne named their turn-of-the century, wood-framed residence Calvert House. The property became known as the Calvert Estate.

During the 1940s, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) acquired 742 acres near Georgetown Pike to be used for a research facility. In the 1950s, CIA obtained 225 acres of the FHWA property — including the Calvert Estate — to house its new headquarters, with the proviso that Scattergood and Thorne would be permitted to remain on the property until their deaths. The survivor, Miss Scattergood, passed away in 1986 at the age of 92, and the CIA took control of their acreage the following year.

The CIA now uses this former residence as a conference center.