The saga of the Walsh-McLean house is one the greatest rags-to-riches stories from Washington’s Gilded Age.
By Donna Evers
Thomas Walsh emigrated to the United States from in Ireland in 1869 at the age of 19 with empty pockets and a drive to succeed. He went out west to seek his fortune, and he found it. He struck gold in, of all places, a silver mine in Colorado in the late 1880’s. At its peak, the mine was producing $5,000 dollars worth of gold daily. In 1903, he sold it for $5 million, plus a percentage of its phenomenal annual output, and moved to Dupont circle.