The Ballad of Chevy Chase

by Editorial

The short history of an ambitious plan to develop high-end real estate in the middle of nowhere.

By Donna Evers

The Chevy Chase Club

The Chevy Chase Club

If you look at the grainy photos of Chevy Chase Circle when it was first plowed, you see a muddy road circling a treeless pasture far from anywhere Washingtonians wanted to live. But Senator Frances Newlands of Nevada had both the vision and the money to form the Chevy Chase Land Company and invest $1,250,000 (a fortune in 1893) to replace the empty fields around the circle with a community of expensive houses for the “leisure class”, far away from the then fashionable Dupont Circle or Cleveland Park. Regrettably, his planned community did not come to full fruition until after he died. And, Senator Newlands never knew that the hunt club he started as an afterthought would go on to be one of the most prestigious country clubs in America.

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