The Washington Post
A home in a community with a storied history
The sniper attacks that terrorized the Washington area 15 years ago caused a family that originally planned to build this house in the Merry-Go-Round Farm community of Potomac, Md., to rethink their decision to move here. They bought the land and paid an architect to design the home, but after the attacks, they put it back on the market. A contractor bought the plans and the land, and was almost finished with the house when the current owner bought it.
Merry-Go-Round Farm was once owned by newspaper columnist Drew Pearson. The name of the community comes from his column, “Washington Merry-Go-Round,” which was carried in 625 newspapers and ran for 30 years, until his death in 1969.
Pearson, once described as the nation’s best-known political muckraker, bought the 279-acre farm in 1936. It was a weekend home for the columnist and later became a working farm during World War II, when he added horses and dairy cattle. He put up a sign on River Road advertising fertilizer for sale that read, “Drew Pearson’s manure, all cow, no bull, better than the column.”
When he died, The Washington Post and the New York Times each wrote editorials about him. “The simple truth is that he was more effective in his way than any man in his profession over the nearly 40 years that he was practicing it, and that at the time of his death at the age of 71, when other men might have begun to ease off a bit, he was still on top, with nearly twice the readership of his closest competitor,” The Post’s editorial said.
Construction began on the development in 1993. By 2000, 28 houses had been built. It has now grown to nearly 80 homes.
From the beginning, the community was designed with very specific criteria. No McMansions. No oversize lots. Instead, homes are clustered to create a neighborhood feel.
Merry-Go-Round Farm features 140 acres of pastures and rolling hills, with nine miles of walking and horse trails, lakes, streams and views of the Potomac River. The community includes an equestrian center, lighted tennis courts and a gym.
The Craftsman-style house has stucco and cedar siding, a flagstone wraparound porch and a mahogany front door.
An abundance of wood warms the interior. In the living and dining rooms, the grid of white beams in the coffered ceiling overlays stained wood slats, providing a contrast to the rugged stone fireplaces. The end-grain teak butcher block island in the kitchen is beautiful as well as practical.
The home is ideal for entertaining. The owner annually hosts a sit-down dinner for 40 people at Hanukkah.
The lower level has a media room and a 700-bottle wine cellar. The outdoors includes a flagstone terrace, a pool with fountains, a spa, pool house and fireplace.
The four-bedroom, six-bathroom, 8,200-square-foot-home on 0.66 acre is listed at $3.65 million. The monthly homeowners association fee is $387.