Hours: 1-4 pm on Saturdays April through October. Exceptions to this for 2023 are: very rainy days, days that are below 50 degrees or that are a lot about 90 degrees. (email us if you’re not sure) (The house has no electricity or air conditioning which is why we are not open in really hot or really cold weather)
Location: 5620 Third Street, South, Arlington VA 22204
The Ball-Sellers House, owned and operated by the Arlington Historical Society, is located at 5620 Third Street South, in the Glencarlyn neighborhood of Arlington. This farm house was built in the 1750s by farmer John Ball and is the oldest structure in Arlington County. Three generations of the Carlin family owned the house next, starting with the Glencarlyn namesake, William Carlin, who was a tailor for George and Martha Washington. The house has been restored to its colonial era condition.
The last private owner was Marian Sellers who lived in the house as a child. She donated the house to the Society in 1975. The building is designated a Virginia State Historical Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Sites. Docents discuss how the house was built, its owners, and its place in history as well as provide free tours of the farm house and the grounds on Saturdays (April through October) and on summer holidays from 1 – 4 p.m. Free private group tours are available by appointment.
If you’re interested in a free tour for your group, or if you would like to volunteer with us, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ball-Sellers House in the News
- These Two Homes Were Once Among the Oldest in D.C. They’re in Virginia Now (The Washington Post, Nov 21, 2020)
- Distinctive Destinations: Ball-Sellers House (National Trust for Historic Preservation, Oct 11, 2018)
- Ball-Sellers House (Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Jun 26, 2018)
- In Arlington’s Oldest House, a Layered Past (Arlington Magazine, Dec 19, 2016)
- Arlington’s Little House in the Big Woods (The Washington Post, May 7, 2014)
Tour by Video
An Arlington Treasure: The Ball-Sellers House. This short video takes you through the house, built in the 1750s, and discusses its owners as well as its role in Arlington’s history.
- Written by Martha Orth
- Narrated by Marcel Taube
- Produced by Channel 31’s Robert Farr and Joan Orvis in cooperation with the Arlington Historical Society.
Caretakers of History — Becca Castaneda Editor (Mar 27, 2020)
A Love Affair With an Old House: The Ball-Sellers House Story
Martha Orth, who was a member of the team who accepted the house and helped restore it, tells the story of the Ball-Sellers House at an AHS public program commemorating the 40th anniversary of the donation by Marian Sellers. The house was built by John Ball c.1750 and donated to the Society by Marian Sellers in 1975. Mrs. Orth discussed how the house was acquired, how the Society preserved and restored it, and the history of the owners of the house through the centuries.
Read a Brief History of the House here.
Ball-Sellers House Pamphlets
- The Ball-Sellers House
- The Wisteria at Ball-Sellers House. The wisteria is more than a century old and although it is an invasive plant, it has its own history.
- Colonial Uses of Herbs
- Beekeeping at the Ball-Sellers House
- John Ball the Miller