Wooden pin dish made from David Burnes’ cottage, Washington, DC

Much of the land on which Washington, D.C. was built originally belonged to David Burnes, who lived in a brick cottage near the present day intersection of 17th Street between R and S Streets, N.W. When the location of the Federal city was determined in 1790, President George Washington personally negotiated with the “obstinate Mr. Burnes,” as Washington described him, for the sale of the land. Succumbing to the pressures of development in 1894, Burnes’ cottage was taken down and demolished. Lewis James Matthews, who dismantled it, saved a piece of a rafter that he fashioned into a commemorative “pin dish” of his own design.
Gift of Charles O. Matthews, Jr., Charles O. Matthews III, Kimberley A. Van Dusen, Judith C. Underhill, Richard Cunningham and in memorium Lewis James Matthews
Object Name
pin dish
date made
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brown (overall color)
overall: 1 1/2 in x 2 in x 2 in; 3.81 cm x 5.08 cm x 5.08 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Government, Politics, and Reform
Souvenir Nation
See more items in
Political History: Political History, General History Collection
Souvenir Nation
Souvenir Nation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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