The Blair Mansion is located on a portion of the Pierce-Shoemaker Estate which was granted by King Charles II of England to George Pierce in 1685. The original family residence was built by George’s son, Joshua, about 1700 and rebuilt by his grandson, Isaac Pierce, in the early 1800s. With the passing of generations the family’s holdings increased until Isaac’s grandson, Pierce Shoemaker, inherited 4,000 acres in the District of Columbia and 1,000 acres in Virginia and Kentucky. At the same time Pierce’s brother, Abner Shoemaker, inherited as his share, an 88-acre farm located on the northwestern end of the estate. In the late 1800s Abner gave 20 acres of his land, known as the “girl’s portion,” to his niece, Abigail, and her husband, Charles Rider Newman, as a wedding gift. A home was built for the young couple at the extreme northern corner of this tract, which extended into Maryland, thus giving the newlyweds the right to vote. The bride’s uncle also supplied the labor for the construction of the house, while her father, Pierce Shoemaker, furnished the stone from his quarries, which were located on what is now Broad Branch Road in the District. The timber also came from his estate which is now part of Rock Creek Park. Furnishings were imported from France at a cost of nearly $100,000, making the home the ideal setting for numerous social events.