The land on which Cedar Knoll now stands was acquired in 1654 by a prominent aristocrat and his wife, a princess of the Piscataway tribe, for their one-year old son, Giles Brent, Jr. and named Piscataway Neck. The son, who was most famous for his involvement in Bacon's Rebellion which ended in the burning of Jamestown, eventually moved to England where he died, passing the land on to relatives. In 1760, it was purchased by George Washington, becoming River Farm, the northernmost of the five farms that made up Washington's 18 th century estate.
During his lifetime, Washington leased out River Farm to his personal secretary and nephew-in-law, Tobias Lear. The land was further divided by subsequent generations and the hearth of what is now Cedar Knoll was constructed in the early 1800s as a farm house on a plantation named Markland on the Potomac. The building was later remodeled by Pauline Walsh and opened to the public as the Mount Vernon View Antique Shop.
Since 1941, the building operated as an inn and restaurant. In the Fall of 2015, after a brief hiatus, and a new lease under the auspices of a close-knit group of daring culinary artists, Cedar Knoll re-opened as one of the most exciting new restaurants in the Washington Metro.
At Cedar Knoll, each room has a different feel. There's the Botanical Room, wrapped in windows and old scientific illustrations of plants and flowers. There's the Presidential Room with lush curtains, dark wood, and a 19 th century parlor feel to it. Then, of course, there's the Log Cabin, which has the most natural character, with logs and chinking, a huge stone fireplace, and our first President looking over it.