Women improving the Washington DC Community since 1912

The History of the Junior League of Washington

In the early part of the 20th century, a group of talented women set out to use their time and energy to address serious social issues facing our cities. They founded the Junior League, in New York City, in 1901.

The words of Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the early League pioneers, expressed the spirit of Junior League:

“I wish to dedicate myself to worthwhile endeavors. There is a most remarkable group of women, led by Mary Harriman who do important work. I want to be a part of that spirit.”

Click on a date range below to read more about the history of the Junior League of Washington:

1910s - 1940s

1950s - 1970s

1980s - Today

Grants We've Given

The History of our Headquarters, Loughborough House 

The historic Loughborough House is the headquarters of Junior League of Washington. During its almost 200-year history, Loughborough House's occupants have included a bank, law and insurances offices, dry goods, shoe and department stores. It has also served as a private home for over a dozen families.

Nathan Loughborough, a prominent Virginian who served as Treasury Department Chief Clerk in the early 1800s, built the houses. In 1801, he purchased the lot where Loughborough House stands for a mere $1,684 and built a fine three story brick house. Five years later the second building was completed and they became known as "Nathan Loughborough's Houses."

In 1813, Mr. Loughborough sold both buildings and they were not to be united under one owner until 1926, when Edlows Department Store purchased both properties.

In 1957, the Honorable and Mrs. Gordon Gray purchased the property, and in 1960 gave it to the Junior League of Washington. The League extensively remodeled the interiors and restored the facade to its original Federal design, following a photograph from the 1880s.

In 1998, JLW conducted another renovation to create a better space for its trainings and meetings. Updates included an overhaul of its electrical and HVAC systems, as well as structural strengthening. The interior was also remodeled in federal style to match the facade.

Junior League of Washington welcomes its members and invited guests to use and enjoy the Headquarters for League business and League-sponsored events.