Girl Scout Tea Houses

In 1919, Girl Scouts obtained permission to operate a "tea house" at Hains Point in Potomac Park, Washington D.C. (no longer standing) and a short time later they were also in charge of the Pierce Mill Teahouse (near Tilden St. & Beach Dr.) Rock Creek Park, MD.

Traveling by car was still a new adventure and a tea house was the perfect destination, offering refreshments and restrooms for tourists.


Hours were limited, and little information is found on the practical aspects of operating a Girl Scout business. Did the Girl Scouts lease the properties and hire adults to run the business or did Girl Scouts volunteer to do the cooking, baking and tea-serving? One newspaper article of the time mentions Girl Scouts in khaki as being in charge, but wistfully, rather than in fact.

The Girl Scout Tea House at Hains Point was visited by two Presidents; Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge. The Pierce Mill Building still stands and is on the National Historical Register.

After 5 years the "District Government" was unable to renew the concession stands and they closed. The Girl Scouts appealed to the public for funds to open a coffee shop to help pay bills - doesn't appear that it came about. The headquarters for the Washington D.C. Girl Scouts later moved to the Girl Scout Little House

The Pierce Mill building still stands today and is on the National Historic Register

What was left of the Hains Point building was bulldozed in 1990. 

President Calvin Coolidge and First Lady

visit the Hains Point Girl Scout Tea House.

Site originally launched November 18, 2000

Copyright 2021