Archibald McAllister began construction of his home in 1786 shortly after taking possession of the lands surrounding what was known as Fort Hunter. Built of locally quarried stone, the original home was a modest 2 story cabin. McAllister developed a successful frontier village at Fort Hunter that included mills, a store, a blacksmith shop, tavern, and distillery. In 1814, McAllister added the large Federal-style mansion section that forms the front of the home. In 1870, the property was purchased by Daniel Dick Boas for use as a summer home. Boas added the wood rear section of the home to serve as a summer kitchen. Boas willed the property to his daughter & her husband, Helen & John Reily, who farmed on the property for 50 years. Following Helen's death, her niece Margaret Wister Meigs established the home as a museum.