Woodley is a Federal style house built in 1801, the year Thomas Jefferson assumed the Presidency. In those days, the land was cleared between the Woodley site and the Potomac River beyond which meant that Woodley residents had a panoramic view of the incipient capital in the low lands below.
For a century and a half Woodley would house a series of prominent Americans including at least two Presidents, two Secretaries of War, a Secretary of the Treasury, a Secretary of State, a Senator, a Judge, an admiral, and General George Patton, "Old Blood and Guts himself." In 1950 the house and 8 adjoining acres were purchased by Maret School.
In 1994 the Woodley Society was created.
Since that time it has evolved into an association of students, faculty, graduates, parents, and friends which has carried on primary research at a number of archives and libraries in the Washington area and beyond, created a web site, joined the Historic House Museum Consortium of Washington, DC, and hosted a number of Woodley related receptions, most notably the prize winning 2003 bicentennial celebration. In the process, a dozen articles have been written for the Maret Magazine. One long-term goal of the Woodley society is to publish a book that traces the history of this remarkable house and its inhabitants.