As part of an ambitious, multi-year program to transform Ferry Farm, George Washington’s boyhood home in Stafford County, Va., into a living history museum, the George Washington Foundation has opened an interpretive replica of the Washington home on its original site.
Quinn Evans Architects created the master plan for the 77-acre National Historic Landmark, which is set along the northern bank of the Rappahannock River. The plan envisions engaging visitors through three levels of historic theater: George Washington’s youth, daily life in Colonial America, and the history of the site’s location along a westward trail and as a ferry crossing.
Implementation of the plan’s first phase is creating the essential infrastructure to establish and operate Ferry Farm as a historic destination, including construction of the Washington house, reconstructing the kitchen and outbuildings, recreating the landscape, construction of a maintenance and operations building, and establishing a new entrance to the museum property. Phase two will include the development of a new learning center designed by Quinn Evans Architects to orient visitors to the site, including an introduction to the archeology and research that led to the rediscovery of the historic setting and artifacts. While archeology and site restoration continue, visitors can explore the replica home and property today with the George Washington Foundation’s self-guided iPad tours, providing videos, photos, and in-depth details about the farm.
“Young Washington’s experiences of farm life overlooking the Rappahannock and connected to Fredericksburg via its namesake ferry were crucial to the development of his lifelong interests and character. The ability to walk in the footsteps of Washington as a boy is a tremendous prospect for anyone interested in the man he would become.”
Alyson Steele, AIA, LEED AP
Principal, Quinn Evans Architects
George Washington moved to Ferry Farm in 1738 with his family and lived there from age 6 to 22. The property became known as Ferry Farm due to its location adjacent to a historic ferry that crossed the Rappahannock River to the city of Fredericksburg. The property was purchased by the George Washington Foundation (then known as the Kenmore Association) in 1996, and archeological excavations began in 2003. To date, more than 750,000 artifacts have been discovered on the farm site, including the remains of the original Washington house.
The non-profit George Washington Foundation oversees two historic sites: Ferry Farm and Historic Kenmore, the home of George Washington’s sister, Betty Washington Lewis, and her husband Fielding Lewis. The organization’s mission is to enhance the public understanding and appreciation of the lives, values, and legacies of George Washington and the Lewises.