MARY WASHINGTON HOUSE

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George Washington bought this house from Micheal Robinson in 1772 for 275 pounds. In 1789, his mother, Mary Ball Washington, lived in the white frame house that is on the corner of Charles and Lewis Street. The house is located at 1200 Charles St in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

The Mary Washington House was close to Kenmore Plantation, her daughter Betty Washington Lewis’ house. It was also close to a town home owned by her younger son Charles Washington. In 1780, Charles moved from Fredericksburg to western Virginia, present day Charles Town, West Virginia, and the house became a tavern. Today, as the Rising Sun Tavern, it is open as a museum managed by the local Washington Heritage Museums group.

George Washington visited his mother’s home before he became President. He came here to get a blessing for his inauguration. The Mary Washington House became a hub for distinguished visitors of the time. They included John Marshall, George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, Marquis de Lafayette, and members of the Lee family. She lived in this home until she died two months after her son was inaugurated.

The Mary Washington House is located near the college that bares her name, the University of Mary Washington.

The house is a museum where tourists can visit and view. The first floor has Mary’s bedroom and the parlor room from an addition. The second floor has two bedrooms and there is also a small room for history of preservation. Tourists can visit the gardens. They can see a kitchen building built in 1804, and other buildings you will not be able to enter. There is also a well house and an interpretation of the original kitchen from 18th century. Tourists can go in the Mary Washington House Gift Shop. It was originally a dining room and is near where the original kitchen would have been.

In 1891, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities got a new house. They did not want to take it apart and pack it up. So they did not do that. The house had been scheduled to be taken apart and put on a boat, but then it wasn’t. They made sure that the public could see the house by doing tours of it when they finished fixing it up. The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities found 8 objects at a house. The owner, Mary Washington, had called it her best dressing glass. In the later 1900s, APVA had become Preservation Virginia. That organization made an agreement with a new group in Fredericksburg who wanted to take over the property by 2013 if they agreed to pay for upkeep and such things like that. The site is important in Fredericksburg because it is a landmark there.

If you’d like to learn more about Fredericksburg, click here to read about The Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop.

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