George Washington's Ferry Farm
Fredericksburg, VA
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

[ Print this page ]
Brief Description:

Ferry Farm is the boyhood home of George Washington where he lived from age six until he was almost 20. The riverfront property (84 acres) in Stafford County, VA is the place of the legends of the young Washington who could not tell a lie and who could throw a stone across the Rappahannock River.

It is also where he developed the character strengths that were to influence his adult life. The farm, situated across the river from the city of Fredericksburg, is part open fields and part woodland with an abundance of wildlife including deer, foxes, wild turkeys and many species of birds. The historic resources are mostly below ground and extensive archaeology is on-going.

The Rappahannock River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, was the main thoroughfare for native Indians who lived on this property before it was colonized, and for subsequent residents who came here on ships from Europe and the Caribbean. Goods and slaves were also carried to and from this area to the Bay and beyond.

Location / Directions:

From Washington, DC and points north: From Interstate 95, take Exit 133 heading East on Route 17. Pass several strip malls, then drive down a long hill. At the bottom of the hill, continue straight through the intersection (crossing Route 1) onto Rte. 212. At the next traffic light, turn right onto Chatham Heights Road (Rte. 218) and follow it until it Ts into Route 3 Business East (be sure to be in the left lane as you approach this intersection). Turn left onto Rte. 3 East and continue to the Ferry Road intersection (you should be in the right lane here). As you pass through the traffic light you will see Ferry Farm on your right. The entrance is about 1/10 mile past Ferry Road.

From Richmond and points south: From Interstate 95, take Exit 130 heading East on Route 3. Pass several strip malls, then drive down a long hill. At the bottom of the hill, move to the left lane as you pass under a highway bridge (Route 1). Turn left on Route 3 Business (William St.). Follow William St. through downtown Fredericksburg, crossing over the Rappahannock River (be sure you are in the right lane after crossing the bridge). Continue following Rte 3 Business East to the intersection of Ferry Road (you should be in the right lane here). As you pass through the traffic light you will see Ferry Farm on your right. The entrance is about 1/10 mile past Ferry Road.

Physical Address: George Washington's Ferry Farm
268 Kings Highway
Fredericksburg, VA 22405
Mailing Address: George Washington's Ferry Farm
1201 Washington Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Visitor Phone: (540) 370-0732
Business Phone: (540) 373-3381
E-mail: raudenbush@gwffoundation.org
Activities: Visitors to Ferry Farm start at the visitor center where they are given the walking tour brochure and told about the property. There is a permanent exhibit about the life of Washington and a changing exhibit of archaeological artifacts found on the site. The archaology lab in the building is also open to visitors. As you leave the building, your first stop is the 18 th -century garden where you'll see (and smell) tobacco, cotton, vegetables and herbs depending on the season. Other highlights of the walking tour include the archaeology digs where, during the summer, visitors can talk with the archaeologists about what they are looking for and finding, and the history of the property. The path leads down to the Rappahannock River and through the woodland wildlife habitat. There is a meadow filled with plant material favored by birds and butterflies. Frequently, visitors will encounter costumed, first-person interpreters at the farm who delight in giving an 18 th -century perspective to your visit.

Educational Programs Fishing

Operating Hours: Daily 10 - 5; closed Jan. 1, Thanksgiving Day, December 24, 25, 31
Fees: $5/adult; $3/age 6-17; free/under 6; some discounts apply
Visitor Facilities: Visitor center with exhibits, interpreters, archaeology lab, etc.; A walking trail around the property; Restrooms; Access to the river for fishing from shore (permit must be obtained at visitor center)
Accessibility: The visitor center and restrooms are handicapped accessible as is the 18th-century garden and the upper-level grounds. Paths are dirt or mulch. The river is currently accessible only by a steep path and a series of steps but can be viewed from the historic area.
Website: http://www.ferryfarm.org

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Comments or Questions: Call: 1-800-YOUR-BAY