Archaeology at Ferry Farm and Kenmore

As you gaze across the new-mown fields of Washington’s Ferry Farm or the formal gardens at Historic Kenmore, you may be unaware of the secrets that lie just inches below the surface. But the archaeology of these sites reveals clues that enhance our understanding of the people and events that shaped these two National Historic Landmarks.

Prehistoric people found that this area offered a comfortable climate, a wealth of foodstuffs, and stone for tool making.

Everyday colonial life on the farm brought young George and Betty Washington into contact with slaves, merchants, a self-reliant mother, ferry passengers, and a host of others who populated their world in the early 1700s.

Civil War soldiers, in the 1800s, used Ferry Farm as a place to prepare for battle, while Kenmore offered a respite from the brutality of the war.

Explore the archaeology section of the site to learn how archaeologists use the materials left behind by these individuals to tell the story of their lives. When you visit Ferry Farm and Kenmore, you’ll be able to see some of these historic artifacts on display. Come explore with us!

A recent article in the New York Times titled "History of Fredericksburg in 21 Objects" includes 7 artifacts found at Ferry Farm.

Dr. Bernard Means of VCU recently posted about his experience with the 2013 field school at Ferry Farm:

A special 3D scanning project by Dr. Means at Ferry Farm was also recently featured on the VCU website.

Archaeology lab technicians have created a TPQ database of artifacts found at Ferry Farm. The database is available at