The Great Oak Pavilion at Ferry Farm

Timber Framers Guild and VMI Build Great Oak
Pavilion at Washington’s Ferry Farm

March 25 - April 5, 2005

The George Washington Foundation joined with the Timber Framers Guild and the Virginia Military Institute to construct a 24' x 48' outdoor pavilion at Ferry Farm — George Washington’s boyhood home, which he inherited in his father’s will.

The Timber Frame Structure

timber frame pavillionThe structure, which is used as an educational space for the Foundation, is a 24' x 48' five-bent, four-bay, open pavilion. Its roof mimics that of the 1770s-era Kenmore Plantation house of Washington’s sister, and uses a kingpost truss system with principal rafters, principal purlins, and common rafters. The connection at the wall plate is the English tying joint. The frame was cut on site and raised using period-appropriate technology, such as gin pole, shear legs, and block and tackle.


The new pavilion at nightThe project was a collaboration between The George Washington Foundation, the Guild, and the Virginia Military Institute with funding provided by the James M. and Lucy K. Schoonmaker Foundation. VMI cadets cut the 8’ x 24’ shed frame and it was raised the weekend of March 12. View photos. A group of about 40 workers assembled on March 25th to start shaping the timbers for the main section of the pavilion. In all, nearly 80 workers gathered the week of April 1 to 5 to help with final cutting, fit-up, and the raising. View photos.

For additional information about timber framing, visit the Timber Framers Guild website.

Ferry Farm

While none of the Washington-related structures remain at Ferry Farm, the site is rich with archaeological resources. Over the next several years archaeologists and architectural researchers will gather information on the site and recreate the Washington farm. In the process, the Foundation has created new interpretive and educational programs.