Washington House Construction
Washington House Celebration
Saturday, October 7, 2017: 12:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Plan to attend a singular event at George Washington’s Ferry Farm!
Celebrate the construction of the Washington house at a special Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony – beginning at 1:30 p.m. – with remarks by keynote speaker Four-Star General John P. Abizaid (U.S. Army, Retired) and Congressman Rob Wittman (1st – Virginia). General Abizaid – the longest-serving commander of the U.S. Central Command – will discuss George Washington’s upbringing at Ferry Farm as preparation for his important role as the first Commander-in-Chief.
After the Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, for the first time, guests are invited to view the reconstructed Washington house! Hear from archaeologists, artisans, and architects about the period trades involved in building George’s house. Walk the historical landscape and talk with educators about new programs at George Washington's boyhood home.
Ferry Farm opens to visitors at noon on Saturday, October 7.
PLEASE NOTE: PARKING for the event is off site at the VRE Fredericksburg Park and Ride Lot G at the corner of Prince Edward Street and Frederick Street. Buses will transport guests to and from Ferry Farm—traveling from the VRE lot to Ferry Farm on a regular schedule from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Bus transportation will pause during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The last bus will depart Ferry Farm at 5:15 p.m. Limited handicap parking is available at Ferry Farm.
Download the parking map.
Oversized items will not be allowed on buses, which may include strollers, coolers, folding chairs, etc. All items carried on the bus must fit with in the compartmentalization of the seat. No animals or guns will be allowed on board any bus.
The Washington House Ribbon-Cutting Celebration is a free event and RSVPs are not required. No pets please.
A PRESS BRIEFING highlighting the construction of the Washington house is scheduled for approximately 3:15 p.m., immediately following the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Media representatives—please contact Jessica Burger at email@example.com for information and to obtain credentials for the event.
John P. Abizaid retired from the United States Army in May, 2007, after thirty-four years of active service. After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, he rose from second lieutenant of infantry to four-star general in the Army. At the time of his retirement he was the longest-serving commander of United States Central Command, with responsibility for an area spanning 27 countries in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and the Horn of Africa. During a distinguished career he commanded units at every level, serving in the combat zones of Grenada, Lebanon, Kurdistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Units under his command have included the 1st Infantry Division, a brigade in the 82nd Airborne Division, and two Ranger companies.
Abizaid worked on the Joint Staff three times, the last as Director. He studied at the University of Jordan in Amman, holds a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University, and is widely considered to be an expert in the field of Middle Eastern affairs. As such, Abizaid was one of the first to recognize the protracted nature of the ongoing conflict against religious-inspired extremists, which he once termed “The Long War.”
General Abizaid serves as the Distinguished Chair Emeritus of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point and works closely with several charity and non-profit organizations. He advises small businesses through Fortune 500 companies nationally and internationally, and continues to serve as a special advisor on national defense and intelligence-related issues.
Congressman Rob Wittman represents Virginia's First District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he chairs the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces. Representative Wittman holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Virginia Tech.
The George Washington Foundation is charging forward with its multi-year venture to physically develop George Washington’s Ferry Farm into an outdoor living museum. The first phase of the project includes building an interpretive replica of the Washington house on its archaeological footprint, reconstructing the kitchen and outbuildings, and recreating the period landscape. Moreover, the Foundation will establish a new entrance to the museum property, erect a maintenance facility, and complete necessary infrastructure.
Restoration tradesmen are currently hard at work on the Washington house. Employing building methods of the period, masons laid a foundation of hand-cut Aquia sandstone in an oyster-shell mortar. Next, timber framers joined massive wood beams to create the frame of the home. Carpenters covered the roof with traditional, hand-prepared wood shingles and installed skillfully-crafted exterior doors and window sashes, and beaded weatherboard siding.
Artisan masons are completing the brickwork for the three chimneys, each set in an English bond interspersed with glazed headers, while the carpenters fabricate interior features such as an elaborate staircase in the center passage. With the siding painted a traditional, deep red “Spanish brown” color, the construction scaffolding was recently removed—allowing for an unobstructed view of the façade of the Washington house.
Constructing the Washington house and the first phase at Ferry Farm is a funding priority for the Foundation as part of The Future of Our Past Campaign—a $40 million dollar comprehensive fundraising initiative in support of efforts across its two National Historic Landmark sites: Historic Kenmore and George Washington’s Ferry Farm.
Please visit the Donate page for information on giving as part of the Campaign. Your support would help complete these complex projects with authenticity and attention to detail.
Learn more about the construction of the Washington house:
- Clint Schemmer’s article, “George Washington Really Did Sleep Here,” in Fredericksburg’s Free Lance-Star.
- Clint Schemmer’s article, “Washington House Replica Rises on Riverbank,” in Fredericksburg’s Free Lance-Star.
- Clint Schemmer’s article, “A Fun Fourth Ahead at Washington's Boyhood Home,” in Fredericksburg’s Free Lance-Star.
- An Editorial in Fredericksburg’s Free Lance-Star.