The Washington House Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UPDATED WITH INFORMATION ON SPEAKERS
OCTOBER 5, 2017
MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES: Please see below for information regarding a press briefing following the Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony and to obtain credentials.
The Washington House Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
George Washington’s Ferry Farm
Saturday: October 7, 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.;
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony at 1:30 p.m.
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.
Leaders from the Fredericksburg Masonic Lodge No. 4 – who count among their early members George Washington and Fielding Lewis – will present a historical ceremony in acknowledgement of the construction of the Washington house.
After the Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, for the first time, guests are invited to view the Washington house! Hear from archaeologists and artisans 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.
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 540-373-3381 x24 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information and to obtain credentials for the event. High resolution images available on request.
The 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 is establishing a new entrance to the museum property, erecting a maintenance facility, and completing necessary infrastructure.
Employing building methods of the period, artisan masons laid the foundation for the Washington house using 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, as well as beaded weatherboard siding painted a traditional, deep red “Spanish brown” color.
The masons are completing the brickwork for the three chimneys, each set in an English bond interspersed with glazed headers, while the carpenters are fitting paneled doors with hand-wrought iron hardware and fabricating interior features such as an elaborate staircase in the center passage.
Accomplished plasterers are currently installing a traditional lime plaster, strengthened with animal hair, on wood lath across the walls of the Washington house.
Noted cabinetmakers are crafting furniture for the home, following a plan conceived by The George Washington Foundation’s Collections Committee and curators. A corner cabinet produced by Colonial Williamsburg’s joiners shop, was installed in the parlor in February. Additionally, a “scrutoire” – or desk with bookcase – is on view in the Ferry Farm visitor center until it will be placed in the hall of the Washington house.
Constructing the Washington house and the first phase of improvements 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.
George Washington moved to Ferry Farm in 1738 with his parents, Mary and Augustine, his sister Betty, and their siblings, purchasing the site from William Strother III, a prominent colonial Virginian. Young George lived at the farm from age 6 to 22. Referred to as the Washington home farm in George’s day, the property is later known as Ferry Farm—a historic ferry adjacent to the Washingtons’ house once linked it to the city of Fredericksburg via the Rappahannock River. The site was the setting of some of the best-known stories related to his youth, including tales of the cherry tree and throwing a stone across the Rappahannock River.
George was eleven when his father died in 1743. Augustine left Ferry Farm to George, for him to inherit when he reached majority. Mary Washington continued to live at Ferry Farm until 1772, when she moved to Fredericksburg to live closer to Kenmore and Fielding and Betty Washington Lewis.
In 1996, Ferry Farm was saved from commercial development through the hard work and determination of the Regents and Trustees of The George Washington Foundation (known then as the Kenmore Association), a long list of individuals, and several organizations.
The Foundation announced on July 2, 2008 that its archaeologists had located and excavated the remains of the long-sought house where Washington was raised. To date, over 750,000 artifacts have been unearthed at Ferry Farm. Ongoing research suggests that George’s experiences at Ferry Farm were influential in shaping the man that he would become.
On Saturday, April 25, 2015, the Foundation broke ground on the Washington house and the first phase of construction at Ferry Farm, forever preserving this remarkable landscape and providing a powerful stage to tell the story of young George and his family. Doris Kearns Goodwin, renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, was the keynote speaker for the Groundbreaking Ceremony.
The George Washington Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. The Foundation’s mission is to enhance the public understanding and appreciation of the lives, values, and legacies of George Washington, Fielding and Betty Washington Lewis, and their families. Please visit ferryfarm.org and kenmore.org for more information on its two National Historic Landmark sites, George Washington’s Ferry Farm and Historic Kenmore.
Ferry Farm is located at 268 King’s Highway, Stafford County, Virginia
Kenmore is located at 1201 Washington Avenue, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Visitors to Ferry Farm talk with educators about the Washington house, view archaeologists at work, see the artifact conservation laboratory, tour the Visitor Center with a new exhibit, The Science of History at Ferry Farm, and enjoy the self-guided iPad tour—Uncovering George Washington’s Youth.
Kenmore guests experience the restored house with its recently refurnished interior, walk through the gardens, and tour the orientation exhibit, The Patriots Lewis: What Would You Give.
George Washington’s Ferry Farm and Historic Kenmore are open most days,
March – December—learn more at ferryfarm.org.
Copyright © 2017 The George Washington Foundation, All rights reserved.