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George Washington Birthplace National Monument

George Washington Birthplace National Monument

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By Elaine VonCannon, ABR, SRES, Associate Broker, Notary, Team Leader, Property Manager, Award Winning Agent

George Washington Birthplace National Monument, a unit of the National Park System, is located in the Northern Neck of VA, 38 miles east of Fredericksburg and is accessible via Virginia Rte. 3. It is open daily 9:00 am to 5:00 pm year round. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Days. An entrance fee is charged for adults ages 16 and older.

A Visitor Center includes exhibits, film, bookstore, and restrooms. Ranger talks are offered on the hour 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The property includes a one-mile nature trail and picnic area with tables, grills, pavilion, and restrooms. The Potomac River beach offers views of the river and Maryland, walking, sunbathing, and fishing; however, swimming is not allowed. For more information, visit the National Park Service George Washington Birthplace National Monument website or call:804-224-1732, extension 227.

By the time of George Washington’s birth in 1732 on the marshy shores of Popes Creek, his family had been on the land between Mattox and Popes Creek for three quarters of a century. The George Washington Birthplace National Monument preserves much of the character of the 18th century tobacco plantation where Washington lived until he was about four. The birthplace house no longer stands, but its foundations have been discovered and preserved. His half-brother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather lie in the family burial ground nearby. The memorial shaft erected on the property in 1896 and the Memorial House constructed in 1932, at about the time of the bicentennial of Washington’s birth, are vivid testimonies to the reverence attached to America’s first president and greatest hero.

Charged with administering the site since 1932, the National Park Service conducted archeological investigations that revealed a second, larger foundation not far away from the Memorial House. Excavations confirmed that this was the actual location of the birth house. The outline of the foundation is now marked with crushed oyster shells. The excavations of the main house and a number of outbuildings also provided thousands of artifacts, including ceramics, jewelry, glass, and clay pipes. These artifacts have been invaluable in telling the story of the site, in furnishing and interpreting the Memorial House, and in the reconstruction of the working colonial farm.

Today, the monument includes the historic birthplace area, the burial ground, and the working colonial farm. Livestock, poultry, and crops of traditional varieties and breeds are raised on the farm to show farming techniques common during colonial times. A colonial herb and flower garden is also included on the grounds.

This home is small but it has a timeless feeling when you visit it. You can picture a little boy growing up here. I love this historical home!