HISTORIC SPOTLIGHT:
THE MARY WASHINGTON HOUSE

Mary Ball Washington

Only known portrait available courtesy of the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division.

A short stroll from The Kenmore Inn you’ll find the historic Mary Washington House at 1200 Charles Street – the home of George Washington’s mother.

As the story goes, Mary originally lived across the Rappahannock River at the family estate, Ferry Farm, until her son, President-to-be George Washington, persuaded her to move into town.

In 1772, he purchased the Charles Street home so his widowed mother could live close to her daughter, Betty Washington Lewis, and younger son, Charles Washington.

Mary Washington House Today

Mary Washington’s house at 1200 Charles St, Fredericksburg – Mary Washington House, Courtesy Preservation Virginia.

He frequently visited his mother in this classic white frame home and often slept in an upstairs guest room. In 1789, just before Mary passed away, he came here to ask for her  blessing before attending his inauguration as the first President of the United States.

Another interesting story of note: during the American Revolution, General Lafayette stopped by this home to find Mary enjoying her favorite pastime – working in her garden.

“Enjoy a guided tour of the guest room where President Washington slept…”

Back Gardens

Johnston, Frances Benjamin, photographer – Courtesy of United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division.

Today, visitors to the Mary Washington House can enjoy a guided tour of the guest room where President Washington slept along with Mary’s first-floor chamber, flower gardens, and the original kitchen in a rare 18th-century outbuilding.

There’s also a wonderful gift shop featuring 18th-century decorative arts and collectibles made in Virginia.

For complete information, visit www.washingtonheritagemuseums.org.

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