Tuesday, July 17, 2018

George Washington Birthplace National Monument

After checking into the Fredericksburg KOA on July 1st, we drove over to the George Washington Birthplace National Monument in Colonial Beach, Virginia and enjoyed the afternoon there.
George Washington's pedigree is an interesting one and helps to tell the story.  His great-grandfather, John Washington married Anne Pope and they were the first to live there on Pope's Creek and establish the plantation.  They built the first timber-framed home in 1664 near Bridges Creek and was next to the cemetery John also sectioned out where 32 family burials has been located.  John Washington's house was near the beach of the Potomac River.  As generations progressed, each son build their homes on sections of the plantation.  Augustine's home (George's father) was built near the Pope's Creek Point.  
Photo FamousKin.com
John Washington settled the upper left area
Augustine Washington settled the tip section.
Some items and info on the land.
George's father, Augustine's land of 1,300 acres was mostly wood and pasture and only about 15 acres were of their cash crop - tobacco and was located on Pope's Creek (which looked like a huge river) and the Potomac River (which looked like a massive waterway).  The Washington's had 20-25 slaves and together with the Washington's would have to pick off bugs from the tobacco plants every day.  It was a tedious task.  When the crop was harvested the Washington's didn't need a central shipping point since most plantations were on the rivers and each had a natural dock for ferries and ships.
The Visitor Center was very interesting because many 1700s artifacts have been excavated from the Washington property.
Harry "Lighthorse" Lee was the father of Robert E. Lee.
The VC also included a desk, small store, theater and gorgeous views of Pope's Creek.
We arrived with 30 minutes before a guided tour of the property so we took in the movie in the theater and then admired the "creek" which was more like a huge river.  Creeks that I know are just tiny, few feet wide or less bodies of water and this looked more like a lake!  Our tour guide was very nice and had a lovely smile.  He was most friendly and very informative.  While the tour encompassed a vast array of things, I'm only going to focus on the buildings.
The large red brick building is actually modern and is the Memorial House that was built in 1931 and represents a typical upper-class colonial house - probably finer than the house where George Washington was born.  Bricks for this house were handmade with clay from a nearby field.  Inside, the furnishings evoke the typical 1730-1750 time period and the tea table is believed to have belonged in the original house.  The house was quite dark, so I hope these photos are good enough.
View from the original birthplace home.
View from the Colonial Kitchen.
This is the Washington and Ball Crests - George's Parents.
While this house is not the original, the Colonial Kitchen is more of what the inside of George Washington's home would have looked like including the side.  It was a typical 2-room house.
The bottom edge is the foundation of the birthplace home.
The fireplace on the right is original.
The white Colonial Kitchen would have been the size of the house George was born in.
The birthplace site is not there anymore, but the foundation is.
The fence above is where the Colonial Garden was located.  Today, it's a bit overgrown and could use a little TLC.
After we finished the tour, we were free to walk the grounds.  It was 4:30 p.m. so we had 30 minutes to walk around and here are a few photos.
There were many tees that we on site.  They were gorgeous!
This is the Weaving Room.
It was closed, but I could see through the windows...
...and got a couple good photos.
This was walking from the Weaving Room down to the Farm Workshop
Chicken coops
Farm Workshop
The barn beyond was U shaped
Grazing Land
And Cattle
The cows were hugs although this photo doesn't show it!
After the tour, we drove over to the cemetery and where John Washington's home would have been.  I love cemeteries so I included the stones.
To the left is John Washington's home site and straight ahead is the cemetery.
And, just a 1/2 mile away was the Potomac River.  Doesn't it look like an ocean out there?!  This is where the Washington family maintained their river landing when they sold their tobacco.
If you plan on going to this site, bring a picnic lunch and start at the Potomac.  There are tables there as well as people sunbathing.  This spot was a great place to visit and the plantation is just a wonderful introduction to the life of our Founding Father, George Washington.  As we left the site, we saw the Washington Monument.  Hope you enjoyed visiting with us.