Pictured here is George Washington's Boyhood Home

George Washington’s Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm

Pictured here is State Marker of George Washington's Boyhood Home in Ferry Farm.
Milen Mehari, “George Washington’s Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm Historical Marker in Fredericksburg, Virginia,” 2018.


Located directly across the river from where you are standing is the site of the boyhood home of George Washington where he lived from the age of six until he was 20. The farm gets its name from the ferry that once crossed the river here, providing a vital link between civilization and the western frontier.

Ferry Farm is the site of the legends of George Washington and the cherry tree and his stone toss across the Rappahannock River.

Today, the boyhood home and the ferry landing are owned and preserved by The George Washington Foundation and the site is open to the public.


In 1738, at the age of six, George Washington and his family moved to Ferry Farm, then called the Washington Farm, from a plantation in Potomac River.(1) The move brought his father, Augustine Washington, closer to his job at Accokeek Iron Furnace.(2) Ferry Farm was a “one-and-a-half-story residence, 53 feet, 8-1/2 inches by 28 feet, 4 inches, perched on a bluff overlooking the Rappahannock River.” (3)

Pictured here is an artist's rendering of George Washington's Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm.
“Artist’s rendering by L. H. Barker (c) 2008″(4)

George spent the majority of his adolescence at Ferry Farm. In 1743, when George was eleven years old, his father died. His father “provided a parcel of land to each of his sons,” and he left “Ferry Farm and ten slaves to George, to be inherited when he turned 21.”(5) Mary Washington, George’s mother, chose not to remarry, which put a financial strain on the family. George went from going to school to having a part-time tutor, and he “learned to grow tobacco, wheat, and corn,” and transitioned “from boyhood to manhood.”(6)

Surveyor instruments were among the property that was left to George. And it is with these tools that at the age of 15, George began surveying, and at age 16 he, “went with Lord Fairfax’s surveying party on his first expedition into the wildest of western Virginia.” (7) At age 17, George was appointed “his first public office as surveyor of nearby Culpepper County.” (8) 

George’s mother continued to live at the farm until 1772 when she moved closer to her daughter Betty, in Fredericksburg. George would visit his mother and Betty often. His sister and her husband Fielding Lewis lived in the Kenmore estate, which George helped to pick out during their early years of marriage. As he grew older, “George spent less time at Ferry Farm… often taking trips to visit his half-brother, Lawrence,” and “around 1753 he finally moved to that estate near Washington D.C.”(9) 


(1) “Washington’s Boyhood,” Kenmore Org. Accessed: April 23, 2018.

(2) “Washington’s Boyhood”

(3) “The Washington House at Ferry Farm,” Kenmore Org. Accessed: April 23, 2018.

(4) “The Washington House at Ferry Farm” 

(5) “Washington’s Boyhood”

(6) “The Washington House at Ferry Farm” 

(7) “Washington’s Boyhood”

(8) “Washington’s Boyhood”

(9) “The Washington House at Ferry Farm” 

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