George Washington bought this white-frame house in 1772 for his mother, Mary Ball Washington, so she would be near her daughter’s home at Kenmore Plantation. Mary Washington was then 64 years old and had been living across the river at Ferry Farm since 1738. George frequently visited his mother here and often slept in an upstairs guest room.
Legend says that Lafayette found Mrs. Washington in her garden when he visited during the Revolution to pay his respects (her sundial still keeps time). George came in 1789 to receive her blessing before going to New York for his inauguration as president. He never saw her again, for she died later that year. You must take a 30-minute guided tour (they depart continuously) to see the indoor exhibits, including a mirror she considered to be her “best dressing glass.”
Location: 1200 Charles St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401 (The house is in a residential area.)
Hours: Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri & Sat, 10 am – 4 pm/Sun, 12 pm – 4 pm Closed: Tuesdays
Closed: Thanksgiving Day, December 24-25, 31 and January 1
Allow at least 30 minutes for your visit.
- Adult $7, Student age 6-18 $3, Children age 5 & under FREE
- Heritage Pass: This is a single pass to visit all 3 of the heritage museums! Valid for 3 months after purchase. Purchase online, print your payment receipt and bring with you to whichever site you choose to begin your tour. Adults $18, Student age 6-18 $7
- Consider purchasing a Timeless Ticket at the Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania or Stafford Visitor Centers. The Timeless Ticket is undated. You’ll receive a reduced one-time admission to the most frequently visited attractions including Fredericksburg area battlefields.
Buy tickets online HERE.
Admission to the Museum Store is always free of charge.
Website: Mary Washington House
We visited Mary Washington House on a nice spring day. We started out the tour on the back porch where a period dressed docent shared several stories with us as we waited to go inside.
Mary lived here the last 17 years of her life before dying of breast cancer. The inside tour was very short (only about 15 min.). It was interesting hearing stories about Mary and getting a better idea of her character.
Unfortunately, inside photography is not allowed. The tour finished at the small giftshop where we enjoyed looking around. It features 18th-century decorative arts and collectibles made in Virginia.
We ended our time by walking around the garden. Mary Washington’s original sun dial pedestal is still in the garden area. We also looked at the outside kitchen. It dates to the early 19th-century and is one of the oldest outdoor kitchens in Fredericksburg standing in its original location.