Kenmore - Fredericksburg VA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member La de Boheme
N 38° 18.235 W 077° 28.012
18S E 284296 N 4242415
Quick Description: This plantation was the home of Fielding and Betty Lewis, George Washington's brother-in-law and sister, in the 1700s.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 8/30/2009 5:30:27 PM
Waymark Code: WM747H
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 8

Long Description:
Two years after Fielding Lewis married Betty Washington, he purchased property which George Washington surveyed. The estate eventually developed into a plantation of 1300 acres that grew tobacco, wheat, and corn. It had a main house, kitchen, a dairy, a laundry, a meat house, store houses, farm buildings, and slave quarters. The house was built by tradesmen, Irish indentured servants, and slaves. The Lewises owned over 80 slaves.

Fielding ended up losing his wealth during the Revolutionary War by building and operating a guns manufactory, the Fredericksburg Gunnery, and died in 1787. Betty died in 1797, at which time the estate was sold to the Gordons who named it Kenmore and lived there for forty years. They added a stone portico and slate roof to the house which still exists today.

Over the next 125 years, Kenmore saw various owners, renovations, and would be divided and parts of the original plantation were sold. It was also was in crossfire of several skirmishes during the Battle of Fredericksburg in the Civil War and briefly served as a hospiital and burying ground (the soldiers were eventually moved to the Fredericksburg National Cemetery at Marye's Heights). There is still a cannonball lodged in the west wall that is visible today.

Eventually the George Washington Foundation obtained the property in the early 1920s and saved it from development. Over the years through research and investigation, the Foundation has worked to restore the interior of Kenmore and exterior grounds to a historically accurate representation of the colonial era when the Lewises first owned it. Two outbuildings on either side of the main house, one of which is the kitchen, were part of restoration projects.

The grounds are open to the public, but admission is charged to tour Kenmore's interior. For more details on hours of operation, admission, and driving directions, click hereClick here for more info on visiting Kenmore.

Street address:
1201 Washington Ave
Fredericksburg, VA USA

County / Borough / Parish: Fredericksburg Independent City

Year listed: 1969

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1750-1799, 1850-1874

Historic function: Domestic (Single Dwelling)

Current function: Recreation And Culture (Museum)

Privately owned?: yes

Season start / Season finish: From: 1/2/2009 To: 12/30/2009

Hours of operation: From: 10:00 AM To: 5:00 PM

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
nomadwillie visited Kenmore - Fredericksburg VA 9/14/2013 nomadwillie visited it
vhasler visited Kenmore - Fredericksburg VA 10/17/2010 vhasler visited it

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