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George Washington’s boyhood home may be rebuilt at Ferry Farm

Kathy Stewart, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – The ground at Ferry Farm in Stafford is giving up more information and artifacts about the first U.S. president. And now the farm is one step closer to bringing visitors into George Washington’s boyhood home.

Although Mount Vernon is synonymous with Washington, a new house at Ferry Farm is in the works, which would shed light on the childhood years the president spent there.

Washington lived at Ferry Farm from the time he was six until he moved to Mount Vernon, where he established his first home by the Potomac River at the age of 22.

Bill Garner, president of the George Washington Foundation, says the group is in the process of getting Ferry Farm rezoned into a historic district.

A brief video on the Ferry Farm archeology:

He says the Stafford Planning Commission gave the foundation the thumbs up for the rezoning. On Nov. 20, the foundation will go before the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, who Garner hopes will also approve the rezoning.

If all goes well, that may mean they could break ground in 2013 to reconstruct Washington’s boyhood home.

“The goal is to reconstruct or build a structure of what would have been on the landscape at the time of Washington’s youth,” Garner says.

He says the site would be developed as a museum and center for the study of Washington, especially during his formative years.

The land at the site of Washington’s boyhood home was nearly turned into a Walmart in the 90s. But a group of concerned citizens and others came together to save the site from commercial development.

In 2008, after 10 years of archaeological digs, the actual foundation of Washington’s boyhood home was unearthed.

“We determined that the house was much more substantial than previous accounts led them to believe,” Garner says. “The house we found is roughly a 50- by-50 structure and we were excited to have a site that revealed four different cellars – two stone line cellars and two root cellars. In each of those four cellars, we found a Washington layer of artifacts.”

He says this is an artifact-rich site, with some artifacts dating back 12,000 years. He says in addition to colonial times, there are also artifacts from the Civil War.

Ferry Farm was the staging site for the Battle of Fredericksburg during the Civil War. Garner says more than 600,000 artifacts have been found there.

WTOP’s Kathy Stewart contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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