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Points Of Interest

Point #1
George Washington Birthplace National Monument

1733 VA-204, Colonial Beach, VA 22443, USA

  • Distance : 0.13
  • Attraction : Monument

As you approach the traffic circle you will see the George Washington Birthplace National Monument. Proceed right and into the parking lot where you will park your car and walk to the Visitor Center

Point #2
The Visitor Center

Popes Creek Rd, Colonial Beach, VA 22443, USA

  • Distance : 0.04
  • Attraction : Information Center

The Visitor Center. Proceed to the group of buildings and turn left at the center. Restrooms are available here before taking the path that leads to the historic site.

Point #3

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  • Distance : 0.32
  • Attraction : Directions

As you walk back towards the historic site, you will see Pope's Creek on your right.

Point #4
Augustine Washington House

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  • Distance : 0.13
  • Attraction : Historic Home Outline

After walking approximately 300 yards you will come to an outline of a house on the ground. Initially it was thought that this was the spot where the original Augustine Washington house was located. It has now been disproven.

Point #5
Replica Colonial Garden

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  • Distance : 0.00
  • Attraction : Garden

Directly ahead you will see the replica colonial garden. In the garden you would not only grow vegetables and herbs but also plants that would be used in a medicinal capacity. The Washington’s would have grown and eaten potatoes, onions, celery, cucumbers, currants, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, sage, turnips, spinach, thyme, rosemary, peas and garlic as well as the medicinal plants of Marsh Mallow, Feverfew, Foxglove, Valerian, and Mustard. They would have also maintained an orchard for apples, pears, and grapes. Flax and cotton would have also been grown to spin into fabric for clothing. Enslaved workers would have been responsible for making the clothing, spinning, and weaving.

Point #6
The Tribute House

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  • Distance : 0.00
  • Attraction : House

To the left of the garden is the tribute house. In 1923 a group of ladies headed by Josephine Wheelwright Rust, a descendant of the Washington Family wanted to build a memorial house at the site for the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Sadly, she did not live to see the house completed as she died in 1931. The house was opened to the public on May 14, 1932. Upon further investigation it was determined that the memorial house does not sit on the foundations of the original house.

Point #7
The Colonial Kitchen

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  • Distance : 0.10
  • Attraction : Kitchen

The Colonial Kitchen. The Colonial Kitchen is done in the Colonial revival style and is representative of what a kitchen would have looked like. It would have been a very busy place starting before sun up to prepare meals for the family and their guests. The enslaved community that worked in the kitchen and its dependencies would have salted meat and fish, and managed the dairy.

Point #8
The Dairy

1732 Popes Creek Rd, Colonial Beach, VA 22443, USA

  • Distance : 0.02
  • Attraction : Dairy

The dairy. Behind the kitchen you will notice an outline on the ground, this is the dairy. The original foundations were found for this dependency. In the dairy they would have stored milk and made butter.

Point #9
Livestock Pen

1732 Popes Creek Rd, Colonial Beach, VA 22443, USA

  • Distance : 0.27
  • Attraction : Livestock

Behind the dairy you will see an enclosure. In Washington’s time enclosures like this would have housed horses, Cattle, Sheep, Swine, Chicken, Ducks, and Turkeys. Oxen would have been used to cultivate the fields for planting and would have been very valuable to the survival of the plantation. From the sheep wool would have been spun for clothing. Leather would have been tanned to make shoes and other items needed to run the plantation

Point #10

1749 VA-204, Colonial Beach, VA 22443, USA

  • Distance : 0.19
  • Attraction : Directions

At this point you can wonder around or proceed back to your car. Once in your car head out of the parking lot and turn right at the monument then right again toward the Washington Gravesite

Point #11

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  • Distance : 0.68
  • Attraction : Directions

– Proceed down the road until you come to a parking lot on the right. Park here.

Point #12

Bridges Creek Rd, Colonial Beach, VA 22443, USA

  • Distance : 0.22
  • Attraction :

If you look out over the land on the same side you will see the spot of Henry Brook’s plantation. Henry Brooks settled here on 1,000 acres in 1651. Eventually, he sold off his land. Cross the road and take the path that leads towards the graveyard. About ¾ of the way back on the left side is the original site of John Washington’s (Great grandfather to George) farm.

Point #13
The Family Graveyard

Bridges Creek Rd, Colonial Beach, VA 22443, USA

  • Distance : 0.05
  • Attraction : Graveyard

Be prepared to spend some time here as this is the spot where I will tell you about the generations of Washington’s that called this place home. The Graveyard was very neglected after the last of the Washington’s left. Under the center stone is a rebuilt vault where all remains that were found were reinterred. The cemetery was in such bad condition it was impossible to identify all the remains. We all know Pope’s Creek, also known as Wakefield is best known as the birthplace of George Washington. But like all good stories, there is also a beginning. George’s Great Grandfather, John Washington, born in England in 1631 or 1632 and died in Westmoreland County, Virginia in 1677 was the founder of the Washington Family in Virginia he emigrated in 1656. John was the oldest of six children, his father was Lawrence Washington and his mother was Amphillis Twigden. After arriving here John became acquainted with Nathaniel Pope an established landowner and businessman. John married Nathaniel’s daughter Ann in 1658. Their first child was born about a year later. Nathaniel rewarded his daughter with a gift of 700 acres of land on Mattox Creek where they established their first home. Ann’s father died about a year later as his will was proved on April 20, 1660. John began acquiring land and saw the advantages of the headright system. The headright system guaranteed the sponsor 50 acres of land for each person they brought to the colony. Along with his brother-in-law, Thomas Pope they brought in over 60 people. In 1664 he acquired the Bridges Creek property. He made a joint venture with Nicholas Spencer to acquire 5,000 acres of land on Little Hunting Creek the grant came in March of 1674. This land would go on to become what we know today as Mount Vernon. John was very active in his community as well. He was elected to the parish vestry in 1661, he was also a Justice of the Peace, a major in the militia rising to the rank of Lieutenant colonel, and he was also elected to the House of Burgesses in 1666. John’s wife Ann died after ten years of marriage and five children. John buried her at the Bridges Creek property with two of their children that died young. John would go on to marry two more times but would have no more children. John died sometime between August 25 and September 26, 1677, and is buried with his wife Ann in the Family Cemetery. Lawrence Washington was born around September 1659. He was the son of John Washington and his wife Ann Pope. Lawrence was probably born either on the plantation that Ann’s father gifted them on their wedding day or in the home of Ann’s parents, both located on Mattox Creek. Lawrence would have grown up with his siblings and possible the children of his first stepmother. It is believed that Lawrence was in England for his education at the time of his father’s death because the court named Daniel Lisson and Capt. John Lord to look after the estate during Lawrence’s absence. Upon his return, he was directed to compensate the gentlemen for their trouble. Lawrence was also responsible for settling his father’s debts and was ordered on July 27, 1681 to pay one Thomas White 1600 pounds for the maintenance of the mill. Since the suits and actions started in February of 1679 it is safe to say he returned from England about that time. The education Lawrence received abroad served him well. Once he returned, he became a long time member of the Westmoreland court, a burgess in the Virginia assembly and a high sheriff. He was also a lawyer and a businessman. Around 1686 Lawrence married Mildred Warner of Warner Hall in Gloucester, Virginia. This marriage allied him with another very prominent family. Mildred’s father, Augustine was a speaker of the House of Burgesses and a member of the Governor’s council. Only three of their children would survive, John born c. 1690, Augustine c. 1694, and Mildred c. 1696. Lawrence was more of a businessman and only added small tracks of land to his already impressive land holdings. Maybe he would have added more land at some point but like so many of the time, Lawrence would die early. Lawrence died at the age of 38 in 1698. He left a widow and three small children behind. Lawrence’s widow Mildred Warner Washington remarried in the spring of 1700 to George Gale. In the fall of the same year they returned to England where Mildred died not long after giving birth to a daughter Mildred Gale who would survive her mother by only 2 months. While in England, Augustine would attend the Appleby School in Westmoreland, England. With the death of their mother, the guardianship of George Gale over the Washington Children ended and they returned to Virginia on April 6, 1704 and Lawrence’s first cousin John Washington became the guardian of the Washington Children and that would continue until 1713. The Washington children grew up under the guardianship of John Washington at Chotank in Stafford County (today’s King George County). Chotank was very close to the land that Augustine would inherit when he came of age. In 1713, Augustine and Mildred would go through a change of guardianship. Their oldest brother John who had reached the age of majority and had through the courts attained his inheritance also acquired the guardianship of his younger siblings. Augustine Washington born c. 1694 came of age in 1715. Called Gus by his friends he was described as being six feet in height, and very strong and muscular and possessed of a very mild temperament, courteous and well mannered. On April 30, 1715 he married Jane Butler, the daughter of Caleb Butler a lawyer and planter in Westmoreland County. Jane’s father died when she was only 10 but her father made provisions for her in his will. The couple started their life together on the Bridges Creek property. In 1718 Augustine purchased the Pope’s Creek acreage from Joseph Abbington, this was a 150 acre tract of land that also appears to have contained housing the cost was 170 pounds sterling he also added another tract of 48 acres for 110 pounds. This purchase allowed Augustine to have adjoining properties. In 1726, Augustine purchased from his sister Mildred and her second husband the 2500-acre property of Little Hunting Creek for 180 pounds sterling. Little Hunting Creek would be renamed to Mount Vernon later by Augustine’s son Lawrence when he inherited it. Augustine’s marriage to Jane produced four children, Butler that died in infancy, Lawrence, Augustine Jr., and Jane. Augustine followed in his forefather’s footsteps in service to his community. He was a Vestryman of Washington Parish; he also served as Sherriff of the county having been picked by Governor Spotswood. In 1726, Captain Augustine Washington was sworn in again as a justice of the court. The rank of Captain indicates participation in the militia. Augustine acquired more land holdings on Accokeek Creek. Rich deposits of iron were found on this tract and in 1725 a formal agreement was drawn up for Augustine to receive a share in the Principio Iron Works as compensation for the use of his land for mining purposes. Eventually he built a furnace on the Virginia side of his property as well as expanded his holdings to include land on Accokeek Run and Aquia Creek. In 1729, Augustine decided to venture to England in order to meet with his partners directly regarding his interest in the mining company. He was successful in negotiating a new agreement where he would take charge as manager, as long as the quality of iron could be produced. This investment proved to be a very wise one and would one day be passed to Lawrence then to George. Upon his return to Pope’s Creek in May of 1730, he discovered that his wife Jane passed away in November of 1729. The Plantation was no doubt a very lonely place without Jane and I’m sure Augustine was overwhelmed with tending to the everyday functions of the plantation, the ironworks, and raising the children. It just so happens that at this time there was a young woman named Mary Ball, who like himself was an orphan and at the age of 23 would have been considered on the older side for a first marriage. It is believed that Mary’s guardian, George Eskridge, a prominent Northern Neck attorney, introduced Augustine to Mary. After almost a years courtship they were married on March 6, 1731 and Mary settled in at Pope’s Creek as wife and stepmother to three children. In less than a year, Mary gave birth to the first of her six children. On February 11, 1732, OS (old style) at around 10:00 am George was born. George was christened at home in April of that year. The family continued to live at Pope’s creek for another three years. Mary had two more children there, Betty and Samuel. In January 1735 tragedy struck and Mary’s stepdaughter, Jane passed away at the age of 12 and is buried in the family graveyard at Bridges Creek right across the creek from Pope’s Creek. It was also in 1735 that Augustine moves his family to Little Hunting Creek and he is sworn in as vestryman at the Truro Parish. This move may be in connection to the ironworks or it may be that the 2500-acre tract of land needed further development but the family would call it home for the next four years. Over this time Mary would give birth to two more children, Charles and John Augustine. It was during this time that Augustine traveled to England between August 1736 and July 1737 it is thought that at this time his trip held a dual purpose first to enroll his sons at the Appleby school, the same one attended by their father, and to discuss business contracts concerning the ironworks. In 1738, Augustine purchased Judge Strother’s property on the banks of the Rappahannock today known as Ferry Farm. The family relocated there a short time later. It was there that Mary would give birth to her last child, a daughter, Mildred. Mildred would only live eighteen months. She is buried at Ferry Farm. Based on the later land surveying done by George, it is believed that she is buried somewhere in the vicinity of the flagpole not too far from the house that has been reconstructed on the original foundation. Lawrence returned from England in 1738 and served in the Navy under Admiral Edward Vernon during the war with Spain. I’m sure the uniform and stories of the adventure at sea made an impression on young George. Augustine Jr. returned home from School in June of 1742. Lawrence was already established at Little Hunting Creek and Augustine Jr. at the Pope’s Creek plantation. Once again tragedy strikes the Washington Family in 1743. On April 12 over Easter Augustine suddenly dies. Many years later the cause of death was said to be gout of the stomach. The only thing we know for certain is that he died from some type of stomach issue and it seemed to be relatively short time between onset and death. Augustine is carried for the last time to Pope’s Creek where he is buried in the graveyard at Bridges Creek near his first wife Jane. After Augustine’s death, the Pope’s Creek property is bequeathed to Augustine Jr. He married Anne Aylett the daughter of Colonel William Aylett of Westmoreland County. After Augustine Jr’s. death, his widow Anne claimed her dower rights in June of 1763 obtaining a life interest in the property she continued to live there until her death in 1774. On her death the property went to her son William Augustine who became the third Washington to occupy the Pope’s Creek Plantation. William married a cousin Jane, the daughter of George’s brother and his own half-uncle John Augustine. This last Washington would not long inhabit Pope’s Creek Plantation, as a Fire would destroy it on Christmas Day 1779. There are several versions on how the fire started, the most popular one is that a spark from the chimney blew in through the garret window and ignited a pile of cotton in the seed that was being stored in the garret. After the fire, William moved to Blenheim. He would go on to build Haywood overlooking the Potomac above the opening of Bridges Creek. On William’s death, the property was willed to his son George Corbin Washington and three years later he sold it to John Gray of Stafford, Virginia. The only parts of Pope’s Creek that remained in the Washington family were the burial ground and the sixty square feet of land that marked where the location of the house George Washington was born in. When George Corbin Washington died, his son Lewis inherited it and in 1858 he conveyed the land to the State of Virginia to be marked. The National Park Service now owns and operates the property. Please return to your car and head right out of the parking lot and proceed to the river.

Point #14
The Boat Landing

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  • Distance : 0.00
  • Attraction : Boat Landing

POI 11 – The boat landing. Colonial plantation homes were isolated unless you lived in one of the emerging cities like Williamsburg or Fredericksburg. Everything you needed you had to produce on the plantation. The river would have been your connection to the world. You would have shipped your goods from here as well as received them. Luxury items from England would arrive in the form of china, crystal, silver and clothing. The enslaved community would have been responsible for loading and unloading your goods. Seafood from the river would have also been a staple for the plantation. Here is where your tour ends. Enjoy the sounds of the waves and the smell of the river. Close your eyes and let the sounds and smells transport you back to a simpler time.