Mary Ball Washington House

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Mary Washington House
Mary Washington House.jpg
Mary Washington House
Mary Ball Washington House is located in Northern Virginia
Mary Ball Washington House
Mary Ball Washington House is located in Virginia
Mary Ball Washington House
Mary Ball Washington House is located in the US
Mary Ball Washington House
Location 1200 Charles St., Fredericksburg, Virginia
Coordinates 38°18′17″N 77°27′49″W / 38.30472°N 77.46361°W / 38.30472; -77.46361
Area 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Part of Fredericksburg Historic District (#71001053)
NRHP reference #


VLR # 111-0110
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 05, 1975
Designated CP September 22, 1971
Designated VLR March 18, 1975[2]

The Mary Washington House, at 1200 Charles Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia, is the house in which George Washington's mother, Mary Ball Washington, resided towards the end of her life. It is now operated as an 18th-century period historic house museum, one of several museums in Fredericksburg operated by Washington Heritage Museums.


George Washington purchased this house for his mother in 1772 for $275.[3] It was located close to her daughter Betty Washington Lewis' home, Kenmore Plantation, and close to a town home owned by her younger son Charles Washington. In 1780, Charles moved to western Virginia (present day Charles Town, West Virginia) from Fredericksburg. At that point, the house--on the town's main street--was converted into a tavern. Today, as the Rising Sun Tavern, it is open as a building museum managed by the local Washington Heritage Museums group.

Later in his life, on his visits to Fredericksburg, George Washington was a frequent visitor to his mother's home, and, in April, 1789, came to this house to receive a blessing from his mother before his inauguration.[3] A visit to Mrs. Washington in her home became a regular stop for distinguished visitors to Fredericksburg. Among those stopping by to pay their respects were John Marshall, George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, Marquis de Lafayette, and members of the Lee family. She lived in this home until her death later in 1789.

The Mary Washington House is located near the college named for her, the University of Mary Washington.


In 1891, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities acquired the house, which was scheduled to be disassembled for travel to the Chicago World's Fair for display. It was their second property acquisition, and the location where the Fredericksburg Branch was chartered.[3] The house underwent a restoration and was opened to the public for tours. The APVA recovered 8 objects original to the house,[3] including a mirror Mary Washington once labeled her "best dressing glass".[4] By the later Twentieth Century, APVA had become Preservation Virginia and that organization signed an agreement with the newly created and Fredericksburg-based "Washington Heritage Museums" group, to cede ownership of the property to the later group by 2013. The site is a landmark in that City.[4]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Couture, Richard (1984). To Preserve and Protect. Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing Co. p. 23. ISBN 0-917565-01-0. 
  4. ^ a b "Mary Ball Washington House". Preservation Virginia. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 

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