Friday, April 2, 2010

Fredericksburg, VA

Fredericksburg, VA has ties to both Colonial times and Civil War. Last Saturday, with beautiful springtime weather, we decided to go explore. George Washington's childhood home (stories of chopping down the cherry tree) is fairly close to the town. His mother, Mary, spent the last 17 years of her life here. His sister Betty lived on a plantation just outside of town (now part of the town). There are also four Civil War battlefields that are close by. With way too much to do in one day, we had to pick.
First stop was a museum dedicated to President Monroe. It was built on the site of where his law office once stood. Started by his descendents, it had a unique collection of clothing, furniture, and artifacts owned by the Monroes. Learned all sorts of trivia here (How many presidents died on the 4th of July?)

It's cherry blossom time in DC which was a main contributor to heading the other direction.

The downtown has lots of fun shopping.

After lunch, we walked to the other side of town to visit Kenmore, the home of George Washington's sister. One of the few places we were allowed to take pictures indoors. The home has been beautifully restored.

We started in the office space of Fielding Lewis. It was the least ornate and had the original flooring.
The woodwork throughout the house was amazing. Here tulips adorn the stairs in the main entryway.

The swan fireplace in the master bedroom. What was interesting in this room, was the doors had been left open to the servants passageways, so we could see how they all linked together.

The Lewis family had a master plaster who decorated the ceilings in all the main floor rooms. He was loaned to George Washington at Mount Vernon for one room (the painter came to Kenmore in exchange). Each room had a different motif.

A garden society had adopted Kenmore years ago and restored the grounds to what they would have looked like originally. We could see lots of greenery, but the flowers were a few weeks away from blooming. Normally Virginia celebrates garden week the first week of April, but this year it was postponed several weeks since spring came late due to all the snow.

This plaster motif is an Aesop's fable with the fox and crow.

Another amazing ceiling.

The green in this reproduction flocked wallpaper was rather intense. The home had been restored to the original colors.

We ended with a tour of the kitchen. This had been completely rebuilt as only the foundation had been retained when the house became a historic landmark. This is a small kitchen garden.

There was quite an assortment of kitchen gadgets that the tour guide talked about. On the table are a mousetrap and scrapers to retrieve boar bristles and make brushes.

No comments:

Post a Comment