We’re Digging! – A Preview of 2022 Archeological Excavations at Ferry Farm

Field archaeologists will once again be working outdoors at George Washington’s Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm from May 16th through July 29th.  Work hours will be Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm.  The excavation site, located on the east side of the Washington House, is accessible to the public, and our staff will be happy to explain what we have been finding every day and what we hope to learn from this year’s dig.  Visitors can even help us sift our dirt and look for artifacts! 

Visitors enjoy a turn at the sifting screen.

The archaeological exploration of the Ferry Farm site has been ongoing for many years with great success.  The discovery of the two-story cellared home of the Washington family was announced in 2008, with its historic reconstruction completed in 2018.  Additional archaeological investigations around the house site have resulted in the identification of multiple outbuildings and work areas, adding to our analysis and recreation of the eighteenth-century farm landscape.  This summer, we will see two new outbuildings go up on the grounds – the enslaved quarters to the north of the house and a storage building in the work yard to the east.  Both buildings and their locations were found by means of our archaeological digs.

Location of the 2022 archaeological dig at Ferry Farm.

The site of this year’s dig is an extension of last year’s, during which we found a possible post-in-the-ground structure in the work yard area of the farm.  Opening up new units on the southern end of the dig site will allow us to determine the full size of this structure.   Artifacts found in the surrounding units are still being processed and analyzed and will help us determine the function of the building.

Overall view of the 2021 dig shows modern utility trenches and eighteenth-century oval postholes.

So be sure to stop by the dig when visiting Ferry Farm this summer and find out what we have learned so far from our excavations!

Archaeologists cleaning the site in the Washington House workyard.

Judy Jobrack

Archaeology Field Director