In this video, stone and brick mason Ray Cannetti and his crew turn burnt oyster shells from last summer’s lime rick burn into powdered lime to use in mortar in the reconstructed Washington house chimneys.
On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, Dave Muraca, director of archaeology and vice president of museum content at The George Washington Foundation, presented “Building George’s House: Introducing the New Ferry Farm,” his account of the last eighteen months as George Washington’s Ferry Farm witnessed the careful reconstruction of the Washington house using many traditional techniques. Dave reviewed the archaeology that made the reconstruction possible and recounted the work of the skilled craftsmen building George’s house. The lecture was given at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library headquarters in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Join us at the Washington House Celebration on Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m to celebrate the construction of the Washington house! A special ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. featuring notable speakers. After the ceremony, guests will be invited to view the reconstructed Washington house! Parking for the event is off site at the VRE Fredericksburg Park and Ride Lot G at the corner of Prince Edward Street and Frederick Street. Limited handicap parking is available at Ferry Farm. Buses will transport guests to and from Ferry Farm. The Washington House Celebration is a free event and RSVPs are not required.
As construction of the Washington house at George Washington’s Ferry Farm nears completion, we want to share the many years of archaeology, historical research, scientific investigation, skilled craftsmanship, and hard work that made building this reconstruction possible. Next month, The George Washington Foundation will present a lecture series titled George Washington: Boy Before Legend – Introducing the New Ferry Farm over three consecutive Tuesdays.
First, on Tuesday, September 5, Dave Muraca, archaeologist and the Foundation’s vice president of museum content, will present “Building George’s House,” his account of the last eighteen months as Ferry Farm witnessed the careful reconstruction of the Washington House using many traditional techniques. Dave’s talk will review the archaeology that made our replica possible and recount the work of the skilled craftsmen building George’s house.
Second, on Tuesday, September 12, archaeologist and artifacts analysts Laura Galke will present “The Mother of the Father of Our Country.” Laura’s lecture will examine how historical documents and newly-unearthed artifacts indicate that Mary Washington, George’s mother, faced challenges, governed her home, and managed the family’s plantations with a skill and determination that recent biographers have not appreciated. Laura will also discuss how the Washingtons’ investments in attire, furnishings, and landscape modification reflected their strategy for overcoming setbacks and for exhibiting British colonial refinement.
Finally, on Tuesday, September 19, Meghan Budinger, director of curatorial operations, will survey how we plan to furnish the reconstructed Washington house in “The Rooms at Ferry Farm.” In recent years, accuracy in historic house museums has become a primary focus of the curator’s presentation to the public. How we know what we know about the past has become almost as interesting as the objects we curate. As such, curators are not only decorative arts scholars, but have adopted skills from genealogists, architectural historians, material cultural experts, scientists, and even investigative reporters. Meghan will discuss how the Washington house and the effort to accurately furnish its rooms is a prime example of the synthesis of all of these vocations.
Each lecture will begin at 7:00 p.m. and admission is free. The lectures will take place at Central Rappahannock Regional Library Headquarters, 1201 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401. For more information, call 540-370-0732 ext. 24 or email email@example.com.
Then, in October, celebrate the construction of the Washington house at a special ribbon-cutting event at George Washington’s Ferry Farm. More details soon!
Manager of Marketing, Communications, and Technology
Manager of Educational Programs
Brickmasons Ray Cannetti, Robert Hall, and Kevin Nieto recently finished building the second of three chimneys for the Washington house at George Washington’s Ferry Farm. Located on the house’s north side and made from hand molded brick by the Old Carolina Brick Company, this chimney includes two fireplaces. One fireplace each on the first and second floors. These images show Kevin working on the second story’s fireplace as well as the entire chimney after it was completed and the scaffolding around it was removed last week. To see photos of the east chimney being built click here.
The roof of the rebuilt Washington house at Ferry Farm was recently completed. The work was done by tradesmen using a mix of 18th century building methods and 21st century equipment. The roofing was done by Peter Post Restorations.
Over the past several weeks, following the timber framing and while the shingling of the roof was taking place, The George Washington Foundation’s carpenters Steve Chronister, Tom Rainey, and Josh Schwenk installed the Washington house windows and the beaded weatherboard, enclosing the house and shifting most of the work from the exterior to the interior.
Read “Washington house replica rises on riverbank” from the past Wednesday’s edition of The Free Lance-Star and plan to attend George Washington’s Birthday Celebration tomorrow and Archaeology Day on Monday to see all the latest progress on the Washington house replica! Visit ferryfarm.org/events for event details.
This past autumn, workers from Peter Post Restorations lead by Peter himself added the shingles to the roof of the Washington house at Ferry Farm. The handmade riven shingles were sawn from a tree trunk, smoothed on one side, and decoratively scalloped. Because they were handmade, each shingle was a different width. The roofers laid the shingles in a pattern to compensate for the different sizes and then nailed them into place.
The most challenging aspect of roofing the Washington house was shingling where the roof met the dormers. In the 18th century, roofers curved the wood from the roof to the dormers creating “swept valleys” that are gorgeous examples of historic craftsmanship.