Historic Kenmore was built by George Washington’s sister, Betty Washington Lewis, and her husband, Fielding Lewis. This beautiful, Georgian-style, brick mansion reflects the pre-Revolutionary-War wealth and status of the Fredericksburg merchant (the building that housed his store is a few blocks away).
During the Revolutionary War, Lewis loaned the state of Virginia money to build and support a gun factory in Fredericksburg. At the time of his death in 1781, he was still owed £7000, but it was never repaid. He also lost a great deal of money during the war because he was not able to carry on his mercantile business with England. However, his house still stands – with its elegant exterior and interior rooms adorned with colorful paint, wallpaper, and decorative plaster ceilings.
A visit to Historic Kenmore starts in the Crowninshield Museum building (just to the left of the front gate) where there are displays of eighteenth-century furniture and decorative arts. An introductory exhibit, The Patriots Lewis: What Would You Give, with accompanying hands-on activities for children, tells this powerful narrative through key pieces from the Foundation’s collection.
The mansion has undergone a comprehensive refurnishing, and period furniture and interior details offer a descriptive setting for this historic story. An interpreter will lead a 45-minute tour of the first floor of the house and the kitchen dependency. After the tour, visitors are welcome to enjoy the gardens and grounds (approximately 3 acres) at their leisure.
Also, please visit the Kenmore website for a full calendar of special events and programs.
Kenmore Admission Prices: $12 adults, $6 students, ages 5 and under, free. Combination Ticket to both Kenmore and Ferry Farm: $22 adults, $10 students.
See Historic Kenmore hours and purchase tickets in advance.