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Construction for new exhibit underway at Ferry Farm

Ferry Farm - Enslaved QuarterThe vast history of Fredericksburg is both richly-documented and consistently uncovered. At Ferry Farm, George Washington’s boyhood home, a recent finding is developing into a fascinating new exhibit. 

According to David Muraca, Project Manager of Construction and Director of Archaeology at Ferry Farm, the first chapters of Washington’s life are not entirely well-documented, and the excavation of Ferry Farm has led to an unearthing of the first president’s childhood. This new dig further contributes to the story of Washington, as well as the enslaved persons who lived at Ferry Farm. 

Underway at Ferry Farm is a current construction project that has uncovered a home, possibly a family unit, that was inhabited by enslaved persons. According to Muraca, based on the size and “characters” of the building, the inhabitant must have been of importance in the daily processes of Ferry Farm. For instance, Muraca has deduced that, more likely than not, this enslaved person was the caretaker of the Washington’s wigs, an essential role during that time period. Muraca believes that the home served almost as a “payback” for the work that this enslaved person had provided to the Washington family. 

Muraca believes that to tell the story of Ferry Farm (and the collective story of 18th Century America), the interconnectedness of free and enslaved people cannot go uncovered. 

“One doesn’t exist without the other,” Muraca said. “Their lives are intertwined, and you cannot just tell one story.”

Muraca is pleased that he and his team have uncovered this story and exhibit, the construction work for which guests can visit now. The exhibit will be finished in the coming months. 

George Washington’s Ferry Farm is located at 268 Kings Highway. Follow Ferry Farm, and Historic Kenmore, on Facebook.