Saturday, June 23, 2018

April Trip to Fredericksburg VA....Part Two

The next stop on our museum tour was The Rising Sun Tavern.

This museum is touted as having been owned by George Washington's younger brother, Charles Washington(also my 11th cousin 8 x removed).

Charles had this house built in 1760 but sold it and had moved away long before it became a tavern/lodging house in 1792.
Intersting tidbit--Charles Town, West Virginia was named by and for Geo. little brother Charles Washington.  That was in 1787 so it was Charles Town, Virginia, not West Virginia.

Interesting information given by the docents here about traveling in the Colonial era but no photos were allowed to be taken inside.  Let's just say that travel, even short distances, was arduous and uncomfortable and you had to be careful which lodging house you frequented.

When we left the building I spied this A. Smith Bowman whiskey barrel.......

We toured the nearby A. Smith Bowman distillery a couple of times(once with Hubs in August 2015 and once with the two oldest kids in July 2016).

A Bowman visiting a Bowman's distillery.
My direct line of Bowman's are in America by way of Ireland(and before that, England).
The distillery Bowmans line was orginally from Germany.

But it turns out as I dig deeper into my genealogy I am related to Abraham Smith Bowman Jr.(pictured above with his father, A Smith Bowman Sr.).

Abraham Smith Bowman Jr. married Mary Walker Lee, who it turns out is my 10th cousin 4 x removed, through my mother's FOSTER line(I also have a paternal Foster line but that one is Irish/English.)

And yes, this LEE family is That  FFV or "First Families of Virginia" Lee family.

It's funny that my brother remembers that our father had fantasized out loud about being of German descent when we were younger and he was still alive.  This was long before any of us were into genealogy or DNA testing and had done any research.
But I digress.......

So it was off to our third stop of the day........

George's mom's house.
Mary Ball Washington(the wife of my 10th cousin 9 x removed)lived at "Ferry Farm"(called this after the fact)across the Rappahannock River from F'burg, which was only accessible to town at that time by a ferry.
After her husband Augustine Washington died in 1743, George tried to get Mary to move into town but she refused until the winter of 1771 when she became seriously ill and her daughter, Betty Washington Lewis, who lived in town had just given birth and couldn't travel to the farm to nurse her mother.  Mary moved into the town home George bought her the Spring of 1772.

"Bettie" Washington,Mary Ball Washington's daughter, married Fielding Lewis(of the Warner Hall Plantation Lewis')and he is also my 11th cousin 8 x removed

Mary Ball Washington was, as Little Edie Beale would say a "staunch character".............

Mary Ball Washington died 25 Aug 1789 in her bed in Fredericksburg Virginia after a long battle with breast cancer.

Hubs and I pose in Mary's garden which she dearly loved, by her sundial.  Mary brought the sundial over from Ferry Farm when she moved into town.

There is one surviving outbuilding at Mary Washington's house, that of the kitchen.

In most Southern homes the kitchen was a separate building next to the main house.  Cooking back then was dirty and hot work and the last place you'd want to have a kitchen was in your main living area, especially in the Summer.

Even in areas of the country where it wasn't so hot for a good piece of the year, homes would often have a "Summer" kitchen.  These were either in a basement of a home or a separate building on the property.  My in-laws had a "Summer" kitchen of sorts in the lower level of their split level home in NJ.

We checked out the gift shop in the back of Mary Ball Washington's home and I did buy a couple of postcards.....

Eldest was getting hungry and tired of waiting on us out in the car(he had already toured these little museums)so we didn't get to "Kenmore"(Bettie Washington and Fldieing Lewis' home 2 blocks away)this trip.  Perhaps another time.

We passed this monument over on the next street across from "Kenmore" and darned if it's not Hugh Mercer again!  I had to get a photo.

This was a nice looking house near the monument with a mansard roof feature.  Notice the horse tie off and the stone block for stepping down from your mount or from a carriage on the street.

We grabbed a cheap and quick lunch at Hardee's then it was a stop at the nearby Ollie's and a grocery store to pick up a birthday cake since it was Hubs' birthday and then back to the apartment to hang out for awhile.

As soon as Eldest's GF arrived from work and changed we were off for a late dinner.......

Of course, to a brew pub, Spencer Devon Brewing.

A round of drinks and then the trivia started..
We had to decide on a team name and went with "The Carpetbaggers".
It should have been "1 Scalawag and 3 Carpetbaggers" since the 3 of my dining/drinking companion are all Yankees. ;-)

So we ate a bit(the Red Goat burger was great!)and drank a big(well Eldest and Hubs did most of the drinking)and we played some bar trivia.  Between our varied interests, sexes and ages we pretty much covered every category of trivia and we ended up coming in second place for the night!

Then it was back to the apartment and time for cake..........
But Eldest didn't have any candles to blow out so we improvized using the Candle app on the GF's

Hubs and I left the next morning to come home.  It was a quick but fun little trip to see our son and soak in some local history.



  1. This was an extremely interesting post. I read it twice and now have to go back and biggify the pictures. Blowing out the candle app was funny. I need to see if I have a candle app on my phone.

  2. Iobe bow you pack so much into your trips. Very interesting.


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