George Washington's Boyhood Home

Did George throw a coin across the river?
Stories have been told about George Washington throwing a coin across the river, which many people assume was the Potomac, because that is the location of his Mount Vernon home. If George did throw a coin across the river, it would have been the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, which seems more plausible. People who have heard the story have tried to demonstrate the possibility by throwing or skipping coins across the river.

Did George cut down a cherry tree?
Historians do not seem to believe that the story of George chopping down or cutting the bark of a cherry tree, then telling his father, “I cannot tell a lie.” However, Ferry Farm is where that would have happened, if it had happened.


George would cross the river and pull up his boat near the city dock when he went to visit his sister, Betty Washington Lewis, and others in Fredericksburg. He probably walked up Rocky Lane into town. The lane has been restored and the dry stone walls which line the lane were recently rebuilt.

Visit Washington’s boyhood home.
Winter or early spring is a good time to visit the Fredericksburg City Dock at the end of Sophia Street, because the bare trees allow a better view of the buildings across the river at Ferry Farm. The buildings visible from there are not original, but they help visitors visualize the location and distances.

Local fishermen still haul their boats out of the water at the city dock, but there is a modern boat ramp there now, and rather than the barges and ships which came all the way into the bustling town Fredericksburg in colonial times on business, the river traffic is mainly recreational.

George Washington’s Ferry Farm is east of Fredericksburg on State Route 3 in Stafford County.
268 Kings Hwy
Fredericksburg, VA 22405
Tel: (540) 370-0732
Fax: (540) 371-3398
Open 10 AM – 5 PM March to October, 10 – 4 November and December. Closed some holidays.

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