Kenmore Plantation: Living Through the Civil War

Take a tour of George Washington's sister's home in Fredericksburg, Va., which was built before the Revolution and sustained damage during the Civil War.

15 photos
Sarah Pixley
Sarah Pixley
Already seen Mount Vernon? Tour Kenmore Plantation next. The estate, located in Fredericksburg, Va., was constructed in 1775 for Fielding Lewis and his wife, Betty -- the sister of George Washington.
Sarah Pixley
The glass above this door is the only piece of glass original to the home. Everything else was lost during the Civil War.
Sarah Pixley
Kenmore was built in 1775. Surprisingly, a third of the home is original despite being heavily attacked in the Civil War.
Sarah Pixley
You can begin your visit in the Crowninshield Museum building to the left of the front gate, where you can view displays of 18th-century furniture and decor, before moving on for a guided tour of the first floor of the house and kitchen.
Sarah Pixley
A shot of the ornate ceilings in the chamber. The estate illiustrates the life of a pre-Revolutionary War merchant, as well as those of the slaves who lived and worked on the plantation.
Carissa DiMargo
Slaves used this passageway to bring food to the dining room.
Sarah Pixley
Visitors can be surprised at the use of bright colors in at Kenmore, as well as Mount Vernon. Paint was very expensive in the 17th century, and was often a sign of wealth.
Sarah Pixley
The kitchen was located in a separate building, to reduce the risk of fire in the main house, and to prevent it from getting too hot in the summer.
Sarah Pixley
The kitchen was only frequented by the slaves.
Sarah Pixley
This is a 19th-century mouse trap. Really.
Sarah Pixley
Once a 1,400-acre plantation, Kenmore now sits on just four acres. Visitors are welcome to explore the gardens and grounds.
Sarah Pixley
Is your home built this sturdy? We doubt it.
Sarah Pixley
A canon shot mortar through this window during the Civil War, striking the wall behind it and landing near the entrance of home.
Sarah Pixley
The Ferry Farm -- the boyhood home of George Washington -- is located nearby. You can purchase a combination ticket if you want to tour both.
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