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No plan, for now, to link primary George Washington sites for tourists

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  • Date published: 7/12/2008


    Pogue said Ferry Farm will have more of a challenge, "not having any [existing] buildings, and not as much information as they would like" about what the actual Washington home at Ferry farm was like in detail.

    Still, there are plans to build a replica house on the property in the future.

    While there's no formal working agreement among Mount Vernon, Ferry Farm and Washington's birthplace, "We are collegial with all those places," Pogue said.

    "The world of Washington is a small one, and we have lots of contacts. We talk about the other sites, and nobody views it as competition in any way."

    The birthplace and another Washington site, Sulgrave Manor in Britain, signed a formal "sister parks" agreement last year under which they share educational programs and other efforts.

    Sulgrave Manor, the family's ancestral home, was built by Lawrence Washington, George's great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. Three generations later, John Washington--the first of the line in the Colonies--emigrated in 1656 to Westmoreland. He is buried in the family plot at Popes Creek.

    Mount Vernon and Ferry Farm are owned and operated by private, nonprofit organizations. George Washington Birthplace National Monument is operated by the National Park Service.

    Dave A. Laclergue, acting superintendent at Washington's birthplace, said more of a relationship among the three could develop.

    "There's is nothing in the works right now," he said, but he has talked with officials at Ferry Farm in general terms about promoting each other's sites.

    "We all think about it and are aware of that possibility," Laclergue said.

    Paula Raudenbush, spokeswoman for The George Washington Foundation, which owns and operates Ferry Farm, agreed.

    "We've been talking about this for a long time, but there's no definite plan yet. It's something I think all of us are interested in."

    Staff writer Clint Schemmer contributed to this report.

    ferryfarm.org nps.gov/gewa mountvernon.org sulgravemanor.org.uk

    Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431
    Email: rdennen@freelancestar.com

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    Mount Vernon, George Washington's estate overlooking the Potomac River eight miles south of Alexandria, is owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, a private, nonprofit group founded in 1853. George Washington spent 45 of his 62 years at the site, which features his home, farm and gardens, outbuildings, interpretive and educational programs, the Mount Vernon Inn restaurant and a gift shop.

    Ferry Farm, owned and operated by The George Washington Foundation, is Washington's boyhood home. The remains of the house have just been discovered on the 113-acre site on the Rappahannock River in Stafford County. George Washington moved there with his family in 1738 at age 6. The site has a visitors center, educational activities, self-guided tours, ongoing archaeological digs that visitors can observe, trails and demonstration gardens. The foundation plans to re-create the Washington home on the property.

    George Washington Birthplace National Monument is off State Route 3 on Popes Creek in Westmoreland County. The home in which Washington was born burned in 1779 and was excavated by archaeologists in 1936. Oyster shells outline its foundation. A re-creation of the house was built in 1931, along with a Colonial kitchen. The site also has a visitors center, a living-history Colonial farm, hiking trails and the Washington family burial ground.