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Aztec Ruins

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Fossil Cycad

George Washington Birthplace

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George Washington Birthplace
Sketch of old homestead to be restored at Wakefield.

In the George Washington Birthplace National Monument, at Wakefield, Va., established by act of Congress, approved January 23, 1930, the Nation has a historical shrine of first importance. Immediately upon the establishment of the reservation, approximately 12 acres of land in Federal ownership were turned over by the War Department to the National Park Service for administration and protection, and the donation of additional lands now in private ownership has been pledged for inclusion in the monument.

At Wakefield Augustine Washington built the home in which his son George was born. The old homestead was burned on Christmas Day, 1780, but parts of its foundations are in place. It was built of handmade brick burned at Wakefield, with a central hall and four rooms on the first floor and an upper story of the same size. A replica of this house is to be built on the old site and the grounds restored, this work to he completed by 1932, when the bicentennial of the birth of George Washington will be celebrated. Here, too, is the old family burial ground, located in the midst of cultivated fields, where are the graves of George Washington's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

Recognizing the patriotic service performed by the Wakefield National Memorial Association in obtaining 100 acres of the Wakefield estate and in arousing public opinion as to the importance of preserving this historic old spot, Congress has appropriated $80,000 for expenditure at the monument during the coming fiscal year. Of this amount $30,000 will be used in moving the memorial monument now on the site of the old house to a suitable location close by and in other improvement work, and the remaining $50,000, together with an approximately equal amount obtained by the Wakefield National Memorial Association, is available for expenditure in restoring the house under the direction of the association.

The Wakefield Memorial Association also brought to the attention of Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the danger of commercialization threatening a portion of the area. Mr. Rockefeller thereupon patriotically took over approximately 254 acres of these historic lands at a cost of $115,000, and at the request of the association has given assurance that this also will be given to the United States Government as an integral part of the historic shrine. When all this land has been transferred and consolidated, the total area of the monument will be approximately 365 acres.

Wakefield is located southeast of Mount Vernon, near the outlet of Popes Creek in the historic Northern Neck of Virginia. It is 35 miles from Fredericksburg and may be reached by State Highway No. 37 (Kings Highway).


Last Modified: Thurs, Oct 19 2000 10:00:00 pm PDT

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