Events at Ferry Farm and Kenmore

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Building George’s House at Ferry Farm

Oyster RickLime Rick Burn
Sunday, August 21: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
*Postponed - new date TBD

A fiery sight! Watch Foundation staff and expert artisans Bill Neff and Kenneth Tappan burn a lime rick – a large crib of wood and oyster shells lit on fire – to produce lime for stone and brick work as part of constructing the Washington house. 
Photo credit: Fred Blystone

In eighteenth-century Virginia, near the coast, oyster shells were abundant and commonly burned in one-time-use oyster ricks – different than lime kilns constructed of brick – to yield the lime required for brick and stone masonry. After heating, the burnt shells are slaked with water, causing them to break apart into lime. Mixed with sand and water, as well as sometimes brick dust, clay, charcoal, and bits of shell, lime is the binder in an early mortar.

At this special program, guests are invited to interact with educators at both the lime kiln and the Washington house building site to discuss the Washingtons’ life at Ferry Farm as well as colonial trades, architecture, and elements of the project to come, including timber framing.

Learn more about the construction of the Washington house at and in Clint Schemmer’s article, “George Washington Really Did Sleep Here,” in Fredericksburg’s Free Lance-Star.   

Weather permitting—updates are posted on; regular admission required.

Family History Adventure Tours at Historic Kenmore

Available March through December

  • Play “I Spy Kenmore”
  • Discover fun facts about history
  • Visit a period kitchen
  • Learn about food in the 18th century at Kenmore
  • For adults and children ages 4-12 (children must be accompanied by an adult)
  • $10 adults;
    $8 children

Date/Time: by reservation. Registration for weekdays—24 hours in advance; registration for weekends—1 week in advance.

To register, please call (540) 370-0732 x24 or send email to

Don't forget about our terrific school programs!

Available both on-site at Kenmore and Ferry Farm and in local school classrooms.

Birthday Parties at Ferry Farm and Kenmore!

Treat your child, age 5 to 10, and his or her friends to a birthday party at George Washington's Ferry Farm or Historic Kenmore! Learn more.

Please Note: A staff photographer is usually present at public events. Photos taken by the staff photographer at these events may be used by the Foundation for marketing and promotional purposes. Your attendance at the event implies permission for the Foundation to use these photos and the Foundation owns the copyright for all such photos.