This Georgian Style brick mansion was built by George Washington's sister, Betty Washington Lewis, and her husband, Fielding Lewis. Lewis was an incredibly wealthy merchant, even lending money to the state of Virginia during the Revolutionary War. After a succession of owners, the home was acquired and restored by the Kenmore Association. Today the plantation is open to the public, and a refurnishing project is ongoing. It is also home to the Crowninshield Museum, which exhibits 18th century furniture. Significant archaeological work has been done throughout the grounds of the plantation and many of the findings are exhibited throughout the museum. Kenmore Plantation was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969; it is also a National Historical Landmark, and is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register.
Betty Washington Lewis, sister of President George Washington, and her husband Fielding Lewis built this Georgian style brick mansion on Washington Avenue in the 1770s. It was originally named Millbrook; the name Kenmore was adopted by new owners many years later. The house reflects the pre-Revolutionary War wealth and status of the Fredericksburg merchant. Mr. Lewis loaned the state of Virginia money during the Revolutionary War in order to support a gun factory in Fredericksburg. When he died in 1781, he was still owed a great deal of money from the state that was never repaid. He also was hurt financially by the loss of business with the British.
Located on the grounds is the Crowninshield Museum, which displays eighteenth century furniture and artwork. New to the museum is "The Patriots Lewis: What Would You Give" exhibit. It includes hands-on activities for kids and tells a powerful narrative through key pieces from the foundation's collection. When you enter the house, you will be led on a 45-minute tour of the first floor and the kitchen. The house is known for its elegant exterior and interior rooms with colorful paint, wallpaper and decorative ceilings. After the tour is finished, visitors are encouraged to enjoy the three acres of grounds and gardens. The house is currently being refurnished.
Several archaeological digs have been conducted on the plantation grounds. Many of the objects found are displayed by the museum. Through their archaeological work, anthropologists have found information about the slaves who worked on the plantation while it was active. Many artifacts dating to the Civil War were also found, as the plantation was used as a military hospital.
Loth, Calder, ed. (1999). The Virginia Landmarks Register. The University Press of Virginia. p. 183.