George Washington Birthplace National Monument includes fields of tobacco and wheat, farm buildings, groves of trees, and colorful country gardens that were the scenes of George Washington's early childhood.

George Washington Birthplace National Monument
©National Park Service
George Washington was born in a plantation manor house near
Popes Creek, Virginia, in 1732.

Our country's first President was born on February 22, 1732, in a modest plantation manor house along the banks of Popes Creek, Virginia. He lived there until he was almost four and spent long periods there as a boy. Having grown up watching his father's slaves working the farm -- and later helping his brother run it -- Washington always claimed to be first a farmer, and second a public servant.

Today, the Popes Creek farm operates much as it did in Washington's day. Costumed interpreters demonstrate eighteenth-century farming techniques, and the farm animals and crops are species that were common in colonial times. Many of the herbs and flowers commonly found on eighteenth-century Virginia plantations grow in the garden.

The original home burned down on Christmas Day, 1779, while Washington was far to the north with the Continental Army. Now a memorial home typical of the upper classes of the time stands in its place, filled with period colonial furnishings. An oyster shell outline marks the location and dimensions of the original house.

Popes Creek Plantation is part of the George Washington Birthplace National Monument, which includes the working farm, family cemetery, a picnic area, and more than 500 acres of grounds crossed by hiking trails.

George Washington Birthplace National Monument Information

Address: 1732 Popes Creek Rd., Washington's Birthplace, VA
Telephone: 804/224-1732
Hours of Operation: Open daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day
Admission: $4 for adults; children 16 and under are free

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To learn more about national monuments, memorials, and historic sites, and other travel destinations in North America, visit:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eric Peterson is a Denver-based author who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.