If it hadn't been for the outcries of historians and citizens, a Wal-Mart would have been built on this site, the boyhood home of our first president. The land was saved by the George Washington's Fredericksburg Foundation, and the megastore found a location farther out on the same road. Recently, archaeologists have uncovered the original fireplaces and four cellars from the house where Washington was raised, as well as thousands of new artifacts. Ferry Farm, which once
consisted of 600 acres, is across the Rappahannock River from downtown Fredericksburg and was the site of a ferry crossing. Living here from ages six to 19, Washington received his formal education and taught himself surveying while not chopping a cherry tree or throwing a coin across the Rappahannock—legends concocted by Parson Weems. The mainly archaeological site also has an exhibit on "George Washington: Boy Before Legend." The ongoing excavations include a summer program for children and adults, "Digging for Young George." Ferry Farm became a major artillery base and river-crossing site for Union forces during the Battle of Fredericksburg.