The Story of George Washington

by James Baldwin

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Chapter II: His Home

George Washington's father owned a large plantation on the western shore of the Potomac River. George's great-grandfather, John Washington, had settled upon it nearly eighty years before, and there the family had dwelt ever since.

This plantation was in Westmoreland county, not quite forty miles above the place where the Potomac flows into Chesapeake Bay. By looking at your map of Virginia, you will see that the river is very broad there.

On one side of the plantation, and flowing through it, there was a creek, called Bridge's Creek; and for this reason the place was known as the Bridge's Creek Plantation.

It was here, on the 22d of February, 1732, that George Washington was born.

Although his father was a rich man, the house in which he lived was neither very large nor very fine—at least it would not be thought so now.

It was a square, wooden building, with four rooms on the ground floor and an attic above.

The eaves were low, and the roof was long and sloping. At each end of the house there was a huge chimney; and inside were big fireplaces, one for the kitchen and one for the "great room" where visitors were received.

But George did not live long in this house. When he was about three years old his father removed to another plantation which he owned, near Hunting Creek, several miles farther up the river. This new plantation was at first known as the Washington Plantation, but it is now called Mount Vernon.

Four years after this the house of the Washingtons was burned down. But Mr. Washington had still other lands on the Rappahannock River. He had also an interest in some iron mines that were being opened there. And so to this place the family was now taken.

The house by the Rappahannock was very much like the one at Bridge's Creek. It stood on high ground, overlooking the river and some low meadows; and on the other side of the river was the village of Fredericksburg, which at that time was a very small village, indeed. George was now about seven years old.


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