Rising Sun Tavern Museum

Rising Sun Tavern Museum We are an authentic historical tavern and former home of Charles Washington offering
guided tours
(42)

While not serving food or drink since 1827, the Rising Sun Tavern Museum provides a lively interpretation of Tavern life. The site now known as the Rising Sun Tavern was constructed in the early 1760s as the family home for Charles Washington. The youngest brother of George Washington, Charles Washington was a gentleman involved in Fredericksburg politics and civic life. Charles Washington also co

ntributed toward the Patriot war effort in Fredericksburg during the American Revolution: Charles signed the Leedstown Resolves denouncing taxation without representation, organized and enforced boycotts against British imports, and helped supply the local militia. After moving away from Fredericksburg in the early 1780s, Charles founded Charles Town, West Virginia. For the next several years, the property was owned by Charles Washington’s oldest son, George Augustine Washington. By 1792, the property was purchased by another gentleman and Revolutionary War veteran, Gustavus Brown Wallace. Soon after purchasing the property, Colonel Wallace decided to lease it out as a tavern. Through the following decades, seven tavern keepers leased it from the Wallace family. It was known by several names in its history, including the Golden Eagle and the Rising Sun.

12/06/2023
Missed our holiday open house last night, or simply need more festive cheer? We have great news! The Mary Washington Hou...
12/02/2023

Missed our holiday open house last night, or simply need more festive cheer? We have great news! The Mary Washington House will be hosting its own holiday open house from noon to 5pm tomorrow, just up the hill.

This week, the Mary Washington House Museum Store Volunteers welcomed guests to a Tea Talk with Kyle Griffith at the Ris...
11/16/2023

This week, the Mary Washington House Museum Store Volunteers welcomed guests to a Tea Talk with Kyle Griffith at the Rising Sun Tavern. Kyle spoke about his book on Piedmont Culture, presenting historic family documents and discussing to***co farming in Virginia.

Thank you for the excellent talk, Kyle, and we wish to thank our guests as well for sitting down to try some Bourbon-flavored tea and other treats in our immersive taproom and greatroom.

***co

Thank you to all our guests who came to this year's Federal Tavern Night!We had an excellent evening of lively period mu...
11/14/2023

Thank you to all our guests who came to this year's Federal Tavern Night!

We had an excellent evening of lively period music by Colonial Faire and historically inspired tastings- including Virginia hard cider by Wild Hare Cider Pub & Courtyard - all while learning about the starring role taverns like ours played in early American politics.

Follow us for updates on our future special events! Interested in benefits like discounted event tickets and gift shop purchases? Check out WashingtonHeritageMuseums.org for our event calendar and more information on how you can become a Washington Heritage Museums member.

Cheers, and see you next time!

The Rising Sun Tavern sat at the crossroads of boozy politics, scathing songs, and raucous festivities in the early repu...
10/26/2023

The Rising Sun Tavern sat at the crossroads of boozy politics, scathing songs, and raucous festivities in the early republic. Sample authentic drinks and treats that tavern patrons enjoyed at the time – including whiskey punch and Virginia hard cider! Enjoy live period music performed by Colonial Faire. Don’t miss out on this unique event!
Tickets are available here: https://washingtonheritagemuseums.networkforgood.com/events/61365-federal-tavern-night

10/25/2023

Trick-or-Treat 🎃

WHM candy bars are here! Come visit any of our three museum stores and pick up this unique fall treat or gift for the holidays.

Tickets are almost sold out for 'Gothic Ghosts' this October! Join us...if you dare.Enter an authentic 18th-century tave...
09/12/2023

Tickets are almost sold out for 'Gothic Ghosts' this October! Join us...if you dare.

Enter an authentic 18th-century tavern for an immersive and haunting experience. Hear live readings of Gothic tales from early America, as well as ghost stories passed down from our very tavern! Light seasonal refreshments will be served.

Tickets are available for Friday, October 13 or Saturday, October 14. More information and tickets available here: https://washingtonheritagemuseums.networkforgood.com/events/60069-gothic-ghosts-at-the-rising-sun-tavern

See our other upcoming events at WashingtonHeritageMuseums.org!

The Rising Sun Tavern Museum is hiring!Have you wanted to work in museums? Does the idea of working in a historical tave...
08/16/2023

The Rising Sun Tavern Museum is hiring!
Have you wanted to work in museums? Does the idea of working in a historical tavern interest you?
Share the stories of early Fredericksburg, Virginia and how taverns played a central role everyday life in early America as a costumed history interpreter at the Rising Sun Tavern. Bring the 18th and early 19th centuries to life for guests in an authentic tavern that was originally the home of George Washington's youngest brother, Charles Washington.
For more information and applications, visit https://www.washingtonheritagemuseums.org/employment-volunteer-opportunities

Recognize the backdrop? Come see the most handsome otter in town and stay for a tour!
08/10/2023

Recognize the backdrop? Come see the most handsome otter in town and stay for a tour!

More than 1,000 families have toured downtown Fredericksburg's Otter-ly Amazing Trail since its debut last year.

According to Fredericksburg Tourism Manager Danelle Rose, visitors from as far away as Texas, Florida and California have completed the Otter-ly Amazing Scavenger Hunt, which includes rhyming clues to find all seven sculptures. Inspired by similar projects in Greenville, South Carolina and Portland Oregon, the initiative was intended to help connect downtown's business district with the river and newly added Riverfront Park.

The project was organized by Fredericksburg Main Street under then-Executive Director Ann Glave. The nearly $60,000 budget needed to construct and install the bronze sculptures was raised through private donations and a limited edition Otter-ly Amazing Board Game.

The Otter-ly Amazing Trail included local artists throughout the creative process. The seven otter sculptures were made by Wegner Metal Works, while the marketing collateral and game were designed by Print Jazz's Pete Morelewicz.

Learn more about the Otter-ly Amazing Trail and start your stroll by visiting bit.ly/44ZkqP9.

📸

Happy Bastille Day! 🇫🇷
07/14/2023

Happy Bastille Day! 🇫🇷

Today marks Bastille Day, the French national holiday that commemorates one of the major events of the French Revolution: the destruction of the Bastille prison in Paris in 1789.

Although contrary to popular belief, the Bastille only held 7 prisoners by the time it was stormed by a crowd of Parisian revolutionaries on July 14, 1789. The prison did historically hold political prisoners and those held without specific charges under the king’s authority, and the revolutionaries believed the Bastille also held munitions. The medieval fortress was expensive to maintain and came to symbolize the tyranny that led to the Revolution.

The Marquis de Lafayette—who has major ties to Fredericksburg, Virginia—helped lead the crowd that stormed the Bastille that day, as he had just been appointed the military leader of the French revolutionary forces. Lafayette’s experience in the American Revolution and democratic ideals put him in a major role in this event that precipitated the French Revolution.

See you July 4!
06/26/2023

See you July 4!

Washington Heritage Museums invites you to join us at the Rising Sun Tavern Museum this July 4 for a children's story time, and family fun including a craft and face painting. With times at 11:30 and 1:30, we hope you will visit after listening to a live reading of the Declaration of Independence at the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop.

Hope to see you at this fun and FREE outdoor event. Tours of the museum will be available for an admission fee.

Thank you to all who came to ‘Songs from the Starboard’ with The Rappahannock Whalers and Red Dragon Brewery!We had a gr...
06/14/2023

Thank you to all who came to ‘Songs from the Starboard’ with The Rappahannock Whalers and Red Dragon Brewery!
We had a great evening - full of history, music, and tastes of historic tavern fare.

Our profuse thanks go to Red Dragon Brewery for providing refreshing beers that spoke to early America’s brewing history, and to the Rappahannock Whalers for their excellent performance of historic sea songs and colorful commentary!

Thank you to the employees and volunteers who helped make this event happen.

To learn more about our museums and how you can support our mission by becoming a member, go to WashingtonHeritageMuseums.org

Come on over for a day of community fun next Tuesday! Our volunteers are always happy to see new faces. Here's what you ...
06/14/2023

Come on over for a day of community fun next Tuesday! Our volunteers are always happy to see new faces. Here's what you need to know:
-We'll be hand-washing many outdoor wood elements and weeding the garden.
-Wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty, and bring gardening gloves.
-Bring a reusable water bottle; no waste, please!

Washington Heritage Museums is excited to host this year's Member Reception at the Rising Sun Tavern to show how much we...
06/06/2023

Washington Heritage Museums is excited to host this year's Member Reception at the Rising Sun Tavern to show how much we appreciate our member community. We'd love to see you there!

  in 1743, Augustine Washington, the father of Gen. George Washington, passed away.By the time his youngest son, Charles...
04/12/2023

in 1743, Augustine Washington, the father of Gen. George Washington, passed away.

By the time his youngest son, Charles Washington, was born, Augustine Washington was 44 years old and was the well-established patriarch of the Washington family. As well as involvement in local politics, Augustine Washington was a relatively wealthy member of Virginia's landed gentry, with income from several plantations worked by enslaved people, land speculation, and an ironworks.

Augustine had four children during his first marriage with his late wife, Jane Butler, though only two of the children - Lawrence Washington and Augustine "Gus" Washington Jr. - lived to adulthood. After marrying Mary Ball, the Washingtons had five more children who lived into adulthood - George Washington, Elizabeth "Betty" Washington, Samuel Washington, John Augustine, and Charles Washington - as well as Mildred Washington, who did not survive infancy.

Charles Washington, who would later live at the house that later became the Rising Sun Tavern, was not quite four years old when his father passed. The passing of Augustine Washington shook the family financially and personally. Along with their newly-widowed mother, Charles' oldest half-brother, Lawrence Washington, had to step into the role as the head of the family. For the next nine years, Lawrence served as a dutiful and capable role model for his younger siblings. After his untimely passing in 1752, his younger brother and mentee, George Washington, was thrust into the spotlight.

In the mold of his father, Charles Washington grew up to establish himself as one of Fredericksburg's leading gentlemen. Like his siblings, Charles also contributed to the patriot cause during the American Revolution. His family home in Fredericksburg would later become the Rising Sun Tavern, and Charles would go on to found Charles Town, West Virginia.

  in 1767, Charles Washington became the godfather of Lawrence Lewis.Lawrence Lewis was born to Betty Washington Lewis a...
04/04/2023

in 1767, Charles Washington became the godfather of Lawrence Lewis.

Lawrence Lewis was born to Betty Washington Lewis and Fielding Lewis (of Kenmore Plantation) on April 4, 1767 and was one of eleven children between them. The Washington and Lewis families were close friends and were prominent patriot families around the time of the American Revolution. Where his older brother, George Washington, was named as godfather to several of the Lewis children, George Washington's youngest brother, Charles was also named as godfather to several of their children, including Lawrence Lewis. At the time, Charles Washington and his family lived in the building we now know as the Rising Sun Tavern Museum.

The costs of their contributions to the American Revolution and having a large family put considerable financial strain on the Lewis family. Still, Lawrence Lewis took full advantage of the opportunities afforded to him by Virginia society at the time, and eventually joined the United States Army as part of its campaign against the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794 (where he served with his cousin, Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis and Clark fame). Lewis achieved the rank of Major while serving as aide-de-camp to General Daniel Morgan.

Lawrence Lewis was one of several Lewis and Washington family members asked by George Washington to help manage the Mount Vernon estate shortly after the death of Charles Washington's youngest son, George Augustine Washington, who managed the estate while his uncle was serving as president. While at Mount Vernon, Lawrence began courting Eleanor "Nelly" Parke Custis, Martha Washington's granddaughter. To Lawrence Lewis' chagrin, George Washington's nephew, Bushrod Washington, was named as the inheritor to the Mount Vernon estate. Lawrence Lewis and Nelly oversaw the construction of their own estate, Woodlawn Plantation.

  in 1792, Col. Gustavus Brown Wallace purchased the building that is now the Rising Sun Tavern Museum from fellow veter...
04/02/2023

in 1792, Col. Gustavus Brown Wallace purchased the building that is now the Rising Sun Tavern Museum from fellow veteran, businessman, and politician Col. Larkin Smith.

Col. Wallace immediately leased the building out as a tavern, beginning its tenure of about three decades as one of Fredericksburg's licensed taverns or 'public houses,' where locals and travelers could find food, drink, entertainment, and lodging.

The Wallace family went on to own the property for over one hundred years, until the property was purchased by the APVA (now Preservation Virginia) in 1907.

Come by for a tour to learn more about our property's historic background, why taverns like ours were the center of social life in early America, and how people lived in 18th century Fredericksburg!

Address

1304 Caroline Street
Fredericksburg, VA
22401

Opening Hours

Monday 11am - 4pm
Wednesday 11am - 4pm
Thursday 11am - 4pm
Friday 11am - 4pm
Saturday 11am - 4pm
Sunday 12pm - 4pm

Telephone

(540) 371-1494

Website

https://www.facebook.com/WashingtonHeritageMuseums/

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While not serving food or drink since 1827, the Rising Sun Tavern Museum provides a lively interpretation of Tavern life. Built as his residence around 1760 by Charles Washington, George Washington's youngest brother, this frame building later became a tavern in 1792. Today it operates as a museum where guests are welcomed as if they have just stepped off a stagecoach into 18th century life. Visitors will learn about the life of Charles Washington, about how the Rising Sun Tavern entertained, served, and provided accommodations for travelers and townspeople in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

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