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American history

Where the Cherry Tree Grew: The Story of Ferry Farm, George Washington's Boyhood Home

 
 
Author
Philip Levy.
Publisher St. Martin's  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.3 x 0.95 inches
ISBN 9780312641863
Pages/Publication Date 260/2013
Daedalus Item Code 52590
This item is not available.
Description
In 2002, Philip Levy arrived on the banks of the Rappahannock River to begin an archaeological excavation of Ferry Farm, the 800-acre Virginia plot that George Washington called home from age six until early adulthood. Over the next six years, Levy and his team found Washington family objects like wig curlers, wine bottles, and a tea set, as well as objects that told deeper stories about family life: a pipe with Masonic markings, and a carefully placed set of oyster shells suggesting a practice of folk magic. More importantly, they had identified Washington's own home. Levy chronicles three centuries of the land's history, including its role as a Civil War battlefield, and Wal-Mart's unsuccessful bid to build there.

"Most parcels of American land have a history searchable back to their original settlement, an investigation Levy undertakes in this fascinating chronicle of a Virginia farm on which a teenage George Washington gamboled in the 1740s. Chronologically, Levy traces the place's real-estate transactions from 1666 to 1996, when historical preservationists defeated a retailer's plan to build on the site.... While Washington commemoration focused on venues like Mount Vernon, the boyhood homestead soldiered on as what it was, a farm, with interludes as a Civil War battlefield and, later, a quarry. But it could boast what no other Washington haunt could, the fable of the cherry tree chopped down by a mischievous boy. Levy entertainingly recounts how certain owners of the farm promoted the tale, ultimately encountering an intriguing challenge to his own skepticism: his archaeological discovery of pottery shards decorated with ... cherries."Booklist

 
 
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