River Farm

River Farm (25 acres/10.1 ha), home to the American Horticultural Society (AHS) headquarters, is a historic landscape located at 7931 East Boulevard Drive, Alexandria, Virginia. The estate takes its name from a larger plot of land which formed an outlying part of George Washington's Mount Vernon estate.

River Farm Early Fall 2010 (5105616904)
River Farm house in 2010


Gwash map02
Map showing River Farm as part of George Washington's Mount Vernon estate

The River Farm property was established in 1653–54 by Giles Brent and his wife, a princess of the Piscataway tribe, who received a grant of 1,800 acres (7.3 km2) named Piscataway Neck. In 1739 the land was passed from George Brent to brother-in-law, William Clifton who renamed the property Clifton's Neck. In 1757 Clifton completed the brick house that now serves as AHS headquarters.

Following financial difficulties, Clifton sold the land to neighbor, founding father George Washington, who obtained the property for £1,210 through a bankruptcy sale in 1760. Washington changed the name of Clifton's Neck to River Farm and leased the property to tenant farmers.

River Farm was passed down through two immediate generations of Washingtons and later sold with 652 acres of Washington's original land to the Snowden brothers of New Jersey. This included the houses known as "Wellington," "Waynewood," and "Collingwood." The property was home to numerous owners including Malcolm Matheson, who bought the property in 1919. Matheson placed the property on the market in 1971 and received an offer from the Soviet Embassy who planned to use the land as a retreat or dacha for its staff. The public opposed this purchase which resulted in the AHS acquisition of the property.

Detailed history can be found on the AHS website.

Acquisition by AHS

After Matheson took his land off the market to avoid the Soviet purchase, Enid Annenberg Haupt, philanthropist, gardener, and member of the Board of Directors of the American Horticultural Society took interest in the property. Haupt donated the purchasing funds needed for the property to AHS in the early 1970s. In 1973, AHS relocated its headquarters from the city of Alexandria to nearby River Farm. The property was renamed River Farm in honor of President George Washington, one of the many land owners.

Washington at River Farm

Today's smaller River Farm is located on the northernmost division of Washington's original property. River Farm features the estate house (enlarged and remodeled) with naturalistic and formal garden areas. It still preserves several historical associations with Washington. Its Kentucky coffeetrees are descendants of those first introduced to Virginia upon Washington's return from surveys in the Ohio River Valley. The estate's oldest tree is a large Osage-orange (Maclura pomifera), believed to be the largest in the United States. An old, incorrect, tale claimed it was a gift from Thomas Jefferson to the Washington family, and grown from seedlings of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804–06.

Horticultural landmark

In 2004, River Farm was designated a Horticultural Landmark by the American Society for Horticultural Science. This recognition was due to the ability to retain its historic character while at the same time showcasing the best and most environmentally responsible gardening practices. The Horticultural Landmark features renowned vistas stretching down to the Potomac River as well as its artful blend of naturalistic and formal gardens that offer year-round delight to visitors of all ages. In addition, there are extensive and creative play areas for children, demonstration gardens for both edible and ornamental plants, a four-acre meadow, and scenic resting places for picnickers, artists, and romantics. Other highlights include two small buildings with planted "living" roofs, one of the largest Osage-orange trees in the nation, an orchard, a grove of rare Franklinia trees, and frequent sightings of bald eagles, bluebirds, foxes, and other wildlife.


River Farm is located at 7931 East Boulevard Drive, Alexandria, Virginia. River Farm's gardens are open to the public year-round Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., excluding national holidays. From April through September, it is also open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. River Farm is closed on national holidays. Admission is free (except for special events), but donations are appreciated to help support the stewardship of River Farm. The AHS Garden Shop is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.


The farm's gardens include:

See also

External links

Coordinates: 38°44′33″N 77°02′41″W / 38.742369°N 77.044609°W

American Horticultural Society

The American Horticultural Society (AHS) is a nonprofit, membership-based organization that promotes excellence in American horticulture. It is headquartered at River Farm in Alexandria, Virginia.

Audubon Center at Bent of the River

Audubon Center at Bent of the River is a 700-acre preserve in Southbury, Connecticut. It is located off South Britain Road and is open year-round.

The Center's mission is to conserve land and promote biodiversity. Its website states "When Mrs. Althea Clark bequeathed Bent of the River farm to National Audubon Society, she left explicit instructions about its use for education and the maintenance of the land— such as preserving it for native flora and fauna and having no trail blazes or interpretive signs. She wanted the Bent to be kept in a state of "mild wildness."

The property features about 15 miles of trails through fields, forests, shrub and grasslands along the Pomperaug River, and is considered to be an excellent site for bird watching. The property includes a brick house named the Clark House and a mid-19th century barn used for nature education programs and events.

Augustine Washington

Augustine Washington Sr. (November 12, 1694 – April 12, 1743) was the father of the first U.S. President George Washington. He belonged to the Colony of Virginia's landed gentry and was a planter and slaveholder.

Augustine Washington Jr.

Augustine Washington Jr. (1720–1762) was an American soldier, planter, and politician. He was the second and youngest son of Augustine Washington and Jane Butler, and George Washington's half-brother.Augustine Washington Jr. married Anne Aylett at "Nominy Plantation." She was the daughter and coheiress of William Aylett of Westmoreland County, Virginia. The couple had four children.

According to the will of Augustine Washington Sr., the land now known as Mount Vernon first was willed to Lawrence Washington (brother of Augustine Jr.). However, the will instructed that in the case Lawrence should die without an heir the property would go to Augustine Jr. if he would be willing to give the Popes Creek property, known as "Wakefield", to George Washington. Augustine decided instead to keep the Popes Creek property and so George got the property now known as Mount Vernon.

Augustine Jr. was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses from Westmoreland County from 1754 to 1758. He also was a member of the Ohio Company.In 1753, he inherited his brother Lawrence's share in Accokeek Furnace near Stafford, Virginia.

Betty Washington Lewis

Elizabeth "Betty" Washington Lewis (June 20, 1733 – March 31, 1797) was the younger sister of George Washington and the only sister to live to adulthood. She was the first daughter of Augustine Washington and Mary Ball Washington. She is considered a "founding mother" of America.She was born in Westmoreland County, Colony of Virginia, and married Fielding Lewis in 1750. Their children included Lawrence Lewis, who married Eleanor Parke Custis, a granddaughter of Martha Washington, and Robert Lewis. They built a house in Fredericksburg, Kenmore House, in 1770, and owned The Lewis Store until 1776. In later life, she stayed close with her mother. She died in 1797 while visiting her daughter, Betty Lewis Carter, at the Western View Plantation in Culpeper, Virginia, and is buried there.

She and her husband are commemorated with street names in the nearby Ferry Farm subdivision (Fielding Circle and Betty Lewis Drive).

Black Tie Affair

Black Tie Affair (April 1, 1986 – July 1, 2010) was a thoroughbred racehorse. Bred by American businessman Stephen D. Peskoff, he was out of the mare Hat Tab Girl and sired by Miswaki, who also sired Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Urban Sea and who was a two-time Leading broodmare sire in Great Britain & Ireland.

Black Tie Affair was brought to the United States, where he was kept as a yearling at Cynthia and Walter Reese's Timber Creek Farm in New Jersey. Reese trained the colt as a 2-year-old for Edward P. Sawyer of Hudson River Farm before Black Tie Affair was sold to Jeffrey Sullivan in 1989 for $125,000 as a three-year-old on the advice of trainer Ernie T. Poulos.

Black Tie Affair was a graded stakes race winner at two, three, four, and five and earned United States Horse of the Year in 1991 along with winning the Breeders' Cup Classic that year at Churchill Downs in a wire-to-wire victory over Twilight Agenda and Unbridled with Jerry Bailey aboard.

Charles Washington

Charles Washington (May 2, 1738 – September 16, 1799) was the youngest brother of United States President George Washington. He was a son of Augustine Washington and his second wife, Mary Ball Washington.

Collingwood (mansion)

Collingwood is a historic mansion in Fort Hunt, Virginia listed on the Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites. The mansion was first built in 1859 on a subdivision of George Washington's former River Farm, and significantly altered and expanded in the early 20th century. In July 2019, it was reported that the mansion would be demolished later that year.

John Augustine Washington

John Augustine Washington (1736–1787) was a member of the fifth Virginia Convention and a founding member of the Mississippi Land Company. During the American Revolution he was a member of Westmoreland County's

Committee of Safety and the Chairman of the County Committee for Relief of Boston.

John Washington

John Washington (1631–1677) was an English planter, soldier, and politician in colonial Virginia in North America. He was a lieutenant colonel in the local militia. Born in Hertfordshire, England, he settled in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He was the colonist paternal English ancestor and great-grandfather of George Washington, general of the Continental Army and first president of the United States of America.

Lawrence Washington (1659–1698)

Lawrence Washington (1659 – February 1698), a colonial-era American who is principally remembered as the paternal grandfather of George Washington. He was the owner of a substantial Virginia plantation that he inherited from his father, John Washington, as the firstborn son under the law of primogeniture.

Washington was sent to England to finish his education. In addition to being a landowner and planter, he was a lawyer, soldier, and a politician in colonial Virginia.

List of rivers of Massachusetts

List of rivers in Massachusetts (U.S. state).

All Massachusetts rivers flow to the Atlantic Ocean. The list is arranged by drainage basin from north to south, with respective tributaries indented under each larger stream's name, arranged travelling upstream along the larger stream.

Samuel Washington

Samuel Washington (November 27, 1734 [O.S. November 16, 1734] – September 26, 1781) was a colonial American officer and politician who was the brother of United States President George Washington.


Trevone (Cornish: Treavon, meaning river farm) is a seaside village and bay (Cornish: Porth Musyn, meaning Musun cove) near Padstow in Cornwall, England, UK.

Tule River Indian Tribe of the Tule River Reservation

The Tule River Indian Tribe of the Tule River Reservation is a federally recognized tribe of Native Americans. The Tule River Reservation is the name of the tribe's reservation, which is located in Tulare County, California. The reservation was made up of Yokuts, about 200 Yowlumne, Wukchumnis, and Western Mono and Tübatulabal.

Tribal enrollment today is approximately 1,857 with 1,033 living on the Reservation.

Umpqua River Farm Airport

Umpqua River Farm Airport (FAA LID: 57OR) is a private airport located 7 miles (11 km) southwest of Sutherlin in Douglas County, Oregon, USA.

Weir River (Massachusetts)

Weir River is a short stream and estuary that empties into Hingham Bay, part of Boston Harbor in Massachusetts, United States. The name is attributed to the location of a fishing weir in the stream. The river gives its name to a larger watershed and Weir River Farm, a park and nature reserve owned by The Trustees of Reservations.

Weir River Farm

Weir River Farm is a nature reserve located in Hingham, Massachusetts. The property is owned by The Trustees of Reservations. It is located adjacent to the Trustees-owned Whitney and Thayer Woods reservation, and the town-owned Turkey Hill property, which the Trustees manage.

Whitney and Thayer Woods

Whitney and Thayer Woods is a nature reserve and forest located in Cohasset and Hingham, Massachusetts. The property is owned by The Trustees of Reservations. It is adjacent to the Weir River Farm, also owned by The Trustees, and Turkey Hill, a town-owned property managed by The Trustees.

The Washington family
First generation
Second generation
Third generation
Fourth generation
Fifth generation
Sixth generation
Seventh generation
Eighth generation


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