Despite an inch of snow and 30-degree temperatures on Saturday morning, I was determined to enjoy the Easter weekend and took a jaunt down to Fredericksburg, Virginia, with a couple friends. Lured by the promise of green flocked wallpaper and some of the finest plasterwork in the country, we decided to take a peek at Kenmore ~ thus a *surprise* historic house tour!
Built in the 1770s by Fielding Lewis and his wife Betty (sister to George Washington), Kenmore is a handsome Georgian mansion set in the heart of Fredericksburg. The house is currently undergoing a lengthy and detailed restoration, and though the interior is swathed in plastic sheeting and full of scaffolding, the tour was fascinating. Meticulous research has been done to determine paint types, reconstruct missing plaster molding fragments, and to determine appropriate wallpapers (using miniscule fragments of the original papers). Interesting side note: the house miraculously survived heavy bombardment during the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862 with only a few war wounds, including a canon ball that is still lodged in the facade (though I was told the original was recently removed for preservation reasons and replaced with a reproduction).