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Rippon Lodge Historic Site consists of 43-acres, the Blackburn and Atkinson family cemetery, formal gardens, and walking trails. The site interprets the history of the house and owners from 1747 to 2000. Visitors are welcome to stroll the grounds and gardens. Stunning views of the Potomac River allow for boat and bird watching of all kinds.
Tours of Rippon Lodge are offered May through October from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and by appointment. Grounds are open during operating hours. The sites are open for general tours Thursday through Monday from May to October. The buildings are open by appointment from November through April.
(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)
House Tours: $5 for adults, free for children under six, $3 for active military, $3 per person for groups of 10 or more and $2 per student for student programs (call for reservations) and accompanying adults are free.
Rippon Lodge is one of the oldest known homes in Prince William County. Built circa 1747 by Richard Blackburn the house is situated between Neabsco Creek and the historic King’s Highway (present day Route 1). Richard Blackburn and his son Thomas had extensive land holdings where they grew tobacco, wheat and other commodities. Rippon Lodge was located near the bustling port town of Dumfries allowing the Blackburn’s easy export of their goods to England. Thomas Blackburn was a Revolutionary War militia member and was active in local politics.
The Atkinson family called Rippon Lodge home for about 100 years before the property was sold to Wade Ellis in 1924. Ellis and his wife Dessie purchased 500 acres and began extensive renovations to the home turning it into the Colonial Revival home visitors see today. Ellis, a prominent lawyer from Washington D.C. is regarded as being responsible for preserving much of the history of Rippon Lodge.
The last private owner of Rippon Lodge purchased the home in 1952. Admiral Richard Blackburn Black continued to preserve the home and history as Ellis had. The Admiral was a direct descendent of the original builder Richard Blackburn. Admiral Black is noted for his exploration of Antarctica along with Admiral Richard Byrd. Admiral Black’s daughter sold the property to Prince William County in 2000.
Extensive restoration work began at Rippon Lodge in 2000 and was completed in 2007 when the site opened for public tours.