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

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  59 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Noted historian pens biography of Ferry Farm—George Washington's boyhood home—and its three centuries of American history

In 2002, Philip Levy arrived on the banks of Rappahannock River in Virginia to begin an archeological excavation of Ferry Farm, the eight hundred acre plot of land that George Washington called home from age six until early adulthood. Six years later, Le
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 12th 2013 by St. Martin's Press (first published February 5th 2013)
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Sally Boots
Sep 15, 2012 Sally Boots rated it it was amazing
Where the Cherry Tree Grew: The Story of Ferry Farm, George Washington’s Boyhood Home gives us a new look at America’s first president and the landscape of his childhood. I’ll say, right off, that my natural habitat is fiction and I often can’t get through nonfiction books; on top of that, I am not normally interested in Great White Guys. But I loved this book, probably because it’s more about a place (Ferry Farm) than a president. The story starts with the native inhabitants of this chunk of la ...more
Feb 11, 2013 Holly rated it really liked it
Nonfictional narrative detailing the history of George Washington's boyhood home. I appreciated the matter of fact tone , as so much of the history surrounding George Washington tends to be......overdone. This was interesting not only from the GW angle, but from an overall perspective of how things change and ultimately stay the same over a 200 year or so backdrop. The series of characters that march through the story of just that piece of property are entertaining and varied, but really go to s ...more
Kathy L.
Feb 09, 2013 Kathy L. rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book as did my husband. This book is not a biography of George Washington but it is an historical account of the farm where he spent part of his youth. It is very interesting to read the history of the land from the American Indians through the early English settlers. I love learning how towns are settled and how they got their names. If you have ever been to this area of Virginia you will enjoy this book as Mr. Levy makes this area come alive. I plan on visiting Ferry Farm when I ...more
Glenn Robinson
May 08, 2017 Glenn Robinson rated it liked it
Enjoyable biography of George Washington's pre-Mount Vernon life focusing on his 3rd home-Ferry Farm, right outside Fredericksburg, Virginia. There is a quick history of the region and how this area was developed from the time of the Native Americans, the first settlers and then the developers. George Washington was born at the family farm called Pope's Creek, about 20 miles away. The family moved to an area near present Mt. Vernon and then at the age of 6, the father bought Ferry Farm. The book ...more
Mar 09, 2017 John rated it liked it
My copy has duplicate chapter two's!
Feb 12, 2013 Skjam! rated it liked it
Recommends it for: George Washington fans, history buffs, geography students
Recommended to Skjam! by: Goodreads
Full Disclosure: I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway, on the premise that I would review it.

This is something a little different for me, a geographical "biography" that traces the history of a particular place. In this case, the piece of land that became known as Ferry Farm, where George Washington lived during his boyhood years. The title alludes to the infamous Parson Weems story in which young George takes a hatchet to his father's favorite cherry tree and owns up to it.

The history b
Scott Haraburda
Feb 08, 2013 Scott Haraburda rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Goodreads First Reads Giveaway Book.


This book reminded me that death continually lurks in the shadows of our psyche. Using the basic question of popular existentialist philosophers, we wonder what it means to be alive and exist in this world. This is another way of asking ourselves about the meaning of life. One day, we are going to die. For many of us, what remains of our lives are the official records, such as birth and death certificates, and maybe even an
Nov 01, 2014 Jonathon rated it it was ok
This book was interesting in places. The author tries to build Ferry Farm up as this big historical place, and as the childhood home of George Washington it was. However, it was just a farm that even Washington didn't care about. The author states that throughout Ferry Farm's history the owners sought to make money by touting the farm's legacy. Each owner tried to rally national sentiment to get people to donate money for the upkeep of the farm. What happened? Each one failed! When Wal-Mart came ...more
Feb 29, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it
This book is great for history buffs. It really uses primary resources to explain more about George Washington's boyhood home. It is not just a boring history of the first president. This is for someone more interested in the real fact and real artifacts of the Washington family. This story is about Washington's boyhood home which is called Ferry Farm, just across the Rappohannock River from Fredericksburg, Va. As a graduate of Mary Washington with a degree in historic preservation, Fredericksbu ...more
Kelly Kilcrease
Jun 30, 2013 Kelly Kilcrease rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book as it gives both a perspective into archeology digs and the history of the GW's boyhood home. It is quiet amazing to read all that had happened on this land.

A large section of the book is devoted to GW's mother, Mary. I was surprised that there was no comment about the strained relationship the two had. Further, the chapter on Mary's gravesite and the real estate controversy that ensued seems out of place. However, the history of the land and its various users (includi
Jun 12, 2014 John rated it liked it
I expected the book to have more detail relating to the archeological work at the site and I was disappointed that it only devoted one chapter to it although a fair amount of the book is derived from this work. It tells the story of George Washington’s boyhood home along with many associated sites in Fredericksburg, VA. I grew up in the town and a lot of the places are very familiar to me so I can confirm a lot of the detail that the author used. If you are interested in GW, the history of Virgi ...more
Clayton Brannon
Feb 13, 2013 Clayton Brannon rated it it was amazing
Anyone interested in American History or the early life of George Washington and what happened to the farm he grew up on this is a must read. Even if the cherry tree chopping, horse riding coin throwing stories are not true this is the place where they supposedly took place. Great read.
Curtis Mann
May 21, 2013 Curtis Mann rated it really liked it
I am interested in the use of historical archaeology findings in narratives of farms such as this. I think the author did a fine job of weaving the history of the farm with the results of his investigations.
Joyce Terranoa
Feb 03, 2014 Joyce Terranoa rated it really liked it
I learned more about Washington than I knew before. Thank you for all the great info on him and also early Virginia.
Sep 24, 2016 Tracy rated it liked it
Found it interesting -- not riveting. He is a little flippant, but that may have made it more readable.
Jun 24, 2013 Patrick rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
an odd side-street of history, but an enjoyable view of colonial history, Washington's early days and perhaps America's first urban legend
Barbara James
Cook Memorial Public Library
A 2013 staff nonfiction favorite recommended by Thomas.

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Oct 06, 2016
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Mar 05, 2013
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Brian M. rated it liked it
Feb 01, 2016
Sandi Widner
Sandi Widner rated it it was amazing
Feb 07, 2013
Clint rated it really liked it
Jun 16, 2013
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Rebecca Conard rated it really liked it
Jul 27, 2013
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Jonathan Oag rated it liked it
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Rob Fowler
Rob Fowler rated it really liked it
Mar 18, 2014
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Apr 26, 2016
Michel Pétulli
Michel Pétulli rated it it was amazing
Apr 02, 2013
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