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“Interesting house museum”
Review of Rippon Lodge

Rippon Lodge
Ranked #6 of 18 things to do in Woodbridge
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Visit one of the oldest homes in Prince William County. Built circa 1747 by Richard Blackburn, the historic house is situated between Neabsco Creek, the Potomac River, and the historic King's Highway (present day Route 1). Mr. Blackburn, and his son Thomas, had extensive land holdings in the county where they grew tobacco, wheat, and other commodities. By 1842, the Atkinson Family called Rippon Lodge home for about 90 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 residence 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. Admiral Richard Blackburn Black, the last private owner of Rippon Lodge, purchased the home in 1952, and continued to preserve the home and history as Wade Ellis had. Admiral Black was a direct descendent of the original builder Richard Blackburn, and has been linked to many important historical events, including his exploration of Antarctica with Admiral Richard Byrd.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 10 October 2013

My husband and I followed the signs off I-95 for this historic site on a recent Saturday afternoon and were not disappointed. Althought we've both lived in Northern Virginia for most of our lives, we weren't familiar with Rippon Lodge, which was in private hands for many years and only opened to the public within the past decade. As it turns out, it's the oldest home in Prince William County. We were disappointed to find out, when we walked up to house at 10 minutes past the hour, that tours are given every hour on the hour and decided to walk around the grounds briefly before heading home. We were pleasantly surprised when one of the staff saw us and asked if we'd like the house tour without having to wait 40 minutes for the next one.

As others have said, this is not Mount Vernon, but it is a charming house museum, and the guides do a good job at describing the house's history. It's modestly priced at $5.00. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who happens to be in the area. One downside is that they don't seem to have public restrooms yet (it's a work in progress for the County), but some will apparently soon be open in what used to the chauffeur's cottage. There were port-a-potties on site, but those may have been there for a wedding reception scheduled to take place the next day.

1  Thank Carol757
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 August 2013

This is a very low-key site, with some historical items and an average tour. The upstairs was closed for renovations when we were there, so my opinion is based on that fact. The outdoors are lovely, and the little walk to the old (and augmented by one of the owners) cemetery is interesting. We had spent hours the day before at a site that does not even appear here --- the Weems-Botts Museum and House in Dumfries, Virginia --- and it was the BEST I have ever been to. So, Rippon paled badly by comparison. But don't miss Weems-Botts. Just check the hours at both before you drop in.

Thank sewkap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2013

My kids and I attend a church that has an annual service and picnic at this site. Unfortunately, this year we forgot about the 17 year cicadas that had recently hatched. Given that the earth at the site had not been developed within the past 17 years there were cicadas everywhere.

Thank SeatOfMyPntsTravelr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2013

For Rippon Lodge being nearly around-the-corner for me, I was thrilled when it finally opened up to the public. The house offers several neat little 'treats' that are not in your average house museum. The staff was friendly and knowledgable.

Thank StefanieC_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 February 2013

OK, this is not "Mount Vernon" historical- for that, you'll have to go about ten miles north. Nevertheless, this is a wonderful old historical home with grounds to walk about and enjoy. Take two hours off and relax on this property. The guides do a nice job of explaining the full history of the home. Very moderate entrance fee. Convenient parking lot right near the home.

3  Thank foodfan57VA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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