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.
Rippon Lodge Time Line
1747 Rippon Lodge built by Richard Blackburn
1757 Thomas Blackburn inherits Rippon Lodge
1772 Thomas Blackburn elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses
1785 Julia Ann Blackburn marries Bushrod Washington
1811 Bushrod Washington sells Rippon Lodge to George Atkinson
1911 Thomas Marron purchases Rippon Lodge
1924 Wade Hampton Ellis purchases Rippon Lodge
1952 Admiral Richard Blackburn Black purchases Rippon Lodge
2000 Debra Black Decko sells Rippon Lodge to Prince William County
2007 Rippon Lodge opens
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.
We are looking for History and Garden Enthusiasts to help with tours at this lovely site. If you are interested in joining our team to protect the historic and natural resources of our community, please contact us at 703-792-4754 or visit our volunteer page.
Join Us For a Virtual Tour!
You are invited to take a virtual tour of Rippon Lodge with local historians to discover the grandeur and importance of this important colonial home.
Rippon Lodge Listed with Other Historic House Museums
Rippon Lodge Historic Site is a participating member of the The Historic House Museum Consortium of Metropolitan Washington D.C. Please visit their website below to learn about over 40 historic house museums in the Washington DC area including Mount Vernon Riversdale White House and many more in Virginia Maryland and Washington DC!
Visiting Rippon Lodge
For information about tours and programs contact:
Rippon Lodge Historic Site
703-499-9812 or 703-792-4754
From Interstate 95: Take Exit 156 (78 E/Dale Boulevard) toward Rippon Landing. Follow Rippon Boulevard across Jefferson Davis Hwy./Rt.1. Turn right onto Blackburn Road. Travel ¼ mile and turn right onto Admiral Black Drive.
From Rt. 234: Turn left (north) onto Jefferson Davis Hwy./Rt. 1. Travel 2.9 miles and turn right onto Blackburn Road. Drive approximately one mile and turn left onto Admiral Black Drive.