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Historic Preservation
Rippon Lodge


Rippon Lodge Historic Site
15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge VA 
703-499-9812 or 703-792-4754
The sites are open for general tours Thursday through Monday from May to October. The buildings are open by appointment from November through April.  Please view a complete list of our special events.   
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.
Pricing varies for special programs, please see calendar for details.  Donations to support historic preservation efforts in the County are gratefully accepted.

​New!  A Token of Appreciation for our Military Families

Rippon Lodge is now part of the Blue Star Museum's program.  It is a program where our military and up to five family members receive free admission to our sites with a valid military ID.  The complimentary admission lasts from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The participating sites are Rippon Lodge, Brenstville Courthouse and Ben Lomond. 

About Blue Star Museums - Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation's 1.4 million active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation's cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after completing a military move. The complete list of participating museums is available at


Rippon Lodge History

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. 
Stewards of Historic and Environmental Resources
Staff with the Historic Preservation serve as leaders in protecting our community's historic and natural resources.  We play an active role in the protection, preservation and restoration of natural resources on the land under our care.
We establish meadows on our properties.  We look for environmentally friendly ways to mow and maintain the grounds.  We use trees from sites to mill our own lumber for our restoration projects. 
Rippon Lodge is proud to now serve as a bee sanctuary to help bee populations recover and increase in numbers.  Learn more


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.
Volunteers Needed!

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. 
005023.jpgJoin 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 

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. Special events, programs and tours are offered throughout the year.   We offer very popular luncheons.  These lunches can be served indoors or picnic style, just perfect for small groups of any kind! We also provide Passport Stamps for the Potomac Heritage Trail, a National Park Service trail that runs from the Allegheny Highlands to the mouth of the Potomac River at our gift shop.   


For information about tours and programs contact: 

Rippon Lodge Historic Site

15520 Blackburn Road
Woodbridge VA 22191           

 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.


For more information on historic resources in the Prince William County area click here.

Upcoming Events

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