|Nearest city||Woodbridge, Virginia|
|Area||40 acres (16 ha)|
|NRHP Reference #||71000988|
|Added to NRHP||July 2, 1971|
|Designated VLR||January 5, 1971 |
Rippon Lodge is the oldest house remaining in Prince William County, Virginia. Built around 1747 by Richard Blackburn, it lies on high ground overlooking Neabsco Creek at the south end of what is now the unincorporated town of Woodbridge at 15520 Blackburn Road. The house takes its name from Richard Blackburn's birthplace, the small city of Ripon in North Yorkshire, England.
The plantation house is located along a remnant of the original Kings Highway (now known as the "Washington–Rochambeau Revolutionary Route" ); this vital roadway connected the 13 original colonies, stretching from Newport, Rhode Island to Yorktown, playing a vital role in the American Revolutionary War It was along this road that colonial troops marched to defeat the British at Yorktown.
Originally a tobacco plantation, the land holdings stretched from Neabsco Creek westward to near what is now I-95 and amounted to about 21,000 acres (85 km²). The property featured its own port on Neabsco Creek and is close to the town of Dumfries, a once-important colonial seaport.
Built by Richard Blackburn, the house was passed to his son, Col. Thomas Blackburn. It was sold around 1820 to the Atkinson family who lived there for about 100 years.
In 1924 the property was sold again. The buyers were a Washington, D.C. federal judge and his wife, Judge and Mrs. Wade H. Ellis. Judge Ellis both renovated and preserved the property. Sometime after buying Rippon Lodge, the judge discovered that he was a descendant of Richard Blackburn, but it is not clear at what point during his tenure this became known and how much it influenced the preservation efforts. Regardless, the Ellis' sold the house to another Blackburn family member, Admiral Richard Blackburn Black, an Arctic explorer and compatriot of Admiral Byrd. Admiral Black's daughter inherited the house in 1989 and sold it to Prince William County in 2000.
Prince William County has restored the house and maintains the surrounding 40 acres (160,000 m2) of property. Rippon Lodge is open to the public from May through October on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 4pm.
- Prince William County, Virginia - Rippon Lodge - official site
- The history of the Prince William County Waterfront
- A Collision Of Housing And History, Prince William Leaders Resist Builder's Plans by Eric M. Weiss, Washington Post Staff Writer; The Washington Post, Friday, 7 May 2004, pp. B1 and B2
- Historic Preservation/Archeology in Prince William County: Rippon Lodge
- Rippon Lodge (An article originally published in 1932)
- Rippon Lodge, State Route 638, Woodbridge, Prince William County, VA: 9 photos and 9 measured drawings at Historic American Buildings Survey