Architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1764 - 1820) was Thomas Blackburn's friend. Latrobe visited Rippon Lodge in July, 1796. He described his stay in his journals and drew the property.
On July 11, Latrobe stood on the porch of Rippon Lodge and painted this view of Neabsco Creek. While his work shows period landscape details, the scene has changed little.
This View shows the Coast of Maryland on the NE side of the Potowmack. Occoquan bay lies between the two Points above A and B and extends beyond A as far as the Occoquan at Colchester. Neabsco creek enters the Potowmack at the Bottom of the bay winding its way through a great extent of Marshy ground to Mr. Tayloe's iron works. The point over B is called freestone point. The Ground on the Virginia side of the Potowmack is broken into bold abrupt hills. Rippon lodge is built upon a very magnificent natural level terrace, extending in the direction of the large trees in the foreground about ? of a mile. The Potowmack flows from the left to the right, and is in this spot about 2 ½ miles over. Alexandria lies about 22 Miles higher up.
Benjamin Latrobe wrote these notes about his sketch, View from the porch of Rippon Lodge, 11 July, 1796.
Rippon Lodge was one of several plantations located near the Potomac River. Historically, people relied heavily on local waterways for transportation and trade. Families living on the Virginia and Maryland sides of the Potomac often interacted.