You now stand in the center of a town that is almost as old as the United States, laid out on 80 acres of Washington lands in 1786 - four years before the First President took office.
Charles Washington, youngest of the five brothers of the General, spent most of his life as a successful businessman in Fredericksburg, Virginia. In the fall of 1780, 42-year-old Charles moved here, bringing his family west of the Blue Ridge, and building a new log home he called Happy Retreat on lands he had inherited at the death of his half-brother Lawrence. Brother George was a frequent guest.
When Charles petitioned the General Assembly of Virginia to incorporate his new town in 1786, he donated four lots here, at the center, to be available for town and county buildings. Although Charles Washington died shortly before today's Jefferson County was established, his "public lots" grew to be the hub for business and government for a country he accurately forecast would grow and prosper.
Eighteen-year-old surveyor George Washington bought his first 453 acres of real estate just a few miles southwest of where you now stand in 1750.
George quickly convinced other members of his family to buy lands he had seen in the Shenandoah Valley while surveying for Lord Fairfax. Before long, the Washingtons held title to over 6000 acres of today's Jefferson County, all close to Charles Town.