Fredericksburg is one of the most historical city’s in America. The City of Fredericksburg was settled in 1671. The city is named for Prince Frederic Louis, the father of King George III. This city has a rich history and was the sight of the battle of Fredericksburg in the civil war. Old town Fredericksburg attracts many tourists in search of history but, as some tourists have discovered, some of the towns attractions offer more than history.
One such place is the rising sun tavern. Most historians believe that the building was build around 1760 for Charles Washington. Charles was the youngest brother of general George Washington. Charles lived in the house for 20 years. Then he leased it to a John Frazier who opened it as the “Golden Eagle Tavern”. In the days before the revolutionary war it is said that the tavern was a hot bed of political discussion. In 1821 the Tavern was re-named to it’s present name. It survived the battle of Fredericksburg in 1862 with minimal damage. From 1827 to 1907 the tavern was a privet residence when it was purchased by the APVA, the association for the preservation of Virginian antiques.
It is beautifully restored, in the 1930 a vast restoration was preformed. Tavern girls in 18th century dress will lead you on a tour of the cavern. The upstairs sleeping rooms are filled with period furniture. The tap room is fully furnished complete with playing cards and 18th and 19th century English and American pewter. The dinning/meeting room is fully furnished. One of the most exciting features of the tavern, though, is it’s resident Ghost!
Most people believe that the Ghost is John Frazier, who was the last tavern keeper. Every once in a while the Ghost appears to like to make itself know with mischievous tricks. The “Tavern girls” who work at the tavern giving tours have reported unexplained phenomenon. There are small things, such as The Mob Caps that the girls wear flying off or electrical plugs constantly being unplugged. The front door swings open and close own. Candles being put one place in the night and in the morning finding them another place. One of the ghostly accounts happened a few years ago when a guide, tried of re-plugging the electrical cords that had been pulled out, said “Come on now, stop it!”. As she turned to leave the room the rug was pulled out from under her sending her to the floor. Another account by a guide says that she was walking down the stairs and she felt something pulling on the hem of her skirt. She checked to be sure that her long 18th century period skirt. She could see no snag. She said “All right, John, let go!” and was instantly released.
The Rising Sun Tavern is a wonderful place to learn about 18th century Fredericksburg. Its also a good place to go and meet a genuine 18th century bar keep. If you are ever in Fredericksburg, The Rising Sun Tavern is a must see.