Rippon Lodge Historic Site

Hours of Operation

Rippon Lodge Historic Site is open for self-guided tours Friday-Monday from 10am-4pm with guided tours offered at 11am and 2pm. Grounds are open from dawn to dusk.

Rippon Lodge Historic Site 
15520 Blackburn Rd., Woodbridge, VA 22191
(703) 499-9812 


Tours: $5 per person, free for children under six. For Education Field Trips, the cost is $6 per student and accompanying adults are free (reservations required). Please visit our Education Field Trips page for more information regarding field trips and other educational programs. 

Pricing varies for special programs, please view our calendar for a complete list of our special events. Donations to support historic preservation efforts in the County are gratefully accepted.


Virtual 360* Tour tablets are available that allow visitors with disabilities to be able to experience rooms and spaces with 360-degree views of varying images, videos, and narration of the rooms by Historic Preservation staff.  Virtual 360* Tour tablets are available at no additional fee. 

Foreign Language guides are available in French, Italian, German, Chinese Simplified, Spanish (Latin America) at no additional fee. 


Rippon Historic Lodge

Rippon Lodge is one of the oldest known homes in Prince William County.

The home provides a vital connection and opportunity to interpret our community's link to Colonial Virginia. The site's story includes important people, events and times in Prince William History. Stop by and step back in time to experience a home and setting that has been around since 1747.

Rippon Lodge History

Built circa 1747 for Richard Blackburn, the house is situated between Neabsco Creek, the Potomac River, and the historic King's Highway (present day Route 1). Mr. Blackburn, and his son Thomas, had extensive land holdings in the county where they grew tobacco, wheat, and other commodities. With the home located just north of the bustling port town of Dumfries, the Blackburn's could easily export their goods and merchandise to England. Mr. Blackburn and Thomas were both active in local politics, and Thomas served in the Revolutionary War as a militia member. Through the Blackburn Family, the site has a familial connection to the Washington's of Mount Vernon, as one of Thomas' daughters marries Bushrod Washington, George Washington's nephew.

005022.jpgBy 1842, the Atkinson Family called Rippon Lodge home. They owned the house for about 90 years before the property was sold to the Marron Brothers in 1911. However, by 1923, Wade H. Ellis and his wife Dessie, purchased the home, along with 500 acres of land, and began extensive renovations to the building, turning it into the Colonial Revival residence visitors see today. Mr. Ellis, a prominent lawyer from Washington D.C., is regarded as being responsible for preserving much of the architectural history of Rippon Lodge.

Admiral Richard Blackburn Black, the last private owner of Rippon Lodge, purchased the home in 1952, and continued to preserve the home and history as Wade Ellis had. Admiral Black was a direct descendent of Richard Blackburn, and was linked to many important historical events, including his exploration of Antarctica with Admiral Richard Byrd. Admiral Black's daughter sold the property to Prince William County in 2000.

Rippon Lodge 1930s.JPG Extensive restoration work began at Rippon Lodge soon after, and was completed in 2007 when the site opened for public tours. Rippon Lodge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the historic site consists of approximately 43-acres, the Blackburn and Atkinson Family cemetery, formal gardens, and walking trails. The site interprets the history of the house, owners, and the region from the mid-1700s to the 1970s. Visitors are welcome to stroll the grounds, trails, and gardens, and enjoy the stunning views of the Potomac River for boat and bird watching of all kinds.

We also offer very popular luncheons. These lunches may be served indoors or picnic style, just perfect for small groups of any kind! Advanced reservations are required, please call for more information and to make reservations. 

RL Bees

Stewards of Historic and Environmental Resources

Staff with the Office of 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 the environment under our care. We establish meadows on our properties, support honeybees and other pollinators, look for ecologically friendly ways to mow and maintain the grounds, and use trees from sites to mill our own lumber for our restoration projects.

Rippon Lodge is proud to serve as a bee sanctuary to help bee populations recover and increase in numbers. Learn more.

Rippon Lodge Timeline

1747 Rippon Lodge built for Richard Blackburn

1760 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

1923 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 Historic Site opens

RL volunteers

Volunteers Needed!

We are looking for History and Garden Enthusiasts to help lead 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) 499-9812 or visit our volunteer page.

Join 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.


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.

We are a Certified Wildlife Habitat.

Learn more about the Underground Railroad and its connection to Prince William Office of Historic Preservation sites. Rippon Lodge Historic Site is part of the Potomac Heritage Trail.

We are a Blue Star Museum.
Learn More

For More Information Contact:
Rippon Lodge Historic Site 
15520 Blackburn Rd. 
Woodbridge, VA 22191
(703) 499-9812
[email protected]

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