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Woodlawn

WOODLAWN (open only during April Garden Week). The land, formerly part of the Mount Vernon estate, was left by Washington to Lawrence Lewis, his nephew, who became the husband of Nellie Gustis, granddaughter of Martha Washington. The house (see illustration), in Federal Georgian style, was designed by William Thornton, architect of the National Capitol, but has a likeness to Kenmore in Fredericksburg the home of Lawrence Lewis' mother, though Woodlawn was built on a much grander scale. The square two-story brick building has the usual central hall of the period; it has story-and-a-half wings with story- and-a-half connecting pavilions. A high brick wall joins the kitchen and library wings with outbuildings. Particularly noteworthy are the arched mullioned windows of the pavilions and the hipped floor.The broad brick terraces on the river front have beautiful gardens and much old boxwood. US 1 between Fredericksburg and Washington more or less fol- lows an Indian trail established long before the Europeans pene- trated the country. Because it provided the shortest route along the Virginia bank of the Potomac Rhjer, colonists persisted in using it despite the mire, difficult fords, and other obstacles that drew their curses. Prior to 1700 a public highway was established here by law and landowners whose side fences crossed it were compelled to main- tain gates for the convenience of travelers. Several ferries to the Maryland shore were operated along the Potomac for the use of those who wanted short-cuts to Baltimore and Philadelphia. Almost every diary and travel book written by people who used the trail in the days when it was known as the Potomac Path, and later as theKing's Highway, recorded some near-disastrous adventure on it. Dr. Coke, an English tourist of the late 18th century, nearly per-ished in fording Accotink Creek during a freshet; John Marshall spoke feelingly of miring his horse; and Thomas Jefferson bemoaned the fact that the best speed he could make was three miles an hour.