George Washington was born in 1732 at Pope's Creek just as western migration of land-hungry Virginians from Tidewater plantations began to surge over the Blue Ridge Mountains and into the Shenandoah Valley. Sixteen years later, Washington, as a young surveyor, joined an expedition commissioned by Lord Fairfax to survey this new frontier. The rugged, outdoor life of a surveyor moving from point to point making exact measurements and taking notes provided Washington with an intimate knowledge of the land. This knowledge enabled him to make savvy real estate investments for himself and opened social doors to Virginia's elite when he used his surveys to inform their land purchases as well.

Later, as a Lieutenant Colonel during the French and Indian Wars, Washington located his headquarters in Winchester. In 1758 Washington won his first election to public office, running for the Virginia House of Burgesses from Winchester. Washington's experiences and achievements in Winchester would shape and build the young man who would later lead the American Revolution and become the first President of the United States.

George Washingtons Office Museum cannon

An 18th century cannon is on display outside the George Washingtons Office Museum. The base of the cannon is inscribed, "Cannon used by George Washington in defense of Fort Loudon."

Washington's office was actually located in a small log building that is now the middle room of the expanded museum. Washington used the office during the construction of Fort Loudoun, the largest fort along the Virginia frontier at the time. The fort defended the Valley with four bastions and 14 mounted cannons and provided barracks for 450 men and fresh water from well sunk 103 feet into limestone rock.

George Washingtons Office Museum Close

Washington's office was originally located in a small log building that is now the middle room of the museum.

George Washington's Office Museum features numerous period artifacts and interpretive panels. The George Washington and the West exhibit includes Washington’s personal effects and surveying equipment as well as a diorama of 18th century Winchester including Fort Loudon. The museum is open seasonally for guided tours and is located in Old Town Winchester where there are many fine shops, restaurants and other historic attractions.

George Washingtons Office Museum Surveyor Exhibit

As a surveyor, George Washington gained a knowledge of the land that would make him a wealthy investor. By the age of 20 he had purchased more than 2,000 acres of Virginia land.

Pictured at the very top: George Washington's statue is inscribed, "In March of 1748, George Washington, at age sixteen, arrived in Winchester, then called Frederick Town. During the next four years, he worked as a surveyor through the Colonial Virginia frontier. Winchester - Frederick County Historical Society Dedicated 2004."