Rippon Lodge is one of the oldest known homes in Prince William County. Built circa 1747 by Richard Blackburn the house is situated between Neabsco Creek and the historic King's Highway (present day Route 1). Richard Blackburn and his son Thomas had extensive land holdings where they grew tobacco, wheat and other commodities. Rippon Lodge was located near the bustling port town of Dumfries allowing the Blackburn's easy export of their goods to England. Thomas Blackburn was a Revolutionary War militia member and was active in local politics.
The Atkinson family called Rippon Lodge home for about 100 years before the property was sold to Wade Ellis in 1924. Ellis and his wife Dessie purchased 500 acres and began extensive renovations to the home turning it into the Colonial Revival home visitors see today. Ellis, a prominent lawyer from Washington D.C. is regarded as being responsible for preserving much of the history of Rippon Lodge.
The last private owner of Rippon Lodge purchased the home in 1952. Admiral Richard Blackburn Black continued to preserve the home and history as Ellis had. The Admiral was a direct descendent of the original builder Richard Blackburn. Admiral Black is noted for his exploration of Antarctica along with Admiral Richard Byrd. Admiral Black's daughter sold the property to Prince William County in 2000.
Extensive restoration work began at Rippon Lodge in 2000 and was completed in 2007 when the site opened for public tours.
Stewards of Historic and Environmental Resources
Staff with the 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 natural resources on the land under our care.
We establish meadows on our properties. We look for environmentally friendly ways to mow and maintain the grounds. We use trees from sites to mill our own lumber for our restoration projects.
Rippon Lodge is proud to now serve as a bee sanctuary to help bee populations recover and increase in numbers.