Washington Heritage Museums Temporarily Closed, Planning to Reopen to Visitors

The Washington Heritage Museums which includes the Mary Washington House, Rising Sun Tavern, Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop and St. James’ House, is temporarily closed to visitors for tours, programs, and in-person events.

Washington Heritage Museums

PROGRAMS        EVENTS       



July 4th reading of the Declaration of Independence

The reading of the Declaration of Independence, customarily a live public event, will be pivoted to a virtual setting this year due Phase 2 restrictions.  Check back soon for additional event details.

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August 8, 2020 - Behind the Scenes of the Rising Sun Tavern

Saturday, 5:30pm - 7:30pm at Rising Sun Tavern

Curious about the many renovations and reconstructions that have carried the Rising Sun Tavern’s building into its 258th year?


Join University of Mary Washington Professor Michael Spencer on a detailed tour behind the walls, above the ceilings, and beneath the floor boards that have endured the many eras of United States history.


Tickets are $25, and $20 for Washington Heritage Museums’ members. Refreshments will be served during the Q&A after the tour. Please note this tour will not be handicap accessible.


LIMITED AVAILABILITY ADMISSION. For the comfort and enjoyment of our guests, RSVP's are encouraged by purchasing tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased on Facebook or by going to www.WashingtonHeritageMuseums.org. Members should call to receive their discount. All ticket sales are non-refundable. For questions, please call the Rising Sun Tavern at 540-371-1494

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September 12, 2020 - Bourbon & Boxwood

Saturday, 7pm - 10pm at the Mary Washington House

The COVID 19 pandemic has us reimaging what this year’s Bourbon and Boxwood event may look like. Please check back soon for more details

September 17, 2020 - Fashionable History

Thursday, 6pm - 8pm at the James Monroe Museum

Natassia Parker will speak about fashion through history during James Monroe’s and Mary Washington’s lifetime. Enjoy a chance to see rarely displayed artifacts from both the James Monroe Museum and Mary Washington House. 

September 24, 2020 - Tavern Talk #2: "Eighteenth-Century Myths"

Thursday, 6pm - 8pm at the Rising Sun Tavern

Curious about the actual height of our American ancestors or the true story behind impressment at taverns? Join us for a presentation followed by a discussion about the many misconceptions we have today of 18th century life!


Based on the popular book Death by Petticoat by Mary Miley Theobald, the discussion will cover many aspects of life during the Colonial period. Attendees are guaranteed a more knowledgeable look into the world that shaped our nation!


Free admission. Donations welcomed.

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October 1 - October 31 2020 - Mary's Ribbons

Mary Washington House

Honor the memory of Mary Washington and all those who have battled breast cancer. The public is invited to tie a pink ribbon to the fence in front of the Mary Washington House during Breast Cancer Awareness Month to bring awareness to this disease. Ribbons are provided free of charge when the museum is open. 

October 5-10, 2020 - St. James' House Fall Opening

Monday-Saturday, 1pm - 4pm daily at the St. James' House

This small 18th century home is open to the public for tours only two weeks a year: a week in the spring and a week in the fall. Tour the St. James’ House during its spring opening to see its beautiful collection of antiques and decorative arts. Be sure to stroll the handsome gardens after your tour.

Admission is $5 per person.

October 8, 2020 - Speaker Series

Thursday, October 1 - Central Rappahannock Regional Library, 10:00am

Washington Heritage Museums’ Three Tall Case Clocks and Their Near Relatives, by Peter Larson, Furniture Conservator.