George Washington Slept Here

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Blog | 6 comments

George Washington Slept Here

“George Washington Slept Here” – a sign you will see in many places around Virginia and the surrounding states, but this time we are in Barbados.

George Washington House, Bush Hill, The Garrison, St Michael, Barbados

George Washington House, Bush Hill, The Garrison, Barbados

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

The young George Washington and his ailing brother Lawrence lived in this historic plantation house, also known as Bush Hill House, for two months in 1751, arriving on November 2.  Lawrence was dying from tuberculosis and they hoped the tropical climate and the excellent doctors of 18th century Barbados would improve his health.

At this time, there were 3 major cities in the developed world: London, Boston and Bridgetown, Barbados. The port of Bridgetown was one of the busiest in the world, and being an English colony meant that many an adventurer set off from here.

The first colonies in the states were set up in South Carolina by travelers from Barbados, meaning many Americans can trace their roots back to Barbados.

George Washington House, Bush Hill, The Garrison, St Michael, Barbados

George Washington House, Bush Hill, The Garrison, Barbados

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

George Washington actually had family connections here and so enjoyed dining with the island’s most elite families.

Barbados was the only country ever visited by the future  “First Father” of his country and Bush Hill House the only house he ever lived in outside of the continental United States.   The visit is a little known but very important chapter in the life of the then unknown 19 year old  man.

Historians have deliberated over the exact location of the house in which George and Lawrence stayed for 2 months whilst on the island, and after careful examination of his diaries from that period they have confirmed the site to be that of Bush Hill House, on the Garrison ridge, within the historical Garrison Savannah.

They rented the house for 2 months for 30 pounds, which George Washington noted in his diary as expensive! The house overlooked Carlisle Bay and we know that George Washington was rather enchanted with the island.

During his 2-month stay George Washington contracted smallpox, and after successful treatment made a full recovery before returning to Virginia on 22 December 1751. Having contracted the disease, he now had immunity to it, which saved his life and the future of America during the Revolutionary War as the forces were wiped out through an epidemic of smallpox.

George Washington House, Bush Hill, The Garrison, St Michael, Barbados

George Washington House, Bush Hill, The Garrison, Barbados

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

Concentrated research and documentation of the site started in 1999.  The major structural restoration of the main house and kitchen began in June 2004.   The Bush Hill Tourism Trust Inc., in collaboration with the Barbados National Trust, has restored the house and outlying buildings, working with advisers from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation of Virginia, the University of Florida’s Preservation Institute: Caribbean, local architects, historians and archaeologists.  The result is a heritage site on historic Garrison ridge that celebrates the visit and the role that Barbados played in the settlement of America.

These photographs were taken about three weeks before the official opening on January 13, 2007.

6 Comments

  1. What a cool, unexpected piece of history.
    Mark Garbowski recently posted..Coney Island Winter 2012 – BoardwalkMy Profile

  2. Great post, man. Always love these history based write-ups.

    These images are very nice. Really digging the soft tropical colors of the building. Nice work, Mark.
    Jimi Jones recently posted..The Sunlit DockMy Profile

  3. Great shots, Mark. And very nicely written article. That’s some history that most people haven’t heard.
    Mark Neal recently posted..HDR – The Pantry I GuessMy Profile

  4. Wonderful post Mark. This was really interesting history. The images are really well done.
    Edith levy recently posted..Revisiting BrickworksMy Profile

  5. What an awesome history lesson. I had no idea he was down there!! Beautiful photos buddy.
    Adam Allegro recently posted..The Aragonese CastleMy Profile

  6. Lovely images Mark, and, hey, who needs Wikipedia! Great history write-up!

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  1. George Washington House, Bush Hill, The Garrison, Barbados - [...] This is one of the images of the George Washington House in Barbados from Monday’s post. [...]

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