Kenmore was for many years the home of Colonel Fielding Lewis, whose wife, Betty, was the beloved sister of George Washington. Colonel Lewis was a patriot of distinguished ability, and gave all of his great fortune to carry on the manufacture of small arms and ammunition at Fredericksburg where the first guns for the Revolutionary War were made. Colonel Lewis died on October 19, 1781, while the Battle of Yorktown was being fought with his guns. He never knew the splendid results of his sacrifices in the glorious victory.
Sometime later Kenmore was sold to pay the debts contracted to supply the Continental army with guns and ammunition. Kenmore passed through many vicissitudes in the years following, changing hands many times.
A few years ago, when the last owner decided to tear down the house and subdivide the property into town lots, the patriotic women of Fredericksburg realized that this treasure would be lost to posterity forever. They acted promptly and succeeded in raising the funds to buy the property.
The Garden Club of Virginia, in conjunction with the Kenmore Association, will go on with the restoration of the grounds and garden until Kenmore is as beautiful as in the days when George Washington was a frequent visitor.