History of Cedar Knoll Restaurant
Ownership dating back to George Washington
Lawrence Washington to George Washington June 20, 1752
George Washington to George Fayette Washington
And Lawrence Augustine Washington July 9, 1790
Anna Maria Washington Thorton to
Churchill James Thorton Oct 26, 1836 Churchill James Thorton to James Guy 1839
James Guy to John Young Sept. 19, 1839
William H. Young to Lewis Young Oct. 4, 1875
The history of “Cedar Knoll Inn” begins with the land. In the 1750’s, George Washington became the sole owner of Mount Vernon plantation. He acquired five farms including “River Farm” which is where “Cedar Knoll Inn” is located. These were working farms that were well managed an cultivated. It was approximately 40 years before this property was passed to others in the Washington family.
The original farmhouse that is Cedar Knoll today was constructed in the early 1800’s as a tenant farm house for the 115.34 acre plantation called Markland on the Potomac. The property included the stately main house now known as the “Tower House” adjoining Cedar Knoll on the south), a 2 story boat house, barn and other buildings.
In 1909 Dr. Bliss was playing cards upstairs in the boat house and lost the property in a poker game. He then moved across the river to Maryland and built a new home that is a close replica of the “Tower House”.
During World War I, the “Tower House” was used as a convalescent hospital for troops returning from the front.
When Gen. Drain owned the property in 1920’s, Wallance Beavers occupied the tenant farm house (Cedar Knoll) which had only 3 small bedrooms at that time with his wife and 9 children. They had no electricity and carried their water from out by the barn. In 1930 they moved into the “Tower House” to oversee the property of Gen. Drain. Farm animals and crops were raised on the property and transportation was by train from the nearby Hunter Station. Then, the Potomac River was crystal clear and people fished and swam in its cool waters.
Mrs. Pauline Walsh was the first owner to use Cedar Knoll for commercial purposes. She added a screen porch, the Log Room, and a second story porch to the front of the building and extensively remodeled and redecorated the entire building into a fashionable antique shop called, “Mt. Vernon View Antique Shop”. Many notable people visited her shop, and she even sold antiques to J.W. Robinson Company in Los Angeles. Mrs. Walsh also constructed the log cabin at the rear of what is now the parking lot.