The riverside farm where George Washington romped as a boy and where legend has it the first American president chopped down his father’s cherry tree soon could be part of a less quaint American legend.
Wal-Mart, the muscular (some say ruthless) discounter, plans a store atop part of the old Washington farm.
“This is George Washington’s boyhood home, and it is a national treasure,” said Cessie Howell, a leader of a fledgling citizens opposition group. “There can always be more shopping centers, but there can never be another place like this one.”
The Ferry Farm site along the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg is the only one of Washington’s three homes that is not a park or museum.
The house burned in the early 1800s, years after Washington’s death, but the foundation is preserved and signs tell tourists a little about the family’s life there.