James Mercer (an attorney, a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, first judge of the General Court in Fredericksburg, and the attorney who drew up the will for Mary Washington) built the house on land once owned by Fielding Lewis. The eighteenth-century portion is quite small -- an entry hall with two identical long, narrow rooms (the parlor and dining room) on the ground floor and a bedroom upstairs. The 1853 kitchen (an earlier one burned) is now used as a den –- you can still see the residue of coats of whitewash on the ceiling. The den is connected to the 18th-century portion by the "Taproom", once an open "dog trot" or breezeway and now an informal eating area and kitchen. Open during Garden Week in April, one weekend in mid-Sept., the first week of October, and for special groups.