Camellia Cottage has a colorful history! Constructed in 1871, she celebrated her 150th birthday in 2021. She is located on a lot that made up historic Fredericksburg and was owned by Revolutionary War hero, General Hugh Mercer. He likely walked down the stone steps that still exist above the Cottage to his apothecary shop.
The structure likely had its humble beginning in 1871 on a lumber yard on Princess Anne Street. In 1877, a Dr. Martin moved the structure to the corner of Amelia and Caroline Streets. He had been a surgeon in the army and converted it into an office to practice medicine. Believe it or not, moving entire buildings was a common occurrence in the historic past. But the Cottage was moved not just once, but twice! In 1902, the Cottage was moved to its current location where she continues a rich tradition of helping people heal, grow, and thrive.
Many people have loved the Cottage but none so much as Annie Musselman. Born in the late 1800s she lived at the Cottage for most of her life. In 1914 Virginia established a statewide ban on alcohol and Prohibition was soon the law of the land. Annie was known as the best bootlegger in town and her cottage became a local “speakeasy.”
A Mrs. Robert McLaughlin began an extensive renovation in 1979. Her interior and exterior renovations were so stunning the Cottage was featured on the 1982 Fredericksburg Historic Garden Tour. Camellia Cottage is marked by a camellia bush in front that blooms profusely in the cold months of winter. Like the women who loved her, the camellia bush is beautiful, tough, and resilient!
Camellia Cottage was on the HFFI 2015 and the 2020 Candlelight Tour, and has been featured in newspapers and in books on local Fredericksburg history. For Cottage photos and more, including info on reserving her, go to Airbnb.
In November 2021 the Cottage was featured for her 150th birthday, in an article called Camellia Cottage - 150 Years of Healing.
Fredericksburg and the surrounding area are historic and hip! There is so much to do here, from wining and dining, visiting historic sites, to enjoying the great outdoors. Learn more on what to see and do at: Fredericksburg Timeless. The Cottage is on parade route for the annual Fredericksburg Christmas Parade. She has also been the site of unique fundraising events for some of Norris and Delise Dickard's favorite local non-profits (like CASA and the Fredericksburg Food Co-op).