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. In 1877, a Dr. Martin purchased and moved the structure. He had been a surgeon during the Civil War 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. 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 1920, until 1933, prohibition against alcohol was the law of the land. Annie was known as the best bootlegger in town and her cottage became a local “speakeasy.”
A Mrs. McLaughlin began an extensive renovation in 1979. 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 for short term rentals, go to Airbnb.
In November 2021 the Cottage was featured for her 150th birthday, in an article called Camellia Cottage - 150 Years of Healing.