Restoration Under County Ownership.
Prince William County purchased Rippon Lodge from Debra Black Deco
(Admiral Black’s daughter) in 2000. When PWC-Historic Preservation
Division staff began a thorough restoration of the house that same year, they were surprised at the extensive damage it had sustained over the years from termites and water — requiring workers to stabilize the entire structure even before collection pieces could be removed. (They also discovered an 18th-century trash midden under the foundation of the 1800 addition.) Supported in part by several state grants awarded by the General Assembly (and administered by DHR), the county’s
diligent restoration project was completed in 2007. Additionally, the
county conducted archaeological research at the site and also created
walking trails around the 47-acre property.