Lancaster is located in Lancaster County
, of which it is the county seat, 50 miles NE of Williamsburg along Highway 3 near Chesapeake Bay
and the Rappahannock River in the Eastern Region
of the state. Lancaster boasts several buildings of historical interest. Lancaster County
Courthouse, built in 1860, contains records that are complete back to 1652. Mary Ball Washington Museum and Library, a four-building complex on Hwy 3 at the courthouse, honors George Washington
's mother, who was born in Lancaster County. Lancaster House, built about 1798, contains a museum with Washington family memorabilia and historical items pertaining to the county and the Northern Neck. The adjacent 1819 Old Jail houses the archives and historical lending library. A genealogical library is housed in the Stewart-Blakemore building.