The mission of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association is to preserve, restore, and manage the estate of George Washington to the highest standards and to educate visitors and people throughout the world about the life and legacies of George Washington, so that his example of character and leadership will continue to inform and inspire future generations.

How We Accomplish Our Mission...

The Mount Vernon Estate

The Ford Orientation Center

A visit to Mount Vernon begins at the Ford Orientation Center, where guests
can watch the action-adventure movie “We Fight to Be Free”, and speak with staff who can help guests plan their day. Here visitors can purchase annual passes and audio tours. Estate maps are also available in several languages and alternate formats.

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The Mansion

The Mansion at Mount Vernon is one of America’s most iconic 18th-century homes. George Washington’s beloved home began as a one and one-half story farmhouse built in 1735 by his father, Augustine, and received its well-known name during the ownership of his half-brother Lawrence. George Washington acquired Mount Vernon in 1754, and over the next 45 years slowly enlarged the dwelling to create the resplendent 21-room residence we see today. Conscious that the world was watching, Washington selected decorative and architectural elements that expressed his growing status as a Virginia gentleman planter and ultimately as the leader of a fledgling democratic nation.

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Gardens and Landscapes

George Washington oversaw all aspects of the landscape at Mount Vernon. He extensively redesigned the grounds surrounding his home, adopting the less formal, more naturalistic style of 18th century English garden landscape designer Batty Langley. In the 18th century, the well-ordered gardens provided food for the Mansion’s table and were also pleasing to the eye. Today, the gardens and grounds of Mount Vernon have been meticulously researched and recreated by our dedicated horticulture and archaeological teams, and continue to delight visitors just as they did in Washington’s day.

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Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center

The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center offers guests a range of experiences. The Education Center traces Washington’s life through state-of-the-art gallery displays , History Channel videos, and a multimedia theater. Visitors learn about Washington’s childhood hardships, his adventures on the American frontier, heroic leadership of the Continental Army, and his precedent-setting role as the nation’s first president. Accessible from the Education Center, the Hands-on-History Center offers engaging activities for children ages 3 to 8.

The Museum displays more than 500 objects in seven galleries. The F. M. Kirby Foundation Gallery offers temporary exhibitions, which generally change every one to two years. The current exhibition, Gardens & Groves: George Washington’s Landscape at Mount Vernon invites visitors to explore Washington’s landscape and garden design to see how he created the views of Mount Vernon we enjoy today. This exhibition is on view through January 10, 2016.

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Bronze statues of the Washington family in the lobby of the Ford Orientation Center

View of the cupola with its iconic dove of peace weathervane

The Upper Garden at Mount Vernon

At Home with the Washingtons gallery in the museum

The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon

The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association announced the creation of the nation’s newest presidential library to further our mission of advancing appreciation for and understanding of George Washington. The Library was made possible through a $38 million gift from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the largest gift ever received by the MVLA. The Campaign for the Library raised $106.4 million, exceeding its $100 million goal. Groundbreaking took place in April 2011, and construction was completed the summer of 2013. The Library opened in September 2013.

A 45,000 square foot facility, the Library safeguards Washington’s books and manuscripts, approximately 1,500 additional 18th-century books, and thousands of important historical documents. It also serves as a scholarly retreat for residential Fellows, creates educational outreach programs, and provides leadership training.

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The Rare Books Vault

Rubenstein Leadership Hall

Mount Vernon is operated by nearly 600 employees and more than 400 volunteers.

Volunteers work throughout the estate and provide valuable assistance, especially during peak visitation periods. The volunteer program was formally organized in June 1992. Since then, more than 300,000 hours have been contributed.

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Historic Trades

Mount Vernon offers guests the opportunity to meet people from Washington’s world and experience historic trades such as the blacksmith shop. The four-acre pioneer farm adjacent to the historic area includes a replica of Washington’s 16-sided treading barn and a reconstructed slave cabin.

Located just 2.5 miles south of the estate on Route 235, guests can also visit the Distillery & Gristmill, working reconstructions utilizing cutting-edge 18th-century technology. Free parking is available there; the Distillery & Gristmill are only open from April to October.

Directions to Washington's Distillery & Gristmill

George Washington’s Mount Vernon is owned and maintained for the public by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, a private, non-profit 501(c)3 founded in 1853 by Ann Pamela Cunningham.

Having raised the funds through a national grassroots campaign, the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association purchased Mount Vernon for $200,000 in 1859 from a relative of George Washington. It is the oldest national historic preservation organization in America. It is overseen by a Board of Regents, comprised solely of women, currently representing 27 states.

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3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
Mount Vernon, Virginia 22121