Traditional 18th Century Sheep Shearing

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sheep were an important commodity to George Washington at Mount Vernon, and our livestock team keeps the history alive of their role to this day. They raise and breed Hog Island sheep, a breed similar to those Washington kept.  Wool keeps sheep warm during the winter, but it was sheared to make clothes and blankets in the colonies. Today, Mount Vernon…

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How to Make 18th-Century "Common Patties"

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"Common Patties" were a meat pastry commonly eaten in colonial America. Learn how to make them at home! INGREDIENTS Ground beef or veal2 slices of baconPastry dough1 bunch Parsley1 bunch ThymeSalt to tastePepper to tasteGrated nutmeg to taste DIRECTIONS 1. Take some ground meat (veal, beef etc.) and some boiled ham or bacon chopped very fine, season…

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Meet 18th Century Herbalist, Betz Golon

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Betz Golon has traveled from Maine to Mount Vernon for more than 20 years to teach visitors how herbs were used in cooking and medicine throughout history. As an herbal historian, Betz combines her passions for history and botany to make products for museums, focusing on the herbs' recorded history. "All our products are made using organic herbs. Blends…

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18th-Century Mantel Repairs and Reinstallation

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A key feature of the architectural restoration of the Blue Room is the repair and reinstallation of the room’s original 18th-century mantel. When the room was restored in the early 1980s, it was thought that the mantel in place at that time was not original, so it was removed and placed in storage. However, recent physical investigation, paint analysis…

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Mount Vernon Salutes the 2016 Sailors of the Year

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Each year, Mount Vernon has the honor of welcoming the finalists for the U.S. Navy's Fleet Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year awards. Last Monday, the 2016 nominees and their families got a behind-the-scenes look of the home of the first commander in chief as part of a week-long visit to Washington D.C. Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Courtney…

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Bottle Babies to BFFs

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Meet Pepperdine, a two-month-old Hog Island lamb.  Conan (yes, he's named after Conan O'Brien) is an Ossabaw hog who was born on St. Patrick's Day.  When their moms needed help raising them, Conan and Pepperdine went home with our Livestock team to be bottle fed for several weeks. While living together, the adorable duo became best friends. They…

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Window Sash Restoration and Conservation

Monday, May 08, 2017

As noted in previous blog updates, the Blue Room restoration involves many architecture-related activities. One such activity was addressing the window sashes, which were in need of repair, reglazing (resetting panes) and repainting. The window sashes are the wooden frames that hold the window panes and slide up or down in the larger window frame. The…

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You Dig It? Hands-on History Lessons

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Each spring, thousands of students visit Mount Vernon to learn about history in unique and surprising ways. Last week, a group of high school seniors from Akron, Ohio, visited the estate to study archaeology. James Anderson, an alumnus of the George Washington Teachers Institute, has brought his archaeology class to the estate for the last five years…

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The 600-Year-Old 'George Washington Oak Tree'

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Centuries before English settlers arrived in North America, a white oak tree took root in what is now the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in Bernards, New Jersey. This tree would grow to have a trunk circumference of 18 feet and reach 100 feet tall. After years of showing rot, this landmark of natural history was declared dead, forcing crews to cut…

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