Fireworks in the 18th Century

Thursday, June 29, 2017

In the 18th century,  the Washingtons watched fireworks on several occasions throughout their lives, often to celebrate a historic moment. On the evening of George Washington's first inauguration in 1789, for example, the skies in New York City were filled with fireworks. Boston merchant John May reported that the fireworks “on the bowling green…


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Paint and Wallpaper Application

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Once the Architecture team completed the repair work in the Blue Room, the decorative wall and woodwork finishes could be applied. The most dramatic transformation of the restoration was the application of the period-appropriate wallpaper and paint. All of the woodwork in the room was first primed with shellac—a technique used during the 18th century…


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Unseen Collections Revealed!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

We recently launched a new vlog series to show a side of Mount Vernon rarely seen by the public. The first episode explores Mount Vernon's hidden treasures with our collections team. The collections staff oversees the 10,000 objects in the fine and decorative arts collection. The items in the collection that aren't on display in the Mansion or museum…


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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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