On display for one day only inside the Donald W. Reynolds Education Center, this Masonic apron was made in France and is believed to have been presented to George Washington at Mount Vernon in 1784 by the Marquis de Lafayette, a former general and close friend of Washington’s who was also a Freemason. The apron features compasses and square – central Masonic symbols – together with the crossed flags of the United States and France, all exquisitely embroidered in silk and gold- and silver-wrapped threads with metallic sequins. Washington would have worn this apron when attending Masonic meetings, and Freemasons still wear similar aprons when they meet today. Aprons are the badge of a Freemason.
For more than 100 years, this apron could only be seen within the walls of the Mt. Nebo Lodge, where generations of local Freemasons treasured the fragile relic. Recognizing its significant history, Lodge members brought it to Mount Vernon in 2009 for conservation and exhibition.
Chef Walter Staib of Philadelphia's City Tavern and Emmy award-winning host of PBS’s "A Taste of History" will sign books and DVDs in The Shops at Mount Vernon from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Visitors to the new Hoecakes & Hospitality: Cooking with Martha Washington exhibition can watch an eight-minute video in which the award-winning chef prepares a sturgeon in Mount Vernon's kitchen.
Please visit www.atasteofhistory.org for more information about Chef Walter Staib.