By George L. Hanssen. ISBN 13: 978-0-615-16729-9. Hardcover with 212 pages including bibliography, index and 89 black and white photographs, maps, and illustrations. Copyright 2007.
George Washington, recognized today as an early land conservationist, chose Mount Vernon as the site on which to build his estate for its wide expanse of the Potomac River and the stunning view of the Maryland shore. Since the purchase of Mount Vernon by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, protecting this view has been a principal mission of.
In 1955, Mrs. Frances Bolton, member of the U.S. Congress and the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association Regent, purchased 485 acres directly opposite the portico of the Mount Vernon mansion. It was a patriotic reaction to troubling news from an oil company’s potential plans of purchasing the land to use as a tank-farm, consequently devastating the tranquil view from Washington’s home. Thus began the saving of the viewshed along the Potomac.
Alice Lescinska Lowe Ferguson purchased a 139-acre Prince George’s County farm named “Hard Bargain” in 1922. The local Washington socialite delighted in the breathtaking view of the Potomac River, Mount Vernon and the Washington, DC skyline. The purchase of Hard Bargain led to the discovery of an early Indian village thought to be the “Mayaone.” It marked the beginning of a unique community of landowners, presently known as the Mayaone Reserve, the formation of the Piscataway Park, and the concept of open space preservation.