Even though Mount Vernon was largely self-sufficient, not everything needed to run the plantation was made on site. Every year, George Washington ordered manufactured goods from cities in England and America. Many of these goods, including tools, beehives, gunpowder horns, candle molds, nails, rum rations for the slaves and servants, and some of the slaves' clothing, were kept in this storeroom under lock and key.
Clerk's Quarters and Paint Cellar
George Washington employed secretaries and clerks to help with his plantation businesses. In 1799, Albin Rawlins, a clerk at the Mansion House Farm, lived in these quarters. Beneath the clerk’s quarters was the paint cellar. Paint was made on the Estate. Dry pigments were ordered from abroad and mixed with ingredients linseed oils or water to create the colors you see in the Mansion. Because paint pigments were very expensive, they were stored under lock and key.