Would you believe that the site of the distillery was actually excavated as early as the 1930s? These excavators working for the Commonwealth of Virginia exposed a portion of the building’s foundations and a furnace in the southeast corner.
Mount Vernon archaeologists, as part of the new interpretive program at the museum, revisited this industrial site in 1997 to assess the preservation of the archaeological remains. Much to the archaeologists’ excitement, the site appeared to be well preserved and so we embarked upon a multi-year excavation.
In 2003 the excavation of George Washington's 18th-century Whiskey Distillery was featured as Archaeology Magazine's interactive dig. Weekly Dig Diaries chronicled the excavation as it happened, staff and intern profiles introduced the people working at the site, articles about how the site was discovered and much more were featured.