The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association
The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association has preserved the home and legacy of George and Martha Washington.
The mission of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association is to preserve, restore, and manage the estate of George Washington to the highest standards and to educate visitors and people throughout the world about the life and legacies of George Washington, so that his example of character and leadership will continue to inform and inspire future generations.
Open 365 days of the year, Mount Vernon is the most popular historic estate in America. Over 85 million people have visited Mount Vernon since 1860, when the estate officially opened to the public. Today, Mount Vernon welcomes an average of one million guests each year.
The estate, gardens, and farm of Mount Vernon totaled some 8,000 acres in the 18th century. Presently, an estimated 500 acres of this historic property have been painstakingly preserved along the banks of the Potomac River.
Guests visiting the estate can view Washington’s Mansion and many other original structures. The historic footprint also includes the tomb of George and Martha Washington and a memorial dedicated to the enslaved people who lived and worked on the estate. Interpretive spaces such as the Pioneer Farm and George Washington's Gristmill & Distillery provide a rich understanding of Washington's enterprising and profitable business ventures.
Offering additional engaging experiences, the Ford Orientation Center and the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center include 25 theaters and galleries showcasing Mount Vernon's superb collections. The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon is a groundbreaking center for scholarship and educational outreach on the life of George Washington and the colonial and founding eras.
Mount Vernon does not accept grants from federal, state, or local governments, and no tax dollars are expended to support its purposes. Primary sources of income are revenue from the retail and dining facilities, ticket sales, and generous donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals.
Mount Vernon is owned and maintained in trust for the people of the United States by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union, a private, non-profit organization (501c3) founded in 1853 by Ann Pamela Cunningham. At the forefront of the field, the Association is the oldest national historic preservation organization in the country. It is directed by a Board of Regents, comprised solely of women, who represent nearly 30 states. Also, a Board of Advisors of prominent citizens from across the country convenes twice a year to provide additional input on Mount Vernon's governance. The estate, gift shops, and dining facilities are operated by over 500 paid employees and over 400 volunteers.