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Statement from the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association about Dr. Neil Horstman

 MOUNT VERNON, VA — It is with great sorrow that the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association announces the passing of former director, Dr. Neil Horstman, on February 2.

During Dr. Horstman’s seven-year term as director of Washington’s estate from 1987-1994, he expanded both the archaeology and education initiatives, elevating Mount Vernon’s educational reach to classrooms across the county. As the eighth director of Mount Vernon, he made it his mission to grow educational outreach efforts on site. Interpreter positions were created to include the outbuildings, in the Upper Garden, and across the grounds.

Dr. Horstman also oversaw the expansion of historical interpretation with the addition of the four-acre George Washington: Pioneer Farmer site. The George Washington: Pioneer Farmer site is an active farm with animals and outbuildings that continues to bring engaging educational opportunities to Mount Vernon’s millions of visitors today.  

Dr. Horstman graduated from Glennville High School in Canton, the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, and received his Masters of Public Affairs from Indiana University.  He received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Goucher College, Baltimore, MD.  He and his wife frequently taught together at the Preservation Institute:  Nantucket Island-University of Florida.

Following his seven years as director at Mount Vernon, Dr. Horstman served as the president of the White House Historical Association and retired in 2014 after a distinguished career of twenty years.

The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association is grateful to Neil Horstman for his tireless work to preserve George Washington's home and legacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Horstman family. For more information about Horstman’s work at Mount Vernon, please visit


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