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Mount Vernon Blog

Creating a 3D Model of the New Room Floor

Monday, July 08, 2024

New Room floor photogrammetry

A major task of the Mansion Revitalization Project involves repairing sections of the Mansion’s framing, necessitating the temporary removal of the original 18th-century floorboards in the Mansion’s New Room. But before the first floorboard was lifted, the Preservation team undertook the critical task of documenting the floor's condition using a...


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Preparing the New Room

Friday, June 14, 2024

Following the de-installation of the New Room, during which Mount Vernon’s Fine and Decorative Arts Collections team removed the room’s objects for safe storage, the next step was to prepare the space for the following phase of the Mansion Revitalization Project— removing the mopboards and floorboards in order to access and repair the home's fr...


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Pipe Fragment Discovered

Friday, May 24, 2024

Have you ever found crystals growing inside a rock? Sometimes, bricks hold hidden surprises, too. This brick was removed from the brick flooring next to the dry well in the Mansion cellar during recent archaeological excavations ahead of the Mansion Revitalization Project. The brick had broken apart, revealing a large fragment of tobacco pipe b...


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Mortar Analysis

Thursday, May 23, 2024

One of the many types of analysis undertaken by Mount Vernon conservators is mortar analysis, using mortar samples like the one seen above. By breaking down the components of a mortar sample, mortar analysis helps staff identify approximate dating, material types and ratios used in creation, and geographic sources. This information also helps t...


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North Siding Removal

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

As part of the Mansion Revitalization Project, Mount Vernon’s Preservation team spent several days removing the lower courses of siding on the Mansion’s north end. This was a slow, delicate process, as the vast majority of the Mansion’s siding is original to the 18th century. Removal of the north siding allowed Mount Vernon’s Preservation staff...


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A Missing Lid

Thursday, May 02, 2024

In the world of archaeology, every artifact has a story to tell. Ahead of the Mansion Revitalization Project, Mount Vernon archaeologists excavated the area north of the Mansion. While examining a ceramic fragment excavated near the north end of the piazza, archaeological lab analysts Angela Bailey and Alice Keith identified it as a lid from th...


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Processing Artifacts

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Archaeological Laboratory Analyst Angela Bailey catalogs artifacts recovered by the Archaeology team during the Mansion Revitalization Project. (MVLA) While the Archaeology field crew excavates in the cellar (as part of the Mansion Revitalization Project), the lab crew facilitates the processing, researching, and cataloging of the artifacts bei...


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Ductwork Removal from the Cellar

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Preservation and Project Management teams reached an important milestone by overseeing the removal of the existing ductwork in the Mansion cellar. The removal of this ductwork will make way for its replacement with a more efficient HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) system, which will provide climate control in the cellar for the f...


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Protecting the Vaughan Mantelpiece

Friday, April 05, 2024

In 1784, George Washington wrote to family and friends in search of a marble surround suitable for his "New Room." In response, Samuel Vaughan, a recent émigré, presented this mantelpiece depicting pastoral life that originated from his home in Essex, England. Ever since Washington installed the mantelpiece in 1786, it has served as the centerp...


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Custis Wine Bottle Seal

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Archaeologists excavating in the Mansion cellar discovered a wine bottle seal stamped “IOHN CUSTIS 1713”—the third such seal to be discovered in the cellar. John Custis was the father of Daniel Parke Custis, Martha Washington’s first husband. Learn More About the Custis Family Mount Vernon archaeologists have now excavated a total of five of ...


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