Revolutionary War Reenacting

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Revolutionary War Reenacting

For the last three years, we have hosted hundreds of reenactors for Revolutionary War Weekend. This year, one of our staff members adorned 18th-century clothing and immersed himself in the reenactor's experience. Our staff member camped with the First Virginia Regiment, who gave insight into their military equipment and why they enjoy reenacting. He…


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High Fashion for the Blue Room: French Wallpaper

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

The wallpaper applied to the walls in the Blue Room was painstakingly researched and selected by the curatorial team. Three key considerations guided the team’s choice of reproduction wallpaper: date, country of origin, and color. In order to best represent the Washingtons’ choice for this space, we considered the evidence for each factor. Unfortunately…


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New in the Mansion's Little Parlor

Friday, June 30, 2017

In the 1790s, while in New York and Philadelphia with her grandparents, Eleanor (Nelly) Park Custis received an exceptional education that included drawing lessons with British landscape artist William Groombridge. Throughout her life, she continued to paint and Mount Vernon has several reproductions of Nelly's original watercolors.  In the Little…


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Fireworks in the 18th Century

Thursday, June 29, 2017

In the 18th century,  the Washingtons watched fireworks on several occasions throughout their lives, often to celebrate a historic moment. On the evening of George Washington's first inauguration in 1789, for example, the skies in New York City were filled with fireworks. Boston merchant John May reported that the fireworks “on the bowling green…


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Paint and Wallpaper Application

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Once the Architecture team completed the repair work in the Blue Room, the decorative wall and woodwork finishes could be applied. The most dramatic transformation of the restoration was the application of the period-appropriate wallpaper and paint. All of the woodwork in the room was first primed with shellac—a technique used during the 18th century…


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Unseen Collections Revealed!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Unseen Collections Revealed!

We recently launched a new vlog series to show a side of Mount Vernon rarely seen by the public. The first episode explores Mount Vernon's hidden treasures with our collections team. The collections staff oversees the 10,000 objects in the fine and decorative arts collection. The items in the collection that aren't on display in the Mansion or museum…


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Traditional 18th Century Sheep Shearing

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Traditional 18th Century Sheep Shearing

Sheep were an important commodity to George Washington at Mount Vernon, and our livestock team keeps the history alive of their role to this day. They raise and breed Hog Island sheep, a breed similar to those Washington kept.  Wool keeps sheep warm during the winter, but it was sheared to make clothes and blankets in the colonies. Today, Mount Vernon…


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How to Make 18th-Century "Common Patties"

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"Common Patties" were a meat pastry commonly eaten in colonial America. Learn how to make them at home! INGREDIENTS Ground beef or veal2 slices of baconPastry dough1 bunch Parsley1 bunch ThymeSalt to tastePepper to tasteGrated nutmeg to taste DIRECTIONS 1. Take some ground meat (veal, beef etc.) and some boiled ham or bacon chopped very fine, season…


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Meet 18th Century Herbalist, Betz Golon

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Betz Golon has traveled from Maine to Mount Vernon for more than 20 years to teach visitors how herbs were used in cooking and medicine throughout history. As an herbal historian, Betz combines her passions for history and botany to make products for museums, focusing on the herbs' recorded history. "All our products are made using organic herbs. Blends…


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