Washington's Wheat Treading Innovation

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

At Mount Vernon, we have re-created the unique wheat treading process that George Washington used during his day. These demonstrations are offered July through October at the 16-Sided Barn. In preparation for these demonstrations, our historic tradesmen ventured to an Amish farm in rural Maryland to gather wheat similar to the grains of Washington's…


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Boiling, Baking, and Curling 18th-Century Wigs

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Boiling, Baking, and Curling 18th-Century Wigs

by Sean Devlin, Curator of Archaeological Collections Excavated from the South Grove, these five objects offer an interesting chance to explore eighteenth century life and how archaeologists attempt to learn more about it through material evidence. In this discussion, I want to walk you through how archaeologists approach interpreting artifacts. Step…


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Why Make Wine in Virginia?

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Why Make Wine in Virginia?

For more than 20 years, Mount Vernon has hosted a wine festival to celebrate the rich tradition of Virginia wine. Since the first colonists arrived, viticulturists—or grape growers—struggled to grow wine grapes on Virginian soil. Even skilled agriculturalists George Washington and Thomas Jefferson tried and failed many times to grow wine grapes at their…


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Mary Ball Washington's Battle with Breast Cancer

Monday, October 01, 2018

Mary Ball Washington's Battle with Breast Cancer

by Mary V. Thompson In the spring of 1787, as George Washington was preparing to leave Mount Vernon to attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, an express rider arrived, carrying an emergency summons to Fredericksburg, Virginia. In telling a friend about his change of plans, Washington noted that “not a moment is to be lost,” because his…


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Why the Washington Library Matters

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Why the Washington Library Matters

by Kevin Butterfield, Executive Director of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington I am passionate about the story of the American Founding. I cannot imagine a fictional story with more drama and unpredictability, tragedy and triumph, complexity and openness to diverse interpretations, or with a more fascinating cast…


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More than Reconstruction

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

More than Reconstruction

Throughout the summer, volunteer boat builders from the Alexandria Seaport Foundation have been constructing two punts at Mount Vernon’s Pioneer Farm. These small boats resemble a punt built by Sambo Anderson, an enslaved carpenter at Mount Vernon. As the team worked, they interacted with guests and taught them about the construction process, Anderson…


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5 Major Updates to Our Audio Tours

Friday, September 07, 2018

5 Major Updates to Our Audio Tours

Mount Vernon’s audio tours received a much-needed update, and the new version launches September 7. Here are the highlights of the new version: 1. New stops, no order Visitors previously selected an audio tour that guided them on a prescribed path to a limited number of stops. The new version includes 29 stops, and visitors can select which stops…


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Running and Fifing

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Running and Fifing

On the grounds of Mount Vernon, the whistle of a fife signals Don Francisco is near. As Mount Vernon's Resident Fifer and a history interpreter, Don educates visitors about the role of fife and drum music in the American Revolution, as well as entertaining guests with musical renditions of pop tunes and fight songs. Once a year, he changes his pace…


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