Behind the Lines with a Revolutionary War Reenactor
Thursday, May 03, 2018
Marshall Smith has been a reenactor with the First Virginia Regiment for decades. He answered a few questions about his experiences:
Who do you portray?
I am an infantry officer, a captain in the First Virginia Regiment.
How did you get involved with reenacting?
I came across a magazine in the early 1980s called Living History. They had an article…
Building 18th-Century Doors
Monday, April 09, 2018
The double doors leading from Mount Vernon’s piazza to the Mansion’s central passage serve as the gatekeepers to George Washington’s beloved home, granting access to Mount Vernon’s visitors and keeping the interior safe from the elements. These overlooked architectural marvels have weathered 63 years of devastating storms and heavy usage. Mount Vernon…
Through My Eyes: Martha's Arrival
Wednesday, April 04, 2018
By Elizabeth Keaney, Character Interpreter
Martha Dandridge Custis was a young woman of 26 when her first husband, Daniel Parke Custis, died from a fever. People often reference Martha as the “wealthiest young widow in all of Virginia," although she technically only received one third of the estate to support herself and the children. However, we should…
Spring Changes in the Mansion
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
The Collections staff recently made changes to some of the rooms in the Mansion to celebrate the arrival of spring. As we know, the Washingtons welcomed numerous guests to Mount Vernon. George Washington sheds light on this fact in a letter to his mother, Mary Ball Washington, where he likens his home to a “well resorted tavern.” The Washingtons and…
Season of Lambs
Saturday, March 24, 2018
The month of March has again brought adorable additions to the estate: baby sheep. The annual "lambing" began on February 27 when the first new additions were born. Twenty ewes were pregnant this year, and as of March 20, we have 23 lambs.
Mount Vernon raises Hog Island sheep, a rare breed that is native to Virginia and dates back to the 1600s.
Spring Snow at Mount Vernon
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Snowfall creates a picturesque landscape at Mount Vernon, and today the area experienced the largest snowstorm in the last two years. While the estate is closed today due to inclement weather, many Mount Vernon staff members—including vice president of operations & maintenance Joe Sliger and his team—still go to work to keep the estate, its staff, and…
A Teacher's Perspective: George Washington and the Creation of the Professional American Army
Monday, March 12, 2018
by James Lautzenheiser
Thirty-nine miles south of Crestview Local Schools (Convoy, Ohio), in the present-day town of Fort Recovery, Ohio, stands a physical reminder of one of the costliest days in the history of the United States Army. The rural agricultural town looks a lot like my community except for the large obelisk-shaped memorial across the…
The Patriotic Spirit of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association
Thursday, March 08, 2018
by Rebecca Baird, Archivist
Throughout World War I, thousands of American women volunteered for patriotic service organizations that supported the military and the war effort. While the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association (MVLA) was not involved in this movement in an official capacity, the Regent and Vice Regents, as patriotic and civic-minded women…
Wind Tears Down George Washington's Tree
Wednesday, March 07, 2018
On March 2, a severe nor’easter brought strong winds to the Mid-Atlantic, relentlessly bombarding power lines and property throughout the region. The estate lost power for more than 36 hours and closed its doors the day of the storm. The wind storm struck down two historic trees on the estate, a circa 1791 Canadian hemlock and a 100-year-old Virginia…
Working in all Weather
Friday, February 23, 2018
by Mary V. Thompson
Since the Christmas holidays, the weather here at Mount Vernon has been something of a roller coaster, with days and weeks in the low double digits and other days when the sun is shining and the temperature may reach 70 degrees. We’ve had some snow, but not enough for a real “snow day." Some of you might be wondering if the enslaved…