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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18th-Century Mantel Repairs and Reinstallation

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A key feature of the architectural restoration of the Blue Room is the repair and reinstallation of the room’s original 18th-century mantel. When the room was restored in the early 1980s, it was thought that the mantel in place at that time was not original, so it was removed and placed in storage. However, recent physical investigation, paint analysis…

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Mount Vernon Salutes the 2016 Sailors of the Year

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Each year, Mount Vernon has the honor of welcoming the finalists for the U.S. Navy's Fleet Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year awards. Last Monday, the 2016 nominees and their families got a behind-the-scenes look of the home of the first commander in chief as part of a week-long visit to Washington D.C. Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Courtney…

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Bottle Babies to BFFs

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Meet Pepperdine, a two-month-old Hog Island lamb.  Conan (yes, he's named after Conan O'Brien) is an Ossabaw hog who was born on St. Patrick's Day.  When their moms needed help raising them, Conan and Pepperdine went home with our Livestock team to be bottle fed for several weeks. While living together, the adorable duo became best friends. They…

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Window Sash Restoration and Conservation

Monday, May 08, 2017

As noted in previous blog updates, the Blue Room restoration involves many architecture-related activities. One such activity was addressing the window sashes, which were in need of repair, reglazing (resetting panes) and repainting. The window sashes are the wooden frames that hold the window panes and slide up or down in the larger window frame. The…

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You Dig It? Hands-on History Lessons

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Each spring, thousands of students visit Mount Vernon to learn about history in unique and surprising ways. Last week, a group of high school seniors from Akron, Ohio, visited the estate to study archaeology. James Anderson, an alumnus of the George Washington Teachers Institute, has brought his archaeology class to the estate for the last five years…

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The 600-Year-Old 'George Washington Oak Tree'

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Centuries before English settlers arrived in North America, a white oak tree took root in what is now the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in Bernards, New Jersey. This tree would grow to have a trunk circumference of 18 feet and reach 100 feet tall. After years of showing rot, this landmark of natural history was declared dead, forcing crews to cut…

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20th Century Mantel De-Installation in the Blue Room

Monday, April 24, 2017

After the initial preservation activities in the Blue Room, a major part of the architecture work involved removing the existing 20th-century mantel in preparation for re-installing the 18th-century one. The first step involved prying off the applied decorative trim on the face of the mantel, and then removing the horizontal sandstone piece (called…

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Preservation Activities Begin in the Blue Room

Monday, April 17, 2017

In February 2017, Mount Vernon staff began restoring the Blue Room, a bedroom on the second floor of the Mansion. After the Collections team removed the furniture and décor, the Historic Preservation team began the restoration work. Once the Blue Room was deinstalled at the end of February, the Historic Preservation & Collections team quickly mobilized…

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