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George Washington’s Mount Vernon Announces New Series of 18th-Century Summertime Weekend Experiences

Visitors Also Won’t Want to Miss French Alliance Family Day, Gristmill Tours, Purple Heart Commemoration, Book Events, and More 

Mount Vernon, VA, July 9, 2024 – The home of America’s first president now is offering visitors a series of unique opportunities to experience life as it was in the 18th century. During select weekends this summer, guests can explore and engage with staff, experts, and history interpreters on life in colonial America – the unique entertainmentmusicfoodbook arts, and animals at George Washington’s Mount Vernon.  These immersive experiences are hands-on and will include:

  • Master Cooper Marshall Scheetz sharing the history of barrels in tavern culture and the intricate process of making a barrel in the 18th century, along with colonial card games. 
  • Music of the African Diaspora with special guests SlamOne to learn how music connects generations and cultures, along with staff lessons on popular 18th-century dances like the Indian Queen and Gobby-O.
  • A discovery of 18th-century food growth, preparation, and dining during tours of the gardens, salt house, smokehouse, slave quarters, greenhouse, and the Mansion kitchen. At Mount Vernon’s ice house, watch ice cream and butter-making demonstrations.    
  • Mount Vernon’s livestock experts sharing the history of the jobs animals performed on the estate, along with meeting our sheep, oxen, and horses. At the Spinning House, learning about transforming sheep’s wool into cloth and textile production.
  • An exploration of canine life at Mount Vernon during a 1.25-mile walking tour at five historic locations, including the historic west gate. Bring your dog! 
  • Learning about colonial book-making with special guests from Colonial Williamsburg, along with President Washington’s personal secretary Tobias Lear, reading Washington’s only published book, The Journal of Major George Washington

18th-Century Entertainment: Tavern Life is scheduled for July 20 and 21; 18th-Century Entertainment: Music is scheduled for July 27 and 28Foodways: Farm to Table is scheduled for August 10 and 11; Book Arts is scheduled for August 24 and 25; and Animals of Mount Vernon on August 31 and September 1. 

This series is in addition to the full range of historical and fun activities at the expansive Mount Vernon estate. Located just outside of Washington, D.C., on the banks of the historic Potomac River, upcoming events and activities include: 

  • George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill is open for summer. Reconstructions of George Washington's Distillery and Gristmill are located just two miles from the estate’s main entrance. Tours are offered on weekends and are included with a Mount Vernon grounds pass. Learn more
  • John Trumbull Book Talk on July 10. Hear from historian Richard Brookhiser, author of Glorious Lessons: John Trumbull Painter of the American Revolution. He examines the complicated life and legacy of John Trumbull, whose paintings portrayed the struggle and the principles that distinguished America’s founding moment. Learn more
  • French Alliance Family Day on July 13. Learn about the role of the French Government, Army, and Navy in the role of American Victory during the American Revolution through hands-on activities and character interpretation. Learn more
  • The Origins of the Revolution: 250th Anniversary of the Fairfax Resolves on July 24 and 25. To mark the 250th anniversary of the Fairfax Resolves, a central document to the impending American Revolution co-authored by George Mason and George Washington, join historians for a two-day conference examining the origins and causes of the War for American Independence. Learn more
  • Military Appreciation: Purple Heart Commemoration on August 3 and 4. Pay tribute to America's active duty, former, and retired military personnel with a visit to Washington’s Tomb for special wreath-laying ceremonies throughout the day. Learn more

Read the full listing of Mount Vernon events here. Most Mount Vernon events are free or discounted for members. Information about Mount Vernon membership is available here

Please note that Mount Vernon has embarked upon a landmark Mansion Revitalization project. During visits, preservation teams are restoring the framing, masonry, drainage, and environmental controls of the Mansion, ensuring America’s first president’s home will be ready to receive millions of guests for generations to come. Individual rooms will be taken off display as work progresses through the structure. The New Room currently is not on view and the Education Center exhibit on George Washington’s life will be off display for an extensive rebuild from July 2024 – Spring 2026. However, the expansive estate remains open to visitors, including the museum, more than a dozen historic buildings, the gardens and farm, and the Tomb.

Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, is owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, the oldest national historic preservation organization in the United States. The estate is open to visitors and includes the Mansion, a museum and education center, gardens, tombs, a working farm, a functioning distillery, and a gristmill. It also includes the George Washington Presidential Library at Mount Vernon.  

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