In 1850, one of America's most popular poets visited Mount Vernon. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in his journal, "Steamed to Alexandria, and then a coach to Mt. Vernon. What a road, good heavens! And in what a dilapidated, squalid condition we found everything there! Nothing fresh and beautiful but the spring, and the situation of the house overlooking a bend in the Potomac."
Later that same year, on December 7, 1875, his first daughter, Alice Mary was born at their family home in Cambridge Massachusetts. Little could Longfellow have known that this child would grow one day to play such a significant role in the restoration of George Washington's beloved home. Alice Longfellowed served for a record 49 years as one of the board members of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association.