Located on the banks of the Potomac near the wharf, the four-acre Pioneer Farm site explores George Washington’s role as visionary farmer.

Washington used Mount Vernon as a laboratory for testing and implementing progressive farming practices and the Pioneer Farm represents the more than 3,000 acres he cultivated during the second half of the 18th century. It also offers visitors a chance to learn more about the lives of the enslaved workers who put Washington’s agrarian ideas into practice.

16-Sided Barn

One of Washington’s masterful farming innovations was a 16-sided barn designed for treading wheat—his most important cash crop.  The barn at the Pioneer Farm site is an exact replica of the original that was located on Washington's estate.

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Slave Cabin

Our recreated slave cabin allows you to see how many of Washington's slaves lived at Mount Vernon.  You can walk into and through this structure that would have housed a slave family.

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Live Demonstrations

The Pioneer Farm is most active from April to October, visitors can see horses tread the 16-sided treading barn and other agricultural demonstration such as hoeing the fields, cracking corn, field plowing, and winnowing wheat.  

“I shall always be happy to give and receive communications on improvement in farming and the various branches of agriculture. This in my opinion, an object of infinite importance to the country. I consider it to be the proper source of American wealth and happiness.”

George Washington to Theodorick Bland, August 15, 1786


George Washington's fishing operations brought in food for his enslaved and paid workers, and by selling the surplus, provided additional profits for his estate.

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Estate Hours

Open today from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

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