On a very hot July summer day in 2013, we traveled out to Mount Vernon Virginia and visited George Washington's beloved home, Mount Vernon.
Mount Vernon was the plantation of George Washington, the first President of the United States, and his wife, Martha Washington. The estate is situated on the banks of the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia, near Alexandria, across from Prince George's County, Maryland. It is located at 3200 Mount Vernon Hwy, Mt Vernon, VA 22121, and you can find out details about visiting the location on their website.
The day we arrived at the site was a very hot day. When you first arrive, you walk into the visitor center to purchase your tickets for the various tours. During the time that we visited, they had a special tour called the "National Treasure" tour that took you into the basement of the building as well so you can see some of the filming locations. The visitor center and gardens are quite impressive as well.
Unfortunately, you were not allowed to take pictures inside of the building (aaarg), but along the grounds you were allowed. If you have never been, Mount Vernon is like a little city to itself with several out buildings and barns. Marianne did manage to get a shot of the entrance to the basement.
The main house sits up on a hill with the rear portico over looking the Potomac River. It was quite a beautiful view, and I can see why President Washington loved it so much.
They have many interesting artifacts on the groups and in the visitor center that belonged to George and Martha, including a pair of dentures that the President used.
Also located on the grounds are many graves, including the final resting location of George and Martha Washington along with some of their family members. We did another blog post called, "Grave of Our First President - Mount Vernon" that talks about the tomb.
While we were there, there was also an archaeological dig in progress. Well, of course Marianne had to get some photographs of that as well since she is a trained archaeologist. She had to talk to the crew as well and share her experiences in archaeology. (They were excited to hear of here experiences, but would not let her get down in the pits with them.)
The mansion was built of wood in a loose Palladian style; the original house was built by George Washington's father Augustine, around 1734. George Washington expanded the house twice, once in the late 1750s and again in the 1770s. It remained Washington's home for the rest of his life. Following his death in 1799, under the ownership of several successive generations of the family, the estate progressively declined as revenues were insufficient to maintain it adequately. In 1858, the house's historical importance was recognized and it was saved from ruin by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association; this philanthropic organization acquired it together with part of the Washington property estate. Escaping the damage suffered by many plantation houses during the American Civil War, Mount Vernon was restored.
If you would like to hear more history about the property an see more of our photos, please watch the following video as in this production we combined a slide show with the history narration.
Now, if you are interesting in some of the paranormal claims and reported activity on the grounds, the following "Ghost Stories and Folklore" will cover that information for you.
Please let us know if you have visited Mount Vernon in the past, and share some of your experiences with us down in the comments. We would love to hear about them.
Find out more about Shawn and Marianne Donley on our About Page.