Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday - Our Trip to Mt. Vernon

Welcome to the first day of our vacation and a wonderful tour through Mount Vernon, Virginia, the home place of George Washington...
(Click on pictures to see them enlarged!)
We arrived at Mt. Vernon late morning on Wednesday, June 10th. We were famished and so our first stop was the Mount Vernon Inn...

The Mt. Vernon Inn Restaurant was built in modern times to match the architecture of the main house. The food consists of regional and colonial cuisine and is quite good. The waiters are dressed in period clothing and the ambiance is warm, friendly and enjoyable.

Our next stop, was the Visitors Center, where we watched a wonderful 40 minute film on the life and times of our first President.
Main House.. Following the Visitors Center, we continued on to the main house...

The land that comprises Mt. Vernon was in the Washington family from the 1670's. It was handed down to George Washington's grandfather, Lawrence Washington, where upon his death, it was bequeathed to his daughter, Mildred (George's aunt). Washington then bought the land from Mildred and lived on it from 1754 until his death in 1799. The house was rebuilt several times always on the original foundations and once George Washington owned it, he built additions to it until it looked as it does today.

After Washington's death in 1799, the plantation passed to several different relatives, but none could afford it's upkeep, so it fell into disrepair. Then in 1853 Mt. Vernon was saved from neglect by a group of women who organized the Mt. Vernon Ladies Association and bought the property. This same association, which cares for the land today, has never accepted government aid, but restored and maintained the house and grounds entirely with private donations. Ticket prices to tour the house and gardens (coming up!) also go to the upkeep of this national treasure.
Here is a winder view of the house and lawn (also known as the Bowling Green)...

No photography is allowed inside of the main house, so I am only able to show you the exteriors. Interior furnishings include some original furniture, artwork, and artifacts owned by the George Washington, as well as other period pieces.

Following our tour of the house we visited the exterior buildings:
The Carriage House ...
..including a carriage owned by George Washington...
..and a "Riding Chair" (similar to one owned by the Washingtons), for use on back roads and areas difficult to negotiate with a bulkier carriage...
The "Necessary" ... ...an outdoor privy used to centralize the collection of waste (rather than just using lots of "out houses"). Human waste was collected in large, removable wooden drawers below the seats. Waste was recycled as fertilizer.
The Threshing Barns ...
...kitchen vegetable garden and tobacco patch(originally plantation's main crop)...
...a group of wild turkeys...
...a kind reinactor ... ...who patiently explained the art of tobacco farming to us.

He showed us that they only keep the first 8 leaves on the plant, allowing them to grow, while pinching off any additional leaves on the plant. These 8 leaves are all the each tobacco plant grows. That way, the leaves grow strong and healthy.

This is a frisky, black sheep (literally and figurately), who continually jumps over the wood railings of his pen to feast on tender grass elsewhere.
These two are behaving themselves (for sheep).
My two, tired out young 'uns, plum tuckered out by the humidity.
The Tomb ...
...which holds the remains of both George Washington and his wife, Martha (the columns in front memorialize their nephew who owned the property later).
The Slave Burial Ground ...
The site of the slave burial ground was located using visitor accounts, oral tradition and a circa 1860 map. Both free blacks and slaves worked this plantation from the 1750's through the 1800's. Among the ones buried here is William Lee, George Washington's personal valet, who was with him during the Revolutionary War. He was granted his freedom and an annuity in George Washington's will. A view of the "back porch" of the main house...
...and the glorious view seen from there.
Sarah, Aunt Jeanie and Robert.
Robert's picture of the main house's cellar door.
Around the side of the main house, towards slave quarters and the greenhouse.
Side view of the greenhouse.
The Greenhouse...
The Gardens...gloriously based on English gardens popular at the time.






...the lovely magnolia...

This ends your tour of Mt. Vernon and our wonderful afternoon spent there. I highly recommend this wonderful experience for the whole family. It has something for everyone and the view and grounds, from what you have seen, are spectacular.

Visit Mt. Vernon any day of the year, it is never closed. Grounds are open at 8 a.m. (9 a.m. September through March, including Christmas). The entrance closes at 5 p.m. (4 p.m. November through February).

Admission rates are as follows:

Adults $15 ; Seniors, ages 62+ $14 ; Children, ages 6-11 $7 ; Children . under 6 FREE!
For additional information, please call (703) 780-2000 and/or visit http://www.mountvernon.org/

Don't forget to stop by A Southern Daydreamer for more Outdoor Wednesday posts!
Have a great day!
Elizabeth


19 comments:

Beth at Aunties said...

Oh, I loved it!!!! We were planning on going last month and were unable to because of having others riding with us and it didn't go with their schedhule. Maybe in October or May.
I loved the gardens. I really want to go when the gardens are in bloom. I am so glad you are posting your pictures.

Hugs!

Emma said...

ks like it was wonderful! I would love to go someday!

Candy-Faith :) said...

Great photos! Everything looks so pretty :)
Candy

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

Oh, the gardens! I have never been to Mt. Vernon and can't WAIT until we take our first family trip to that area.

Thanks for sharing a glimpse!

Myrnie said...

AMAZING. Those flower borders are exactly what I want in our yard...I hope it happens someday! I had heard that tobacco was a labor intensive plant, but I didn't realize it was SO hands-on! Amazing. Thanks for sharing!

mythoughtsmyvoice said...

What a nice vacation to spend to. beautiful homes, buildings and other views and also rich in history. Love those carriages :-)

Happy Outdoor Wednesday!

Hootin' Anni said...

Been there....we reached the home via a riverboat down the Potomac. I love this area and its history. Truly, I enjoyed your tour.

My Wordful/Outdoor Wednesday is all about something that was 'taken from our yard'. But at our request. Happy Wednesday to you.

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Beautiful post. Would love to visit here!

Regina said...

Thanks for the tour. Beautiful post.

Mary said...

Thank you so much for the pictorial view of Mt. Vernon. The photos of the gardens are especially lovely. Thanks for sharing the photographs with us.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

What a lovely post. Too often I dont give thanks for the men and women who set forth our dinamic country. I think we have often forgotten about the brilliant founding fathers, and what they sacrificed for our freedom.

Thanks so much for reflecting and sharing... you made my day.

TTFN~~Claudia ♥

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I have never been there. Thanks for sharing.
Glenda

Marie said...

Mt. Vernon is just gorgeous...luv that they have actors in the ground so you get a taste of life back then. I sooo want to go on vacation too. Enjoy yours!
-marie

stefanie said...

what a great trip!!! i would love to take my kids there, thank you for sharing

Smilingsal said...

Having been raised in Washington, DC and Landover, MD, I've been to Mt. Vernon on several occasions. Thanks for taking me "back home." Happy Outdoor Wednesday!

Crystal said...

I just loved your post. I would really like to visit Mt. Vernon, it is not too far from me. I think I may have to look that up for a weekend trip.
Thanks for the beautiful tour!
Crystal

Anne said...

What a great trip to take! I can vaguely recall visiting remake of the Mayflower and Plymouth when I was 6. It gives me a sense of grandness and idealism. Great post!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

That looks fascinating. I've always wanted to do the historic Virginia sites.

Trish said...

Thanks for the tour. Something I might never have had the cahnce of doing...but you took me on your tour! Thanks. Hope you are vacationing in 'high style'...enjoying family times and making memories. Happy 4th of July my southern cousin.