Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mount Vernon

George Washington's home is the perfect 'gentleman's estate.'  Mount Vernon occupies 8000 acres on the banks of the Potomac River and is so well cared for that it looks almost as new as when the Washington family lived in it.

In it's day it was a working plantation but, like all plantations of that era, there also had to be a well tended garden that supplied the family and workers.

And even though it was lovely it was no where near as spectacular as Jefferson's garden.  But  since I am collecting some pretty interesting 'little-known facts' here is one that I bet few of you knew....

I learned that the house was, of course,  not equipped with anything resembling a bathroom but there were outhouses throughout the property.  Washington had each outhouse equipped with a wooden drawer under the seat to catch the (ahem) poo!  The human waste was collected daily and composted then used on the garden.  Oh, do I pity the poor slave that was assigned that job.

The house looked like it was built of blocks of stone...but no, it was made of a wood treatment called 'Rustication'.

It is an interesting technique and I thought it looked great.

The absolute best part of Mt Vernon came into view through this walkway to the kitchen building.

The view of the river is spectacular with a great rolling lawn that the children just automatically gravitated to.  I can imagine the games of tag and croquette played on this lawn....

I wondered if Washington planted that tree.

Rows of rocking chairs were set up on the veranda and I claimed one for myself....

Then I just sat and rocked and gazed out at that wonderful view.


The outer buildings were furnished as they were then.  This one was the kitchen for the main house.

The Gardener's House

The Spinning Room

The Blacksmith's Shop

This young man comes to work every day and makes all the nails, pots, tools, barrel staves, and all manner of utensils in exactly the same way as they were made in 1800.  Everything used at Mt. Vernon is a copy of the original.

Male slaves bunk house

with their kitchen.
The female slaves bunkhouse.

Martha Washington

George Washington

(I never saw the wooden teeth even though one of the docents said they were in the house.  They probably wouldn't have let me photograph them anyway.)

1 comment:

  1. Walmart sells an Atlas. There are usable maps of all 50 states in one book. Plus it lists every single Walmart in the country. I have one and use it a lot on cross country transits. We trust, but verify what the GPS is telling us. Recently Pilot and Flying J (two freeway truck stop chains) merged, and they're everywhere. They have a brochure listing all of their locations. The brochure says they will let RVs park over night. They might be a better option than the local tattoo parlor. Walmart used to let people over night, but some of them have banned it. Looking forward to more reportage!