Happy Birthday Michelle! Michelle and I both took off today and Monday to have a five-day Fourth of July stay-cation, and we spent this morning touring Mount Vernon, the plantation estate home of our first president, George Washington, one of our most outstanding Founding Fathers of the United States of America.
Located on the banks of the fresh tidal Potomac River, immediately south of Alexandria, Virginia and Washington, DC, we first began our tour by walking through the Washington Estate Home and nearby complex of outbuildings including the blacksmith shop, overseer’s quarters, spinning house, salt house, gardeners house, servant’s hall, kitchen, necessary, smokehouse, wash house, coach house, stables, paddocks and ice house.
With commanding views of the Potomac River, the National Park Service has maintained the forested and agricultural view-shed in Maryland, so we see what George and Martha Washington saw.
The kitchen was set-off from the house, with a connecting breezeway. As you tour each of the buildings within the estate complex, living history and regular interpreters describe the scenes and stories of plantation living from the 1770’s through the 1790’s. The only downside of the tour, was that we were not allowed to take photographs inside of Washington’s home. I especially liked the huge painting of Great Falls in his ballroom.
The weather vane on the house cupola was the Dove of Peace, with an olive branch in it’s beak.
Washington had a very large carriage house, with several styles of surrey’s, carriages and wagons.
If you should ever visit Mount Vernon, make sure to set-aside a full day, as a half day is not enough. Although we toured the main complex, museum and watched a few movies, we did not see the upper and lower gardens, slave complex, agricultural farm fields, fruit orchards, wharf, distillery and Washington’s tomb site. The 6-foot, three-inch tall Washington died in 1799 at the age of 67 from a common throat infection.
We listened to many fascinating stories and saw many of Washington’s personal effects. At the Gift Shop we purchased bottles of Washington’s Rye Whiskey from his personal recipe and distillery. We will use these bottles for shots, toasting key M.A.G.A. (Make America Great Again) activities, celebrating the constitutional conservative wing (i.e. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul) of the Grand ol Party (GOP). The spirit of Freedom hangs heavy in the air at Mount Vernon!