Hi everyone!! Yesterday Jordan posted a teaser to let you know where I went this past week-end. In case you didn’t recognize the photo, it was Mr. Vernon, the home of George and Martha Washington. After we hosted a successful dessert portion of a progressive dinner on Thursday night, Mr. Right and I caught the first flight out of Lexington to Washington, DC on Friday morning to spend a week-end with our son who has a birthday today. (By the way, you can see photos from all three houses on the progressive dinner here. My house starts at photo number 82.)
When we arrived in DC, I told my two guys that I planned to visit Mt. Vernon on Saturday. I had done some research and knew it would be decked out for the holidays. Also, the third floor, where Martha slept after George died, would be open. It is only on the tour during the Christmas season. Not wanting to be left out, Mr. Right and Cory said they would join me. What fun!!! (For those of you wondering, Josie had to be in Colorado for a film shout.)
Mt. Vernon was as majestic as I remembered it. However, it wasn’t as pearly white as I thought. I don’t know if they darkened the color, based on historic research, or if it has always been this color. I thought it was white like the White House. (See my visit to the White House last December here.)
A lot of people were visiting the house on Saturday, and we were divided into groups and given a tour time. While we waited, we had a good view of the side and back of the house. George once sat on this porch and looked out over the Potomac. At one point, a sewage treatment facility was scheduled to be installed on the banks across from his house, but Congress stepped in, thank goodness, and declared that the land would become a park. Now we know the view that George had will always remain.
We weren’t allowed to take photos inside of the house, but it was okay to take photos in the out buildings, and there were many. They had a special building for a kitchen, which was typical in old homes to minimize the chances of fire. They also had a wash house, smoke house, slave quarters and so forth. George wrote in his will that his slaves would be freed after Martha’s death, and he provided funds so that they would be able to have money to start a life. She freed them a year after his death, and she died two years after he did.
This shows some more of the uses for the out buildings.
George died on Dec. 14, 1799. We were there on Dec. 14. He died 48 hours after starting a cold, and he could have been cured today with our medicines. This was his first grave, and the funeral was a state affair. Martha did not attend. Instead, she watched it from a window because she was so grief stricken.
This is his and Martha’s final resting place today. People felt the first tomb was not grand enough for a man of his stature. Other family members are also buried here.
After having such a busy week last week, Mt. Vernon was a peaceful and serene place to be to learn some history and be with my family.
Oh, by the way, the national turkey lives at Mt. Vernon after he is pardoned, but it was too cold for him and his companion to be out.