Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Washington Slept Here

Literally: Scenes from Mount Vernon.
I'm always fascinated by historic homes and sites, and Mount Vernon is a doozy. The "mansion," as it's called, is nice, but it's the grounds and outbuildings that are truly wonderful. I'm amazed that the property is owned and run by the Mt. Vernon Ladies' Association, as it has been since 1860 when they bought the house and grounds for $200,000. And they still operate it today--not the National Park Service or the National Trust, but the Mt. Vernon Ladies' Association.

This picture is taken from the side of the house; to the right is the Potomac River.

This is the lovely view from . . .

... here, on the back veranda. Nice! I can just imagine sitting here to watch day slip into night, then watching the lightning bugs flash.

This, I believe, is flax. There is a small demonstration area with various displays about agriculture at Mt. Vernon, including heritage breed sheep and cattle, and a reconstruction of a 16-sided barn devised by Washington to thresh wheat.

I had an earnest chat with this sweet mule.

And I strolled in these lovely, lovely gardens and counted myself fortunate that I wasn't wearing period clothing in the hot and muggy June weather.

I also thought about all of the incredibly hard work it took to maintain this property back at the end of the 18th century, and I thought about the many slaves who lived and died there.

All in all, a wonderful day--there were areas on the property where I didn't encounter any other tourists (in this garden, if you can believe it) , and I could truly imagine myself transported back to another age. History--it's cool!

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