Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mt Vernon

I was very lucky to attend a meeting at the Mt Vernon Estate. I have lived here for 13 years and have only been to Mt Vernon on two other occasions.

Just think this beautiful historical landmark is living proof the power women have… even when we didn’t even have the right to vote. When the heirs of George Washington were ready to sell the government said no thank you. It was a woman who pleaded to her fellow patriotic ladies to help preserve this site for generations to come. Women across the United States sent in pennies, nickels and dimes and contributed enough to purchase the site. The organizing group is still restoring and preserving the site for us to see.

After our informative meeting we were able to take a tour of this beautiful estate. The organizer had arranged for us to go on what is being called the “National Treasure” tour. The tour is named for the Disney movie which used the site. The tour includes the basement, the ice house and a few other spots not included in any of the other tours. Our animated tour guide told us of the history of Mt Vernon along with the tidbits from the making of the film. Luckily the price of the ticket also includes a tour of the house too if you hadn’t had your fill of history.

In the basement is the original corner stone of the original foundation. George Washington extended the house on both sides so it is now nearly in the middle. There are no secret passages ways to any tunnels but there are well maintained brick lined sections ready to store the next season’s crops.

The Ice House does have a quite long tunnel from the river to its deep pit. It was a major undertaking to just haul it into this pit. When you stand below the opening of the tunnel by the river you have a hard time imagining them cutting the ice from the river, dragging and lifting it up the hill, pushing it down into the tunnel and then finally stopping it down to pack it tight. All that work for ice you could not eat but could be used to make ice cream and other treats.

Since Mt Vernon was a dairy farm it had its own creamery.

One of the other treasures hidden from the general public view is a 1938 Ford fire engine given to the Mt Vernon fire department by Mr. Ford himself. The barrels of around the car are whiskey aging to be sold in the gift shop.

After the National Treasure tour I did go through the house tour. And got to see my dream kitchen: so spacious and light.

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