Friday, November 7, 2014

Mount Vernon

On Thursday of this week we drove to the home of our first president George Washington.  It was a beautiful sunny day, consequently we had a very scenic drive there once we got off the freeway.  The parkway to the house runs through forest and marshland.  We were fortunate to see one white egret as well as two great blues standing in the shallow waters.  As we got closer to the mansion we knew we were in for trouble as there were quite a few buses in the parking lots.  We soon discovered that schoolchildren were here from around the nation, which usually happens during the fall months.  One group of middle school-aged children we talked to were from Detroit.  Fortunately our tour of the house was adults only!
Augustine Washington, the father of George Washington, built this house in 1735.  It started out as a two story house with 7 rooms.  When George inherited it from his half-brother Lawrence in 1761 he expanded the structure.  Over the next 4 decades he turned it into a 21-room residence.  There is a large expanse of lawn in front of the house, as you may note above.  George Washington liked formal landscaping, as we found out later while touring the gardens of the estate.  The bowling green was cut with scythes and smoothed with rollers to keep the grass firm and even.  After entering the house via the servants quarters we were shown into the biggest and grandest room of the mansion.  Washington called it his "New Room".  The room is quite striking with its high two-story ceiling and bright green colored wallpaper (use of bold colors was a sign of wealth back in that era).  The furnishings of this room include some original pieces of the Washington and Custis families. From the first floor we stepped outside to view the back porch of the house.
What a grand view of the Potomac River!  To get a complete idea of the entire house I will also post a view of the back porch of the mansion where it is possible to sit a spell and take in the awesome view of the river.
The second story of the house has nine bedrooms.  The Washington family had many guests, many of whom were the first statesmen of our country.  They usually came with servants and to accommodate them the house has a one-and- a- half story hall.  After seeing the mansion we walked outside to visit the reconstructed out buildings and gardens.  More on them in the next posting.

No comments:

Post a Comment