Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mt. Vernon

Mrs. Paco and I made a day trip to George Washington's estate in Mt. Vernon today, and had a great time. The skies were a bit overcast, and the air was cool, so we were able to walk the grounds in comfort. Like the tourists we are, we took a few pictures:

Here's a view of the front of the house. The siding is made of pine, but cunningly cut, with beveled edges, and painted with a whitewash mixed with sand, to look like stone. About 80% of the siding is original, from Washington's day.

This is the back of the house, which faces the Potomac River.

The views of the river are breathtaking.

Ah! The dung repository. I included this because it was the occasion of my learning a new word: stercorary (a covered place for keeping animal dung).

This is one of Washington's sport-model wagons.

Washington noted in his will that he wished to be buried on the grounds of his estate. This is the original tomb...

...and this is the "new" one, completed in 1831.

It was a little windy today, so Mrs. Paco had a case of wild-gypsy-woman hair.

This is a pretty brick-path leading from the small wharf back to the main house.

We couldn't take pictures inside of the house, but the place is quite impressive. The paneling in the entry-way is beautiful, and there are, I believe, nine bedrooms. The study had a magnificent glass-fronted bookcase, filled with books actually owned by Washington.

There is a museum on the premises, many interesting outbuildings, a working farm, livestock, a lovely forest trail - it's a wonderful place that is lovingly maintained as a tribute to a great American. If you're ever in the neighborhood, don't miss it.


JeffS said...

"Stercorary" must be a synonym for "Congress".

Excellent photos, Paco! Never did get to Mt. Vernon whenever I was in the area. Pity.

Paco said...

Jeff: The word is alive with possibilities!

RebeccaH said...

We visited Mount Vernon back in 1970 when we were stationed in Washington. I'd love to go back.

Yojimbo said...

I remember thinking that if that was my place I would get a few books, my pipe and a rocking chair and never leave that back veranda. The view to the Potomac was breathtaking. The only thing I don't seem to recall was that brick path.

We visited both Washington and Jefferson in one day(the view down to the UVA!). That was a lot of greatness in one day. A truly humbling experience and just an honor to be allowed to visit their residences. My God, do we need people of that stature and moral authority now.

Yojimbo said...


There are a number of others in your reasonably immediate area,Wilson and Monroe for example. Have you visited them? If you have I'm sure we would be very interested in your impressions of them.

Paco said...

Yojimbo: Mrs. Paco and I have seen very few of the interesting historical sites in and near Washington. We did go the Jefferson Memorial some years ago, which I highly recommend. Bro Paco and his wife are supposed to visit us early next year, and we're going to try and see some of the main points of interest.