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Mount Vernon (plantation)
Mount Vernon was the home of George Washington. Built of wood in
neoclassical Georgian style, the estate is located in Alexandria, Virginia
on the banks of the Potomac River.
The original home was built in 1743 by Washington's half-brother, Lawrence
Washington (although some sources credit Lawrence's father Augustine) and
was named in honor of Admiral Edward Vernon under whom Lawrence served in
mid 18th century British campaigns against the Spanish in the West Indies.
However, George was responsible for a great number of additions and
improvements to the structures.
George inherited the estate in 1752. From 1759 until the American
Revolutionary War, Washington, who at the time aspired to become a prominent
agriculturist, operated the estate as five separate farms. Washington took a
scientific approach to farming and kept extensive and meticulous records of
both labor and results.
Following his service in the war, Washington returned to Mount Vernon and in
1785-1786 spent a great deal of effort in improving the landscaping of the estate.
It is estimated that during his terms as US President (1789-1797) Washington
spent 434 days in residence at Mount Vernon. After his presidency,
Washington tended repairs to the buildings, socializing, and further
Mount Vernon is also well known for its exceptional landscaping and
ancillary buildings. The remains of George and Martha Washington, as well as
other family members, are entombed on the grounds.
In 1860, Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union acquired the mansion
and a portion of the land for US $200,000, rescuing it from a state of
disrepair and neglect. The mansion has been restored, complete with period
furniture and fixings, and today serves as a popular tourist attraction.