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Washington | Martha | Mount Vernon | Military/Government

Mount Vernon, Virginia

Q: Did George Washington build Mount Vernon?
A: No. It was built by Lawrence Washington, George Washington's elder half-brother, or by his father for him. George Washington added to and remodeled it.

Q: When did Washington come into possession of Mount Vernon?
A: Mount Vernon was left to Lawrence Washington's infant daughter Sarah with his widow retaining a life interest in the property. At Sarah's death in 1754, George Washington leased the life rights from Lawrence's widow until her death in 1761 when he inherited it under the terms of his half-brother's will. Read the Lease of Mount Vernon, 17 December 1754.

Q: How did Mount Vernon get its name?
A: Mount Vernon was named after a British Admiral, Edward Vernon, under whom Lawrence Washington served in 1740 in the Cartagena Expedition.

Q: What are the dimensions of Mount Vernon?
A: The house is 96 ft. long and 30 ft. deep. The porch columns are about 20 ft. high and 16 in. square. There is a porch or piazza on the side that overlooks the Potomac River, which is the east front of the house. Take a cyber-tour of the Mount Vernon mansion or the grounds of the estate. (hosted by Mount Vernon)

Q: Into how many farms was the Mount Vernon estate divided and what were the names?
A: The Mount Vernon estate was divided into five farms. The names were as follows: The Mansion House, or Home Farm; River Farm; Union Farm; Dogue Run Farm; Muddy Hole Farm.

Q: Is the mansion at Mount Vernon built of wood or stone?
A: Mount Vernon is of frame construction, and the sheathing is beveled and covered with a mixture of paint and sand to give the appearance of stone.

Q: Who owns Mount Vernon now?
A: The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union took over Mount Vernon on February 22, 1860. Since that time this patriotic organization has managed the establishment, exerting every effort to maintain its beauty and charm in its original form. The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union bought the estate from John Augustine Washington in 1858 for $200,000. This John Augustine was a great-grandson of George Washington's brother John Augustine.

Q: What grains besides wheat did Washington raise?
A: Washington raised corn, oats, barley, rye and buckwheat. Washington also cultivated hay crops, including alfafa, as well as common vegetables. Washington substituted wheat for tobacco as his chief crop.

Q: What is the inscription on Washington's tomb at Mount Vernon?
A: "WITHIN THIS ENCLOSURE REST THE REMAINS OF GENL. GEORGE WASHINGTON." Over the door of the inner tomb is inscribed: "I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE."

Washington | Martha | Mount Vernon | Military/Government


Questions and Answers taken from: History of the George Washington Bicentennial Celebration, Volume II, Literature Series (Washington, D.C.: George Washington Bicentennial Commission, 1932), 643-688. (unless otherwise noted)