Presentation on theme: "George Washingtons Mount Vernon. Situated on the bank of the Potomac River, Mount Vernon was the home of Georges older brother Lawrence. Eventually George."— Presentation transcript:
Situated on the bank of the Potomac River, Mount Vernon was the home of Georges older brother Lawrence. Eventually George would inherit Mount Vernon. Over the years, George would increase the acreage to 8,000 acres, double the size of the mansion, and add a variety of outbuildings to support the various businesses developed at Mount Vernon. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
Though he was called away from his home for much of his life, George Washington was a serious farmer who directed the running of his plantation even when away. He strove to make Mount Vernon a model of new, science-based agriculture in order to benefit other farmers. Washington experimented with crops and fertilizers and continually sought the best innovations. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
As a businessman, he took advantage of the opportunities provided by his environment, eventually running flourishing fisheries, a gristmill, and the largest distillery in the country. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
The five farms on Mount Vernon were worked by slaves who lived in cabins at each farm site. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
Early in his farming career Washington realized that raising tobacco would not be profitable. He switched to wheat as the main cash crop at Mount Vernon. Ever the good steward of the land, he experimented with crop rotationa very innovative practice at that time. Crops included corn, wheat, tobacco, beans, and winter wheat. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
Treading Barn One of Washingtons innovations was the treading barn that he designed. The floor on the second story of the sixteen-sided barn was made of wood slats with spaces between them. Wheat was spread over the floor and a team of horses walked round and round over the wheat. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
Inside the Treading Barn George Washingtons Mount Vernon A team of horses would trample the wheat to separate the wheat grain from the chaff.
Inside the Treading Barn George Washingtons Mount Vernon The spaces between the floor slats would allow the grain to drop through to the first floor below.
Inside the Treading Barn George Washingtons Mount Vernon The wheat grains that dropped through the slats in the floor above were gathered to be sent to the grist mill. This method resulted in less waste or loss of grain than traditional threshing methods.
George Washingtons Mount Vernon The King of Spain gave Washington a mule, which Washington named "Royal Gift." Convinced that mules made stronger draft animals than horses or donkeys, he began a breeding program for mules and enthusiastically introduced the breed to American farmers. Royal Gift
George Washingtons Mount Vernon An early proponent of sustainable agriculture, Washington built a "repository for dung," in which manure and other organic matter were composted to enrich the soil of his gardens and fields. Repository for Dung
Fishery Fish was an important part of the Mount Vernon diet. Every spring when the fish would run up the Potomac, all other work on the farm would stop, and everyone would work to catch and preserve the fish needed for the year. Great seining nets were stretched across the river to catch herring and shad. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
Washington chose to do the bulk of his fishing during April and May at several spots along the Potomac when the herring and shad spawn. The catch brought in by the huge nets was salted to preserve as provisions for slaves as well as to sell if there was a surplus. According to documents, twenty salted herring were given to each slave every month. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
Grist Mill As president, one of George Washingtons duties was to approve patents for new inventions. One invention that crossed his desk was for a mill design. Washington immediately recognized the innovations of the design, and contracted with the designer to build such a mill at Mount Vernon. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
Grist Mill George Washington erected a large stone gristmill in 1771 to increase production of flour and cornmeal and to be able to export high quality flour to the West Indies, England, and Europe. Cornmeal was also an important staple at Mount Vernon, and it was used to feed family, guests, and slaves. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
Distillery In 1797, Washington's Scottish farm manager James Anderson encouraged him to build a whiskey distillery adjacent to the gristmill. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
Distillery The distillery was the largest in America, producing 11,000 gallons of whiskey in 1799, making it one of the most successful economic enterprises at Mount Vernon. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
Distillery Today Mount Vernon Distillery produces one batch of whiskey each year. Whiskey produced at the Distillery is available for sale at the Gristmill Shop and the Shops at Mount Vernon. Since it is limited stock, it sells out very quickly. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
The Mansion After inheriting Mount Vernon, Washington worked to enlarge the mansion to create a home fitting for a country gentleman. The original farm house was expanded by adding a third floor and two wingsall designed by Washington himself. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
The Mansion The piazza, also designed by Washington, overlooked the Potomac and provided an excellent space for the Washingtons to entertain their many guests. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
The Mansion The Washingtons entertained hundreds of guests each year. The formal dining room was the largest room in the mansion. Washington specified the design and décor of the room to reflect the understated elegance of a well-to-do country gentleman. The green color on the walls would have been a very expensive paint due to the use of copper in the paint to help reflect light. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
The Mansion George and Marthas bedroom was in a private wing of the mansion. It was the only room in the mansion that was decorated by Martha. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
The Mansion George Washingtons study was a room where he housed his private library. He spent time in his study reading, writing, and making plans for Mount Vernon. Washington was a life-long learner who sought out books on all subjects. In addition to reading, he exchanged letters with the best thinkers of the time to share and explore new ideas. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
The Greenhouse Washington designed this greenhouse which he stocked with exotic plants which he collected and traded for with friends and acquaintances. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
The Gardens The various gardens on Mount Vernon were also designed by Washington. There were the upper and lower gardens as well as a fruit garden and nursery which provided the fruits and vegetables for the kitchen as well as the seed needed to plant the crops on the farms. George Washingtons Mount Vernon
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