Hello educational travelers!

I’m back again with another guest blog post from Jeff Stabins on Mount Vernon.


Teachers planning an educational tour to Washington D.C. should plan a visit to the plantation home of the man for whom the capital city is named.  Mount Vernon is located on the banks of the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia, near Alexandria, and just a short drive from Washington, itself.  A young George Washington inherited about five hundred acres on which he constructed a magnificent home of wood which would remain his country retreat from 1761 until his death in 1799, a period which included the Revolutionary War and two terms as our first President.

Mount Vernon declined over the first half of the nineteenth century, but was saved from ruin by a philanthropic organization called the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association that purchased it in 1858, who helped to protect it during the calamitous Civil War, and finally restore it to its former glory.  Student tour groups will note that it was then designated as a national historic landmark in 1960 and is today listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This should be reason enough to be worthy of a few hours’ time on your educational student tour to Washington D.C.

The main house at Mount Vernon is flanked on both sides by massive, single story wings which housed the kitchen on the south and servants’ quarters on the north. Colonnades connect the three buildings and form a semi-circle of tasteful elegance.  The living quarters of George and Martha have been restored to their original appearance. Today student travelers get to see Washington’s private study, a privilege almost no one was allowed when he and Martha were alive.  In contrast, the grand dining room with its large window was where the President received his many admirers at public receptions.  It, too, is a part of every tour.  The gardens and grounds around Mount Vernon contain English boxwoods planted by George Washington, himself.  Educational tours can complete their excursion with a visit to the Washington family mausoleum that contains the tombs of the father of our country and his beloved, Martha, our very first First Lady.

Until next time,