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Mount Vernon, Virginia, George Washington Mansion Home, historic photo

Mount Vernon, Virginia, George Washington Mansion Home, historic photo

An historic photo view of the Mansion Home of George Washington at Mount Vernon, Virginia. This home was originally built in 1735 as a one and half-story home by George's father, Augustine Washington. George was born in 1732 which means he was three years old when this house was originally built. When Augustine Washington died in 1743, ownership of the house passed to George's older half-brother, Lawrence. The homestead was known during these years as Little Hunting Creek. It was during the years that Lawrence Washington owned the property that the home was renamed as Mount Vernon in honor of Edward Vernon, a British Naval Officer that Lawrence had served under. After Lawrence died in 1752 at Mount Vernon, ownership of the home passed to Anne Fairfax Washington, the widow of Lawrence. Although Lawrence and Anne had four children, none lived beyond the age of four years old. As a result, after the death of Anne in 1761, ownership of the home passed to George Washington in 1762 who was now 30 years old. During the years of ownership by Anne, George had leased and managed the estate. Throughout the remainder of his life, George remodeled and expanded the house. The additions transformed the house from a one and half-story home to a two and half-story home with the north and south wings added plus the two story porch and a cupola topped with a weathervane featuring a "dove of peace." When construction was completed, the home featured twenty-one rooms with a total of just over 11,000 square feet. The Mount Vernon home is constructed of wood but was designed to appear as if it was built of stone.

Three years before becoming the owner of Mount Vernon, George Washington (nearly 27 years old) married the young and wealthy widow, Martha Dandridge Custis (age 27), on January 6, 1759. Although George and Martha had no children together, they did raise two children from Martha's previous marriage. The couple also later raised two infant grandchildren after Martha's son, John Parke Custis died in 1781.

Despite being the owner of the Mount Vernon estate for 37 years, there were often very long periods when Washington did not live at the home. Washington lived primarily at the house during the period from 1759 to 1774. He also lived here briefly during the period after the end of the Revolutionary War until he was elected to two terms as President of the United States, 1789 to 1797. After leaving the office of President in March, 1797, he lived here until his death at Mount Vernon on December 14, 1799. Originally, the plan was to bury Washington in a crypt beneath the rotunda of the United States Capitol. It was finally decided however that he should be buried in a tomb on his Mount Vernon estate. In 1837, his remains were transferred to a new tomb constructed on the Mount Vernon estate.

The Mount Vernon home and estate have been carefully preserved to appear as it did during years when Washington lived here. The home and grounds are open to the public. Visit for further information.

This photo is by Detroit Publishing Company, about 1901.

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