I visited this site in 1994. It was a very historical and informative site. Artifacts from the home and farm were unique and well preserved. I think the site ties into being a world heritage site because of the documents and artifacts that corresponded to the relationship our 1st president had with the French government. The education I received about that aspect of this country's early years came alive at this visit.
Date posted: November 2009 Els Slots (The Netherlands):
George Washington is a (or The) National Hero in the United States. His estate Mount Vernon now features on the USA's updated Tentative List. "We had to look at the site itself regardless of Washington," says one of the persons responsible for the nomination document.
For the casual visitor it's not easy to get around George Washington and the story of his life. This is a very popular spot for school trips, and there were already plenty of noisy children around when I arrived at 8.30 am on a Monday morning.
Washington bought the estate in 1754 and expanded it in the following years. Visitors are herded through the fairly modest main house. I wouldn't call it tastefully decorated; one of the rooms is even painted bright green. In each room there is a lady present of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association to tell some simple anecdotes to the passing tourists. At the sight of five guest rooms it is noted that the Washingtons received up to 667 visitors staying overnight during the first year he was President!
The interior may not be very luxurious, the man did have a lovely veranda overlooking the broad Potomac River.
If it's not the life and works of George Washington, what element of international significance will make this site into a WHS? Is it the 18th century plantation layout? Or the innovative agricultural techniques used? Surely a walk in the pleasant gardens and a visit to the farm are worth an hour or two. However, many of the current buildings (like the 16-sided barn and the slave cabin) are reconstructions, a fact that will not amuse the advisory bodies or the WHC.
Date posted: April 2009
Have you been to Mount Vernon? Share your experiences!