George Washington’s Historic Mount Vernon


(birds chirping) – [Man] There’s a certain
magic here at Mount Vernon. (soft music) The rest of the world
doesn’t really exist. (sheep baaing) – [Woman] Mount Vernon has
always been a symbol of America. Washington as the embodiment
of the early American Republic, as the ideals of its founders. And you just think wow! This is what Washington saw. This is where Washington walked. – [Man] The thing that
I think is most special about George Washington and something that we can all learn from,
especially young people, is that he didn’t start out great. He started out with
incredible humble beginnings. You don’t have to start out great. We can all become a George
Washington in our own lifetime. You just have to have the dedication and say I’m gonna do this. – [Woman] Preservation
means presenting the estate as nearly as possible to the way it looked in George Washington’s time. And that means assembling all the best evidence that we have. – ‘Cause ultimately if you
don’t preserve things properly, and with the right tools and techniques, people visit something and see it as it wasn’t, not as it was. – It’s so important to
preserve our history. Appreciation, respect, learning, from past successes and failures. Learning of the sacrifice
that men and women have made for us to come this far. (soft upbeat music) – So we work really closely with everybody here at Mount Vernon. My work can be found all over. Everywhere from the slave quarters, to the mansion house, to
our pioneer farm site. Even the grist mill and distillery. If it’s made out of iron and steel and we need it here at Mount Vernon, it’s made in this blacksmith shop today. – [Man] Archeology is
really the story of us when you get down to it. Decisions that humans make
on a day to day basis. Decisions that George Washington made. Decisions that his plantation owners made. Decisions that the
enslaved population made. – [Woman] Our main goal here
in the livestock department, is to educate as many folks as we can about his farming methods
and the importance of livestock in Colonial times. – [Woman] My primary job is to help with the physical care and preservation of all of the objects in the collection. And we have to make sure
that we care for them in the best possible way. – I think I have a great responsibility to make sure that we preserve those things and help preserve them the way
he would’ve preserved them. – [Man] We’ve been doing preservation work for over 150 years here at Mount Vernon. Cataloging it, preserving it,
so the collection is essential to all the preservation
work that we do here. – [Man] If you don’t
have the right craftsman that’s another thing that I think these sites really help preserve. It’s not just the buildings,
but the way to restore things. The tools and the methods to recreate. (soft music) – There’s always more to learn. No matter how much time
people have spent documenting. Over the decades there’s always something new that’s uncovered. Taking a very careful approach and reexamining what other
people have already noticed. And then bringing fresh
eyes to it and looking at it to see if there’s something
else that we can learn. – [Man] The future of Mount Vernon to me is exactly what we’re doing right now so that the next generation that comes in can continue this amazing effort that the Ladies Association
started back in 1858. – My favorite moment is absolutely talking to the young kids. When they see that fire and it’s something that they didn’t even know existed before. The fascination, the questions I get. That’s the best part of it for me. – Now I want to pay it forward. I want to do what my
music teacher did for me. I wanna instill and encourage
children to share the history of our country and the
history of George Washington. – [Man] I hope they feel
how important it is to us. And how important it is to all of America to see what we’re doing here. The mission, how we’re trying to educate. How we’re trying to take care of, just this national landmark. – [Woman] Mount Vernon remains a shrine that people come and visit
because it has meaning to them to go back to the touchstone
of the founding of America. – [Man] You know we don’t know
everything about Washington. Stories that are yet untold. There are facts that
still have to be revealed. We are proving it, year by year by year. It’s a rare person who doesn’t walk away from the experience of
Mount Vernon believing.

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