July 25, 2011

7/23/11 – George Washington’s Birthplace NM

This National Monument is only a few miles from the campground where we’re staying near Colonial Beach, VA.  There’s a big monument that looks like the Washington Monument in the center of a traffic circle near the entrance.   We drove on down to the Visitors Center where we learned we weren’t going to see the house where he was born, not even a replica of it--because they don’t know what it looked like. 

George Washington lived at Popes Creek until he was almost 4, when the family moved to another tract on the upper Potomac (later named Mount Vernon).  The house where he was born burned down in 1779.
 In 1896, the Army Corps of Engineers erected a granite obelisk (1/10 the size of the Washington Monument in DC) where they thought the house was located.  In 1930 the property became a national monument, and as a living memorial, they built a Colonial Revival-style house, furnished it  (and moved the obelisk).  They built a Colonial Kitchen and Colonial Garden, and later added a Colonial Farm, complete with heirloom animals.  In 1936, they found the actual foundation of the original house—after the archeology drill, they covered it up and it’s marked off.   


We watched the movie and then went out to the Memorial House to meet the ranger there.  We chatted with her for quite a long time and she gave us some interesting genealogy of the Washington family.  The rooms furnished with 18th century antiques.  Hottest day of the year and the power went off, along with the air conditioning!

We wandered over and checked out the blacksmith shop, and then the animals.  They had some big red heirloom dairy cattle, which probably made great oxen.  We couldn’t see the sheep very well, but there were lots of Ossabaw pigs, including 2 piglets—they’re for sale if you’re so inclined.  George won’t let me have any pets on this trip, so we said out goodbyes. 
We stopped back at the Gift Shop and bought Molasses Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches.  Yum!  Since the power was off, the clerk could only take payment by credit card, and then had to write up a slip manually.  I’m sure we’ll get charged for it in due time.   J   

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