“No estate in United America is more pleasantly situated than this.”- George Washington, 1790
How many people can say that they have visited the home of the first president of the United States? And how many can say that they have before they even reach high school? For Lakewood Middle School, this can be crossed off the bucket list.
As part of their 8th grade class trip to Washington DC, Lakewood students took advantage of the incredible opportunity to visit Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home and plantation. The students explored the plantation grounds, toured the mansion, saw George and Martha Washington’s tomb, walked along the Potomac, and experienced the education center exhibits.
- “Seeing the 16-sided barn”: The 16-sided, 2-story treading barn was George Washington’s invention. Straw was placed on the second floor of the barn and horses were then led to walk on the straw. The floorboards were spaced such that the head of the grain would fall to the floor below, once it was separated from the straw. Why 16-sides? Ask a Lakewood student!
- ” Looking at the animals”: Mount Vernon guests have the chance to meet many of the rare heritage animals that were bred and raised on the plantation during the 18th century. George Washington was very enthusiastic about animal husbandry and bred livestock for work as well as materials. Students saw Ossabow hogs, Hog Island lambs, oxen, mules, horses, and Dominique chickens.
- ” Watching the 4D movie”: The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center features many engaging exhibits, movies, and forensic reconstructions. A class favorite is the movie depicting the battles at Boston, Trenton, and Yorktown. The theater immerses you in the progression of the Revolutionary War. As cannons fire, the seats rumble. Snow even falls as troops cross the Delaware River. Dual screens display captivating visual effects and battle maps. What a fun way to learn!
- ” Sitting on the lawn behind the mansion”: The mansion has a sprawling back lawn with views that overlook the Potomac. Students relaxed on rocking chairs on the porch and took in the scenery before assembling for a few group pictures.
- ” Seeing George Washington’s study”: Lakewood students had the opportunity to walk the halls of the mansion(preserved in its 1799 form) and peer into the rooms. One favorite was George Washington’s study, which features his swivel chair, a fan chair, and a desk. Students were impressed to learn that George Washington was mainly self-taught. If you have yet to visit Mount Vernon, you can take a Virtual Tour!
- Photos from the Mount Vernon trip
- Mount Vernon Youtube Channel
- Homeschool Blog Post on a Mount Vernon Visit
Ready to plan your school trip? Click the button below to get started!