Saturday, August 10, 2013

In the footsteps of Presidents: George Washington's Birthplace

Continuing on our National Parks venture, we decided to stop at George Washington's birthplace.  We've driven past the sign to and from Delaware many times. We had mulled over several different stops, like Ford's Theater (continuing with the life of Lincoln) and Petersburg,  but it came down to a. not wanting to go into DC and b. we left to late.  So  George it was.  

We started at the Visitor's Center and picked up Brant's Junior Ranger booklet (and got our Passport stamped).

They had a fun kid's corner that Brant explored

Henry has always loved books and enjoyed turning the pages of the passport while brother worked on his booklet.

On the trail to the home. My Elon boys

Beautiful Potomac

Just precious!

The home of George Washington actually burned to the ground on Christmas eve, many years after he lived there.  The original foundation is marked out, but a new home was built in what they believe the style would have been.  While there are only a few pieces owned by the Washington family there, it was nice to explore what life would have been like, while being able to touch and sit on things.

This bed and the cradle are from the Washington family.  After the home burned, they rebuilt in the woods nearby. The ranger couldn't tell us where, because the descendents still live there. 

A wine bottle, looking like a pottery Hershey's kiss, and a tea table were the only other Washington family heirlooms.  The furniture was all antique and appropriate to the period, however.   One of the interesting things were the painted tiles surrounding the fire place.  Painted with images from the Bible, it's how mothers instructed their children in Bible lessons.  Perhaps, at the hearth, little George learned to never tell a lie.

We headed upstairs to see the rest of the rooms.  Consisting of 4 nice sized bedrooms, the lack of amenities impressed Brant.
The children's room...and a lesson on chamber pots

Heading back downstairs, the ranger allowed Brant to explore the harpsichord.  Where a piano is struck, the keys pluck the strings.

Henry had been eyeing a little stool by the door since we came in, and decided to sit on it during the music lesson.

Soon, we headed out to check out the kitchen and the working farm.

The home, to the left, the kitchen to the right. 
 We enjoyed watching the blacksmiths at their crafts/

Fashioning a nail, which he gave to Brant. 

The replica monument in the background of the beautiful Virginia farmland

A rare photo opportunity

watching brother work on his book to earn his badge. 
 There were several oxen and calves in the field nearest us.

Blurry, but so sweet

A great trip, and more footsteps to follow.  Rather LARGE one' Washington was a big man, rumored to have thrown a coin across the Rappahannok and to have bent a horseshoe barehanded.  Not to mention forging a country based of life, liberty and the persuit of happiness!

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