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Mount Vernon

Mansion and outer buildings

Picture 24 of 69

Mansion and outer buildings

The original building was a two-story structure that constituted the center of the mansion, defined by the two fireplace chimmenys. From 1759 through 1774, a third floor was added to the structure. The outer wings and cupola were added to the building from 1775 through 1778.

The outer building on the left was the Servant's Hall. Built in 1775, this prominently located building was used primarily to house the servants of visitors to Mount Vernon. George Washington once remarked that his home was similar to "a well resorted tavern". In the year 1798 alone, the Washington's had 677 overnight guests. The Servant's hall was larger than 77% of the houses lived in by Virginia planters of the period. That such a large and well appointed structure could be reserved only for the occasional use of visiting servants is remarkable, and testifies to the Washingtons' wealth and social prominence. In at least once instance the structure served a different purpose, when William Pierce, the plantation manager, and his family, resided here for several years.

The outer building to the right was the kitchen, the most technologically advanced kitchen in colonial Virginia.

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