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"Under the shadow of my own vine: the Mount Vernon community" is a pen and ink drawing by Nathaniel Lee, who grew up near the Mount Vernon neighborhood.  This hand-drawn map of the greater Route 1 area blends both modern and historic landmarks to better orient folks around the centuries of history hidden just under the surface of today's residential community.  The Mount Vernon magisterial district pictured here extends from Interstate 495 in the north along Richmond Highway past the U.S. Army base at Fort Belvoir in the south.


Insipired by the works for the Waterford, Virginia mapmaker Eugene M. Scheel, this artwork features nine architecturally prominent churches and houses of the area's past along with their poignant stories.  The goal of the artist is to help folks better appreciate the history that they are driving past every day, if only they would slow down to look and appreciate the roots of a community that extends back to the colonial days.  It can still be found if one looks in the right places.


The nine featured sites in this drawing include the following:


WELLINGTON HOUSE -- Now the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society, this home was built sometime before 1760 by William Clifton.  The home would later serve Tobias Lear, George Washington's secretary and tutor to Nellie Custis.  The home entered the natinal spotlight in 1971, when the Soviet Union was blocked from purchasing the house to use as an embassy retreat.


BETHLEHEM BAPTIST CHURCH -- In 1863, the young reverend Samuel Taylor ran away from his life of slavery in Caroline County and founded this church in Gum Springs.  As the center of this free black community, it helped form organizations like the school and the Joint Stock Club, to transform the area into a vibrant community today.


MOUNT VERNON SLAVES MEMORIAL -- Built in 1983, this site memorializes the hundreds of slaves who lived and died at Mount Vernon and its surrounding farms.  Descendants of these men and women would go on to form vibrant communities nearby at Gum Springs, Laurel Grove, Quander Road and Woodlawn.


MOUNT VERNON MANSION -- George Washington became the proprietor of Mount Vernon in 1754, and through a series of remodelings finished in 1787, transformed the simple farmhouse builtby his father.  Falling into disrepair following the death of George Washington in 1799, it was rescued by Ann Cunningham and the Mount Vernon Ladies Association in 1858, who slowly restored it to its former glory.


WOODLAWN MANSION -- This home was built in 1805, six years after the death of George Washington, who was responsible for the selection of this site.  The home was built for his nephew and foster granddaughter, Lawrence and Nellie Custis Lewis.


BELVOIR ESTATE -- Built in 1736, the name translates from French as "beautiful to see".  George Washington would fondly remember it as one of the most beautiful seats on the river and spent many happy days here with Colonel William Fairfax.  The home would burn in 1783 and be demolished by the British in 1814.


FLAGLER HALL -- The U.S. Army's presence on the Belvoir peninsula dates back to 1910 when engineers used the area for training.  A flurry of construction occurred during the first and second World Wars transforming rural Camp Humphreys into a city unto itself, Fort belvoir.  Built in 1932, Flagler Hall was built as the fort hospital.


ACCOTINK SCHOOLHOUSE -- Opened in 1877, this school was located on the second floor of neighboring Accotink Methodist Church until this building was completed in 1884.  It was closed in 1925 when the county consolidated schoolhouses, and the children went to Potter's Hill two miles north.


HUNTLEY MANOR -- Thomson F. Mason built this Federal-style villa in 1825 as a summer retreat in Alexandria.  Mason was a lawyer of prominence, four-term mayor, and grandson of George Mason of Gunston Hall.  Over 1,500 acres, including much of the original estate, is a protected wetland.



Mt. Vernon: Then and Now (16"x24")

SKU: MTV1624
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