George Washington gave 2,000 acres of his Mount Vernon estate in 1799 as a wedding gift to Eleanor “Nelly’ Custis, his wife’s granddaughter, and her husband, Major Lawrence Lewis, Washington’s nephew. Their home was designed by Dr. William Thornton, first architect of the U.S. Capitol. Spacious rooms and beautifully landscaped ground and formal gardens reflect Virginia plantation life in the early 1800s. Handsome furnishings include mementos of Eleanor’s childhood at Mount Vernon and years as mistress of her own elegant mansion. Operated as a historic house museum since 1949, Woodlawn is an interesting case-study of the cultural relevance of the house museum.
Open March 1 – November 30