Scenic USA - Virginia

Dogue Run Mill

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George Washington's Grist Mill on Dogue Run - Virginia

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Mount Vernon, George Washington's plantation home from 1754 to 1799, has captured the essence of the private life of first President of the United States. Dogue Run Mill Here along the winding George Washington Memorial Parkway, visitors to Alexandria will not only find the iconic Mount Vernon, but will also the chance to see Washington's Dogue Run Creek Mill and Distillery just a three miles away.
     The grist mill property was part of the Mount Vernon Estate which Washington inherited from his half-brother, Lawrence. Washington stepped up the operation, selling cornmeal and wheat flour up and down the eastern coast of America, and as far away as the West Indies. Washington was also one of the first millers to install an automated milling system patented by Oliver Evans. Today, the Dogue Run Creek Mill is the only grist mill site in America to operate the Evans System.
     By the mid 1760s, Washington switched his main cash crop to wheat. Here in Virginia, a wheat crop could be planted twice a year. Practicing crop rotation, using soil enhancers and new farming implements, Washington's 8000 acre plantation quickly achieved economic success. George Washington's Distillery - The distillery was the largest in America, producing 11,000 gallons of whiskey in 1799, making it one of the most successful economic enterprises at Mount Vernon. Hoping to utilize his excess grain, Washington built a distillery. The 2250 square foot distillery was one of the largest structures of its kind during the 18th century. Foundation stones were brought in from an area around the Great Falls of the Potomac. It's also known that wall stones, made of sandstone, were quarried on the Mount Vernon property. Recent archaeological work on the property identified the remains of five copper stills. The Mount Vernon Director of Preservation is confident that today's reconstructed grist mill and distillery closely resemble Washington's operation.
     Today, the distillery is once again turning out Virginia rye whiskey. The whiskey is available for purchase at both the Mount Vernon Estate and the grist mill site.

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