George Washington's Tavern!

George Washington's Tavern!
George Washington's Tavern!

Alcohol was said to be much safer than water in 1700’s America, or maybe it was just an excuse for a good time. George Washington was thought to be the largest distiller of whiskey during the late 1700s and by 1798, his distillery at Mount Vernon produced 11,000 gallons annually at a profit of $7,500 - a huge amount of money in that century.

Even though our first President has always seemed to be a bit sedate, he did enjoy the camaraderie of the tavern. In the late 1700s, a tavern was where a group of friends would meet, drink their spirits or punch, then “clubbed” the total cost and split it equally between them.

This historic, colonial-style home was originally a tavern in Alexandria where George would stop and have a few drinks with his friends on his way back to Mt. Vernon from what is now Washington D.C. The President kept detailed records of his “club” spending in a ledger where he wrote down the name of the tavern, what he had to drink and the names of friends with whom he shared the pleasure.

Locals say that this home was originally built in 1780 as Spring Gardens Tavern, and it is located on the likely route from Washington D.C. to Mt. Vernon. Legend has it that George spent his last July 4th here where he watched the local militia parade. Today, it is a beautiful red brick home with green shutters, a white picket fence, gleaming wood floors and lots of white woodwork, molding and cabinets in the historic Old Town neighborhood. It is the type of place where you can feel warmth of the past - even while checking your iPhone messages.

The home is 4,296 square feet with 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms plus new guest and game rooms that is connected by an enclosed, elevated walkway. Original elements of the home are evident such as parts of the original brick walls and the exposed beams in the kitchen. The house has been brought completely up-to-date with detailed restoration and today's technology.

The home's gardens are extensive and the property is a bit over a half acre, which is hard to find in Old Town. There is a pool, a small pond, extensive landscaping and lots of brick and flagstone paths. We don't know if George ever slept here, but it is fun to think that he was here on his final 4th of July with good friends. Asking price is $4.2 million.

More info: sothebysrealty.com