Attractions/Accommodations in Fairfax County, Virginia

These links provide information for attractions and accommodations in sections of Fairfax County:

The Mount Vernon gristmill and distillery are near Richmond Highway (U. S. Route 1) and 2.7 miles from the main entrance to the Mount Vernon estate.

George Washington’s gristmill and distillery are at 5514 Mount Vernon Highway Alexandria, Virginia 22309. Tours are available from April 1st to October 31st between 10 a. m. and 5 p. m.

In 1771, the original gristmill at Mount Vernon was built at Dogue Run Farm. The Mount Vernon gristmill supplied Continental Europe, England, and the West Indies with high quality flour during the oversight of the plantation by George Washington. In 1791, the mill was automated after President George Washington reviewed and approved a patent application by Oliver Evans for a mechanical processing design submitted to the United States Patent Office. The “Evans Process” was granted patent #3 which allowed the Dogue Run Farm gristmill to process between 5,000 to 8,000 pounds of flour and cornmeal a day. Through this automation, the Dogue Run Farm milling operation became one of the most profitable in America before George Washington’s death in 1799. In 1797, the gristmill processed 178,000 pounds of corn and 275,000 pounds of wheat. The surplus product was sold to merchants in Alexandria and Fredericksburg. Potomac River shipments from Mount Vernon reached England, Jamaica, and Portugal. The original structure was eventually abandoned and later razed in 1850.

The Dogue Run Farm gristmill and distillery at Mount Vernon in Fairfax County.

This Virginia Department of Historic Resources historical highway marker titled ‘George Washington’s Gristmill’ outlines the facts which led to the listing on the National Register of Historic Places and Virginia Landmarks Register. The Dogue Run Farm distillery is adjacent to the gristmill.

In 2007, after 9 years of archaeological study, a replica of the original whiskey distillery building was completed by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. George Washington opened the original distillery in 1797. It was the largest distillery in America when it began producing liquor. By 1799, it was producing 11,000 gallons of whiskey. Most of this high quality product was purchased by merchants in Alexandria, Virginia. The distillery consisted of 5 copper stills, and 50 oak mash tubs holding 120 gallons of product which was processed at the gristmill then carried to the distillery. The finished liquor was then poured into 31 gallon barrels and sold immediately to nearby merchants and neighbors. George Washington’s original Mount Vernon distillery was last known to produce spirits in 1808. It was destroyed by fire in 1814.

The Mount Vernon distillery was reproduced from the same foundation as the original distillery built in 1797.

This is the Dogue Run Farm Distillery at Mount Vernon. George Washington began commercial distilling after his Scottish farm manager, James Anderson, an experienced whiskey maker, convinced him Mount Vernon could have a very profitable distillery operation next to the gristmill. He convinced George Washington that the abundance of barley, corn, rye, and wheat, combined with the large merchant gristmill and water supply created the perfect place for a large commercial distillery. The Dogue Run Farm distillery was built almost three times larger than competing commercial distilleries during that time.

The current distillery at Dogue Run Farm produces liquor twice a year, selling it to guests at the Inn at Mount Vernon, and visitors at the Shops at Mount Vernon. In 2014, the Mount Vernon distillery produced and sold 1,145 bottles of rye whiskey at $98.00 per bottle, 106 bottles of 2 year aged rye whiskey at $188.00 per bottle, 451 bottles of Peach Brandy Eau de vieat $155.00 per bottle, 400 bottles of apple brandy at $155.00 per bottle, and 400 bottles of peach brandy at $155.00 per bottle. needless to say these are very high prices compared to the present high quality whiskey from Kentucky.

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