After returning home from nine long years at war, General George Washington was eager to complete Mount Vernon's cupola. He commissioned architect Joseph Rakestraw to construct a weathervane with a Dove of Peace to crown it. "I should like to have a bird (in place of the Vain) with an olive branch in its Mouth..." When it arrived in August of 1787, Washington was in Philadelphia and quite concerned about its installation in his absence. He wrote to his secretary/nephew: "Great pains...must be taken to fix the points truly; otherwise they will deceive rather than direct-(if they vary from the North, South, East, and West)-one way of doing this may be by my Compass being placed in a direct North line on the ground at some distance from the House". Our interpretation of Mount Vernon's Dove of Peace weathervane is hand cast in the United States from rust-free, recycled aluminum, with a gilded, weather-resistant finish. It stands 30" tall, the dove is 12" high by 15" long, and is fully functional.
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