Stewards of Memory
The Past, Present, and Future of Historic Preservation at George Washington's Mount Vernon. Carol Borchert Cadou, Editor. Luke J. Pecoraro, Thomas A. Reinhart, Contributors. ISBN 978-0-8139-4152-3. Softcover 280 pages. November 14, 2018.
Mount Vernon, despite its importance as the estate of George Washington, is subject to the same threats of time as any property and has required considerable resources and organization to endure as a historic site and house. This book provides a window into the broad scope of preservation work undertaken at Mount Vernon over the course of more than 160 years and places this work within the context of America's regional and national preservation efforts. It was at Mount Vernon, beginning with efforts in 1853, that the American tradition of historic preservation truly took hold. As the nation's oldest historic house museum, Mount Vernon offers a unique opportunity to chronicle preservation challenges and successes over time as well as to forecast those of the future.
Stewards of Memory features essays by senior scholars who helped define American historic preservation in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, including Carl R. Lounsbury, George W. McDaniel, and Carter L. Hudgins. Their contributions--complemented by those of Scott E. Casper, Lydia Mattice Brandt, and Mount Vernon's own preservation scholars--offer insights into the changing nature of the field. The multifaceted story told here will be invaluable to students of historic preservation, historic site professionals, specialists in the preservation field, and any reader with an interest in American historic preservation and Mount Vernon. Support provided by the David Bruce Smith Book Fund and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon.