Sunday, October 4, 2009

George Washington Masonic Memorial

This is a terrific place to visit. My favorite room is the replica of Washington's lodge room, with furniture from the original, including the Master's chair, donated by Washington from the Mount Vernon library.

The photo of me in front of the Master's chair also shows the original painting of an older Washington, in his Masonic regalia. He permitted the portrait only on the condition that it would show him as he then was - wrinkles and all.

The most poignant artifact in the room is Washington's bedchamber clock. Washington rode on horse around the Mount Vernon estate in December, 1799, and took ill. The physicians were summoned, all Masons, including Dr. Elisha C. Dick, Master of the Lodge. In an effort to save the General, he was bled multiple times.

Washington died at 10:20 p.m. on Saturday, December 14, 1799. Worshipful Brother Dick cut the pendulum cord, stopping the clock.

Three days later, Martha Washington donated the clock to the lodge.