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IPFS News Link • Founding Fathers

Perfectly Preserved 250-Year-Old Cherries Found in George Washington's Cellar at Mount Vernon

• By Good News Network

The five storage pits buried in the dirt under Mount Vernon included 29 intact bottles of perfectly preserved cherries, a fruit associated with America's first president who was touted as telling the truth after he cut down a cherry tree.

Workers discovered the stash amidst an ongoing renovation of Washington's manor to repair sections of the framing and masonry.

"Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine this spectacular archaeological discovery," said Mount Vernon President & CEO Doug Bradburn. "We were ecstatic."

"To our knowledge, this is an unprecedented find and nothing of this scale and significance has ever been excavated in North America."

The contents of each bottle, some of which contained berries like currants, have been carefully extracted and refrigerated at Mount Vernon, and will undergo scientific analysis. The bottles are slowly drying in the Mount Vernon archaeology lab, so will be sent off-site for conservation. 

"These artifacts likely haven't seen the light of day since before the American Revolution, perhaps forgotten when George Washington departed Mount Vernon to take command of the Continental Army."

Mount Vernon Principal Archaeologist Jason Boroughs said the extraordinary discovery "continues to astonish us."