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1932, George Washington, & Whiskey

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Here is the Entire Article which is much longer that the excerpts that I posted.


Washington as Whiskey-Maker: Digging His Distillery

Jun 24, 7:40 am ET By Deborah Zabarenko


MOUNT VERNON, Va. (Reuters) - George Washington made whiskey here.


As America's first president and one of its canniest early entrepreneurs, Washington liked a sip of cinnamon whiskey -- and he distilled his own. More than that, he started a thriving business selling a raw, clear liquor made from rye and corn.


At its peak, the distillery produced 11,000 gallons (50,010 liters) of liquor, which fetched the then-astronomical sum of $7,500. After Washington's death late in 1799, the distillery passed to his nephew Lawrence Lewis, who appeared to have less success with it. By 1815, the building was gone.


Folks around Washington's estate at Mount Vernon always knew there was a distillery on the property when he was alive, and archaeologists uncovered its location in 1932. Now scholars are digging at the site of the liquor-making operation, hoping to learn enough to rebuild it and start making whiskey again.



What I found interesting was that the archaeologists uncovered its location in 1932, which was the 200th anniversary of Washington's birth. Of course, it is also the year that the circulating commemorative Washington quarter was issued.


Was there a big celebration at this time for his 200th birthday?


Is the date of the dig on his Mount Vernon property just coincidence or did this correspond with other events commemorating his birthday?


Was there much public fanfare for the introduction of the Washington quarter? I'm aware of the "politics" surrounding the design of the coin, but was there much public fanfare or notice about the new design? Was it just another coin design change or was there excitement among the non-coin collecting public with this change like what occurred with the State Quarters?


To me it seems like they sure circulated a lot as you can find flat ones with ease and there were no proofs minted or even some specimen strikes as far as I know. I'm kind of wondering if these coins arrived with a thud or a bang?


Anyone know where I can see pictures of the first two winning designs of this coin (the designs done by Fraser)?

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I too would like to know how the Washington quarters were introduced. Big fanfare or big yawn?


It is interesting they discovered Washington's still in 1932. Perhaps they were spiffing up Mt. Vernon and stumbled across it? 1932 was still during the Prohibition...

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I sure like the Fraser design better, but it does look VERY high relief and possibly not practical for mint usage. The obverse reminds me of the Sesquicentennial commemorative.

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Laura Gardin Fraser's design was used for the 1999 $5 Gold Washington commemorative. This coin commemorates the 200th anniversary of Washington's death, as opposed to the first coin (for which Fraser entered the design in competition), which honored the 200th anniversary of his birth.


As an interesting aside, Fraser's husband, the sculptor James Earle Fraser, designed the Buffalo nickel.




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I don't have the references for the historical information at hand, but I will share this anyway. As I understand it, there was an enormous public awareness of Washington's birth bicentennial and also of the release of the then-commemorative Washington quarter. I have read many contemporary accounts of this and was very impressed.

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Since were talking about my multi-great uncle George, I'll just dig through my big trunk here, where I keep all that neat stuff my past relatives left me. Let's see, I know it's here somewhere........what the 893whatthe.gif, must be his wooden teeth, yuk! 27_laughing.gif


Seriously, here's an article that may help.



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