After leaving the presidency in 1797, George Washington retreated to his Mount Vernon estate and hired a new plantation manager from Scotland named James Anderson. With the plentiful crops, gristmill, and creek running through the property, Anderson saw a prime opportunity for whiskey production. His know-how combined with the booming whiskey market convinced Washington to proceed with the operation, building a still house along with a small malt house near the creek.
This copper still reproduction was created in collaboration with Mount Vernon, and represents the type of still that would have been used at Washington’s distillery. There were a total of five stills in the still house, and in 1799 it was recorded that over 80 transactions are noted for a total sale of 10,942 gallons of whiskey, valued at $7,674.