Gunston Hall

Intermediate Hearth Cooking
Sunday, October 29, 2017
10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Intermediate Hearth CookingJoin us in the hearth kitchen at Gunston Hall for the ultimate experience in slow food as you learn to employ 18th-century cooking techniques and recipes to create period dishes.  Use your hearth skills to investigate complex recipes while cooking over an open flame, take a tour of the house and meet other food enthusiasts.

Pre-requisite: Beginning Hearth Cooking experience strongly recommended.

The class is a one-day session from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on each weekend day.  Registration includes all materials and lunch. Please plan to wear clothing made from natural fibers, as you will be around open flame.  These include cotton, linen, and wool.  Stay away from garments containing polyester, nylon, acrylic, or lycra.

Registration for Intermediate Hearth Cooking: $125 non-member, $100 Friends of Gunston Hall

Two Day Registration for Beginner and Intermediate: $225 non-member, $175 Friends of Gunston Hall.  Multi-day registrations must be made over the phone to receive the discount.

This workshop is currently full.  To sign up for the waitlist, please visit our Registration Page.   If you have further questions, or would like to register over the phone, please call 703-550-9220 and speak to our Education Manager, Lacey Villiva.


Summer Saturdays

Summer Saturdays

Lazy summer? Hardly!

Kids and the young at heart should visit Gunston Hall every Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. in July and August for unique, hands-on adventures. No RSVP required. Included with admission.

Each week we explore a different theme - from walking tours to hearth cooking, everything we do will be focused on that.

June 3 June 10 June 17 June 24  
Theme: Garden Declaration Day Theme: Food Theme: Games  
July 1 July 8 July 15 July 22 July 29
Theme: Be A Patriot Theme: Garden Theme: Food Theme: Dirt Theme: Travel
August 5 August 12 August 19 August 26  
Theme: Garden Theme: Games Theme: Food Theme: Dirt  


Virginia Declaration of Rights
240th Anniversary Celebration

“That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights...” - Virginia Declaration of Rights

When George Mason wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776, he was the first to codify freedoms that Americans still hold dear today. Join Gunston Hall in celebrating the Virginia Declaration of Rights by exploring the democratic ideals penned by Mason. In honor of the 240th anniversary of the ratification of this seminal document, Gunston Hall is planning a year-long celebration with new programs, special events, and community collaborations in 2016.

This educational initiative will include a diverse offering of experiences at Gunston Hall and in locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic. High school students are invited to respond to The NSCDA's 2016 Essay Contest question, centered on the continuing relevance of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and to participate in a school program on Mason and the Constitution. People around the world will hear from guest bloggers on the topic of Why Rights Matter.

A schedule of anniversary events is listed below. Stay tuned for additional information!

September 10
Naturalization Ceremony
Gunston Hall, Mason Neck, VA

October 5
Symposium: Dissent in Democracy
National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA

November (Date TBD)
Town Hall: Responsibilities of Citizens
Newseum, Washington, DC

December 15
Bill of Rights Day
National Archives, Washington, DC

Just for Educators

Join fellow teachers for an exciting day of professional development at Gunston Hall. Educators will both step back in time with 18th-century experiences and practice applying 21st-century teaching techniques to critical historical topics.

Educators at Gunston Hall
  • Delve into the Founders' ideas about rights and the role of government
  • Explore the historic property
  • Discover the interconnection between people and spaces in George Mason's Virginia
  • Experience ways to bring the founding generation alive for your students

Participants in this program will get a preview of Gunston Hall's new 4-6th grade school program, Stepping into 18th Century Virginia.  The program content will be appropriate for teachers of all levels.

Plan Your Day

George Mason's 18th-century home overlooks the Potomac River just 20 miles south of Washington, D.C.,at 10709 Gunston Road in Mason Neck, Virginia. Parking is complimentary.

Educator check in will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the program is scheduled from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Breakfast snacks and lunch are included in the registration fee.

Participants will earn 8 re-certification hours.  Just for Educators is open to teachers at all levels.

Register Now

If you have any questions, or would like to secure your spot, call us at 703-550-9220.

The Architecture of Democracy
November 5, 2015

How does the built environment contribute to or detract from our democracy?  And what ideas and historical events shaped our founders’ ideas of democracy?  Gunston Hall’s upcoming symposium “The Architecture of Democracy” will look both figuratively and literally at some of the ways we have constructed our unique government.

Click here to register. 
$95 for non-members
$75 for members
Registration fee includes morning snacks, lunch, speaking program, a visit to the mansion, and reception.


9:00 a.m.
Registration Opens

9:30 a.m.
Scott M. Stroh, III, Executive Director, Gunston Hall

9:45 a.m.
Speaking Program
Denver Brunsman, George Washington University
"Subjects to Citizens: The Birth of America's Democratic Experiment"

Louis Nelson, University of Virginia
“Architectures of West African Enslavement”

Ryan K. Smith, Virginia Commonwealth University
"Robert Morris's Folly, or, The Place of the Palace in the Early American Republic"

Courtney Speckmann, White House Historical Association
"The White House as 'The People's House'"

4:30 p.m.


Gunston Hall Visitor Center
10709 Gunston Road, Mason Neck, VA 22079

Speaker bios:

Denver Brunsman is Associate Professor of History at George Washington University, where he writes and teaches on the politics and social history of the American Revolution, early American republic, and British Atlantic world. His courses include “George Washington and His World,” taught annually at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. He completed his MA and Ph.D. degrees at Princeton University and his BA at St. Olaf College. His book, The Evil Necessity: British Naval Impressment in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World (2013), received the Walker Cowen Memorial Prize for an outstanding work in eighteenth-century studies in the Americas and Atlantic world. He is also a coauthor of the leading college textbook, Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People (2015), as well as an editor of The American Revolution Reader (2013) and Colonial America: Essays in Politics and Social Development (2011), among other works.

Louis Nelson is an Associate Professor of Architectural History, the Associate Dean for Research and International Programs in the School of Architecture, and the Director of the Program in Historic Preservation. He is a specialist in the built environments of American colonial architecture and the architectures and landscapes of the early modern Atlantic world. One of Nelson's recent publications, an article Buildings and Landscapes on "Architectures of West African Enslavement," won the 2015 Bishir Prize for Excellence in Vernacular Architecture and Cultural Landscapes.

Ryan K. Smith has been on the faculty of the Department of History at VCU since 2004, where he is an Associate Professor and also Director of Graduate Studies. Previously, he worked at the Library of Virginia, the Winterthur Museum, and other public history sites. Smith received his Ph.D. in American Civilization from the University of Delaware in 2002, and an M.A. in American history from the College of William and Mary in 1998. He specializes in American material culture and religious history. His most recent book was published in 2014 by Yale University Press as Robert Morris's Folly: The Architectural and Financial Failures of an American Founder.

Courtney Speckmann is the Director of Education at the White House Historical Association, where she has worked for seven years. A graduate of the George Washington University Museum Education Program, Speckmann has also worked at the National Cathedral and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. She has contributed to programs, publications, and exhibitions for visitors and learners of all ages.


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