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Perfectly preserved cherries and berries found in George Washington’s cellar

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The legend of the cherry tree is one of the oldest and most well-known myths about America’s first President George Washington. While there are doubts about its authenticity, recent archeological finds are bearing fruit — literally. Archeologists discovered cherries and berries from the 18th century at George Washington’s Mount Vernon home.

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Mount Vernon made the announcement in a statement on Thursday, June 13, that the fruit was found perfectly preserved in Washington’s cellar. In total archeologists said that 29 of the 35 bottles remained intact.

The containers were filled with fruit from gooseberries to currants. Archeologists reportedly carefully removed the contents from the bottle and placed them into refrigeration. The fruit will now be part of scientific studies.

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This latest find comes on the heels of two other glass bottles unearthed in the same cellar earlier this year. The 18th century containers were filled with liquid, cherries and pits.

Archeologists said that they believe that the fruit from around 250 years ago will help them gain insight into the environment of the time period. The findings could also paint a picture of how American food preservation and cuisine has evolved over the centuries.

“These extraordinary discoveries continue to astonish us,” Mount Vernon Principal Archeologist Jason Boroughs said. “These bottles and contents are a testament to the knowledge and skill of the enslaved people who managed the food preparations from tree to table, including Doll, the cook brought to Mount Vernon by Martha Washington in 1759 and charged with oversight of the estate’s kitchen.”

Mount Vernon has partnered with the United States Department of Agricultural Research Reserve (ARS) to further research the contents of the bottle. The cherries may be used for DNA extraction, which could be used to find out which species they belong to. Meanwhile, the pits will undergo examination to find out if they are good candidates for “germination.”

“These artifacts likely have not seen the light of day since before the American Revolution,” Mount Vernon’s president and CEO said in a statement.

The historical findings are part of a privately-funded $40 million Mansion Revitalization Project.

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[LAUREN TAYLOR]

THE LEGEND OF THE CHERRY TREE IS ONE OF THE OLDEST AND MOST WELL-KNOWN MYTH’S ABOUT AMERICA’S FIRST PRESIDENT.

AND WHILE THERE ARE DOUBTS ABOUT ITS AUTHENTICITY – RECENT ARCHEOLOGICAL FINDS ARE BEARING FRUIT. LITERALLY. 

TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT WAS RECENTLY DISCOVERED AT GEORGE WASHINGTON’S MOUNT VERNON HOME – CHERRIES AND BERRIES FROM THE 18TH CENTURY.

THEY WERE FOUND PERFECTLY PRESERVED IN WASHINGTON’S CELLAR– IN TOTAL 35 BOTTLES– 29 INTACT.

FROM GOOSEBERRIES TO CURRANTS– THE CONTENTS WERE CAREFULLY TAKEN OUT AND PLACED INTO REFRIGERATION– NOW ONTO SCIENTIFIC STUDIES. 

THIS LATEST FIND COMES ON THE HEELS OF TWO OTHER GLASS BOTTLES UNEARTHED IN THE SAME CELLAR EARLIER THIS YEAR.

THE 18TH CENTURY CONTAINERS – FILLED WITH LIQUID, CHERRIES AND PITS.

ARCHEOLOGISTS SAY FRUIT FROM 250 YEARS AGO WILL HELP THEM GAIN INSIGHT INTO THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE TIME PERIOD.
IT COULD ALSO HELP PAINT A PICTURE OF HOW AMERICAN FOOD PRESERVATION AND CUISINE HAS EVOLVED OVER THE CENTURIES.

MOUNT VERNON HAS PARTNERED WITH THE U-S-D-A FOR POSSIBLE D-N-A TESTING TO DETERMINE THE TYPE OF SPECIES THE CHERRY PITS ARE AND MAY EVEN ATTEMPT TO GROW THEM.

MOUNT VERNON’S PRESIDENT AND CEO SAID IN A STATEMENT: “THESE ARTIFACTS LIKELY HAVEN’T SEEN THE LIGHT OF DAY SINCE BEFORE THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.”

THE HISTORICAL FINDINGS ARE PART OF A PRIVATELY FUNDED 40 MILLION DOLLAR MANSION REVITALIZATION PROJECT.

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