At my agent Jewelann's suggestion, I'm beginning my bio novel about Martha Washington, and visited Mount Vernon a few weeks ago to do research at their library. It was like Fort Knox--first you have to make an appointment with the historian, then announce your arrival at the gate; once inside, they confiscate your bags and hand you a pencil to write with. (but many historical society libraries go the confiscation route). No rubber gloves, though. The historian stacked a few mountains of books and papers before me, and I was in heaven for three hours! I'm looking forward to going back. I LOVE Mount Vernon & never tire of going there. My first trip there was at age 8 & I never forgot it.
When we toured the house, we stood at the doorway to the bedroom where George died, apparently of pneumonia, and I, of an 8-yr-old mind, asked the guide if it was still contageous!