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East Central University student and Ada resident Cas Northcutt was selected for the 10-week Historic Trades Internship at Mount Vernon – George Washington’s home in Virginia. Northcutt is a history and political science major, so this opportunity was the perfect fit.

Northcutt works at the 4-acre Demonstration Farm that is located on site. Buildings and structures have been rebuilt to simulate what it would have looked like during the first president’s lifetime.

Northcutt dresses in costume each day and helps interpret the history of the time period to visitors through demonstrations such as tending fields, cooking with traditional methods and spinning wool.

In the late 1700s and early 1800s, slaves were utilized for much of the work at the estate. At the time of Washington’s death, 317 slaves worked at Mount Vernon. Part of Northcutt’s responsibilities is to explain the historical role of slavery at Mount Vernon to visitors.

Northcutt, being a history student, said one highlight of the experience was getting to fish in the Potomac River – from Washington’s personal wharf.

The 10-week internship is administered by Mount Vernon Ladies Association which has maintained Mount Vernon since 1858. The internship allows undergraduate students to become immersed in 18th Century history, agriculture and industry.

For more information about ECU’s Political Science and History programs, visit

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