Mt. Vernon in Virginia was George Washington's home for most of his life. It started as a modest 1 1/2 story farmhouse built by his father in 1735, and was later expanded by his half-brother Lawrence, who willed it to George. George turned it into the house that is seen today. Some fun facts about the house - it was named by Lawrence after his commanding officer, Edward Vernon. At 11,028 square feet, it dwarfed other late 18th century homes which averaged between 200 and 1200 square feet. The weather vane over the cupola is a dove of peace. While there is a full basement, there are no secret passages leading from it - as the National Treasure movies might have you believe. Washington's journals show that in one year Mt. Vernon has a record 677 guests while he was in residence. Today, 1 million visitors pass through the mansion each year.