Except for the efforts of Ann Pamela Cunningham, George Washington’s historic home, Mount Vernon, would be a distant memory. Upon learning of plans for its demolition, she founded the Mount Vernon Ladies Association from her ancestral home, Rosemont, in Laurens County, South Carolina. The association garnered the support of both financial and political leaders to preserve Mount Vernon as an icon of American history. During the Civil War she persuaded both Union and Confederate forces to treat Mount Vernon as a neutral territory. Her efforts to save Mount Vernon came to be regarded as the birth of the historic preservation movement in America.