I had been wanting to visit Monticello since watching a movie a year or so ago on Thomas Jefferson. It is really fascinating to see, and so different probably because Monticello has so much history to it.
Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures of the inside, but I'll try to describe things with the help of the visitors guide.
Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743. He inherited 3,00 acres along the Rivanna River later on having a 5,000 acre holding. He marries Martha Wayles Skelton in 1772, and they only had one child, a daughter. His wife died 10 years later in 1782.
In 1776 he drafted the Declaration of Independence with the famous words that we pretty much all have heard, "all men are created equal" with the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." He served in Congress, did diplomatic service in France for about five years, and also served as vice president under John Adams. In 1801 he was elected to be the third president with being re-elected in 1804. In 1809 he retires to Monticello.
So now I will try to describe some of what we saw along with the history. Monticello sits on top of a mountain with the beautiful valley surrounding it everywhere. Jefferson spent 40 years designing, constructing and remodeling. Monticello was two houses the guide told us. The first was a two story eight room house. After serving in France as the American minister Jefferson came home with all sorts of ideas. He loved the neoclassical homes he had seen so Monticello underwent changes. He created a new second level for bedrooms, and also a dome over the west front. Of course you can imagine the surprise from people then as they had never seen one on an American home before. The details on the mantels, and everywhere are just fascinating!
When you arrive at the front this is what you would see.
One interesting thing in the visitors guide talks about Jefferson being accompanied by James Hemings, a slave who was trained as a chef in Paris.
Visitors rarely saw Jefferson's suite as he had to have his privacy. The alcove bed where he slept opened to his study and his bedroom. He also had a library which had over 7,000 books something he said he could never do without. He would translate for fun something from English into 5 different languages!! Thomas Jefferson was also a big believer in people learning which is why he designed and planned the University of Virginia. You can see the University through the woods which they still keep partially cut back for that very reason.
In his study was also a sky light, there were two of them in this house, something that was unheard of back then.
Even though the house was large it was shared with a lot of his family. His daughter moved in with him and she had 11 children. Then if I remember there was a sister and others making the total a little over 40 people who shared this home. And now a few pictures that I took from the outside.
There are two walkways on each side of the house which led to a north and south pavilion.