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Visit Thomas Jefferson's Home
Monticello is a must visit when in Charlottesville. This was the home of Thomas Jefferson and today you can spend several hours walking around the grounds and/or taking several tours. There are tours of the house, the gardens and the plantations all included in the $15 ticket. From the parking lot and visitors center you take a 1/2 mile shuttle up the hill to the house.
One thing that really struck me about this place is how green and perfect it was. It is impeccably maintained and the gardens are just beautiful. The drive on Thomas Jefferson Parkway is very special with serene views in every direction.
House of Thomas Jefferson
I took a guided tour of the Jefferson's house and it's a very interesting exprience. About 60 percent of the furnishings on display at Monticello are or may be items original to Jefferson. Other items are period pieces or reproductions of original pieces.
Our guide knew everything about both Jefferson's family and the house itself.
In the beginning - in the entrance hall - I've seen articles collected by Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition. The Lewis and Clark expedition (1804–1806) was the first United States overland expedition to the Pacific coast and back. I hope to follow their itinerary someday. Then I've seen impressive library and I've got to know that Jefferson donated his library to Congress to replace the books burned by the British in 1814. This library formed the nucleus of the Library of Congress. I remember interesting wooden copying machine and scientific instruments, such as an orrery, microscope, and telescope put in Jefferson's octagonal cabinet.
The Roman neoclassicism house (1769 - 1809) of Jefferson's own design is situated on the summit of an 850-foot-high peak. Monticello, in Italian, means "little mountain." Jefferson died on July 4, 1826 - exactly on the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Debts forced his family to sell the property which belongs to a private, nonprofit organization - the Thomas Jefferson Foundation - since 1923.
Unfortunatelly no pictures are permitted inside the house. An image of the west front of Monticello is featured on the reverse of the 5 cent coin of the United States (it's called a Nickel in the USA.)
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You can only enter the house on a docent-led tour and no pictures are permitted. They have the "move them on through" down to a science -- some guides are better than others. But it is a house you will never forget.
Thomas Jefferson was the 3rd president of the United States, serving from 1801-1809. He retired to Monticello in 1809 where he pursued his many interests, from science to literature, to gardening. He died on July 4, 1826 -- the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Indepence which he had written.
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