WNY Family Magazine July 2018 - Page 18

Charlottesville, Virginia Home to Thomas Jefferson & So Much More! T h o m a s riod of letter writing: FAMILY TRAVEL Jeffer- “From sun-rise to one son, third or two o’clock,” he — by Deborah Williams president, philoso- noted, “I am drudg- pher, scientist, historian, architect and ing at the writing table.” Jefferson wrote author of the Declaration of Indepen- almost 20,000 letters in his lifetime and dence, helped establish the foundations thanks to his ingenious invention there of the freedoms we enjoy today. He also are copies of these letters giving invalu- designed Monticello, his extraordinary able insight into the man and his views. home in Charlottesville, Virginia that His invention was what he called a is the only presidential home that is not Polygraph Copying Machine with two only a National Historic Site but also a pens providing duplicate sets of his let- UNESCO World Heritage Site. ters that he kept in filing presses, tying The name Monticello means “little mountain” and Jefferson began his 40- year construction project when he was 26 on land he inherited from his father. The house has 43 rooms on four floors. More than 69 free and enslaved workers and craftsmen built Monticello. them into bundles organized alphabeti- cally and chronologically. During Monticello tours, visitors learn how Jefferson doubled the size of the United States by purchasing the Lou- isiana Territory from France and sent the Lewis & Clark Expedition to explore the West. Garden tours are included in tour tickets and every garden lover will be impressed with Jefferson’s gardening experiments and his meticulous records. He recorded every thing he ever planted in detailed journals. He had a lifelong interest in gardening, bota- ny, and agriculture. Guides lead these 45-minute walk- ing tours, offering historical background, plant identifi- cation, and stories about the gardens. His 1,000-foot long vegetable garden grew more than 350 varieties of plants and 23 kinds of peas, one of his favorite vegetables. The Entrance Hall Great Clock is one of the most popular features of the home. Designed by Jefferson it has dual faces and an hour-strik- ing gong and served the resi- dents of the house as well as the workers in the field. The seven-day clock reveals Jef- ferson’s love of innovation and his ability to modify the traditional to suit his needs. Every morning, Jeffer- son settled into a lengthy pe- 18 WNY Family July 2018 “The letters of a person, especially one whose business has been chiefly transacted by letters, form the only full and genuine journal of his life,” he wrote in 1823. Look for the small plant tags with the initials “TJ” and the date. This means that Jefferson actually planted the flower or vegetable in the named year. Slavery tours are also available hourly. Meet the enslaved people who lived and worked on Mulberry Row, once the industrial hub and “Main Street” of Jefferson’s 5,000-acre plan- tation. Reconstructed slave structures show life and work here. Though he was against slavery, Jefferson had more than 600 slaves during his lifetime. When he died, many of his slave families were broken up and sold since he was deeply in debt and all his possessions, including his beloved home, had to be sold. The UNESCO honor includes the University of Virginia that Jefferson founded and designed. His activities in support of the university were most vis- ible during his retirement years when he engaged in what he called “the hobby of my old age.” He dedicated the universi- ty to the “freedom of the human mind.” Jefferson died at his beloved home at age 83 on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniver- sary of America’s independence. During the summer and select weekends in October, there are special family-friendly tours that are especially designed for families with children ages 5 to 11. They feature hands-on oppor- tunities and offer a glimpse of life at Monticello and highlight Jefferson’s ac- complishments and wide-ranging inter- ests. The tours also include entrance to the Visitor Center, Mountaintop Activ- ity Center, guided slavery at Monticello tours and guided gardens and grounds tours. Tour reservations are best espe- cially during the busy summer season. Don’t miss the Griffin Di ͍ٕ)IѡYͥѽȁ ѕȁݥѠ)̵ѥ٥ѥ́ͥȁ)ɕ́ɥєɅ)͕ѡ)ͽ)ݹ䁽ɕ́Ѡ)ѡ̰ɸ܁ѼݕٔѽՍ)ѽé݉ɕє͕ɕЁ)ݡȁ͕)ͽe)ͥ䁝́ձȁ)ȴ)ͽéɄ䁽ѡȁѥ٥ѥ̸)Ёѡѡ͔ѽȰɔ)Ѽ٥ͥЁѡ5չхѽ!̵ѥش) ѕȁݡɔ́ɥєݥѠ)եѠ䁝̰)ѡɽ՝Ʉ͍Ʉե)䁽ѡȁո̵ѥ٥ѥ̸