In the very heart of Virginia lies some distinctive homes belonging to some very special people; homes of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe. Of these three homes, Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s uniquely styled masterpiece is probably the most famous and rightly so.
But did you know that Thomas Jefferson had a second home only 93 miles from Monticello? This home is called Poplar Forest. The acreage it sits upon and the original home were inherited from his father-in-law, but the home that sits upon it now is one of Jefferson’s own unique designs.
Poplar Forest was designed by Jefferson to be a retreat home for those times that he wanted to escape the hustle and bustle of Monticello. To spend quiet times away with the grandchildren he doted upon, to read, to write and to think. He spent a great deal of time here after his retirement from government at the age of 65.
I’m completely intrigued by Thomas Jefferson, so when I discovered that he had this second home and I hadn’t seen it, it became another bucket list moment! So as my husband and I were driving through Virginia this summer on our way to North Carolina we planned an extra day so we could take in his home.
Poplar Forest visited…
Poplar Forest sits atop a beautiful hill as does Monticello. As you drive up the road and look upon the home you immediately notice the similarities in design. Unmistakably Jeffersonian!
The home is in the process of being renovated to return it to exactly as it was in Jefferson’s time. Hence a great deal of archaeology and research is ongoing to uncover new knowledge of the home and gardens, etc.
The view from the front porch and lawn of the home is of beautiful rolling tree covered hills and pastures.
Lovely view of the side of the home.
View of the back of Poplar Forest.
The back of the home from another angle. The attached building stretching out to the side contained the kitchen, laundry area and offices.
Can you guess what this is? One of two identical outhouses, one on each side of the main house. They were very nice for the day!
Thomas Jefferson is recognized as one of our great architectural masters. Consequently, Poplar Forest is one of those masterpieces. Visiting this home and his Monticello will give you new insight into this man that gave 40 years of his life to the service of our nation at a time when it needed him most.
You can read more about Poplar Forest and Monticello at their websites. To learn more about our founding fathers, plan a trip to visit these homes along with the homes of James Madison and James Monroe. All located in the heart of central Virginia!
In conclusion, I’ll leave you with just a few of the many quotes of Thomas Jefferson…
“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”
“He who knows best knows how little he knows.”
“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.”
“The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.”
Thank you wonderful readers for stopping by!
P.S. Wonder why there aren’t any pictures of the inside of this home? Photography is usually prohibited inside historic homes for preservation reasons. Exposure to photography lights and flashes has a detrimental effect on textiles, paper, etc. It causes fading and deterioration. However, you can apply for special permits to be able to take photographs.
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