Daytrippers: Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia home

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — The house of  America’s third president and founding father Thomas Jefferson is more than just a home.

It’s a reflection of Jefferson as a statesman, inventor, gardener, architect, and Virginia landowner. The home was often under construction during the third president’s time there.

Right now, it’s still a bit of a work in progress thanks to the Mountaintop Project. Crews are returning parts of the massive home back to the way it looked in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s.

Among the areas being restored is Sally Heming’s room within the house. She was a slave at Monticello who historians believe was the mother to six of Jefferson’s children.

Returning the room back to its original appearance, crews have uncovered toothbrushes, buttons, bones and other artifacts from Hemmings’ era.

“It’s really important to restore a space where she and her children lived to help tell a story that’s more about her. Specifically, to understand who she was as a person, to know something about her life” says Gary Sandling of The Jefferson Monticello.

A walk through the gardens is always a colorful trip in the spring. Jefferson experimented with hundreds of varieties and species of plants on the grounds and many of them continue to grow there year after year.

Thanks to the popularity of the broadway show Hamilton, you can now catch a tour comparing Hamilton and Jefferson. The two Founding Fathers had differing visions of America and Jefferson is name-checked in some of the songs and lines in the Broadway smash.

This map, on the website, shows how items and parts of the home play into song lyrics and plot twists from the broadway show.

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