Thursday, March 14, 2013

Monticello and Ash Lawn, VA 3-12-2013

On the road again Tuesday March 11.

It rained from 10 pm till 10 am. Just as we got out of our RV to tour Thomas Jefferson's Monticello it quit raining. And the low temperature overnight was 52. Some days it hasn't been that warm.

Jefferson designed a three story house but wanted it to look like one story.

The main floor windows have the shutters, the second floor windows are at floor level of the second floor and the third floor...dome and skylights are hidden from this orientation of the home.

Hall or entrance to the home. Many examples of Indian traditional attire and items they use are displayed. In the corner is a "day of the week" calendar he designed. Other items were antlers from various animals, buffalo skins hanging from the second floor railing and a rare map of Virginia. When people came to meet with Jefferson they had to wait two hours. As they waited they were "educated" as the guide said. There is a large clock above the entry. Few homes had clocks at that time Photography was not allowed in the home. These are photos from the exhibits in the Gallery. (photos allowed.)

Sitting room used by the family for classes.

Dining room

In his study the books were stored in boxes. If he was traveling all he had to do was take the box with his books already packed.

Jefferson's bedroom and his study beyond. The bed was in an alcove. The bed was 6' 3". Jefferson was 6' 2". He believed in no wasted space. Three holes above are into the storage for his out of season clothes. Access to storage area was by ladder in the closet on the right.


On the table in front of the double doors is a

A terrace lead off both sides of the house.

Now you can see the third floor dome.

Pond would hold live fish till it was time for preparing them.

Sun dial. From this terrace he could watch the construction of the University of Virginia. If something was not to his liking he would ride his horse there to make the corrections.

The lower level was called "The Dependencies." Storage rooms, kitchen and where tasks were performed.

This room has a fireplace with two copper kettles on either side used to heat water for laundry. Kettles also used for brewing beer.

Horse stalls.

Ice house.

Jefferson became the best wine connoisseur of wine in our country for his time because of his time as minister in France.

Jefferson designed a dumb waiter that could bring the wine from the lower lever to the dining room obscurely by the fireplace.

His cook used traditional cooking on the open hearth.

Jefferson designed a stew stove for French cooking which he preferred.

Smokeroom. Only pork was smoked. After being in a dry salt tub to draw out moisture. Smoked pork would be good for two years. The smokeroom was locked to diminish theft. The fireplace was on the outside of the smokeroom. The smoke was vented into the room. Beef was soaked in a brine solution for 10 days.

Jefferson designed a plow of wood with a iron tongue. This was much easier to use than all iron.

Gardens designed by Jefferson. It is clear weather now. When we started our tour the guide said I see something I've never seen. The clouds were lower than we were.

Jefferson's grave.

It looks like a clock but in the box is Jefferson's odometer. He traveled a lot and wanted to know the distance.

Thermometer on left. Ivory notebook on right. He would write notes in pencil. He could erase the pencil. He took meticulous records of the weather every day.

He saved seeds from his garden. He grew 330 varieties of some 99 species of vegetables and herbs.

In this painting Jefferson is wearing four layers of clothes. The weather is late winter. He believes in having the temperature in the house at 55 degrees. Thomas Jefferson was a remarkable man.

Ash Lawn, the home of James Monroe, the 5th President of the United States. The white house was the home of the James Monroe. The other part added later.

Photos were not allowed in the house but they were allowed in this Guest Bedroom which was in a different building.

Rug in the guest bedroom. In Monroe's house the guide said the rug in the dining room was a precursor of linoleum. The rug was sailcloth painted with a design.

Once again from the guide we learned a lot of history.

Sheep were gnawing at the bush that fell during the recent snowstorm.

Peacock didn't spread his feathers.

What a spectacular day once again.

We are staying at Small Country Campground outside of Louisa, VA. A very nice place.

Location:Charlottesville and Orange, VA.

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