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Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States designed and began construction of his plantation, Monticello, on land he’d inherited when he was 26 years old.
After his death, Monticello was sold to an admirer of Jefferson’s who preserved it with his own money. His descendants later sold it to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation which now operates the house as a museum. The home was eventually designated a World Heritage Site as well as a National Landmark. The five cent US nickel depicts Monticello on the back of the coin.
Jefferson incorporated Italian Renaissance elements as well as designs of his own into the mansion. Jefferson was an inventor in his own right…he designed the Great Clock which has dual faces on the exterior and interior of the entrance hall. It is powered by a series of ropes and weights which descend through the floor into the basement with the passing of time.
My daughter and I visited Monticello as a stop on a road trip to South Carolina. We were lucky enough to get on a guided tour designed for families with young children.
It was an engaging tour for both of us. We enjoyed seeing the marvelous inventions inside the house and the beautiful, historic furnishings. At the end of the tour, we visited various stations on the grounds where we played games popular in Jefferson’s time and drew with a quill pen!
Location: 931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Designation: World Heritage Site, National Historic Landmark
Date designation declared: 12/19/1960
Date of my visit: April 2, 2010