In the Fall, Monticello is transformed into a festival of colours and the majestic view of the Blueridge Mountains that Jefferson enjoyed during his lifetime is there for you to enjoy.
Jefferson, the third President of the United States, designed this plantation. Monticello is not only a historic national landmark but also a UNESCO Heritage site together with the University of Virginia that Jefferson also designed.
Just outside of Charlottesville in the Piedmont region of Virginia, this 5,000 acres of land was first worked on by African slaves cultivating tobacco, a popular and lucrative export then. So, as you go in the place from the parking lot, there is the cemetery for the slaves.
In the Fall, it is such a beautiful place especially with the maples changing colours but beneath this beauty, the dark history of slavery lingers.
When Jefferson lived there, there were about 150 slaves working in the plantation. Today, there is a marked off are where the slaves were buried as you can see in the picture below.
Monticello during the time of Jefferson totalled to around 5000 acres planted in tobacco which was the cash crop at that time. Thus, the slaves to work on the plantation. There are still some of the dwellings of the slaves on the property along Mulberry Row. Mulberry Row was an experiment on silk making. It is along here that the slaves lived.
Along Mulberry Row were the slave dwellings and one of these is shown below.
Monticello during the time of Jefferson was almost a self-contained plantation with most of its needs produced there and the services were attended to as well. So, there are trades workshops in the place to provide these services. Some of the slaves became skilled working in these.
Below is the garden which at the time of Jefferson not only provided for the plantation needs but also served as an experimental farm where he planted plants he brought from his travel.
Jefferson also designed the basement area of the house where a wine cellar, storage places and work areas were placed. Below are some of the pictures.
Archaelogy students continue to dig in the property and more will be discovered about Monticello. We await as it reveals more of its secrets.
More information on Monticello:
Address: 931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy, Charlottesville, VA 22902, United States