Curtis Thacker

W. Curtis Thacker (1898-1977) was Superintendent at Monticello from 1950 to 1970.[1]

Mr. Thacker was born in Albemarle County in 1898. He attended Virginia Tech for two years before returning to Albemarle County where he worked as a manager of buildings and grounds for the Stone family at Morven from the mid-1920s until 1947. In that year he was hired by the newly established Keswick Country Club to be their first buildings and grounds manager. At the January 1950 Board of Directors' meeting, Fiske Kimball suggested the Foundation employ Mr. Thacker to oversee the maintenance of the equipment and buildings because the present gardener was unsatisfactory, and Mr. Taliaferro was away on a six-month medical leave of absence. He noted that Mr. Thacker was "a qualified carpenter, a registered plumber, a competent gardener and altogether a very intelligent and capable man." Mr. Hildreth also supported Mr. Kimball's recommendation, stating that he had known Mr. Thacker for 20 years and that he had "the reputation of being the best gardener in the county." Mr. Hildreth was authorized to offer Mr. Thacker the position of "Superintendent of the Grounds and Buildings." Mr. Thacker accepted and in the summer of 1950, he and his family moved into the Weaver's Cottage on Mulberry Row. Mr. Kimball noted of Mr. Thacker's early work at Monticello that he "is a jewel, and is keeping everything in fine shape." In 1966, Mr. Thacker was made Treasurer in addition to his position as Superintendent. He retired from Monticello in December of 1970.

As Superintendent, Thacker was responsible for the grounds, the grounds employees, and the physical properties of Monticello. He was also responsible for counting ticket sales, making deposits, and employee payroll. In addition, he initiated the packaging of seeds from the flower gardens and the smoking of hams in the parking lot barn which were offered for sale to visitors.

In addition to his work at Monticello, Mr. Thacker was involved with the Fraternal Order of Police and served as a Special Police Officer for Albemarle County in 1965. He was also active with the local Chamber of Commerce. Following his retirement, he assisted his son in the latter's local construction firm. Mr. Thacker died at the age of 78 in February 1977.

Footnotes

  1. This article is based on Anna G. Koester, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Archives: Collection Guide and Catalog, October 1989, 22-23.

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Discussion

says

If I could suggest an edit to this article; my grandfather didn't pass away until February of 1979. Perhaps a sidenote about his contribution to help coordinate the major 1953-1954 restoration might be worthy of inclusion.

(Other members of the Thacker family also helped extensively on the Mountain. Ned Thacker (Curtis' brother) and his wife resided in the gatehouse for many years, selling tickets to the site. Curtis' wife, Elizabeth, was instrumental in turning the Gift Shop into what it is today. Curtis' son, William C. Jr., was involved in the restoration as well, writing a small informational pamphlet whch was sold in the Gift Shop. Even I had my turn as a part of the "Thacker legacy" on the Mountain, working on the Curatorial staff in the late 1980's.)

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