The South Pavilion, probably begun in the summer of 1770, is believed to be the first brick building completed on Monticello mountain. It has two rooms, one over another. When Thomas Jefferson moved to Monticello in November 1770 he occupied the upper room of the pavilion, which at that point was a free-standing building. By the time he brought his bride, Martha Wayles Skelton, to Monticello in January 1772, the lower level had been finished as a kitchen and new furnishings had been acquired for the upper room, including a large bedstead and expensive bed hangings. The bed with its expensive curtains added a measure of privacy as well as color to this small, multi-functional living space.
The reinterpretation and refurnishing of the South Pavilion’s upper room will allow Monticello visitors to view the space as it may have appeared in the months following the Jeffersons’ marriage in 1772.
While there is no known inventory of the contents of the upper room at that time, the documentary and archaeological evidence suggest a number of furnishings that were quite likely used. These include a the large bedstead with fashionable hangings, a crib, Venetian blinds, side chairs, a library chair, a slip-covered easy chair, a secretary bookcase, a dressing table or bureau table, fireplace equipment, a dining table, pewter and cream ware table wares, and brass candlesticks.