This winter, as part of the exciting multi-year effort to restore Monticello to its appearance in Jefferson’s time, we are recreating a log dwelling that likely once housed members of the enslaved Hemings family.
Monticello visitors are experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime event as the Thomas Jefferson Foundation undertakes a major landscape restoration project on Mulberry Row.
Since November, Monticello’s archaeology team has been battling record cold and snow. We have excavated a 140-foot long trench running from the smokehouse in the South Dependency, across the Kitchen Yard and down to the vegetable garden terrace.
Monticello has always been a work in progress, overflowing with Thomas Jefferson’s brilliance and complexity, his designs and experiments. For nearly a century, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation has worked step by step to restore Monticello and its signature mountaintop landscape to the period of Jefferson’s retirement.
Over the past several weeks, our ongoing archaeological excavations to advance the Kitchen Road Restoration Project have yielded several important discoveries. One of them is a greenstone cobble paving, which we suspect is the base of the Kitchen Path that connected the South Covered Passage to Mulberry Row and the terraced vegetable garden to the south.
This round of excavations has several goals. The first is to advance our understanding of how the Kitchen Road intersected with the Kitchen Path that once ran straight out the covered passage opening toward vegetable garden gate on Mulberry Row.
Earlier this year, Monticello's archaeology team located the remains of a previously undocumented building on Mulberry Row. The new find consists of a brick paving that served as the floor of a log structure whose walls have left no visible trace.
Over the past two months, Monticello’s archaeologists have discovered two previously unknown archaeological sites that were once the homes of enslaved people who lived at Tufton, about a mile and a quarter east of Jefferson’s mountaintop mansion.
“What is the coolest thing you’ve ever found?” This is a question I get often yet it is one of the most difficult to answer.
If only we could showcase everything! An upcoming exhibition will contain ten panels that investigate the people, buildings, and industries of Mulberry Row. Only dozens of artifacts of many thousands of artifacts recovered by the Monticello Archaeology Department will make it to the display cases. So, how do we choose?
931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway
Charlottesville, VA 22902