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Greenhouse - Southeast Piazza

Greenhouse (Southeast Piazza)

Color: White

Purpose of Room: Greenhouse for growing plants; location of Thomas Jefferson's workbench, where he is known to have made locks and chains; possibly home to a pet mockingbird

Unusual Architectural Features: Part of Jefferson's suite of private rooms that included his book room, writing office (Cabinet), and bedroom; flanked by two "Venetian porches"

Furnishings of Note: Work table and tools, as well as flowers, seeds, and flats for sprouting seeds

Primary Source References

1780s. (Isaac Jefferson). "My old master was as neat a hand as ever you see to make keys & locks & small chains, iron & brass. He kept all kind of blacksmith and carpenter tools in a great case with shelves to it in his library ... been up thar a thousand times; used to car coal up thar. Old master had a couple of small bellowses up thar."1

1807 November 9. (Ann Cary Randolph to Jefferson). "Ellen & myself have a fine parcel of little Orange trees for the green house against your return."2

1808 January 22. (Ann Cary Randolph to Jefferson). "I have not been to Monticello since we came from there but Jefferson was there the other day & says that the green house is not done ...."3

1808 December 8. (Jefferson to Ann Cary Randolph Bankhead). "... in fact the Mimosa Nilotica & Orange are the only things I have ever proposed to have in my Green house."4

1816 November 10. (Jefferson to Martha Jefferson Randolph). "[T]ell Wormley also to send ... about a bushel of Orchard grass seed out of the large box in the Green house."5

After 1826. Cornelia Randolph's floor plan of Monticello, drawn after Jefferson's death, includes no. 27, a large "Work Bench," in the South Piazza.6

1829 October 7. (Virginia Jefferson Randolph Trist to Nicholas Philip Trist). "By the way, you never answered my inquiries about ... the box of unpacked books in the greenhouse ...."7

1828 August 10. (Mary Jefferson Randolph to Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge). "Then we have the sitting room adjoining in which two more can be comfortably lodged, and the green house a very convenient little appendage to our bed chambers."8

Further Sources

Related Links:
The Flower Gardens at Monticello Today
"Delicious Flowering Shrubs" and Cape Bulbs in the Monticello Greenhouse
Available in Our Online Shop


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