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Self-guided Tours

MONTICELLO'S WINGS

The Pavilions and Wings of MonticelloThe “wings” of Monticello include the rooms located under the two L-shaped terraces adjoining the cellar under the main house. They include the oldest standing structures on the mountain and the only surviving slave quarters on the Monticello plantation. Recent restoration and interpretation of these rooms provides a fuller story of Monticello and sheds light on the complexity of early America, race-based slavery, and the entanglements, tragedies, triumphs, and contradictions of Monticello life.

NORTH WING

The North Wing of Monticello The icehouse, tack room, and bays for horses and carriages were located in the North Wing, which connects the passage under the house to the North Pavilion.

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JEFFERSON’S TRAVELS
Recreation of Jefferson's PhaetonA map of Jefferson’s route to Washington, DC, an interactive version of Jefferson’s 1807 odometer, and a reproduction of Jefferson’s 1802 horse-drawn phaeton—the sports car of its day.

ICE HOUSE
The icehouse was used primarily to store fresh meat and butter, and to chill wine. The ice sometimes lasted through summer.

NORTH PRIVY
Although it was unusual for houses in the United States at the start of the 19th century to have toilet facilities inside them, Monticello had three. These non-flushing privies were attached to shafts that provided ventilation.

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MOUNTAINTOP HANDS-ON ACTIVITY CENTER
Write with a quill pen, play 18th-century games, look through a camera obscura, build models and enjoy many more fun, hands-on activities designed for children of all ages. Seasonal.

 

SOUTH WING

Aerial view of Monticello's South WingThe South Wing connects the South Pavilion to the all-weather passage that runs under the main house and con­tained the post-1809 kitchen, cook’s room, smokehouse, living quarters for enslaved workers and the dairy.

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1770 SOUTH PAVILION and MARTHA JEFFERSON
Dress depicting the type Martha Wayles Jefferson might have worn.Learn about Martha Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s wife during the earliest years of Monticello. She passed away at the age of 33 after she and Jefferson had been married ten years.

 

THE LIFE OF SALLY HEMINGS
The Life of Sally Hemings exhibitA groundbreaking new digital exhibit that relies on the words of Sally Hemings’s and Thomas Jefferson’s son, Madison, to explore her life and the legacy of freedom she achieved for her family.

GETTING WORD ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
The Getting Word Oral History Project documents the oral histories of descendants of people enslaved at Monticello. This exhibit tells the history of Monticello and American slavery through the stories of its survivors and their families.

GRANGER/HEMINGS KITCHEN
Digital rendering of the South Pavilion cellar kitchen in the 1790sThe newly excavated and restored first kitchen of Monticello reveals more about the lives of Ursula Granger, Peter Hemings, James Hemings, and other enslaved cooks and chefs who helped create early American cuisine.

POST-1809 KITCHEN
The Post-1809 Kitchen at MonticelloJefferson ordered Monticello’s later kitchen incorporate all the newest and best cooking technologies available at the time. 

 

COOK'S ROOM
One of very few surviving slave quarters at Monticello, The Cook's Roomseveral enslaved people lived in The Cook’s Room.  Enslaved chef Peter Hemings lived in this quarter for some time before another enslaved chef, Edith Fossett and her family, moved in.

DAIRY
Learn about the processes for making cheese, cream, and butter two hundred years ago.

SMOKEHOUSE
Jefferson ordered the relocation of Monticello’s Smokehouse from Mulberry Row in 1802. The new Smokehouse joined other food storage and preparation areas  in the South Wing. Enslaved workers butchered and preserved meats through salting and smoking during winter, when the cold minimized spoilage.

Learn about: Martha Wayles Jefferson, Sally Hemings and her family, Ursula Granger, James Hemings, Peter Hemings, Edith Fossett, six enslaved families and their descendants.

 

View down Monticello's All-Weather Passage into the basement

ALL-WEATHER PASSAGE and MAIN HOUSE BASEMENT

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CROSSROADS Exhibition
The cellar level of the Monticello house was a horizontal and vertical crossroads constantly in motion as enslaved workers labored to make this plantation possible. This exhibition evokes the constant interaction and activity required to keep Monticello running as enslaved domestic workers, Jefferson family members, slaves accompanying Monticello visitors, waggoners delivering supplies, and anyone else using Monticello's work spaces crossed paths.

WINE CELLAR
The restored Wine Cellar at MonticelloJefferson has been described as America’s “first distinguished viticulturist” for his support for the establishment of an American wine industry and his efforts to grow Vitis vinifera at Monticello and regularly purchased wine from Europe. Located just below Monticello’s Dining Room, the Wine Cellar brings to life the story of Thomas Jefferson and wine with interpretive signs, reproductions of period wine bottles, and a restored original wine dumbwaiter.

BEER CELLAR
At Monticello, beer was a "table liquor" served during dinner, and Jefferson's earliest designs for his plantation included spaces for brewing and the storage of beer. The Beer Cellar tells the story not only of beer and brewing at Monticello but also of its various brewers like Joseph Miller, English sailor, and Peter Hemings, Monticello slave.

Learn about: Burwell Colbert, Martha Jefferson Randolph, Priscilla Hemmings, Israel Gillette, Isaac Granger Jefferson, Betty Brown, Harriet Hemings

 

MULBERRY ROW

Mulberry Row at MonticelloMulberry Row, the tree-lined road running alongside the main house, served as the industrial hub of the 5,000-acre Monticello plantation. Several slave quarters for people enslaved at Monticello also stood on this road. 

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STABLE
Saddle interactive in the Stone StableThe structure has been in almost continuous use since its construction in 1809.  The two stone buildings, originally part of a larger structure, were likely used to store feed and tack during Jefferson’s lifetime. Enslaved grooms and hostlers like Jupiter Evans and Wormley Hughes cared for Jefferson’s prized carriage and riding horses.

HEMMINGS CABIN
Interior of the recreated Hemmings CabinEnslaved master carpenter John Hemmings and his wife, Priscilla, likely lived in a cabin like this reconstruc­tion. Priscilla Hemmings cared for the Jefferson-Randolph children as enslaved nursemaid.   This reconstruction represents one of three houses built circa 1793 on Mulberry Row for individual families. It is furnished based on historical records and a rare first-person account.

TEXTILE WORKSHOP
Interior of the restored Textile WorkshopA restored ca. 1778 structure featuring an exhibit about Mulberry Row and a room depicting the factory where enslaved women and children turned cotton, hemp, and wool into cloth for enslaved people and enterprise.

STOREHOUSE FOR IRON
The Storehouse for Iron was aorkshop for tinsmithing and nail-making, and living quarters for enslaved workers. It was recently recreated using archaeological and historical evidence.

OTHER SITES ALONG MULBERRY ROW
Stonehouse, Dairly/Smokehouse, Nailery/Blacksmith Shop, Joiner's Shop, Coal Shed's

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Interpretive panel from the Landscape of Slavery exhibitLANDSCAPE OF SLAVERY: MULBERRY ROW AT MONTICELLO Exhibition
This outdoor exhibition tells the stories of the dynamic, industrial hub of Jefferson’s 5,000-acre agricultural enterprise and a center of work and domestic life for dozens of people -- free whites, free blacks, servants, and enslaved people. The exhibition can be self guided or experienced in conjunction with our Slavery at Monticello Tours or our free app, Slavery at Monticello: Work and Life on Mulberry Row.

Learn about: Wormley Hughes, Jupiter Evans, John and Priscilla Hemings, James Dinsmore, Joseph Fossett, Harriet Hemings, Brown Colbert, and many others

 

At the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center and Smith Education Center

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Thomas Jefferson's World, Monticello's visually rich introductory film, describes Monticello's central importance to Jefferson's life and work and will emphasize Jefferson's consequential accomplishments and his core ideas about human liberty—the world-changing ideas—that reach from his place and time in history to the present day.  Airs continually throughout the day, year round.

Boisterous Sea of Liberty exhibition

Thomas Jefferson and the Boisterous 'Sea of Liberty' illustrates the development and ongoing influence of Jefferson's core ideas about liberty on a wall of 21 flat-panel LCD screens, including seven interactive touch screens. 

Monticello as Experiment: 'To Try All Things' explores Jefferson's use of Monticello as a laboratory for his belief that "useful knowledge" could make life more efficient and convenient and lead to the progress of the nation.

Making Monticello: Jefferson's 'Essay in Architecture' showcases the architectural origins, construction, and four-decade evolution of the Monticello house, widely regarded as one of the icons of American architecture.

The Words of Thomas Jefferson brings Jefferson's ideas to light through projection in an innovative display.

Griffin Discovery Room
Geared toward Monticello's younger visitors, the Griffin Discovery Room offers a variety of hands-on, interactive ways for young people to connect with Thomas Jefferson and the members of the larger Monticello community.

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