Labeled by Jefferson as "g.g. 2 coal sheds of wood" in the 1796 Mutual Assurance Plat.

Digital model of a coal shed at Monticello. Digital image by Rendersphere, LLC

Wood charcoal was stored under lock and key in 20 x 15-foot wooden sheds constructed in 1794 and demolished after 1803.  These coal sheds likely resembled temporary lean-tos and functioned as secure holding areas for fuel that could be readily transported to the nailery, smith’s shop, the main house, and dwellings on Mulberry Row. Additional sheds, each holding “8000. bushels of charcoal,” may have been built as fuel needs increased on Mulberry Row. Nailmaking in particular demanded large amounts of fuel to function profitably; Jefferson calculated that, on average, 666 bushels of charcoal would be needed to process one ton of nailrod in the nailery.

Hired charcoal-burners:

Enslaved charcoal-burners:

  • Frank (1757–1809), 1799–1809
  • Cary (b. 1785), 1802
  • James Hubbard (b. 1783), 1802
  • David Hern (the younger, 1784–after 1829), 1809–1823+