Monticello – The Grounds

Monticello is the estate and plantation of Thomas Jefferson. It sits at the top of the mountain overlooking 5000 acres of land. The Italian word Monticello translates to “little mountain”. In 1768, Jefferson began constructing his primary residence Monticello and construction did not finish until 1809. During those years, the house was built and torn down many times in the interim.  Jefferson spent most of his adult life designing Monticello as the architect and was quoted as saying, “[a]rchitecture is my delight, and putting up, and pulling down, one of my favorite amusements.” The actual construction was done mostly by local masons and carpenters, assisted by Jefferson’s slaves.

The garden view from the back of the house. There is a semi-circle around the house filled with beautiful, brightly colored flowers and plants that are the same kinds of flowers that were there in Jefferson’s day.

The wine cellar, beer cellar and kitchen, as well as some of the slave quarters and other buildings are located under the main house.

There were lots of irises lining the grounds,

as well as many other beautiful plants and flowers, some of which were quite exotic.

The kitchen.

The wine and beer cellars.

Monticello was a working plantation, as they all were, and almost everything was made on site.

This was the dressmakers hut.

Thomas Jefferson, as well as every other plantation owners at the time, owned slaves. Over his lifetime, he probably owned close to 200 or more slaves. This was a typical slaves’ hut.

There was also a working garden, but it was more of an experimental garden because Jefferson was trying to see what plants would grow in the region. It was called the 1000 yard garden.

Like most other wealthy families, a family graveyard was on site as well.

Thomas Jefferson himself is buried on his beloved grounds of Monticello.

Thomas Jefferson was a very complex man, filled with many dualities. As with most people, he had many extremely worthy qualities and talents, as well as some that were not. We cannot judge the man from then by the standards of today. He lived his life in accordance to the standards of his time. He accomplished many great things, and for those, we as a society will be forever grateful.


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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