2017-04-29 / The Rock

Students visit Jefferson’s Monticello

By Gavin Goodwin

On Friday April 21, students from honors and AP English and history classes along with members of the Person High School Key Club took a field trip to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s famous house in Albemarle County, Virginia

“We have talked about Monticello in history classes and read about it in English classes, so I actually felt connected to what I have been learning,” said the president of Key Club, Brent Whitt.

The house sets near the top of a mountain in Albemarle County. Students viewed the landscape that went on for miles into the distance.

The construction of Monticello began in 1768, but Jefferson was constantly changing it and coming up with additions for the home.

Students were able to see the first floor of the house, which Jefferson and his family used as a living space, and the underground level of the house, where Jefferson put his kitchen and storage for wine and other food products.

Students saw some of the gadgets Jefferson included in his home, including a rotating service door where people could put their dirty dishes after dinner, a dumb waiter system on the side of a fireplace mantel to bring bottles of wine from the wine cellar to the dining room above, and a great clock that Jefferson used to keep up with time and the days of the week.

“You feel a sense of awe when you’re standing in his house. You feel like you know him because of the way the house expresses what kind of person he was,” Whitt said.

After seeing inside the house and the level underneath, students visited the gravesite of the Jefferson family and an unmarked African American gravesite, where over 40 slaves were buried.

“If you have never been to Monticello, you should expect to be amazed,” Whitt said.

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