One of only two homes Thomas Jefferson designed for his personal use, Poplar Forest was the place where Jefferson “came to indulge in the life of the mind and renew his personal creativity.” Jefferson and his wife, Martha, inherited the Bedford County plantation from her father in 1773. When his presidency ended in 1809, Jefferson visited the retreat three or four times a year, often staying for several months at a time during planting seasons.
Designated a National Historic Landmark and nearly lost to development, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest was rescued in 1984 by a group of local citizens who sought to preserve it for the cultural and educational benefit of the public. Poplar Forest opened to the public for the first time in 1986, in its “before restoration” state. Today, the neoclassical architecture of the octagonal house has been returned to Mr. Jefferson's design.
Please Note that Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest villa will be closed to the public from December 30, 2017 through March 14, 2018 while the ceilings throughout the house are re-plastered. The historic home will host three special events while the villa is closed including a plaster talk and tour of the workspaces.
- Family Friendly
- Admission includes a guided house tour and self-guided exploration of exhibits in the lower level of the house, the Wing of Offices, the ornamental grounds and slave quarter site. Visitors on Saturdays and Sundays have the opportunity to add the Enslaved Community Tours to their visit, included with admission. These guided tours––from the site of the slave cabins throughout the nearby plantation grounds, with stops along the way––provide insight into the work the enslaved residents were doing, discovered through true stories and anecdotes that have been documented in letters and archaeological evidence: $16 for adults; $14 for seniors (ages 65+) and military (must show ID); $8 for college students (must show ID) and youth ages 12–18; $4 for youth ages 6–11; and free for children under age 6.
Last Updated: 12/13/2017