Friends, Neighbors, Presidents:
The World of Jefferson, Madison & Monroe.
April 13 – 18, 2008
At Charlottesville, Virginia
Sponsored by: The College of William & Mary
This Elderhostel program focused of three early presidents of the United States that were neighbors and close friends. They governed the United States collectively for a period of 24 years during the infancy of our nation.
The English Inn of Charlottesville served as out headquarters for this Elderhostel program.
On Monday, we started our week with lectures on Historic Roads & Transportation by Howard Newlon. The second lecture of the morning was on the topic of James Monroe: Principle & Perseverance. It was delivered by Mr. James Wootton. These lectures helped to set the stage for our afternoon field trips.
Our first stop was at the University of Virginia campus. We visited the university Rotunda where we toured the building.
University of Virginia Rotunda.
Thomas Jefferson as sculpted by Alexander Gait.
This statue is located in the rotunda.
Student residences that one side the Academic Village
that Jefferson designed for the campus.
One of the many curved walls that surround the
various gardens found on campus.
University of Virginia Chapel.
After our visit to the University of Virginia campus
we were bussed to Ash Lawn Highlands the
President James Monroe.
The front entrance to President Monroe's home.
A side view of the Monroe home.
The outbuildings at Ash Lawn Highland.
President James Monroe and a guest to his home.
Late in the afternoon we celebrated out visit to Ash
Lawn Highlands with a wine tasting.
After our evening meal, we were treated to a visit from
President James Monroe. He spoke to our group
and answered questions.
Society to Our Taste. Followed by the well known video;
Thomas Jefferson, The Pursuit of Liberty.
Then it was off to downtown Charlottesville for a walking tour
of the city's historic area. We were first greeted by the above
statue of General Robert E. Lee in a small city park.
where we started our tour.
We also walked passed a statue of Stonewall Jackson in
front of a building in the historic area.
The trees were in full bloom as spring had arrived.
Michie Tavern, on way to Monticello. We
had lunch here on Tuesday.
entrance where tours begin.
There are no photos allowed inside Monticello during
our tour. It was a beautiful day for outside photos of the
gardens and the Jefferson's home.
view of the rear side of the home. The tulips and other
spring flowers were in full bloom.
family cemetery just down the hill from Monticello. Above
is a picture of Thomas Jefferson's tomb stone. The floral
tributes are left from his birthday recognition on April 2nd.
Wednesday program called for two lectures in the morning
focusing on “Madison, Montpelier & Constitution Building”
and the “Architecture of the Period”. We had a free
afternoon to explore Charlottesville. Wednesday evening
we were entertained by Su Tarr who played the violin and performed
music of the years when our three neighbors were
living in and around Charlottesville.
Thursday morning found our group boarding our bus for
the drive out to President James Madison's Montpelier home.
The visitors center at Montpelier. Since my first trip to
Montpelier in 2000 a great deal of renovation has occurred at
President Madison's home. They are restoring it to the
appearance of Madison's period of living in the home.
Constitution, greeted us when we entered the visitor center.
Remodeling of the front of the Madison
home is underway.
The remodeling scene at the back of the home. Our tour
of the home took us into the building from the rear. The
renovation is only partly completed. The completion of
the project is scheduled for next September 17, which is
Constitution Day. A large celebration is scheduled
for that day at the home.
After a quick box lunch we traveled to the Madison family
cemetery near the visitor center. The large tomb stone
marks the burial spot of President James Madison. The
smaller tomb stone to the left of President Madison is
Dolley Madison's burial place.
Later in the afternoon, we had a visit to
Barboursville (Va.) Winery.
View of some of the vineyards near the visitor center.
Barrels of aging wine.
A last activity of the day after winery tour was a wine
tasting. We had the chance to taste several of the various
wines produced at the winery.
Friday was our last day of this very good Elderhostel program.
We had two lectures before departing. The first lecture
was by Greg Glassner and was entitled, Monroe & William Wirt.
Jim Wootton concluded our program with a lecture about
“Thomas Jefferson: Visions & Contradictions”.
nice people in attendance.