Did you know that our 5th President lived right behind Thomas Jefferson in Albemarle County? President James Monroe owned an estate property known as Highland, which today is called Ash Lawn – Highland. As our 5th President of the United States and a friend and compatriot of Thomas Jefferson (TJ as Cvillians refer to him), Monroe was originally from Westmoreland County, which runs along the Potomac River.
Historic Neighbors in Albemarle County
After the end of the Revolutionary War, Monroe returned to Williamsburg where he met Thomas Jefferson and formed a life long friendship. As Jefferson’s next door neighbor in Albemarle County, Monroe lived on the estate property adjacent to Monticello for 24 years. This magnificent estate property in Albemarle County was the home of James Monroe and his wife, Elizabeth. from 1793 until 1826.
After the deaths of Monroe and his wife, the estate name was changed from Highland to Ash Lawn. The property was opened to the public in 1931 by Jay Winston and Helen Lambert Johns. Upon the death of Ms. Johns in 1974, the property was bequeathed to The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, and the alma mater of James Monroe.
Working Farm in Albemarle County
Of all the historic properties in Albemarle County, Ash Lawn–Highland has been used as a residence continuously since 1799. The estate continues to be a 535 acre working Albemarle County farm. The College of William and Mary has restored the property to its original state and the estate property is now the site of meetings, parties, picnics, a summer music festival and a variety of other special events, including weddings.
Year Round Activities Scheduled
Open to the public year round, the estate provides an authentic view of 19th century life through examples of Early American and Victorian architecture, decorative arts and craft demonstrations held on the grounds. Visitors to this magnificent Albemarle County estate property are invited to fly kites in the spring, attend concerts of traditional music and opera in the summer and cut their Christmas trees from the estate property during the holiday season.
Culture Lives at Ash Lawn-Highland
This year Ash Lawn – Highland’s contribution to live arts in the Charlottesville Albemarle area is their presentation of Carmen and My Fair Lady. There is also Music at Twilight presenting music from Broadway Hit Shows and Mozart.
For the kids there is Summer Saturdays presenting DinoRock’s Dinosaurs Forever, a kid’s version of Carmen called The Story of the Gypsy and the Toreador and Bob Brown’s Puppet’s Rumpelstilskin. There is also a host of workshops, demonstrations and special exhibits available all year.
Moving to Albemarle County Virginia
If you are interested in the moving to the Charlottesville Albemarle area, let us know. As Charlottesville real estate agents Brian Chase and Lauri Powell, your Albemarle County area experts, we are able to introduce you to our diverse neighborhoods and show you a broad spectrum of homes for sale in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area. If you are local and looking for a larger or smaller home, let us help you find your next home. If you are happy with your current home and are looking for a second vacation home, The Chase Team can help you find your mountain vacation home at Wintergreen, a mountain/ski resort only 45 minutes from Charlottesville. Just remember, Wintergreen has much more to offer than just skiing. It is a consummate year round destination.
If you have any questions about our area, please leave a comment on this blog.
Wishing you and your family a happy and safe 4th of July holiday,