In addition to visiting Woodrow Wilson's birthplace, Barbara and I took Nikki on a little sightseeing tour to visit Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson. It was a little overcast, but Nikki's fast speed made her very useful to have. While we were in the area, we decided to go down the road to visit James Monroe's home Ashlawn. It's only three miles from Monticello. The first thing we noticed about Ashlawn is how humble seeming it was compared to Monticello. It looks like any other old farmhouse in the area.
Here's a couple from Ashlawn for comparison.
Back to Monticello. There is a sort of underground tunnel system that runs under the main house and goes out beyond on both sides. The walls are lined with brick and stone with a plaster coating over most of it. There's also little windows at ground level for light.
Down in these tunnels are all sorts of rooms off to the side. Some were storage rooms, and some were used for more important reasons such as the wine cellar and beer cellar. :) There was even a smokehouse, although it wasn't directly under the main house.
Then there was the garden. Jefferson was quite the innovator when it came to agriculture. He tried a lot of different vegetables, livestock, grapes for wine and he even invented some farm implements. The little brick temple was where he would go and just rest and enjoy the view. I'm sure you could see a lot further back in his day!
And lastly Jefferson's grave site. It was very unassuming.
There is a whole lot more I could tell you about the man and his home, including the slaves that worked, lived and died here. But I wouldn't be able to do it justice. If you get the chance to visit I think it would be very worthwhile.