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Newton History Museum at the Jackson Homestead
Newton,  MA
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Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest
Forest, VA

Poplar Forest was an important part of Jefferson’s life – a private retreat, situated far from the public scrutiny and demands on his time. It was his most personal architectural creation and landscape, a place where he came to find rest and leisure, to rekindle his creativity, and to enjoy private time with his family. Poplar Forest was also a working plantation, critical to his efforts as a farmer. The lives of the enslaved men and women who worked for Jefferson are as important part of its history.

The house underwent many alterations over the years and its 4,812-acre was whittled down to a mere 50 as subdivisions surrounded it. In 1980, a North Carolina doctor bought the property in hopes of selling it to a preservation group. However, no one stepped up to the plate. The empty house began to deteriorate.

By late 1983, a handful of local residents pledged to find a way to save Jefferson's extraordinary retreat. By early 1984, this small group formed the nonprofit Corporation for Jefferson's Poplar Forest and raised enough money to buy the site. The Corporation reached out to build a network of support, ranging from donors across the country to young local schoolchildren contributing nickels. In 1986, Poplar Forest opened for tours on a regular basis.

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