Posted by: Beemer Bob | October 18, 2014

xxxHomeless on the ridge (Oct 16)

Today we trucked it to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.

Monticello, pronounced Montechello, is Italian for “Little Mountain”. Now you know.


Before touring the inside, we toured the outside and cellars under the house

Jefferson was quite the innovator and was the architect of this house. He did not like his servants (slaves) disturbing the meals so he devised this system to ring downstairs that more wine was needed. The servants (slaves) would place the wine in this specially designed wine dumbwaiter and deliver the wine to the dining area.

A comment about the slaves that I found interesting. As the author of the Declaration of Independence and the one that penned the words “all men are created equal”, his words did not match his actions. Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves during his time. History tells us he was troubled by this but felt this was an issue for a future generation to address. Even though he was troubled by the enslavement of fellow humans, he seldom granted freedom to any of his owned slaves.

After touring the outside, we then did the inside tour. Photography is not allowed inside, so you are on your own. But it was interesting. Jefferson liked expensive contraptions and continuously remodeled Monticello. It would seem that Jefferson was very wealthy to be able to do this. But in reality most of this was done on borrowed money. Because of his status as a governor and the president he was able to borrow substantial funds that were not called due until his death. After he passed, his descendants inherited the debt and were left devastated. Jefferson may have written the Declaration of Independence and other lofty proclamations, but his usage of slaves and to leave his family in debt leads me to think less of him. Oh, and I have not even addressed Sally Hemings.

Anyway, after Monticello, we stopped at a place called Michie’s Tavern just up the road.



Michie was Scottish and the correct pronunciation is Mickey. I think of Tavern as a bar or a pub but in these times it meant an inn that served food for travelers. And most certainly large quantities of ale were involved.

We dined in the “Ordinary”. It was called the ordinary because it served ordinary food. No menus, your were served what ever food happened to be cooked that day. The concept was that the price of the meal would be affordable for the common traveler. For today’s tourist, however, the price was not ordinary. $18 a head for fried chicken! It was very good and we had fun so all is good.

The food and ale is served on pewter ware to be authentic with the time.

The dining area


After lunch we took a tour of the tavern. No such thing as separate rooms. Just rooms with several straw beds. You got a discount if there were no beds available and you had to sleep on the floor

The main gathering area or lobby if you will.



To be continued…


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