In 1799, James Monroe and his family moved to Highland, their home in Albemarle County, neighboring Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Jefferson, Monroe's teacher and close friend, had previously urged him to move to the area to create a "society to our taste."
New discoveries at James Monroe’s Highland have rewritten the history of the property. Recent archaeological excavations, tree ring dating, and architectural research have determined that the structure once thought to be a wing of Monroe’s original house was actually his Presidential Guest House, built in 1818. The same research has identified the archaeological remains of Monroe’s primary residence, lost to history sometime after he sold the property. The foundation of this residence, a freestanding and sizeable structure, was recently uncovered during excavations next to the guest house.
Today, tours of the property are offered Thursday through Sunday, from 10am-4pm, and explore Monroe's contributions to the early American republic over 50 years of public service. Set on more than 500 acres, the house is nestled along a ridge with a landscape preserved much like Monroe would have known it. Across the service yard, the reconstructed enslaved persons' quarters stand alongside two original outbuildings.
- Family Friendly
- LGBT Friendly
- $8 admission, free for children under six years of age
Last Updated: 08/25/2020