Saturday, September 18, 2010

Exploring SW Virginia - Poplar Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway

Thanks for hanging in there.  This post will wrap up the SW Virginia series. 

After the staying the first night near Floyd, VA, we had moved on to stay a couple of nights at the beautiful Acorn Hill Inn in Lynchburg VA. 

On Labor Day, we headed out to a couple more places we wanted to see before heading home.  Our first stop was Poplar Forest, just outside Lynchburg.  Poplar Forest was the retreat home for Thomas Jefferson, which he and his wife inherited in 1773.  During his ownership, Poplar Forest was a 4,800 acre working plantation.  He spent little time there for many years, the main exception being when he had to flea from Monticello in 1781 to escape British capture.  

Later, during his presidency, he designed the house that stands today.  After his presidency ended in 1809, he visited three to four times per year until 1823.  Below are entry flags and a commemorative plaque.

It is built as an octagon for space efficiency and has many features similar to Monticello.  The front entry is left, the back garden entrance on the right.

Having been in disrepair for some years, the house is in the midst of a long term renovation and archaeologists continue digs to uncover clues and artifacts from the Jefferson years.  It was fascinating to learn more about the man and his many talents, and stand in the house he himself designed.  Learn more about Poplar Forest by clicking here.

After that we were off to cruise the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It is a beautiful drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains and we had a gorgeous sunny day for the drive.

Thus ended our Labor Day adventure.  We have found Virginia to be such a great place to explore - rich with history and natural beauty as well.  We look forward to our next Virginia adventure!  Stay tuned!

No comments: