Monday, July 21, 2014

The Ultimate Family Museum

My last post was about my birthday and having saved cards from past birthdays helped me recall and share those memories with you. I concluded with describing the gifts waiting on the dining room table for me to open and whatever I received, I will save in our family museum. But this post is not so much about the gifts, but about a surprise vacation that was not for only me but the whole family. This trip took us to the ultimate family museum . . . Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, VA.

We are fortunate to live only a couple of hours away and despite a thunderstorm, rush hour, an accident and road construction, what would have been a two-hour trip took us three hours, but we got there never-the-less and after staying the first of two nights at the lovely Boar’s Head Inn the four of us were ready to see the magnificent home of America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson.

With all that I want to write about, instead of many words, I will let the pictures do the telling. The reason I am sharing this adventure with you is because I hope it will inspire you to create your family museum, of which Mr. Jefferson did, for his home is more than a museum of fine furniture, art work and books, it is his family museum, because his family was very important to him.

Here is the Goesel family standing on the expansive lawn at Monticello. The weather was cool & comfortable. We first went to the visitor center, saw an informative film about Monticello, then took a shuttle bus up the hill to the house. We first viewed the wonderful gardens while we waited for our tour time. Our guide was enthusiastic and here are a few pictures of what we saw.

Entrance Hall with recreations of items collected by Lewis & Clark on the cross-country expedition commissioned by Jefferson to explore the Louisiana Purchase.
Over the course of time after Thomas Jefferson passed away, various family members and other owners lived, work & restored the plantation. In 1923 it was sold to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation which operates it as a house museum and educational institution.
The original artifacts, antiques, paintings, sculptures, books, and furniture pieces have been replaced by reproductions. The reason I bring this to your attention is just because the originals are gone, they were replace by like-wise items. So as you gather your heirlooms and keepsakes for your family museum and find that you no longer have an item that you wished you still had, it can be replaced by visiting antique shops, yard sales, and all the other places where just about everything can be found and purchased. I think Mr. Jefferson would be proud to see that his home has been restored and much of Monticello’s interior decorations and antiques have been replaced and reflect his personal ideas and ideals. 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”                Thomas Jefferson

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great place to visit.