The “Workhouse of Nature”: Jefferson’s Virginia and the View from Montalto

Friday, Sep. 20th: 1 - 3 pm David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center Peter J. Hatch

Thomas Jefferson – as well as his enslaved and free workers, family, and neighbors – shaped the land. And the land shaped them.

Join Monticello’s director of gardens and grounds emeritus, Peter Hatch, for a most memorable Heritage Harvest Festival tour atop Montalto – Jefferson’s first land acquisition in 1771. Spectacular vistas from the “high mountain” offer an exciting geographical and social perspective to Jefferson’s agricultural world – providing insight into the nature of his “satellite farms”, the people who toiled and lived there, the integral role of the Rivanna River, and the relationship of Monticello to the homes of Jefferson’s neighbors and family.

Experience Jefferson’s landscape, and hear the compelling stories of place. Highlights include Monticello Mountain, Shadwell (Jefferson’s birthplace), the Albemarle County frontier, and the geologic forces of the Blue Ridge and Southwest Mountains – each integral to the shaping of Jefferson’s genius, and key to understanding more about his plantation world, architectural imagination, dreams of western exploration and the founding of the University of Virginia.

The 2-hour walking tour includes a light snack and cool beverages.

Tour takes place rain or shine. Please wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes. Sunscreen and a hat recommended.

Brief shuttle transportation to Montalto departs from the traffic circle at Monticello’s David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center. Complimentary parking available in the main Monticello lot. For safety reasons, driving and/or parking at Montalto is not permitted for this event.

Peter J. Hatch

Author, Historian, Professional Gardener
Peter J. Hatch

Peter Hatch, director of gardens and grounds emeritus for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, lives in Albemarle County, Virginia, where he gardens, botanizes in the Blue Ridge Mountains and lectures about garden history. Hatch was responsible for the maintenance, interpretation and restoration of the 2,400-acre landscape at Monticello from 1977 to 2012. The author of four books on the gardens of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Hatch has lectured in 37 states on Jefferson and the history of garden plants. He travels extensively to promote his latest work, A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello (Yale University Press 2012), an award-winning book on Jefferson’s vegetable garden.