About Us

The mission of the Corporation for Jefferson's Poplar Forest is to preserve, inspire, and tell the emerging story of Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest.

We envision a restored Poplar Forest that ignites curiosity, understanding, and engagement.

Preserving Jefferson’s Creation

Poplar Forest is Thomas Jefferson’s personal retreat. It is one of only two homes Thomas Jefferson designed and created for his own use. Designated a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior, today it is an exciting opportunity to experience the award-winning rescue, archaeological exploration and restoration of one of America’s most important national landmarks.

Our Ongoing Restoration

The nonprofit Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest was formed in December 1983 by a group of individuals to lead the rescue of Jefferson’s endangered retreat for the cultural and educational benefit of the public—now and for future generations. In January 1984 the Corporation succeeded in taking title to a 50-acre parcel of land which was all that remained with the original buildings at the heart of Jefferson’s original plantation.

In 1986 Poplar Forest opened to the public for the first time—in the “before restoration” stage. In the first years, funds were raised to stabilize the historic features, keep the landmark open regularly, complete payment on the first land purchases, begin the state-of-the-art restoration, and start developing Poplar Forest’s tremendous educational potential.

The ongoing land rescue, archaeological exploration, and restoration is made possible entirely through donations to The Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, a nonprofit 501c(3) organization.

Awarded the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Honor Award, the restoration now in progress is regarded in the professional preservation community as one of the most important projects in the country. Compared to other American landmarks such as Mount Vernon and Monticello, Poplar Forest is in the infancy of its rescue and restoration.

Visitors from all 50 states and more than 80 countries have come to Poplar Forest to experience Thomas Jefferson’s private villa retreat as well as to explore the lives of over 90 enslaved men, women, and children who lived and worked at Poplar Forest. They are witnessing archaeologists bringing new information to light throughout the plantation and restoration craftsmen painstakingly restoring Jefferson’s ideal space for his personal pursuit of happiness.

Financial Information

We are pleased to have achieved the Platinum Seal of Transparency with Candid for 2023. The seal designates that Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest is committed to transparency, demonstrated by providing up-to-date information to give potential donors and funders better insight into our work as a nonprofit organization.

FORM 990

"More and more it is becoming clear how very important Poplar Forest is to our enlarged understanding of Thomas Jefferson and the reach of his imagination. That Jefferson was, along with so many other things, one of the premier American architects, has long been appreciated, but the originality and ingenuity of Poplar Forest – especially now that it is being so superbly restored – raise his standing still higher. This is an American masterpiece by a great American artist who happened to be The President of the United States.” David McCullough, Historian