Our mission is to preserve Thomas Jefferson’s personal retreat and plantation, to inspire exploration of his enduring legacy, and to tell the stories of the free and enslaved people who lived and worked at Poplar Forest.
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.
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Our friendly, dedicated staff is responsible for the daily operation of Jefferson's Poplar Forest.
Board of Directors
Poplar Forest's Board of Directors is dedicated to carrying out our mission of the continued renovation of Jefferson's retreat home.
Advisory Panels, focused on both Poplar Forest's landscape and architecture, assist in guiding the best decisions for future renovation projects.
Interested in working at Poplar Forest? Find opportunities for employment at Jefferson's retreat here.
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.
Guidestar Seal of Transparency
We are pleased to have achieved the Gold Seal of Transparency with GuideStar for 2021. 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. We will continue to monitor our listing with GuideStar to further increase transparency and potentially earn the Platinum Seal next year!
"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