Author Archive

Sep 21, 2023

The Final Piece of Restoration

This year we have been focusing on the big milestones of the 40th anniversary and the completion of the historic house. Although Jefferson was happy to consider the house basically done before most of the major woodwork was finished, we found it more difficult to pin down at exactly what moment we would declare the house […]

Sep 19, 2023

New Hire Highlight: Bella Kilper

By: Bella Kilper This past summer I had the pleasure of serving as the Summer Research Intern for the archaeology department at Poplar Forest. Having just graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Clemson University, this position was the perfect opportunity for me to continue utilizing my archaeological experience and gain new insights […]

Aug 23, 2023

Poplar Forest awarded the 2023 John Russell Pope Award for Artisanship

The architectural and landscape restorations of Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest have set many precedents and received numerous accolades. In April, the meticulous craftsmanship that drove the restoration of the Palladian-inspired villa was awarded the 2023 John Russell Pope Award for Artisanship by the Washington Mid Atlantic Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art […]

Aug 23, 2023

Student Research Illuminates Fascinating Finds

by Erin Schwartz On July 14, Poplar Forest’s 32nd Annual Summer Field School in Historical Archaeology drew to a close. While students had learned many valuable skills in the field and in the lab, they further developed their creative and analytical skills in individual student research projects. Each student could choose an artifact they found or […]

Aug 23, 2023

Restoration turns to Preservation

This past month we have been pressing forward with the preservation of the wood fixtures on the roof. It is incredible how quickly water can wreak havoc once it finds its way through the paint. To effectively repair the rot and paint damage, the scope of work has been narrowed to one straight run of […]

Jul 19, 2023

2023 Field School Week 6

By: Alyssa Moorman Week 6 has come to an end, and the Poplar Forest Archaeology Field School 2023 has officially been completed. The week started with a lecture on Industrial Slavery. The lecture highlighted the use of slavery in industrial settings, even in northern states. Enslaved laborers working in industrial settings often did so either […]

Jul 17, 2023

The House is Restored…Now what?

“I never thought I’d live long enough to see it finished,” a sentiment shared by long-time docents, board members, and supporters of the 40-year experiment to faithfully restore Poplar Forest.   Here we are at the most anticipated milestone in the history of this home, and the number one question we receive is: “What now?”  It’s […]

Jul 14, 2023

2023 Field School Week 5

By: Taylor Gantzert At the beginning of the fifth week of Poplar Forest’s field school, students learned about the tools that archaeologists use to categorize and analyze the data collected in the field. Among the most important tools is a suite of computer programs referred to as GIS (Geographic Information Systems). These systems allow archaeologists […]

Jul 6, 2023

2023 Field School Week 4 (Part 2)

A Trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Historic Jamestowne by Nicole Finnigan While the focus of the first half of the week was on digging our units and learning about flotation, the second half of Week 4 involved a delightful and exciting two-day trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Historic Jamestowne. The first day of the trip […]

Jul 6, 2023

2023 Field School Week 4 (Part 1)

By Rose Hill (the happy Texan): In this week of the field school, we began each morning with a series of lectures by Dr. Proebsting on the topics of landscape archaeology and restoring Poplar Forest to the era of Jefferson’s residency. Our main goal in each of these lectures has been to understand the context […]

Jun 28, 2023

2023 Field School Week 3

By: Gill Batt This week, field school started with a tour of Monticello on Monday. The group listened to a lecture and toured the house along with the grounds. The lecture given by Fraser Neiman, the Director of Archaeology at Monticello, was on the geoarchaeology of Monticello, specifically analyzing the Paw Paw Valley site. After […]

Jun 20, 2023

2023 Field School Week 2

By: Cameron Cash This was an exciting week for the 2023 Archaeology Field School. Despite Monday’s inclement weather keeping us away from our 5 ft. x 5 ft. excavation units by the 1857 Slave Dwelling, the students were given a few fantastic lectures by Karen McIlvoy and Erin Schwartz. The students learned about the origins, […]