The Retreat

Property Rental & Photo Sessions

Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest is a private 501(c)3 corporation that receives no ongoing state or federal funding. Rental fees for private event rentals and photography sessions help us maintain the property for future generations. We appreciate your understanding and compliance with our policies.

Property Rentals for private events

Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest is a unique site which served as the retreat home of Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States. The Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest offers private rentals of the grounds and after-hours tours of the house. Outside organizations and groups have the opportunity to rent the Poplar Forest grounds under these conditions and requirements:

  • Property rental for an event is $3,500.00 plus a $500 deposit payable to The Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. Included with this fee:
    • Use of Poplar Forest grounds as defined by the Director of Programs and Education
    • Tours of the house for all guests attending (provided adequate guides and staff are available). Rental of the historic house is not allowed. 
    • Poplar Forest staff time (Event Coordinator and additional staff as needed to ensure compliance with property guidelines). The fee does not include personnel for the event itself such as caterers, musicians, wait staff and the like.
    • Electricity
    • Museum Shop restrooms (cleaning prior to and at conclusion of the event)
    • Lawn mowing services within several days preceding the event

No private event will be allowed to conflict with the regular schedule of public tours. All events must take place after Poplar Forest closes to the public at 5 p.m. and must conclude by 10 p.m. For further information on private event rentals including property and event guidelines as well as approved vendors please review the Private Event Rental Policy. If you think Poplar Forest is a good match for your event, please contact Sarah Mihelic, Manager of Programs and Education at 434-534-8110 or

Photography sessions on the Grounds

Poplar Forest does allow for private photoshoots on the grounds for a fee of $100/hour with a 1 hour minimum. This fee is required for photoshoots anywhere on our property including along the parkway and near the walking trails. 

This fee covers staff time spent with the photographer as well as admission to the grounds for your photography session. Photography sessions must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance. If you are interested in taking photos at Poplar Forest please contact Mary Massie, Director of Programs and Education at 434-534-8108 or to schedule a date.


Drone photography

Drone photography of Poplar Forest is strictly prohibited.