Near Lynchburg in Bedford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Why build the mounds?
In his innovative design, Jefferson substituted a double row of trees for the hyphens and earthen mounds for the pavilions. Slaves created the mounds with soil from the house foundation and lawn.
Jefferson directed that each mound be covered with Weeping Willows, Golden Willows and Aspens. Five years later he asked that flowering shrubs be planted, suggesting that the original trees may not have survived.
Archaeologists have found a planting hole relating to Jefferson's design on each mound. Future work will attempt to locate additional holes in order to understand the pattern of plantings and verify which plants were actually used.
Digging of the house basement
Digging of the south lawn
Feb. 27, 1811
"plant on each mound
4. weeping willows on the top in a square 20 f. apart
Aspens in a circle round the foot. 15 f. apart"
May, 12. 1812
"soon as the green swerd (grass) seed is ripe, have [some] gathered by the negro children and sowed on all the naked parts [of the] mound..."
"plant a double row of paper mulberries from stairways to the Mounds"
Dec. 5, 1812
"planted Monto. Aspens...viz
12 round the Eastern mound & 4. round West do [ditto]...
planted also 2 European mulberries...as part of the double row from the Western mound towards the house."
Nov. 1, 1816
"Althaeas, Gelder roses, lilacs, calycanthus, in both mounds."
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Horticulture & Forestry • Patriots & Patriotism • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 37° 20.872′ N, 79° 15.903′ W. Marker is near Lynchburg, Virginia, in Bedford County. Marker can be reached from Bateman Bridge Road. Located on the grounds of Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Forest VA 24551, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Poplar Forest Planting Memorandum 1812 (within shouting distance of this marker); Commemorating Lewis and Clark (within shouting distance of this What happened to Poplar Forest after Jefferson's death? (within shouting distance of this marker); Why is the lawn sunken? (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); How was the landscape partitioned? (about 300 feet away); Plantation Worker Housing (about 400 feet away); St. Stephen's Church (approx. 2.4 miles away); Samuel Miller (approx. 3.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lynchburg.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 20, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 19, 2016, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 173 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 19, 2016, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.