From Cvillepedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Highland is the name of the estate of James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States.

Logo-small25.jpg This article is a stub. You can help cvillepedia by expanding it.

Name change

In 2016, the nonprofit organization that runs the estate changed the name back to Highland, its name when Monroe lived there. A later owner had renamed it to Ash Lawn-Highland. Monroe lived there from 1799 to 1823. [1] Monroe sold the house as he exited the presidency.

A celebration of the Monroe's birthday old out on April 28, 2017. [2]

Main Structure and Side Yard at Ashlawn-Highland

Ash Lawn-Highland is the historic home of President James Monroe and his wife, Elizabeth Kortright Monroe. The 535-acre working farm, and performing arts site is located in Albemarle County President Monroe purchased Ash Lawn-Highland in 1793 and made it his family's official residence from 1799 to 1823.


The property formerly known as Ash Lawn-Highland was opened for to the public as a tourist location in 1931 by Jay Winston and Helen Lambert Johns, who operated and maintained the property until the Johns' death in 1974. Upon the Johns' passing, Ash Lawn was given to the College of William and Mary, alma mater of James Monroe. The College initiated new programs in restoration and interpretation at Ash Lawn-Highland after officially accepting the the gift from the Johns.

The College of William and Mary, with the help of experts in the fields of historic restoration and preservation, has made a consistent effort to maintain the historical nature of the property.[3]

On August 29, 2012, Sara Bon-Harper was appointed the new director of Ash Lawn-Highland, effective September 15, 2012. She replaced Carolyn Holmes, who was director of the estate for 37 years.[4]

Narrative from Virginia Landmarks Register page

"James Monroe, U. S. Senator; governor of Virginia; minister to France, England, and Spain, and fifth president of the United States, purchased this farm, originally named Highland, in 1793. He completed the house in 1799. Monroe’s friend and mentor, Thomas Jefferson selected the house site, within view of Jefferson’s Monticello. Monroe called the home his “castle cabin.” The Monroe family left Highland in 1823; it was sold in 1826. Opened as a museum by philanthropist Jay Winston Johns, the southern Albemarle County property is now owned by the College of William and Mary and commemorates Monroe’s residency in this area.

Archaeological work at what is now known as James Monroe’s Highland revealed in 2016 that the Monroes’ residence was not the rear wing of the main dwelling currently standing on the property. The rear wing (pictured above) was, instead, an early 19th century guest house, used by visitors during Monroe’s tenure as president, and later expanded. The larger, primary residence from the Monroe period was likely destroyed by a fire between the mid-1830’s and the early 1850’s."

Albemarle County Fair

Highland has hosted the Albemarle County Fair since in 2012. The fair had intended to look for a permanent site.[5]


Coordinates:Erioll world.svg.png 37°58′57″N 78°27′20″W / 37.982448°N 78.455457°W / 37.982448; -78.455457


  1. Web. Monroe’s home restores its original name: Highland, Staff Reports, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, April 23, 2016, retrieved April 25, 2016.
  2. Web. Albemarle County residents celebrate James Monroe's 259th birthday, Taylor Cairns, News Article, Charlottesville Newsplex, April 28, 2017, retrieved April 29, 2017.
  3. Web. Ash Lawn-Highland Home Page, retrieved 07 Jan. 2011.
  4. Web. Ash Lawn-Highland names new Director, Daily Progress Staff, The Daily Progress, August 28, 2012, retrieved January 18, 2020.
  5. Web. Like a phoenix: AlbCo Fair rebuilds... at Ash Lawn, Hawes Spencer, The Hook, Better Publications LLC, 9 Mar 2012

External Links