Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest welcomes visitors for Fourth of July

FOREST, Va. – Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, one of Central Virginia’s strongest ties to the founding fathers, welcomed Independence Day visitors in a different way this year because of covid-19.

Poplar Forest guests could still tour the Third President’s former home, but tours were limited to ten people at a time. Everyone at Poplar Forest had to wear a mask, and the museum organized several outdoor activities to keep people at a distance.

Education Director Mary Massie said the museum is grateful they could welcome visitors at all.

“A couple of weeks ago, we were very worried that we wouldn’t be able to do anything,” Massie said. “To be able to do even this smaller scale event is so great and gratifying after being closed for a few months.”

The Poplar Forest house, which Jefferson used as a retreat from his main residence in Albemarle County, was completed in 1816. However, the house did not open to the public until Independence Day 1986.