Charlottesville’s Monticello, former home of President Thomas Jefferson, is full of living history. Mulberry Row, the industrial hub of the 5,000-acre (2,023-hectare) estate, is arguably one of the most important areas of the complex. Everyone who worked the plantation—including slaves—lived here, just a few hundred feet from the main house.
Mulberry Row was named after the trees that were planted alongside the 1,300-foot (396-meter) lane. Free workers and slaves alike worked on the land of the plantation that Thomas Jefferson owned from 1770 to 1831, when Monticello was sold. Today you can see former buildings and ruins that were used for manufacturing metal objects, weaving textiles, and carpentry. As you explore the grounds on a Slavery at Monticello tour, you learn about what life was like for enslaved people during this crucial time in US history.
Things to Know Before You Go
Mulberry Row is a must for history buffs, especially those interested in the story or slavery in the US.
A visitor’s center, located at the David M. Rubenstein Center, hosts exhibits and an introductory film to acquaint guests with Monticello’s history.
The Slavery at Monticello tour is included in the price of your ticket. Many other tours are offered, some for an additional fee.
Mulberry Row is accessible to wheelchair users, though it’s advised to allow extra time for exploring due to the brick or crushed-rock surfaces on the plantation grounds.
How to Get There
Monticello is located just 10 minutes outside of Charlottesville. Best access is by car, and there is plenty of free on-site parking.
When to Get There
Monticello and Mulberry Row are open every day of the year except Christmas; check the website for opening hours and tour times and fees, which vary. It’s best to visit in the warmer months, when the trees and flowers are in bloom and the weather is pleasant to walk around the grounds.
Plantation Life During the Jefferson Era
Mulberry Row was the center of work and domestic life for dozens of people who worked for Thomas Jefferson. Laborers, both free and enslaved, did myriad jobs including weaving, metal-working, carpentry, gardening, and tin-making. There were about 20 dwellings, workshops, and storehouses along Mulberry Row, the remains of which are visitable today.