James Monroe’s Highland
Charlottesville, VA

Highland is the home of James Monroe, fifth President of the United States. President Monroe and his wife, Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, owned the property from 1793 to 1826 and made it their official residence from 1799 to 1823. Under a later owner, the plantation name was changed to "Ash Lawn"; today it is known as "James Monroe's Highland." New discoveries at James Monroe's Highland have just rewritten the history of the property. Recent archaeological excavations, dendrochronology (tree ring dating), and architectural research have determined that the structure once thought to be a wing of Monroe's original house was actually his Presidential Guest House, built in 1818. The same research has identified the archaeological remains of Monroe's primary residence, lost to history sometime after he sold the property. The foundation of this residence, a freestanding and sizeable structure, was recently uncovered during excavations just east of the 1870s Massey house.

Highland is both a historic site and an events venue, continuing Monroe's tradition of welcoming friends, neighbors, dignitaries, and visitors from around the globe. The site tour offers a compelling glimpse into a period of growth in U.S. history, in a setting full of abundant charm. Nestled against a ridge, Monroe's Highland is a landscape of rolling hills, pastures, and woodland, providing an unequalled backdrop of beauty and history for meetings, weddings, parties of all kinds, picnics, and living history interpretations in the restored plantation core. James Monroe's Highland offers engaging student programs that are aligned with Virginia SOLs. Experience the traditional guided house and grounds tour, a historic craft workshop, or select an interactive focus program like James Monroe in the American Revolution or Archaeology Lab.




Highland offers annual programs for families such as an April Sheep Shearing, Girl Scout Day, Home Educator Day and an American Girl Tea with Mrs. Monroe.




Highland announces groundbreaking augmented reality tours

James Monroe’s Highland announces groundbreaking ARtGlass augmented reality (AR) tours at the historic home of the fifth President. Highland is the first historic site in the United States to offer AR tours using smart glasses developed by Epson, providing a hands free experience. Public beta testing will begin on Monday, February 5, allowing ticketed guests to experience the augmented reality tour at no additional charge. Guests who participate in beta testing will be asked to complete a short survey about their experience.

Visitors enjoying the AR tour will roam through augmented environments, mostly outdoors, while 3D reconstructions, animated characters, videos, pictures, and text appear on the Highland landscape. The Highland AR experience will immerse visitors in never-before-seen content including conversations between historic Highland residents, 3D archaeological excavations, and architectural renderings. Content for the AR tour was developed from three years of research at the Monroes’ Albemarle County, Va. property and features the latest discoveries at the site.

“Augmented reality brings historical figures to life and shares the sense of discovery here at Highland in ways that are both educational and immersive,” said Highland Executive Director Sara Bon-Harper. “We expect to draw more—and more diverse—visitors.”

See a “behind-the-glasses” sample of the Highland tour here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwe1uaV9tqs.



To learn more visit our www.highland.org/plan-your-visit/school-groups/ or email education@highland.org

Visit at: www.highland.org