James Monroe's Highland

About James Monroe’s Highland


James Monroe, our fifth president, and his family called Highland their home for nearly 25 years. Under a later owner, the name of the Monroe plantation was changed from “Highland” to “Ash Lawn.” Today however, the plantation uses the name James Monroe’s Highland. James Monroe’s Highland was opened for public visitation in 1931 by philanthropist Jay Winston Johns and his wife Helen Lambert Johns. Upon his death in late 1974, Mr. Johns bequeathed James Monroe’s Highland to the College of William and Mary, Monroe’s alma mater. For nearly 40 years, the College has fulfilled Mr. Johns’s request to “operate this property as a historic shrine for the education of the general public.”

In the restored house, with a rich collection of period and Monroe-family furnishings as a backdrop, the guided tour emphasizes Monroe’s contributions to our nation’s early history. Monroe held many political offices before his two-term presidency, including roles in the Continental Congress and the U.S. Senate, and multiple terms as Governor of Virginia. The story of Monroe’s life features the American Revolution, southern and western expansion, international diplomacy and our earliest foreign policy, critical issues surrounding slavery—including a major slave rebellion, the international slave trade, and the anti-slavery movement—and Congressional compromise.

Continuing Monroe’s tradition of welcoming friends, neighbors, dignitaries, and visitors from around the globe, James Monroe’s Highland is not only an historic site offering daily house tours, period craft demonstrations, and history talks and symposia but also a public and private events venue. 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, picnics, and living history interpretations in the restored plantation core.

434- 293-8000
2050 James Monroe Parkway
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Hours of Operation

James Monroe’s Highland is open for tours year-round.

General Hours:

April–October: 9am to 6pm
November–March: 11am to 5pm

Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.


Contact James Monroe’s Highland