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On the Grounds
of 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 Ash Lawn-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.”