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Lost and Found in Charlottesville

By Linda Tancs

Almost lost to history, extensive archaeological work has revealed the original footprint of Highland, home to U.S. President James Monroe. It burned down in the 1800s, but the guest house remains, filled with family furniture and portraits. A devoted public servant for 50 years, Monroe was the most popular U.S. president of his era, a four-term Virginia governor, Secretary of State and Secretary of War (under James Madison) and an international diplomat, among other things. The grounds include the Highland Rustic Trails, interpretive trails that wind through the pasture and wooded hillside of the estate. In addition to traditional guided tours, the estate offers augmented reality tours featuring a wearable glass device imposing characters of the era (including Monroe) for a more authentic experience. Located in Charlottesville, Virginia, Highland is part of William and Mary, Monroe’s alma mater.

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