Early Presidential Homes Offer a Personal Look at Our Past

Koch Foundation

Koch Foundation



Donald L. Koch currently serves as president of Koch Asset Management. A multi-experienced executive in the financial industry, he focuses on securing strong shareholder positions in community-based banks across the nation. Donald L. Koch is also the founder of the Koch Foundation, through which he presents public lectures by authors and dignitaries focused on the history of America’s founding documents and principles.

One recent foundation presentation featured Clark Beim-Esche, author of the book Calling on the Presidents: Tales Their Houses Tell. Having toured every president’s home, Beim-Esche offers an inside view of their lives and accomplishments.

Almost all of our first presidents’ residences were in Virginia: George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon, Thomas Jefferson’s at Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier in the town of Orange, and Highland, the Charlottesville home of fifth president James Monroe. John Adams, the only one among the first five presidents born outside Virginia, grew up in Quincy, Massachusetts, and his home at Peacefield is now part of the Adams National Historical Park there.

Visitors will find a rich architectural history in these homes. For example, Mount Vernon today reveals the residence that Washington expanded from a smaller house constructed by his father into an elegant mansion of more than 20 rooms, now restored to reflect their appearance during his era. At Monticello, Jefferson built for himself a sanctuary of 43 rooms surrounded by stunning grounds, which include a vegetable garden that blossoms today with the same species he cultivated.