His wife inherited the 4,819 acre plantation and he built an octagonal retreat home there which was basically complete in the year 1812. The home contains a central dining room in the shape of a cube, measuring 20 feet on all sides and lit from a skylight above. Currently under restoration, the building gives a fascinating glimpse of how things were built in those days, as well as showing off a few of Jefferson's inventions such as the triple sash window. Jefferson used the property as a respite from the busy Monticello, which was always welcoming visitors, and spent most of his time there only with close family members. He had a library containing 700 volumes and he used his time there to communicate with his 'absent friends', in other words, to catch up on his written correspondence.
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