James Monroe Birthplace

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number

79003095; 08000285

Now appearing only as an archaeological site, the James Monroe Birthplace is located in rural Westmoreland County near Colonial Beach. Built circa 1752 by James’s father, Spence Monroe, the house which once stood on the property had less than 1,600 square feet of floor space during the time James lived there with his parents and four siblings. James Monroe sold the family property in 1783. By the mid-19th century, the property had passed through multiple owners and the Monroes’ dwelling no longer was standing. Although originally listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places in 1979, archaeological discoveries later in the 20th century caused this resource’s nomination to be reevaluated in light of the research potential available in the structural remains of the Monroe birthplace dwelling, as well as related features and activity areas. Such issues as plantation organization and master-slave relationships are among several areas of research that stand to benefit from further exploration of this site.

Following additional archaeological and documentary research of the James Monroe Birthplace conducted in 2006, the nomination form was revised to reflect newly discovered areas of significance. A more thorough examination of the site’s history revealed that the property’s association with James Monroe held greater significance than is typical for the birthplaces of historic figures. In addition, continuity of on-site activities memorializing Monroe has lent symbolic value, elevating the importance of the birthplace as a primarily commemorative property.
[VLR Listed: 12/5/2007; NRHP Listed: 4/10/2008]

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

For additional information Read

Nomination Form

2008 Updated Nomination


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