Monticello

LORELAI: Mmm, I’m terrible at coming up with names. When we first bought out house, Rory and I wanted to name it, you know, like Jefferson named his place Monticello, but all we could come up with is The Crap Shack.

Former US President Thomas Jefferson, previously discussed, called his main plantation Monticello, from the Italian for “little mountain”, as it’s situated on a peak of the Southwest Mountains, near Charlottesville, Virginia. The plantation house was first begun in 1768 in a neoclassical style, but extensively remodelled in the 1790s with elements from Parisian homes Jefferson had seen in France and ideas of his own devising, and work continued into the 1820s. Monticello is now a National Historic Landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and features on the US five cent coin.

Notice that Lorelai wears a black blouse with a red cherry print design on it – Monticello is famous for its orchard, including its cherry trees. You can still buy cherry preserves from the Monticello gift shop. I cannot say if the colour of the blouse is significant in light of the slave labour that was used at Monticello, and even to some extent, in the building of the plantation house itself.

This is the first time we learn that Lorelai and Rory supposedly called their house The Crap Shack when they moved in, when Rory was eleven. Presumably the house was in poor condition, and has needed a lot of work to get it to the standard we see. It can’t be a name they use very often – they’ve always just referred to as “home” or “the house” so far. Perhaps that’s because the house is now far less crappy than when Lorelai bought it and the name doesn’t really apply any more.

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