Sorry, it's not stucco

I'm writing in regard to the article regarding the Monticello Foundation's purchase of Brown's Mountain/Montalto [Cover story, "Mountain Views, How Monticello got Montalto back," February 5]. While I thoroughly enjoyed the article, I feel the need to correct a couple of the facts therein.

I lived on the mountain for a short time as a child. Shortly after the Browns sold the property to the trust represented by John Haskell, my father was hired as the property manager and we moved into the main house. Around the same time, my father started a business in town and, after a year, he felt the need to leave the mountain in order to focus on his growing business.

My father provided Haskell with able successors, my recently retired grandparents, who took up residence in the main house after my parents, sister, and I moved to a new house in town. My grandfather was the "new owner's representative" whose company then-law student George Allen enjoyed and who found Allen a place to hunt deer. It was a disagreement with Haskell over this hunting that led my grandfather to end his tenure on the mountain.

The main house, referred to in the article as a "stucco" bungalow is actually a large stone residence designed in the early part of the last century by a Philadelphia architect.

Living there as a boy of five provided me with many vivid memories. Although the buildings on the mountain do not follow the architectural styles preferred by Mr. Jefferson, they do hold a degree of significance for those of us who have had the opportunity to live there. I hope at least the main house will be left standing.

Thanks for the opportunity to share these thoughts/recollections. I enjoy reading The Hook as often as I can.

Steffan Welch
Albemarle County

Mea culpa: the only stucco on that house appears to be the columns.–editor