Repose reprieve: Bonus days at Brown's Mountain

"We're suffering in the wake of a very big boat," said John Lanham. A doctor and longtime Brown's Mountain resident, Lanham was quoted in last week's Hook complaining about Monticello's purchase of the historic mountain that had been his home of 15 years. He thought he had to leave by June 24.

Now the captains are throwing some life vests. The outgoing owner, a Richmond land trust run by John Haskell, has offered two weeks of free rent for Lanham and some other remaining residents.

"We get to stay until July 5th," says Lanham.

Monticello officials announced in January that they were buying the 330-acre property, which Jefferson's estate sold six years after his death.

The property was developed in 1904 by a Philadelphia land baron as a vacation/farm complex called "Repose." But that mid-week June move-out wasn't giving Lanham any rest.

"Everyone's still sad," says Lanham. "But the extra 10 days does assuage the inconvenience of the move and give us a longer time to savor the beauty."

Brown's Mountain residents celebrated one last kite day on May 29.