History is my hobby

Old homes and historic sites show us more than artifacts of the past.
They remind us of values that every true trades and crafts man & woman honors
respect for the material, patience in the art, and commitment to render the best of one's talents.

Colonial office Monticello

   Inspired by Thomas Jefferson's home at Monticello, I moved my business to Charlottesville, Virginia. Jefferson's master carpenter, James Dinsmore, spent twelve years translating his patron's ideas into wood creations that have lasted more than two centuries. Among them is the octagon dome room that crowns the home. Dinsmore later remodeled Montpelier, the home of third president James Madison, and built the early pavilions at the University of Virginia. He was one of Charlottesville's first developers   the city is sprinkled with many of his homes and buildings, and I have found a few of them.

Poplar Forest
   Jefferson's country retreat, Poplar Forest, is built on an octagonal floor plan that overlooks a sunken lawn. Now in restoration, it really reflects the personal side of its builder.

Live Arts
Music and theater work from my early days found a new outlet reenacting characters from 18th century America.

Mobrey Mill
Performing as Dinsmore at Montpelier's Portico Inauguration
Mobrey Mill, Blue Ridge Parkway

Williamsburg 4
Williamsburg is a great place to learn and practice the art of reenactment.

Ashlawn Colonial 1
Colonial 2
   With President James Monroe (Dennis Bigelow) at his estate
on Carter Mountain, Ashlawn-Highland.
The 18th century has many friends...

Spirit Walk 2006
Spirit Walk 2007
Spirit Walk 2008
Spirit Walk 2009
The annual Spirit Walk sponsored by the Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Society features James Dinsmore, showing visitors the way to the past.
Spirit Walk 2010 2011 Spirit Walk
Jack Jouett Dr. Thomas Walker
2010 2011 Jack Jouett
As Featured in The Hook (May 2011)
2012 Spirit Walk with Dr. Thomas Walker
(Bryan Hagan)
2013 Spirit Walk

2013 Spirit Walk at Historic Maplewood Cemetery   
Other Recent Events....

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The Custom Carpenter
Gary Lettan
(434) 293-8690
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The Custom Carpenter