An undated drawing shows the south approach to the main house possible shortly after its construction. It sits on the side of the hill in a hardwood forest with a circular path rising up to the entrance There is a stream in the foreground and a spring house. This is similar to the approach to Monticello described by two visitors in 1815 as a "steep, savage hill" and a "noble forest of oaks from which it emerged." The main house faced the Secretaryís Road, the road from Richmond to Staunton. Its siting is in conformance with the original Charlottesville street grid . The existing Meriwether Street is on axis with the north entrance and may have been the farm drive from Free Bridge Road. The house does not face the Rivanna River as one might expect. It is clearly a siting which responds to its proximate urban location. It is on the side of the hill, not at the top , because that is where the city limits were. To the east is the Rivanna River valley and a view to Monticello.
To the north of the main house, some eighty feet away, is the Nicholas Lewis House from about 1770. This one and a half story brick structure has a large gable end chimney . It faces the river to the east and has been significantly altered from the original. The siting of the Davis House so close to the Lewis House and other clues indicates that it was used as an adjunct to the main house.
"The Farm" was originally a working farm on the outskirts of the city. Davisís daybook from 1828 indicates the extent of his farming operations specifying crops, vegetables and livestock. There was a large barn which he started in that year and other out buildings. The gardens, surrounded by fields and pastures, terraced towards the river on the east side of the house.
The present site is on Jefferson Street, the same street as the Albemarle Courthouse a half mile to the west. The hillside has a terraced area to site the house. In addition to the Lewis House, there are three houses from the first half of the nineteenth century, built by George Michie for three of his daughters. The five houses are grouped around a green to form a compound surrounded by large oak trees, mature boxwoods and other specimen trees.
ANTEBELLUM VIEW OF THE FARM FROM THE SOUTH
SNOW VIEW FROM THE WEST