The one-room schoolhouse was built at the direction of William Randolph’s will for the education of his son Thomas Mann who, together with siblings and Jefferson cousins, attended classes. Thomas Jefferson, one of the most inquisitive and disciplined minds in history, first learned to read and write in this building. William Douglass, an Anglican priest, taught Thomas, his sisters, and their Randolph cousins from ages 4 and up. The schoolhouse’s pyramidal-domed ceiling allowed warm air to rise making it cooler during summer classes. It was the first domed shape young Thomas Jefferson ever saw. Domes later became a prominent feature in his architecture for their pleasing and practical purposes.