ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A pair of local landmarks will now be controlled by one organization.

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation announced on Tuesday that it is going to buy Michie Tavern.

According to a message sent to staff members of the foundation, the foundation has been anticipating this move for some 50 years after it purchased the right of first refusal on the property back in the 1970s.

The foundation says the generosity of several longtime supporters is allowing it to take this step, which will benefit people visiting Monticello and other historic sites along the Route 53 corridor.

“Michie Tavern is a beloved institution that has served our community and many Monticello visitors for years,” said Tobias Dengel, Chair of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Board of Trustees. “Two of the key missions of the Foundation are preservation and education. This transaction will ensure that Monticello’s principal entrance corridor and the Saunders-Monticello Trail are protected and preserved, allowing visitors to continue to enjoy a scenic journey to Monticello for generations to come. We will also have the ability to present new education and interpretation opportunities, and ensure guests have access to convenient amenities and culinary experiences as part of their visit.”

A release says Monticello is committed to a seamless transition at Michie Tavern, so existing reservations will be honored and visitors will still see the food that has made Michie Tavern a local favorite.

“My family and I are very proud of what we have accomplished in the 55 years that we have owned and operated Michie Tavern,” said Greg MacDonald. "We are delighted that Michie Tavern's future will be in the capable hands of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation so future generations can continue to enjoy the wonderful experience we worked so hard to create. I would like to sincerely thank our hardworking staff, local customers, and our visitors from all over the globe who have supported Michie Tavern for the past 55 years." 

Monticello adds that Michie Tavern’s retail operations, food service and proximity to the presidential home will contribute to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation’s long-term outlook as well as benefit both sites.

Additionally, the foundation is working with Constellation Culinary Group to manage operations at Michie Tavern as well as on the mountaintop at the Visitor Center and at Jefferson Vineyards.

Michie Tavern was originally built in 1784 in western Albemarle County and then moved to its current location in 1927.