Montpelier was the home of James and Dolley Madison. The estate has 2700 acres with walkways to the historic sites which include the mansion, Annie Rogers duPont Formal Garden, slave cemetery and Madison Family Cemetery. There is also an education center with exhibits that feature the lives of James and Dolley. James Madison was the fourth President of the United States and is known as "Father of the Constitution."
The mansion is currently under restoration. After James death Dolley was forced to sell the plantation and the subsequent owners made several alterations and additions. The Montpelier Foundation has assembled a team of craftsmen, researchers, architects, and archaeologists to reverse the changes and re-create the Madison home to the way it was in the 1820's. Parts of the mansion will be open for tours during the restoration so visitors can view the work being done and learn how the mansion will look upon completion. This is a rare opportunity to see how this type of restoration is done, especially on this grand scale.
James Madison Landmark Forest is a 200 acre section of Montpelier that is one of the last old growth stands in the Piedmont. The forest contains ancient oaks, hickories, and tulip poplars. It is easily accessible through a network of walking paths.
The most interesting thing I saw in this area were two desks in the Education Center. There was a desk/cabinet type one and the other one mainly consisted of many drawers. Then in the garden there were pretty flowers that were huge white puffy things. I had not seen this kind of flower before. The mansion was being restored and we went in and saw some of the work being done.
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