Madison’s Montpelier (Orange)

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Trying to capitalize on it proximity to famous neighbor Thomas Jefferson's estate Monticello, Madison's Montpelier recently underwent restorations to bring it back what the estate and home looked like when James and Dolley Madison were in residence. If you are in the area with some extra time, the home is definitely worth a visit, but sadly you will find much of it's authenticity sadly missing. You see Madison's estate had changed hands six times after James Madison's death and it's last owner was DuPont family who did extensive remodeling to this historic treasure. I would suggest doing like we did and taking the basic tour. It was very informative although sometimes it felt like too much detail given as if they were trying to fill the time.

dsc_0438After the death of it's last resident Marion DuPont, there was some legal wrangling between the heirs before the estate was eventually bequeathed to the National Trust for Historic Renovation. Over the last few decades, much work has been done to restore the house to it's original state. James and Dolley Madison are buried in the family plot here and are worth visiting to pay your respects to one of the architects of our government as we know it.

It is interesting to note that James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe were wonderful friends who lived in close proximity to one another and visited each other often. I personally enjoyed looking out the front door and the beautiful grounds imagining Thomas Jefferson pulling up in his carriage, but then the stark white horse fence broke my gaze which was installed my Marion Dupont for her horse racing hobby. Sadly, I don't think they will be taking that away any time soon. What a difference between the entitled heirs of the Dupont family and how they treated Montpelier versus the family that purchased Monticello and took great pains to maintain it to its original glory throughout it's life.

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