Following a visit to Baltimore, we drove southwards into the heart of Virginia - first stop was the hamlet of Orange to see Montepelier, the home of James and Dolly Madison; now a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The long view across the race track and towards the Shenandoah Mountains off in mid-afternoon haze.
Monpelier was a house and property that evolved with the changes in ownership. The biggest changes from Madison's time, were when the DuPont family purchased the property and greatly enlarged the house. The photo left, shows the DuPont facade at the time the National Trust for Historic Preservation took over the property in the mid-1980's following the death of Marion DuPont Scott. Chas Miller was working for the National Trust at the time and helped to organize many of the earliest events during the Trust's stewardship.
Later the National Trust determined after many studies and discussions, to return the house to Madison's original house as much as possible. A massive undertaking was in store with the removal of the stucco exterior, the wings, roofs, interiors walls, and more. The house reopened to the public on Constitution Day, 17 September 2008 For more information on thre restoration > http://www.montpelier.org/restore/index.php
BEFORE - As it appearred in the Dupont era.
AFTER - The facade as it now appears.
Thomas Jefferson's MONTICELLO was shrouded by fog on Thanksgiving morning. I was so delighted to learn that it was open on Thanksgiving, giving us travelers something to do on a day when everything is typically closed.
Thomas Jefferson's retreat away from Monticello was Popular Forest, about 90 miles southwest. Today it is an hour plus drive, in Jefferson's day it was 3-days or more.
FROM THE POPULAR FOREST WEB SITE: An artistic rendering of what the Poplar Forest landscape may have looked like based on what we know from Jefferson’s documents and from archaeology.
The interior of the little dome like roof of the privy house, one of two located originally near the main house but still 200 feet or so away...