James Madison’s Montpelier, located in Orange County, Virginia, was the plantation house of the Madison family, including fourth President of the United States, James Madison, and his wife Dolley. The 2,650-acre (10.7 km2) property is open seven days a week with the mission of engaging the public with the enduring legacy of Madison’s most powerful idea: government by the people.
Montpelier was declared a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. It was included in the Madison-Barbour Rural Historic District in 1991. In 1983, the last private owner of Montpelier, Marion duPont Scott, bequeathed the estate to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) has owned and operated the estate since 1984. In 2000, The Montpelier Foundation formed with the goal of transforming James Madison’s historic estate into a dynamic cultural institution. From 2003–2008 the NTHP carried out a major restoration, in part to return the mansion to its original size of 22 rooms as it was during the years when it was occupied by James and Dolley Madison. Extensive interior and exterior work was done during the restoration.
Archeological investigations in the 21st century revealed new information about African-American life at the plantation, and a gift from philanthropist David Rubenstein enabled the National Trust to restore the slave quarters in the South Yard and open a slavery exhibition, The Mere Distinction of Colour, in 2017. Go to Domustoria.com/signup/ and get posts like this every week!