Sunday, April 21, 2013

Today we headed out to visit the last of the Presidential Estates that are in the area.  It was a very crisp day, but it warmed up quite nicely again.  

 While we were touring James Madison's home, Montpelier, they had this beautiful carriage with this great team of horses roaming the grounds.  We are thinking they were getting ready for a wedding.  There were two photographers taking all kinds of pictures.  They had this more man roaming all over the grounds looking for the perfect spot with the best light.  When we stepped outside after our tour I mentioned that their photos would look so much better with a person inside the carriage and I happen to be available for a while.  I was told if I happen to have a wedding dress in the car they were ready.  LOL  We watched the gentleman with his horses.  They were so well trained, mainly to voice commands. 

We were not allowed to take pix inside the house, but took some outside.  Here Dolley and I are looking over James's shoulder has he is reading to us.

Madison was one of the most influential of all the Founding Fathers. He was a driving force behind the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and presented the first version of the Bill of Rights to Congress.
Madison and Alexander Hamilton also wrote most of the Federalist Papers, which played a key role in getting the Constitution ratified.
Serving as Thomas Jefferson’s secretary of state, Madison helped to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase. And as president, Madison served two terms and held office during the War of 1812.
The back of the estate. 

In 1960, Montpelier was declared a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. In 1983, the last private owner of Montpelier, Marion DuPont Scott, bequeathed the estate to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. They owned and operated the estate since 1984, and from 2003-2008 carried out a major restoration, in part to return the mansion to its original size of 22 rooms during the years when it was occupied by James Madison and Dolley Madison.

Montpelier is the lifelong home of James Madison, Father of the Constitution, architect of the Bill of Rights, the 4th President of the United States, and chief architect of the American Republic.
This is the entrance to the gardens.  The DuPont family owned the estate for many years.  They enlarged the house, and added a race track, thourghbreds, and many out buildings, but when the last of the elder DuPont died she left the estate to the government.  The historians processed to dismantle the DuPont addition and restore the home to the time of James Madison's retirement.  The home has gone through many changes in James' life.  His father had this estate for many years and was very successful.  When James was 13 they moved to this home, it was much smaller then.  When James returned home with Dolley he had the home built into a duplex with his mother, his father had passed away, living on one side and his family the other.  When he became President the estate had to become much bigger and elegant.   
Originally established in Madison’s time as a house garden, it was redesigned in the early 1900s by Annie duPont with flowerbeds, walkways, marble statures and urns.
There is a throughbred retirement foundation on this 2,000 area estate.  Off in the distance are some of the horses.
These are some of the outbuildings built by the DuPont family.
Mr. Madison’s Temple, a neo-classical design that stands above what used to be the property’s ice-well. 

These President's estates were all built and completed about the same time in history.  The guide told me that they were even using the same crafts men and would visit each other often.  Because they are about 30 miles apart they would even spend the night when visiting because it would take a day just to travel. 

We had another great day exploring.  We managed to take all the appropriate stuff, phone, GPS, but I forgot to to put the card in the camera.  Well I thought I had that covered because we keep a card in the car, but come to find out the card will not let us format it in the camera.  But out "smart" phone came to the rescue.    
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1 comment:

  1. It's so beautiful in that area of the country. You're not too far from Eddie. He lives in the Shenandoah Valley.