As a child, our family vacations consisted of returning to Virginia every summer to visit relatives. Most of my Dad’s side of the family was from Orange, Virginia. I remember very well the highway we would travel to and from my cousin’s house. Little did I know that we past right by the land owned by President James Madison, fourth President of the United States and his wife, Dolly Madison.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation acquired the property known as Montpelier in 1984 and carried out a major restoration from 2003-2008. Much of the work was to return the mansion to its original size of 22 rooms during the years when it was occupied by James and Dolley Madison. They have done a remarkable job and it is well worth a tour if you find yourself in the area.