Monday, April 19, 2010

A visit with history in the Piedmont

On Saturday we decided to take a day trip down the Piedmont to visit Montpelier, the home of James Madison, the fourth President of the USA. It was a beautiful spring day; the air was full of pollen and we had Rolo, the wonder dog, with us so the outing was not without challenge. But we did enjoy our trip.

James Madison spent almost all his life living in this beautiful part of Virginia. Below you can see his home; as a nine year old child he moved into the newly built central portion. Over the years he added to the home and today's visitors see this view which is a restoration of the property to how it would have looked at the time of Madison's later years (he died here in 1836). Today the property is a National Trust Historic Site administered by the Montpelier foundation. The estate was donated to the National Trust by the DuPont family and after a remarkable five year renovation, the home was opened to the public in 2008.

Who wouldn't like this to be the view from their front entrance porch? Casey and Rolo take in the view to the west of the Blue Ridge mountains, some 20 miles distant.
This structure was referred to as Mr Madison's Temple - it was built over the ice house about 1810. Couldn't we all do with a refrigerator that looked like this one?
And I couldn't resist taking this photo (for obvious reasons to those who know us) on the road outside the estate. That green and white paint color scheme seemed to be on many of the estate buildings - aside that is from the main residence.

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