The Search for Willow Gate: Archaeological Investigations of the Madison-era Gate Entrance to the Mansion Grounds

Abstract: This report presents the results of the Montpelier Archaeology Department‘s investigations into the historic appearance for the gate, known as Willow Gate, located at the stop sign in front of the mansion. As will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 2, Willow Gate‘s name derives from the mid- to late 19th-century willow tree that stood well into the mid-20th century. This report will cover the background historical knowledge of Willow Gate and combine this information with the detailed study of the features found during archaeological investigations at the site from November 2009-January 2010. A set of recommendations are made at the end of this report for restoring the area of Willow Gate to its Madison-era appearance while at the same time maintaining it as the principal intersection for Montpelier‘s visitors.