Timber Frame Workshop

Tier 1

Rebuilding the 19th century South Yard at Montpelier

Join Montpelier's craftsmen in hewing logs to recreate one of the early 19th century slave quarters that was part of the South Yard complex during the early 19th century. This structure will be 32ftx16ft and featured a clay floor, log chimney and is based on a site we found through archaeological excavations. Participants will spend a week learning wood working and joinery techniques that were used in Madison's era. 

In previous programs, participants have reconstructed two cabins at two seperate sites lived in by Madison's field slaves and skilled artisans archaeological excavations.   In 2014, we reconstructed Granny Milly's log cabin home adjacent to the mansion grounds. following link for more information on that reconstruction.

October 11-16, 2015--during this week participants will learn joinery, hewing of shingles, drawknifing and planing, guaging, and general carpentry skills to rebuild on of the early 19th century timber frame slaves quarters in the mansion grounds.

In the event of inclement weather, we do have the facilities to hold this course in  doors. During the first program we ran, we switched back and forth between outdoor venues and our new large maintenance building.

While participating in the program, you will stay in the antebellum plantation house, “Arlington House,” or for those wanting private rooms, there are other housing options at Montpelier and at local B&Bs.

For more information about how to participate in this program, please contact Matthew Reeves, Director of Archaeology and Landscape Restoration, at dig@montpelier.org or (540) 672-2728 x 161.



For more information, please click on the following link for our program packet:

Download program information packet.


Plans for log cabin structure to be built in 2014 program. Drawing by Willie Graham.