Calendar of Events

For the most up-to-date information about particular events, please contact 540.672.2728.



A Young Nation Stands: James Madison & the War of 1812

A special exhibit at James Madison’s Montpelier will tell the story of James Madison’s Presidency and wartime struggle. Read more...


The Gilmore Cabin
Enter the home of George Gilmore, born into slavery at Montpelier in 1810, and visualize the life he built for his family after Emancipation. This self-guided tour highlights the continuing struggle for African Americans during Reconstruction and the Gilmore family's eventual ownership of the land and citizenshipThe Gilmore Cabin is open to visitors every Saturday and Sunday, April - October, from 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Located on Rt. 20 across from Montpelier's main entrance. Admission is free.


In the Time of Segregation
This self-guided exhibit illustrates a watershed period in American history - the time of segregation - and explains the codification of laws which dictated that blacks and whites be given "separate but equal" accommodation across the South. Open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Located adjacent to Montpelier's main entrance on Rt. 20. Admission is free. 


2014 Events

October 19: Big Woods Walk
Hike through Montpelier’s Landmark Forest—a rare hardwood old growth forest consisting of towering poplars, stately oaks, and sprawling beeches. Learn about ecology, conservation, and Madison's role as an early environmentalist. The trail is a gentle 1-mile loop. $5 with purchase of mansion tour/$10 for Big Woods Walk alone. Begins at 2:00 at Visitor Center.

October 26: Working Woods Walk
Venture deep into the Montpelier Demonstration Forest on a two-hour hike.  Learn from experts about conservation and cultivation strategies that generate mutual benefit to man and nature, both in the Madisons'  time and today. $5 with purchase of mansion tour/$10 for Working Woods Walk alone. Begins at 2:00 at Visitor Center. 

October 28: Reinterpreting Slavery at Local Sites: A Community Discussion
Join us for a community discussion at the Jefferson School Heritage Center in Charlottesville to learn how three of Virginia's major historic attractions--Montpelier, Monticello, and UVA--are reevaluating the way slavery is presented to the public and are endeavoring to tell a more accurate and personal history of slavery. Speakers include Matt Reeves, Director of Archaeology, Montpelier; Gary Sandling, Vice President of Visitor Programs and Services, Monticello; Ben Ford, Principal Investigator, Rivanna Archaeological Services. 6-7 PM. Lecture and reception to follow. 

November 1: Montpelier Hunt Races
Start a new tradition with family and friends at the 80th running of the Montpelier Hunt Races, an annual celebration of steeplechase racing and southern hospitality. Seven exciting horse races, Jack Russell Terrier races, stick horse races for the kids, unique shopping, tailgating contests and more ensure a whole day of family fun.

November 9: Book Signing with Barclay Rives
Author of A History of Grace Church and The 100 Year History of the Keswick Hunt Club, Rives is the great, great, great, grandson of Senator William Cabell Rives. 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. in the Montpelier Visitor Center.

November 14-16: Montpelier Seminar "Slavery and the Constitution: From Colonial Slave Codes to the 15th Amendment"
Explore one of the most paradoxical periods in American history through the lens of the U.S. Constitution with J. Holt Merchant, Ph.D., of Washington & Lee University. Special emphasis will be given to Lincoln's efforts to limit slavery in a manner that was constitutionally permissible, as well as adoption of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

November 15: Civil War Trail & Gilmore Farm Walking Tour
Walk in the footsteps of McGowan's Brigade on Montpelier's Civil War Trail, carving a path through archaeological remains of this Confederate winter camp to a reconstructed camp street.  Conclude at the cabin and farm of the George Gilmore, born into slavery at Montpelier in 1810 and turned farmer and landowner after Emancipation, on the site of an abandoned Confederate hut. Saturday, 2:00 PM, Free. Begins at parking lot across from the Montpelier Station Train Depot on Route 20. 

November 23: Book Signing with Lynn Rainville
For Hidden History, Rainville traveled through African American cemeteries of central Virginia to recover and tell the stories of those who lived and worked there over 200 years. 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. in the Montpelier Visitor Center.

December 5, 6, 12, & 13: Candlelight Christmas Tours
Celebrate the splendor of the holidays with family and friends by candlelight at Montpelier, featuring Santa's workshop, children's crafts, holiday music, and light refreshment. Tickets available on November 1.