The Case of the Missing Posts at Willow Gate

Matthew Reeves

In between snow storms, the Montpelier Archaeology Department completed the Willow Gate excavations. We knew about a Madison-era gate present in this locale from a description by John H.B. Latrobe following his 1832 visit to Montpelier.  He described a high red gate hung upon white posts. During Madison’s day, such gates served a practical purpose to keep animals out of the grounds.  The gate also distinguished the formal environs of the mansion from the larger working planta

Archaeology of Madison's Stable

Matthew Reeves

For the past two months there has been a flurry of activity behind Montpelier’s Visitor Center. This area hasn’t exactly been clutter-free either. Every day, visitors have seen tents, flags, and archaeologists making exciting discoveries about the Madisons’ stables.

Archaeology at the Stable Quarter

Matthew Reeves

The archaeologists have been hard at work excavating one of the Montpelier slave quarters.  After a month-long field school and three expedition programs, we have a lot to show!  The Stable Quarter is located between the South Yard (quarters for house slaves) and the Montpelier Visitor Center.

Stable Quarter Site--Part 2

Matthew Reeves

Our knowledge of the Stable Quarter Site (located between the visitor center and the South Yard) continues to grow in leaps and bounds.  Last post, we reported we established the slave quarter we were excavating originally was a log structure with a stick and mud chimney based on the single hearth and several clay borrow pits we had located.  Since that time we have made two exciting discoveries:  a second hearth that has provided the dimensions and potential layout of the structure and 2) a sub-floor pit in front of the large hearth we discovered in August.

“Pictures, all of interest, having some history attached to each” adorn the Montpelier Dining Room

Montpelier Staff

A team of curators, facilities and restoration staff, and a fine art specialist worked late into the evening hours on September 17—Constitution Day—to install thirty-four of the thirty-seven prints and engravings listed on an 1836 document entitled “Engravings in the dining room.”

James and Dolley Are Coming Home!

Montpelier Staff

Montpelier’s Constitution Day celebration is just two weeks away. The 225th anniversary of the Constitution’s signing wouldn’t be complete without a visit from the first couple!

Saddle up for Constitution Day

Montpelier Staff

Have you thought about how you will travel to Constitution Day 2012? This week in our continuing series on Montpelier’s September 22 Constitution Day celebration, we will talk about an interesting way to travel to the festivities: the Liberty Ride.

Follow the War of 1812 in “real time” at the Blog of 1812

Montpelier News

Perhaps the principle highlight of  James Madison’s presidency was the aptly named War of 1812. Often referred to as “America’s Second War for Independence,” the war was the new nation’s struggle for sovereignty. Locked in a long and difficult clash with Napoleon, the British attempted to hinder the growth and prosperity of their former colony, and prevent the United States from colluding against them with the French. 

The Countdown Begins

Montpelier Staff

Here at the home of the Father of the Constitution a countdown to a highly anticipated anniversary is underway. One month from today, Montpelier will celebrate the Constitution’s 225th birthday!

Top Things to Do At Montpelier This Weekend

Montpelier Staff

You survived the first three days of the week and are taking on Thursday with full force. As noon approaches, your mind begins to drift. Suddenly you realize the weekend is coming.  You get a burst of energy and conquer one more task on your list, relishing the prospect of two days away from the grind. Your mind goes into planning mode. What will you do this weekend?