James Madison's father really knew how to choose a location for his home. In the 18th century Montpelier was located on the western border of our country with beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This family picture was taken by our tour guide, Bob Davies, who requested photo permission if we use his picture. As a photographer, I couldn't say no to that request.
Today the lessons learned at Montpelier have more to do with archaeology than with the finished product. Montpelier has been undergoing a massive historic renovation since 2004 when it was purchased from the DuPont family. The renovations were unveiled in 2008.
There is still a lot to learn about how the Madison's lived. If you look at the front of the house you see three doors. It was turned into a duplex when James moved his bride into his parents' house, then turned back into a single-family home when they died.
We learned about how Madison was not a signer of the Declaration of Independence (he was only 26 at the time), but that he is considered to be the Father of the Constitution. He also became our fourth president. We also learned about Dolley, who served as First Lady for 16 years -- 8 helping her good friend and widower, Thomas Jefferson, and 8 with her husband as president. She set the standard for First Ladies.
Ashley took this picture of us mimicking the Madisons.