Friday, November 13, 2009

18 September 2009 Visiting Montpelier

On our last visit here, the visitor center was an old general store/gas station down the road from the old estate. You paid your entrance fee and road a small bus to Montpelior. At that time, the home was still configured as it had been under the ownership of the Du Pont family. Now it has been returned to the 22-room layout of the home at the time President Madison and his wife Dolley lived here.

It was a beautiful day for a walk in the garden.

The one-lane bowling alley in the woods was a popular spot for the Dupont family to relax.

A walk in Madison's woods...

The Madison Family Cemetery

A modest obelisk marks the grave of President Madison

His wife Dolley

A slave cemetery on the grounds...

Marion duPont left a legacy at the estate that continues. Her attachment to horses is still evident.

Battleship is one of her three favorite horses buried on the grounds with grave markers.

President Madison's graceful ice house.

Montpelier Station was built by the Du Pont family to provide them train access to the corporate headquarters. On our last visit it was a deep green. On this visit, it had been repainted to its orginal yellow color (Southern Railroads standard station color). The station is being restored and will soon be open as a museum. A local couple saw me taking photos and stopped to talk. He remembered the station as a segregated station with two waiting areas. He showed me the center ticket area where the railroad employee would open first a window on one side to sell tickets. A seperate divider was then opened on the segregated side to sell tickets. We have come a long way.

This was the general store and an Esso gas station during the time of the DuPont family's ownership of Montpelier. One can only imagine the people this gas station has seen and the exotic cars that stopped at the old pumps.

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