The Architect and our 1st First

Montpelier CloseupOne of the wonderful duties of being an innkeeper is learning about the various attractions available. We’ve lived in central Virginia for nearly 20 years, and there are so many places we haven’t been. Because of Fairhaven, we’ll be rectifying this.

Last week, FlameĀ  and I closed the inn for a couple of days, and went out exploring in Orange County. We did it for fun, of course, but also to start finding out what Orange has to offer our guests. And it has a lot.

Montpelier from Madison's Temple
Montpelier from Madison’s Temple


I’ve been hearing about Montpelier for years now. We even took seminars with the former project director, who was very proud to be a part of it. Can’t really say why it’s taken us so long to go visit – I guess it often takes something to go see the things in your own back yard.

I’m very glad we went, and am happy to recommend it to anyone visiting the area. Montpeilier is beautiful, and the tour we went on was informative and easily kept my interest. It’s amazing how much I don’t know! Everything I knew about “Dolly” Madison came from [infopopup:dollymadison]. I didn’t know that our term, First Lady, so much a part of our lives, originated with Dolley Madison. Nor did I know that Madison was fundamentally responsible for our Constitution – I was ill-informed enough to think it was Jefferson.

DuPont Gardens at Montpelier
DuPont Gardens at Montpelier


While we were waiting for the tour, we wandered through the walled gardens out behind the visitor’s center. Highly recommended! We spent about a half hour wandering around there, and could easily have spent twice that.

One other tip – we wandered past the mansion, down to the archaeology office. There we had a wonderful talk with an intern – a recent graduate from Washington State. It was fun hearing from someone so excited about her projects – history comes alive when someone really cares about it.

So that’s my thoughts on Montpelier. Next time, I’ll tell you about a discovery I’m very happy about – the Market at Grelen.