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Montpelier, 13480 South Montpelier Road, Montpelier Station, Orange County, VA

Montpelier, 13480 South Montpelier Road, Montpelier Station, Orange County, VA



Significance: Montpelier is situated on land granted by patent in 1723 to Ambrose Madison and his brother-in-law Thomas Chew. The patent was divided in 1732 at the death of Ambrose. The Madison family progeny, James Madison, Sr., was heir to 2850 acres of the land. The original house on the patent no longer exists. A later larger house, the central portion of the existing house, was occupied in 1755 and completed by 1760. Comparative analysis of the existing house shows the original building was approximately 75 x 33 feet with two stories and basement. The original five bay configuration included two rooms arranged on either side of the central hallway. Much of the original fabric of this house, specifically mantels, panelled walls, doors and jambs, and a few windows, remains. By 1801, President James Madison, Jr. had become owner and added a portico, a bay to the east, and refinished the exterior in stucco. Single story wings with a delicate Chippendale rail on the parapets and a long porch across the rear facade were added before 1813. Records indicate the architects were James Dinsmore & John Neilson; both previously commissioned by Thomas Jefferson to remodel Monticello and later called to Charlottesville to help Jefferson design and construct the Lawn and Ranges of the University of Virginia. James Madison's wife Dolley became owner of Montpelier upon Madison's death, but in 1844 sold the estate to satisfy her son's creditors. During the following years the estate passed among several title holders; none of them significantly changed the structure until F. Carson occupied Montpelier from 1857-1863. Mr. Carson reworked the portico to its present configuration in an attempt to give the house better proportion. Through the Civil War period the house remained remarkably unscathed. Several records of visits by soldiers during the Civil War give an excellent account of the house and grounds during that era. In 1901 ownership passed to William DuPont, who enlarged the house to its present configuration. Life tenancy was given in 1928 to William's daughter, Marion DuPont Scott, who completed minor remodeling work to some of the rooms. These modifications include the exercise studio for her husband, actor Randolph Scott, and the "LA Modern" red room with mirrored walls, completed by 1930. Mrs. Scott left most of the house very much as she received it. She devoted much of her energy to breeding some of the world's finest race horses, among them "Battleship" and "Annapolis," both sired by the famous "Man o' War."
Survey number: HABS VA-1214
Building/structure dates: 1755 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1760 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: ca. 1801 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: ca. 1813 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: ca. 1863 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: ca. 1901 Subsequent Work
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 66000843



Historic American Buildings Survey, creator
Dinsmore, James, builder
Neilson, John, builder
James, Madison, Jr., owner


Montpelier Station38.22897, -78.17676
Google Map of 38.2289666, -78.1767587


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