Enjoy learning about the “Virginia Dynasty” of the founding years of our country along with the rich history of Orange, Virginia.
Ambrose Madison’s Will and Madison Land Surveys
Ambrose Madison, James Madison, Jr.’s grandfather, settled and built a home (Mount Pleasant) on what would later become known as Montpelier. Linked with the will are two land surveys, one for Nelly Conway Madison Willis (1817) and another for Colonel John Willis (1849). The Colonel’s purchase of 1849 involved 713 acres being purchased from Henry Moncure; the gentlemen who purchased Montpelier from Dolley P. T. Madison.
The Madison Room
The Madison Room features personal belongings of James and Dolley Madison which include Madison’s favorite chair, his Campeche chair and a pair of Dolley’s engraved bracelets. Visitors explore the life of Father of the Constitution and America’s First First Lady, Dolley Payne Todd Madison. Discover how the Madisons’ legacy has molded the history of the United States and how it continues to inspire political discourse.
Founding Friendship: Madison and Monroe
Through a time-line of events of these two Founding Fathers, visitors explore their relationship and effect on the new country. Peruse the Virginia Convention document ratifying the Constitution and Madison’s proposed Bill of Rights. Read the letter by George Washington to Tobias Lear about the celebrations in Alexandria over the ratification. Admire Eliza Monroe’s bed from the White House and other Monroe items on loan from the James Monroe Memorial Foundation. Visitors can enjoy a variety of china, books and other artifacts as well.
A Touch of the Victorian Era
The reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) in both the United Kingdom and America was an era of many inventions, social issues and reforms, elegance alongside dire need; and the American Civil War. This wonderful exhibit contains some wonderful artifacts from Iroquois “whimsies” to an amputation kit used in the Civil War. The exhibit will be available until Labor Day (2013).
A quarter of all soldiers in the Revolutionary War were black. “Forgotten Patriots” explores the moral complexities of the period. It displays literature on African-American soldiers and Crispus Attucks, the first person to die in the Boston Massacre.
1800s Gowns – The Fashions Popularized by America’s First, First Lady
Gowns dating from 1800 through the 1840′s exhibiting the fashions popular during the social and political life of Dolley Payne Todd Madison, America’s First, First Lady. The popular Regency empire waist gown was a signature style for Dolley. In retirement and widowhood, however, she could no longer afford to keep current with fashions as they changed. The natural waist gown was the fashion in the latter 1840s and the style she wore in the daguerreotype taken by Matthew B. Brady in 1848.
How did Orange receive it’s name?
Visit us and learn the answer.
Hall of Transportation and Agriculture
A record of local culture is also represented in the partially reconstructed 1733 “cube” house and examples of evolving modes of transportation from saddle to a 1924 Ford Model A.