The Montpelier Foundation
The Montpelier Foundation inspires continuing public engagement with American constitutional self-government by bringing to life the home and contributions of James and Dolley Madison.
Montpelier is a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
This glorious 2,650-acre estate in Orange County, Virginia, was the lifelong home of James Madison. Its history begins with settlement by James Madison's grandfather in the 1720s, and includes slaves who worked and lived on the plantation, Civil War soldiers who encamped on the property, and a freedman's family who lived and farmed here after Emancipation.
In 1901 Montpelier was purchased by William duPont, a leading industrialist, and it remained in the duPont family for most of the 20th century. Upon the senior William duPont's death in 1928, Montpelier became the home of his daughter Marion duPont Scott. She and her brother, William, transformed Montpelier into one of the nation's leading equestrian estates and played an important role in establishing and promoting racing on the flat and steeplechasing in America.
Following Mrs. Scott's death, ownership of Montpelier was transferred in 1984 by her heirs to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in accordance with Mrs. Scott's bequest. The Montpelier Foundation, an independent non-profit organization, was later established by the Trust for the purpose of managing Montpelier. The Montpelier Foundation assumed full financial and administrative responsibility in 2000.
In 2003 The Montpelier Foundation began the restoration of the Montpelier mansion to the 1820s home that James and Dolley Madison knew and loved. The architectural restoration was celebrated on Constitution Day, September 17, 2008.
The Montpelier Foundation derives its purpose and inspiration from James Madison. His vital role in the creation of the American nation is central to our mission. We are making Mr. Madison's lifelong home at Montpelier a window into his life and legacy, a place of education where visitors, scholars, and educators can explore the ideas of the Father of the Constitution and fourth president of the United States.