Sunday, April 26, 2009

History, history. Monroe, Madison & Lottie Moon

Madison's Montpelier Monroe's Ash Lawn

We went to church at a little church just down the road from the KOA. I saw it when we were driving in and then discovered that Lottie Moon (a Baptist missionary to China for 40 at the turn of the century) had taught Sunday School there. It was a small congregation so we felt more at home than in the huge churches. They had a plaque on the wall and some letters and stuff from Lottie in the church.

Then we went to James Monroes Ash Lawn plantation. It was a smaller home than Jefferson or than James Madison's Montpelier that we would visit next. They had people dressed in period costume at Monroe's place and it turned out to be his 251 birthday today. The house had a big addition that had been added by later owners but the original small white house was still at the back.
After we took the tour of Monroe's place, then we took off for Madison's. It was about 27 miles away from the others. Ash Lawn was bought by Monroe so that he would be close to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello (2 1/2 miles away). Madison's plantation had just recently (1990) been donated by the DuPont family to the National Trust. The trust removed all of the 20,000 square foot additions that had been made by the Duponts to restore the home to the way that it was when the Madison's owned it. It has been very interesting to hear about the history and personal lives of the founding fathers. The Virginia rolling hills certainly make for a beautiful setting for these historical mansions. it was a busy day ! Tomorrow we will be glad to get in the truck and ride a little while to Shenandoah National Park. It will be a short drive. We will probably be there for a few days before heading on into Washington DC.

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