“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Montpelier Station in Orange County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

The Blacksmith Shop

Discovering Madison

The Blacksmith Shop Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 6, 2009
1. The Blacksmith Shop Marker
Inscription. "And I desire my black Smith Moses, may belong to such of my children as he shall chose if they are willing to take him at a reasonable price."
- Will of James Madison, Sr., 1787

The Blacksmith shop, constructed by Madison's father in the 1760s, helped expand Motpelier's sources of income beyond the sale of tobacco. A slave named Moses supervised the shop and its African American workers. Over roaring furnaces, the men heated iron bars until they glowed red. Then, the softened metal was hammered and bent into practical things that rural Virginians needed: nails, horseshoes, hoes, and plows. Sales of these goods turned a handsome profit, and Moses' skill was recognized in the senior Madison's will. Though Madison dismantled the smithy to create a pastoral setting for his Temple, Moses remained at Montpelier until his death.
Erected by Montpelier Foundation. (Marker Number 12.)
Location. 38° 13.188′ N, 78° 10.098′ W. Marker is in Montpelier Station, Virginia, in Orange County. Marker is on Montpelier Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Located on the Montpelier Estate, near Mr. Madison's Temple. Marker is in this post office area: Montpelier Station VA 22957, United States of America.
Other nearby markers.
The Blacksmith Shop Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 6, 2009
2. The Blacksmith Shop Marker
With the "Temple" in the background.
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Road (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Backyard (about 500 feet away); Homes for Enslaved Families (about 500 feet away); The Quarters (about 600 feet away); The Garden (about 700 feet away); Madison Farm Complex (approx. 0.2 miles away); The African American Cemetery (approx. ¼ mile away); Slave Cemetery (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Montpelier Station.
More about this marker. On the right is a illustration courtesy of the collection of Dover Publications, captioned Denis Diderot's L'Encyclopedie, a notable work in Madison's library, illustrates an 18th-century blacksmith shop.
Categories. African AmericansColonial EraIndustry & Commerce
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 1, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 591 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 1, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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