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MARKER DATABASE
“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 Backyard

Discovering Madison

 
 
The Backyard Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 6, 2009
1. The Backyard Marker
Inscription. "...the sumptuous board spread under the forest oaks .... everything that a luxurious country could produce, wines, and the well filled punch bowl, to say nothing of the invigorating mountain air ..."
- Mary Cutts, Memoir, c. 1840.

The Backyard barbecues so different from elegant Washington soirees, suited Dolley Madison's special flair for entertaining once she retired to Montpelier. Friends and family enjoyed the outdoor feasts that she spread under the forest oaks. The rich fragrance of lilacs and Pride of China trees mingled with the tantalizing aroma of whole roasted pigs. Tables groaned with Montpelier-grown food, impressing visitors with their lavish display of hospitality. Wine flowed as did lively conversation about politics, farming, and local gossip. When their work of serving ended, Montpelier's slaves were called on to entertain guests with fiddle playing, singing, and dancing.
 
Erected by Montpelier Foundation. (Marker Number 14.)
 
Location. 38° 13.113′ N, 78° 10.112′ W. Marker is in Montpelier Station, Virginia, in Orange County. Marker can be reached from Montpelier Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located on the Montpelier Estate, behind the
Markers along the Path to the Garden image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 6, 2009
2. Markers along the Path to the Garden
house on a trail leading to the Annie duPont Formal Garden. Marker is in this post office area: Montpelier Station VA 22957, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Homes for Enslaved Families (here, next to this marker); The Quarters (within shouting distance of this marker); The Road (within shouting distance of this marker); The Garden (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Blacksmith Shop (about 500 feet away); Madison Farm Complex (about 700 feet away); The African American Cemetery (approx. mile away); Slave Cemetery (approx. 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 special Collections Department, University of Virginia, captioned Lilac illustration by Philip Miller, an 18th-century naturalist.
 
Categories. African AmericansAntebellum South, US
 
The Backyard image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 6, 2009
3. The Backyard
 
 
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 619 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 1, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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