Orange County

James Madison
Residence and Gravesite

Montpelier, the lifelong home of President Madison, is located four miles south of Orange, Virginia.  Highlights of the estate include the mansion, gardens and grounds, visitors' center, education center with exhibitions and the Madison family cemetery.  The mansion recently underwent extensive investigation and renovation to return it to its size and structure of the 1820s.  Montpelier is owned and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Open to the public.

Address:  Box 67; 11407 Constitution Highway; Montpelier Station, VA 22957

Phone Number:  (540) 672-2728


James Madison
The James Madison Museum

The museum focuses upon the lives of James and Dolley Madison. It is also dedicated to collecting and preserving artifacts and the cultural heritage of rural Virginia in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.  A large number of artifacts connected to Madison are on display, including personal items, documents and house furnishings.  Open to the public.  

Address:  129 Caroline Street; Orange, Virginia

Phone Number:  (540) 672-1776


Zachary Taylor 
Montebello Estate Birthplace

Zachary Taylor's actual birthplace is in dispute. The State of Virginia has concluded, however, that the Montebello estate was the most likely site, and that possibly the birth took place in a secondary house on the property. Montebello is closed to the public but is recognized by a historic marker. 

Address: Highway 33; 5 miles west of Gordonsville, VA and just over 20 miles from Charlottesville, VA.

While in Orange County, visit other local attractions and accommodations.

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did you know?

Wilson was president throughout World War I. He attempted to keep America out of the war and even won reelection with the slogan "He kept us out of war." Nonetheless, after the sinking of the Lusitania, continued run-ins with German submarines, and the release of the Zimmerman Telegram, America became involved. with the Lusitania, the continued harassment of American ships by German submarines, and the release of the Zimmerman Telegram meant that America joined the allies in April, 1917.

Woodrow Wilson was President when the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920 giving women the right to vote.

Wilson piloted the ship that brought America onto the world stage. He made the first steps of leading us out of isolationism, violating Washington's tenet of avoiding foreign entanglements.

He led America during World War I. His fervent hope was for the US to join a League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations.

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "Life does not consist in thinking, it consists in acting."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "The Constitution was not made to fit us like a straitjacket. In its elasticity lies its chief greatness."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "I believe in democracy because it releases the energies of every human being."

The Seventeenth Amendment was formally adopted on May 31, 1913. Wilson had been president for almost three months at the time. The amendment provided for the direct election of senators. Prior to its adoption, Senators were chosen by state legislatures.

Wilson was the first president to receive a PhD which he got in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University. He had received his undergraduate degree from the College of New Jersey, renamed Princeton University in 1896.

Woodrow Wilson could not read during the first decade of his life. Though undiagnosed, he may have suffered from a learning disability

Woodrow Wilson was known as "Tommy" until his college years.

Woodrow Wilson during his boyhood, helped establish the "Lightfoot Baseball Club" with his friends. Wilson played second base and was an avid sport fan throughout his adult life.

Woodrow Wilson was the first president to attend the Major League Baseball Fall Classic. He saw the debut of a young 20 year old pitcher by the name of George Herman "Babe" Ruth.

Woodrow Wilson was a graduate of Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University and the only president to hold an earned doctoral degree.

Woodrow Wilson image is on the $100,000 bill although it is no longer in circulation