As a kid growing up nearby, I had heard about Montpelier Mansion, but now I'm sorry I never made the time to visit. Montpelier Mansion may be surrounded by busy streets and strip malls, but once you are on the property it's like a trip back in time. My first thought was that Montpelier was reminiscent of Jefferson's Monticello, but on a much smaller scale. The house had very few owners and has been faithfully restored to what it would have looked like in 1800-1830. There are unusual rectangular sheets of wallpaper, original moulding, and lots of family furniture. The staff outfits the rooms as the family would have for each season, changing the draperies and even the fireplace accessories. I'd never seen a historic dining room complete with crumb cloths and dish basins. My children always chafed at tours of historic homes, but Montpelier would be a great one for kids. There's a hands on room with toys of the time and dress up clothes. Doing the self-guided tour with its informative booklet lets you go at your own pace to review the detailed information, which is repeated on displays in each room. The facility seems to be thriving with room rentals for events and weddings,and the Arts Center on the 70 acre site. We really enjoyed walking around the grounds, imagining the views down to the river, or carriages arriving at the door. There's an herb garden with picket fence, an ancient boxwood maze, and an octagonal playhouse, all great for taking photos.
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