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Fodor's Virginia and Maryland
Just outside Orange is the lifelong residence of James Madison (1751–1836), the fourth president of the United States. He grew up here, lived here with his wife, Dolley, and retired here after his presidency. A massive renovation was completed in 2008, removing parts of the mansion added by its 20th-century owners, the duPont family. In her will, Marion duPont Scott left the estate to the National Trust for Historic Preservation with the stipulation that it be returned to its original state. The mansion is now restored to its early-19th-century Madisonian state, a project that totaled $24 million. Some of the Madisons' possessions, as well as a tribute to the "Father of the Constitution," have been set up in an Education Center on the grounds. The walking tour includes a stop at the cemetery where James and his wife, Dolley, are buried. Exotic conifers planted by the duPonts dot the meadowlike grounds, and a walking path wanders amid an old-growth forest. The annual Montpelier Hunt Races, a steeplechase, have been held here since 1934 on the first Saturday in November.
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