Montpelier kicks off new tour for the community

On September 3, Montpelier kicked off a new tour in which visitors are able to explore the East Woods.
Published: Sep. 3, 2022 at 8:39 PM EDT
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ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - On September 3, Montpelier kicked off a new tour in which visitors are able to explore the East Woods.

For the first time, people can now enter the East Woods to learn more about its previously hidden plantation landscape and the enslaved community who lived and worked at Montpelier.

“We’re about to see the full story of Montpelier that has never been told,” said James French, chairman of the Montpelier Foundation.

September is Constitution Month at Montpelier, and Montpelier is celebrating by changing its approach and opening new areas to explore.

“We are widening the lens of the things that we look at here at Montpelier to include all of the information that is still here, but that is invisible and that lies in the ground,” Montpelier Foundation CEO Elizabeth Chew said.

“In the fields in the woods that we’re going into today, there used to be large fields. They’ve grown over with trees over the last few centuries, but beneath those trees and beneath the ground, lies data in the landscape that has lied undisturbed for centuries,” French said.

The tour aims to tell the stories of people who lived on the lands the lands surrounding Montpelier, and of their contributions that are still used today.

“Less known are the engineering abilities of enslaved Americans who for example, engineered irrigation trenches that to this day run clear, as well as engineered roads that heavy trucks can drive on to this day,” Chew said.

Montpelier hopes these new tours will provide visitors with a deeper understanding of history.

“The country in many ways is divided, and we feel that through a full acknowledgement of history, we can bring people together, and that’s what we really want to do here,” French said.

If you would like more information or any other activities Montpelier has to offer, here is a link to their website.

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