Montpelier launches a new tour for the community


ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) — On September 3, Montpelier launched a new tour in which visitors can explore the East Woods.

For the first time, people can now enter East Woods to learn about its previously hidden plantation landscape and the slave community that lived and worked in Montpellier.

“We are about to see the whole history of Montpellier that has never been told,” said James French, president of the Montpelier Foundation.

September is Constitution Month in Montpellier, and Montpellier celebrates by changing its approach and opening up new areas to explore.

“We’re broadening the focus of the things we’re looking at here in Montpellier to include all the information that’s still there, but invisible and in the ground,” said Elizabeth Chew, CEO of the Montpelier Foundation.

“In the fields in the woods where we go today, there were once big fields. They grew up with trees for the last few centuries, but under those trees and under the ground is data in the landscape that has remained untouched for centuries,” French said.

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

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

Montpelier hopes that these new visits will allow visitors to better understand history.

“The country is divided in many ways, and we believe that through full acknowledgment 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 Montpellier has to offer, here is a link to their website.

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