Montpelier's log cabin workshop offers a hands-on experience in Colonial history


Clarence Grim, 79, a retired physician, made the trip to Montpelier from his home in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., to take part in the workshop. He had ...

One gentleman came all the way from California. Another from North Carolina. A few others call various places in Virginia home. But all eight of them came to Orange County—James Madison’s Montpelier to be exact— to build a log cabin pretty much the way they were built in Madison’s day.

A week later, the workshop participants have gained a new appreciation for the challenge faced by slaves and white settlers alike when it came to transforming a stand of trees into the place they would call home.

“History doesn’t get more interactive than this,” said Kem Clawson of the Mason Neck area of Fairfax County. “We paid to come here and work our butts off.” ...