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"....the stone jambs that are round the present dining room fire place to be put up in the new one"  The above text is a partial transcription of a letter from James Dinsmore (the carpenter who managed the 1809-1812 renovations and expansions to Montpelier) to James Madison regarding what do to about the fireplace surround in the new Drawing Room (which Dinsmore believed would be used as a dining room when he wrote the letter). The letter provided tantalizing evidence that the ca. 1764 Parlor's stone fireplace surround had not been destroyed during the ca. 1812 renovations and had actually been re-installed in the ca. 1812 Drawing Room. However, when the restoration started a ca. 1880 white marble chimneypiece was found on the Drawing Room's fireplace and no evidence of a Madison-era fireplace surround was visible.


The ca. 1880 marble chimneypiece found in the Drawing Room at the beginning of the Restoration.