kemper house


(Madison,VA 22727)
arcade building











Madison County Historical Society
Madison County Virginia (VA)

upcoming events


We are looking for old photos of life in Madison County. We will scan them and return them to you while you wait. Please call 540-395-5119 for more information or to make an appointment.


rescheduled Speaker

November 18th  meeting

The speaker for the November 18, 2018 Madison County Historical Society quarterly meeting will be Frank Stringfellow Walker, Jr, a Madison County native and in addition to his professional expertise in Agronomy and the Law he is a well-known historian, author and superb raconteur. The topic of his presentation will be “Gold Mining in the Wilderness.”  Few are probably aware that before the rich gold fields in California were developed in the mid-1800’s, America’s gold came from the Gold-Pyrite Belt running through its South Atlantic states.  Some of the earliest commercial operations were in North Carolina, but Virginia soon became a top producer.  Its era of commercial production went from about 1827 to 1937.  The most productive area in Virginia was its Wilderness, a roughly 70 square mile region existing primarily in eastern Orange and western Spotsylvania counties.  It was a Temperate Zone jungle, created when its forests were clear-cut to provide fuel for the iron production that had taken place there in the 1720’s. Mr. Walker will give us highlights of the history of some of the major mines and of the people who “mined” the investors as well as the ground while producing both gold and the stories of a fascinating era of Virginia’s past.

Mr. Walker has earned a B.S. in Agronomy (V.P.I.& S.U.), an M.B.A. Darden School (U. VA) and a J.D in Law (U. Va.).  He was President and General Manager of his family farm, Rosni Farms Inc. 1960-1979, practiced law in Orange 1981-1994, and was Founder and lead guide, of Tourguide Ltd 1994-2015. As mentioned, in addition to these professional qualifications, he is the author of two books about Orange County and is very knowledgeable about heritage-oriented history, particularly that of the local area.  He has spoken to the MCHS in the past.

The meeting will be held in the Madison County Administrative offices auditorium at 2pm Sunday November 18th.  Refreshments will be served in the Kemper Home following the presentation and everyone is invited to attend.

Fall Luncheon Tea


Enthusiastic support from Madison and nearby communities made the fall tea another big success.  The capacity number of guests included John Lynch, great great-grandson of James and Belle Kemper.  John and his wife travelled from Williamsburg to participate in the tea for the second time.

Sales of gift jars of Kemper Tea were brisk.  The same special blend of tea served to our guests was available for purchase.  Additional jars are available in the museum for you to purchase for hostess or Christmas gifts.  The jars are $5, and each sale supports the Madison County Historical Society.

The week following the tea, the Society was pleased to receive a donation of 17 antique English bone china tea cups and saucers from Kathy and Robert Ellis.  Kathy is a descendent of our local Crigler family and she is active in Germanna Foundation.  She has attended a number of Kemper Teas over the years.  Their generous donation also included a lovely antique demitasse set.

The Tea Team looks forward to the spring tea, scheduled for Wednesday, March 27, 2019.  A reminder will be in the spring newsletter, and we hope for another capacity number of guests.