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.

dr. eric l. larson Speaker

may 20, 2018 meeting

 The speaker for the May 20, 2018 Madison County Historical Society Quarterly meeting will be Dr. Eric L. Larson, Staff Archeologist at the Germanna Foundation.  The topic of Dr. Lawson’s presentation will be “Continuing the Search for Fort Germanna: Archeology of a Frontier Community, 1714-1750.

While archeologists are looking for the remnants of one of Lt. Governor Alexander Spotswood’s 1714 Forts, the results will hopefully illuminate much more of the changing community in and around Germanna.  The 5-sided fort originally served as home to a group of German immigrants brought to Virginia by Spotswood.  Several families lived within the Fort from 1714 until 1718.  In 1717 Spotswood brought a second group of Germans to Germanna.  They settled near the Fort and were a part of the larger Germanna community.  Around 1720 Spotswood seems to have built a mansion for himself (which is now known as the “Enchanted Castle”) on the same spot where the Fort once stood.  Germanna was growing as a community as settlement of Colonial Virginia moved westward into the Piedmont.  Both the “First and Second Colonies” picked up and moved away from Germanna in order to claim their own lands.  The structure being searched for, Fort Germanna, had only a short existence.  Its mark on the cultural landscape of Colonial Virginia, however, is far reaching and worthy of further investigation.  Dr. Larson will tell us of the progress of this investigation.

Dr. Larson brings more than 25 years of archaeological experience to his position with the Germanna Foundation. His undergraduate degree was earned at The American University and initially he worked as an Archaeological Technician for the National Park Service at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.  He pursued graduate studies in Archaeology and earned his PhD from the University of Buffalo.  He has directed fieldwork at the Freedmen’s and Contraband Cemetery for the County of Alexandria, Virginia and more recently assisted with excavations at George Washington’s boyhood home at Ferry Farm (near Fredericksburg) for the George Washington Foundation.  He has taught introductory classes and trained numerous students through several Field Schools conducted in the Mid-Atlantic states.  The meeting will be held in the Madison County Administrative offices auditorium Sunday May 20th.  Refreshments will be served at the Kemper House.  Everyone is invited to attend.

spring tea another success

 The Spring Tea on March 28th was another resounding success!  We had a full house as guests dined on an assortment of savories and sweets, sipped our special blend of Kemper tea and enjoyed friends, old and new, at the event.

Many of the guests were “regulars”, who attend most of these semi-annual fundraising opportunities for the Society, but there were a few who had not been to the Kemper Residence before.  They were overwhelmed at Madison’s historic treasure.

The Fall Tea is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26th.  We hope you will mark your calendars now, to avoid a conflict.  We begin receiving reservations from Historical Society members when you receive the fall newsletter. 

It has been a while since we acknowledged the chefs and helpers who make the teas possible.  The chefs who prepare the delectable treats (in alphabetical order) are Katy Cashman, Bob Haught, Mary Haught, Pat Lattin, Maryvonne Longley and Heidi Sage. 

Chris Lattin is a valuable help in setting the tables, serving tea and removing tables and chairs afterward.  Jill Schreiner is a huge help in keeping our linens in good condition and Bill Scholten helps with logistics of the tea tables.  Historical Society volunteers work extra hours on tea day, keeping the museum open for visitors from “upstairs”.  Those helpers are usually Martha Breeden, Judy Mahanes and/or Beppy White.  Without all these dedicated volunteers, the teas could not take place.

We hope you will plan to join us on September 26th, to again enjoy a delightful social occasion while supporting the Madison County Historical Society.  The teas are the main source of funding for the Society outside of our dues.