- Historic Sites
George and his wife, Polly, leased the land from Dr. James Madison, great-nephew of President Madison, in the late 1860s. By 1870, the Gilmores had built the cabin, and in 1901 purchased the 16 acres of land on which their home sat. Members of the family lived on the farm until the early 1930s. Descendants of George and Polly Gilmore have been instrumental in helping visitors to understand the home and site. The interpretive focus at the Gilmore Farm is to understand the transition that the Montpelier enslaved African American community made from bondage to freedom after the Civil War.
The excavations at the farm were found below the cabin floor, revealing a dense deposit of small items such as glass beads, sewing and safety pins, and buttons that most likely fell between the cracks in the floor. Excavation units in the yard allowed historians to uncover what appears to be the remains of a Confederate encampment and a small structure in the back yard, which the Gilmore family might have used for their first home prior to constructing their cabin in 1873. Montpelier restoration crews and archaeologists have carefully researched, stabilized, and restored the cabin to the state that is once was.