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Bloomsbury opens to the public

Photo courtesy the James Madison Memorial Foundation

Pictured is the Taylor Great Room at Bloomsbury.

What is generally believed to be the oldest intact dwelling in Orange County (circa 1722), will soon be open to the public for guided private tours. The James Madison Memorial Foundation is pleased to announce a partnership with The Helen Marie Taylor Trust for the exclusive rights to offer ticketed tours of historic Bloomsbury.

Museum director Bethany Sullivan will conduct the tours on Sundays and Mondays. All tours must be booked in advance. Tickets cost $24 for adults, $10 for youths, and $12 for seniors. All proceeds will benefit the James Madison Museum. You can book a tour by calling (540) 672-1776, during regular business hours, Tuesday-Saturday.

Bloomsbury originally was built by Col. James Taylor II, who patented the land where it stands in 1722. Plans are in the works to scientifically date the structure. In the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century, the house was owned by others, most notably the Quarles and Jerdone families. It came back to the Taylor family in 1964 and was painstakingly restored.

“There are so many things that are very unique,” says Sullivan about the architecture of the house. These features include a minstrel’s gallery, a winding staircase, and numerous purpose-built storage spaces.

An architectural tour of the house will be made available soon. Furnishings are all pre-Civil War. There are plans to install placards and story boards on the grounds at Bloomsbury with outdoor music and art programs as the weather warms.


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