The charms of rural Vermont extend far beyond the rattle of traversing a covered bridge and the joy of admiring a multi-colored Fall landscape.
Tucked away slightly more than a stone’s throw from downtown Woodstock is Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Historical Park. This farm and museum reflects the legacy of Laurance Rockefeller, a strong advocate for sustainable land use, conservation and heritage.
The park itself was the boyhood home of George Perkins March, a prominent conservationist, and later was the home of Frederick Billings. The property’s most recent owners, the Rockefellers, gave it to the American people and the park was created by an Act of Congress and signed into law on August 26, 1992.
In addition to being a working dairy farm, the park symbolizes three generations of conservationist thought and practice. It is also a museum of rural and agricultural life. When Billings owned the property, the forest and farm properties were run as parts of a single estate. Today, visitors have the chance to experience these two landscapes right next to each other.
When the park was opened in 1998, author and professor John Elder remarked, “There is a mandate to invent an entirely new kind of park. It must be one where the human stories and the natural history are intertwined; where the relatively small acreage serves as an educational resource for the entire National Parks Service and a seedbed for American environmental thought; and where the legacy of American conservation and its future enter into dialogue, generating a new environmental paradigm for our day.”
When considering a trip to the park and to the surrounding environs of charming Woodstock, Vermont, men might want to pack along a long sleeve shirt or two from Royal Robbins for those chilly evenings. Women will likely want a simple yet stylish sweater, if not for an outside excursion then certainly for a cozy night in front of the fire at a local inn.