South Woodstock Historic District, VT
October 22, 2009
We reluctantly leave Dee, Paul and Morgan to continue our journey south to the Boston area. It has been a wonderful reunion and nice to see them settled into their home embarking on a new life together in Vermont but we will miss them in Seattle.
As we travel south we remember the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion in Woodstock that we had passed earlier in our trip with George’s cousin and decide we have time so sign up for a ranger-led tour of the home.
Nestled among the rolling hills and pastures of eastern-central Vermont, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is the first national park to focus on the theme of conservation history and the changing nature of land stewardship. It was the boyhood home of George Perkins Marsh, one of America’s first conservationists, and later the home of Frederick Billings. The property was donated to the Park Service by its most recent owners, Mary F. and Laurance S. Rockefeller whose father, John D. Rockefeller Jr. built the carriage roads in Maine’s Acadia National Park and donated land there, preserved for public enjoyment.
Walking through the house you get the feeling the family may have just left for the day. Family photos are displayed in every room, personal items left about and, of course, there is the priceless art collection adorning the walls. Original paintings from artists of the Hudson River School that have never been displayed outside the house, beautiful Tiffany windows and an impressive library that speaks to the wealth of the former owners but oddly it still feels very much like a home.
We finished our visit to Vermont with dinner in the little town of Woodstock at a corner establishment, Bentley’s, and one more go at PEI mussels; I can’t leave them alone. These were exceptionally good, rivaling the ones we had in PEI.
On to Massachusetts.