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Conservationist History in Vermont

By Linda Tancs

The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion in Woodstock, Vermont, was built in 1805 for pioneering conservationist George Perkins Marsh. Originally rendered in the Federal style, it would undergo renovations under its subsequent owner Frederick Billings (a conservationist and pioneer in reforestation) to a Stick style mansion before taking its current shape in the Queen Anne style. Laurance Spelman Rockefeller and Mary French Rockefeller inherited the house in 1954, and it became a National Historic Landmark in 1967. Now part of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, it’s the only park in the nation that tells the story of conservation history and the evolving nature of land stewardship in America. Guided ranger tours (May through October) include stories revealed by the objects inside the mansion as well as a tour exploring the conservation legacy of the three families who called this place home. You’ll also want to explore the stunning gardens of the mansion grounds and take a walk through the woodland carriage roads and trails along the forested slopes of Mount Tom, one of the oldest, professionally managed woodlands in America. Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Woodstock from Mount Tom’s South Peak.

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