The story of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is the story of conservation in America.
Passed down from hand to hand, this land has been cherished and protected, an example put forth for all to follow.
George Perkins Marsh, a 19th-century advocate of environmentalism, grew up here in the shadow of Mount Tom. He watched as farmers clear-cut the forest, causing erosion that silted up the waterways. After spending time in Europe, he returned to Vermont and wrote Man and Nature, a seminal book about the risks of deforestation.
The book struck a chord with Frederick Billings, head of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Billings purchased the Marsh farm in 1869, renovated the mansion, built the carriage paths, and began a campaign to promote sustainable farming in Vermont and to reforest Mount Tom.
Billings’ granddaughter Mary married Laurance Spelman Rockefeller, another lifelong advocate of conservation. The Rockefellers donated the land to create the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in 1992.
As you tour the mansion and gardens, explore the museum to stewardship, wander the carriage paths, and enjoy the lush scenery, reflect on the efforts made by these three generations of conservationists. Imagine how this landscape would look without the commitment of Marsh, Billings, and the Rockefellers.
If You Go:
An easy three-quarter-mile path loops around the Pogue, a pond created by a dam and said to be bottomless.