June 26, 2013

6/23/13 - Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP

After visiting Saint-Gaudens NHS, we crossed the Connecticut River on the Cornish-Windsor Bridge. The sign says it's the longest wooden bridge in the US. It was built in 1866 (cost $9,000, length 460').  The Smolen-Gulf Bridge in Ashtabula County, OH, we visited in May trumped it in 2008 (cost $8 million, length 613'). 
Sign above bridge: "Walk your horses or pay $2 fine"
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is dedicated to the land stewardship and conservation of three men (George Marsh, Frederick Billings, Laurance Rockefeller) who lived on a farm in Woodstock, VT. Seems like the first thing Americans do is destroy things, so restoration becomes a problem for future generations. Imagine this view of Tom Hill without trees. 

CAUTION: History Lesson Ahead. You can skip it if you want, but then you'll have to go to Vermont to find out about the park. 

After the Revolutionary Wary, settlers poured into Vermont. Not too many years later, the Green Mountains weren't so green anymore.  The trees had been logged, creating erosion and flooding.  Sounds like the 19th century version of clear-cutting, without benefit of chainsaws. It was an environmental crisis! (Bet you thought that didn't happen until the 20th century!) 

At the Visitors Center we watched a video about the park.  I didn't realize you had to make reservations to tour the mansion, so once again, we weren't able to go in and could only wander around outside. 
Below is the Belvedere with lots of gingerbread. I didn't know what a Belvedere was (hooray for Google!)--it's a summerhouse with an upper story with a view.  There's a huge greenhouse behind it and a pool beside it. 

Our first view of the mansion was from the Terrace Gardens. 
Apparently none of the people who lived there named the house because they just call it the "Mansion". I'm not sure if that's more or less pretentious. 
The view of Tom Hill from the Mansion porch is much nicer now.  It even has color.

I took more pictures.  Click on the link to view them.  more pictures

Post a comment.

Post a Comment

Please leave comments here: