Woodstock Vermont is the type of place you drive through the center and think, “I wonder what a house hear costs”. The short answer is a lot. The Rockefeller and Billings families influenced the growth of the town. The Rockefeller’s were responsible for the creation of the Woodstock country club, where I tried to learn to golf. That family also paid to have all the power lines in town buried to make it look nicer. The Billings family also was wealthy and set up their own farm where they used experimental farming methods and conducted research. Naturally having a string of well-known wealthy families attracted more wealthy and well-known families to the area. The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion became a park in 1992 when it was transferred to the government.
Marsh – Billings – Rockefeller Mansion
The mansion is just one part of a larger federal park. The Billings Farm and Museum show a working New England farm along with giving a history of farming in New England. Fredrick Billings set up this model farm after he bought the property in 1869. Parking for the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion and Billings farm is at the same place on Rt. 12.
After Parking you have to cross the street and then you can see the mansion. First, go to the carriage house where you can sign up for tours. There is a one-hour tour at 10AM 11AM 12PM 1PM 2PM and 3PM June to October. It costs 8$ and tours the mansion and the ground. On the same dates, there is a half hour tour that covers just the mansion at 11AM 11:30AM 3PM 3:30PM 4PM and 4:30PM. This tour is also 8$ and was the one that I took.
The tour takes you through the mansion as it was. It was a summer home for the Rockfeller family and featured lots of large family rooms and lounges. The tour takes you around the first and second floor and shows you the majority of the house. Sometimes they run tours that show the usually closed off parts.
After the tour, you are free to check out the ground surrounding the estate. They are very impressive and many hiking trails depart from here. There is also a fallout shelter on the property that was built during the cold war.