Two Homes, One Estate: Combined Tour of Billings Farm & Museum and the National Park

Billings Farm & Museum and the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Site are partnering to offer “Farm House/Manor House,” a special tour that explores life, work, and leisure in their respective historic homes. The program will be offered one Saturday each month: July 22, August 19, September 16, and October 21, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

In the late 1800s, what we know today as Billings Farm and the National Park, formed a single estate, a “model gentleman’s farm” operated by the Billings family – first by patriarch Frederick Billings, then his wife Julia and their daughters in the decades following his death in 1890. In 1889, Billings began construction on a modern farm house for their newly hired farm manager, George Aitken, his wife, and four daughters. The Billings and Aitken families began a professional and personal relationship that spanned two decades and brought great acclaim to the estate’s farm and forestry operations.

The guided tour will take visitors back in time – to the Farm House, restored to its 1890 appearance and the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion, which features original furnishings and personal effects from 1869 through 1997.

“We’ll explore the unique aspects of these two homes: the state-of-the-art amenities that set apart the Billings farmhouse in its era and the superb local craftsmanship in the Billings Mansion,” said Stephanie Kyriazis, Chief of Interpretation at the National Park, “One of the wonderful aspects of this estate,” she continued, “is the surprising details of its history – from the close relationship between the families of a ‘captain of industry’ and a professional farmer, to the fact that both the Billings and especially the Aitken women transcended the expectations of their time.”

The program will be offered Saturday, July 22, August 19, September 16 and October 21 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will begin at the Billings Farm & Museum.

Admission: $20 for adults, $16 for seniors (62 and over) provides admission to both homes and the Billings Farm & Museum. Reservations recommended. To reserve: 802-457-3368 ext. 222.

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