New Website, New Accessibility to a State-Owned Study Site

Lambing with Bob 2-24-2013Welcome to the Clermont Foundation’s new website! 

And welcome to Clermont Farm and its history and community.  The 360-acre working cattle and sheep farm  and its historic landscape and buildings has been owned since 2004 by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR) and is dedicated to research and training in history, historic preservation, and agriculture.

The Farm is managed under a partnership agreement with VDHR by The Clermont Foundation, created by Elizabeth Williams, the last private owner of Clermont, at the same time as her gift to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

This website is sponsored and maintained by the Foundation, both as a part of its management obligations to the VDHR to increase accesibility to this amazing resource, and as part of its obligations under the Williams Trust to maximize public benefit within its mission.  Since the site is not an historic house museum, and since its active research and training functions, combined with a working farm and tiny staff, preclude  regular physical visitation, the website provides an ideal space to share what’s happening at Clermont.

Our colleagues and friends at the Department of Historic Resources are our closest working partners, to whom we are daily grateful for their support.  We have other terrific partners in our local community, including the Clarke County Public Schools, Clarke County Parks and Recreation Department, the Clarke County Farm Bureau, and our friends in public history at the Josephine School Community Museum, the Clarke County Historical Association, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, and Long Branch Plantation (read Nick Redding’s blog at .  

We are grateful to our university partners at Virginia Tech and James Madison University, as well as to teachers at a variety of post-secondary institutions who bring their students to Clermont.  We have wonderful support from professionals such as architectural historian Maral Kalbian, archaeologist Dennis Pogue, dendrochronologist Dan Miles, paint analyst Susan Buck, and the people at Main Street Architecture in Berryville.  We look forward to profiling our activities with these and other institutions and individuals.

We hope you will bookmark us and return to check out activities at Clermont.  And we hope to see many of you at the opening on April 12 of our second Forum, which this time will offer an interpretation of Clermont’s past through the eyes of contemporary artists.

As Faulkner reminded us: “The past is never dead.  It’s not even past.” 

-Farmer Bob





Stay Tuned for Blog Posts from Clermont!

We are so excited to launch our new website… and we’ll be using our blog to talk about developments at the Farm in the months to come.  Please stay tuned!

Clermont’s Outdoor Sculpture


Outdoor Sculpture Introduces Clermont Forum II April 12-May 31

A monumental “gateway ruin” sculpture on the Rt. 7 front of the farm introduces the Clermont Forum II: Interpreting Clermont’s History Through Art scheduled for April 12-May 31, a site-specific installation of work by twelve contemporary artists organized by The Rotating History Project of Baltimore.
Press release, The Clermont Foundation

Ag Partnership Helps Kids Raise Pigs


Community Agricultural Partnership Helps High School Ag Students Raise Pigs

The Clermont Foundation, the Virginia Dept. of Historic Resources (VDHR), the ClarkeCounty (VA) Public Schools, and the Clarke County Farm Bureau, using 18th century Clermont Farm as a lab school, are helping high school ag students learn to business plan, raise, and market two varieties of heritage pigs, as well as to research their comparative growth.
Winchester Star article by Val Van Meter, photos by Ginger Perry, courtesy The Winchester Star.

Special Events Added to Farm Day 2013


Two Special Events Added to Farm Day 2013, in Research and Interpretation

Farm Day will also feature the initial planting of an agricultural research program in silvo-pasture (systematic use of trees in pastures to improve soil, water and animal
quality), and work will begin on a monumental sculpture made of hay bales and wood to advertise the Spring 2014 Clermont Forum II, interpreting the site’s history through
contemporary site-specific art and installations.
Press release, The Clermont Foundation

Civil War Emphasis for Clermont Farm Day

Annual Clermont Farm Day Has Special Emphasis on Civil War

The annual public open day at Clermont Farm on Oct. 5, besides its hay-wagon farm and historic building tours (VDHR Regional Director David Edwards), food, live music, and craft vendors, offers a special look this year at 150 years ago in a presentation by Kenneth Koons, VMI Professor of History, on “Farm Life Under War-Time Conditions
in 1863”, on hay-bale seating in the Barn.
Press release, The Clermont Foundation

5-Year Study Sets Up Clermont Preservation

Five Year Study Sets Up Clermont Preservation

Article describing the purposes and content of the recently completed Historic Structure Report and the 13-member team which conducted the research under Maral Kalbian, Architectural Historian.
Winchester Star article by Val Van Meter, photos by Scott Mason, courtesy The Winchester Star

Clermont Completes 5 Year Historic Structure Study

Clermont Completes Five-Year Historic Structure Report Study; Makes Discoveries

The Clermont Foundation has completed an Historic Structure Report on its 18th and 19th century buildings at Clermont Farm (owned by VDHR), detailing their social and
economic history as well as architectural evolution, including the most extensive use of dendrochronology (tree-ring dating analysis) of any building study in Virginia.
Press release, The Clermont Foundation

Romantic Notions Over Shoe

Romantic Notions Over Shoe

Opening a closet walled-up for almost 220 years reveals an 18th century shoe with both a family and a folkloric history.
Winchester Star article, by Val Van Meter, photos by Jeff Taylor, courtesy The Winchester Star

Huge Historic Tub Mill Artifact Arrives at Clermont

Huge Historic Tub Mill Artifact Arrives at Clermont

One of the largest wooden artifacts ever excavated in Virginia, the Woolf’s Mill Tub Mill, the power train of a 19th century grist mill, is now at Clermont Farm; it is also
unique in being the only horizontal water wheel (or tub mill) excavated in the state.
Press release, The Clermont Foundation