Dragon at Shelburne Farms – Shelburne, Vermont
Now I know what to do with those photos – “thanks” to Heather Wilkinson Rojo at Nutfield Genealogy; she blogs Weekly Wednesday Weathervanes in New Hampshire. Please check out her page and enjoy the many unusual weathervane photos and often be entertained with a history lesson. It’s amazing at what you can encounter in your travels – You Just Need To Look Up!
I see some little birdies “photobombed” my shot!
Hard to believe this structure is a horse barn… what prized horses!
After discovering from Heather that there was a dragon weathervane lurking over this magnificent castle-type barn at Shelburne Farms… well it definitely became a “must see” on my trip to Vermont… and it was exciting to see it in person!
The Shelburne farm began in 1886 when Dr. William Seward Webb married Lila Vanderbilt… and they soon began acquiring farmland along the shores of Lake Champlain in hopes of creating an agricultural estate… and it certainly bloomed into just that!
Prominent architect, Robert H. Robertson, designed the four major buildings of The Farm Barn – Breeding Barn – Coach Barn, and the Shelburne House. It’s the landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, who you can thank for the fantastic landscape of the winding roads which give you the fantastic views every turn you take. His major works include Central Park in NYC, Mount Royal Park in Montreal, The Emerald Necklace in Boston and the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina; which was owned by Lila’s younger brother George Vanderbilt. I definitely plan on visiting other sites he has designed.
By 1900, the farm acreage had grown to over 3800 acres and Shelburne Farms had become a family working farm with the breeding of Hackney horses. In 1972 the farm was reborn through the family descendants into a non-profit organization to sustain their farm and share with everyone to visit and learn. In 2001 the property became a National Historic Landmark.
When the horse barn first came into view, it appeared to be a castle set in the middle of an open field; it’s quite a sight to see with your own eyes… very impressive! Who designs a barn to resemble a castle? Well if you are a Vanderbilt… then that’s who!
I really wanted to go peek through that gate… I’m going back to see the “chicken parade” I missed!
Those goats were checking out my camera … such cuties, those Sicilian Donkeys!
The Swiss cows in the background… love their coloring!
Eliza (Lila) Osgood Vanderbilt Webb was born in 1860 and was the youngest daughter and 8th child of William Henry and Maria Louisa Vanderbilt. She attended Miss Porter’s School, a boarding school for wealthy children in Farmington Connecticut!
Lila and William hosted many parties at this great estate during their lifetime, even entertaining Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft. I’m sure there have also been many more worldwide dignitaries who have walked these grounds in years past, enjoying dinners at the Shelburne Family home overlooking Lake Champlain; it’s now a bed and breakfast. It definitely will be on my list to see on a return trip, as this trip was impromptu and I only drove through; I’m looking forward to my return visit to see that daily “chicken parade”, visit with the Sicilian Donkeys… and maybe even milk a cow!
If you’ve been there… love to hear from you!
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