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Clemmons Family Farm Joins Heritage Trail

The Clemmons Family Farm in Charlotte, VT, is the newest addition to Vermont’s African American Heritage Trail. A beautiful 148-acre property, this farm is not only an agricultural site, but has also served informally for decades as a center for multicultural education. The Clemmons family has supported exploration of farming, health sciences, and the arts. Now, they are creating a non-profit organization that will formalize the family’s multi-generational work, reports the Burlington Free Press. According to the Free Press:

The family’s vision for the farm includes hosting music and cultural performances, cooking classes, art exhibits and workshops in the historic barn restored by Jackson Clemmons. The space also houses an apartment for visiting artists, farmers and scholars. . . [Daughter Lydia Clemmons] is spearheading the effort to create a center in Charlotte where people from the local community and around the world will come to share experiences and cultures. “I’m formalizing the work and interests that my parents have been pursuing for the past 60 years,” Lydia said.

The Clemmons Family Farm will join 21 sites that traverse the state on the African American Heritage trail, which opened in 2013. The Vermont Department of Tourism describes the trail this way:

Sometimes overlooked as part of Vermont's history are the African Americans who made Vermont their home. Over the centuries, they have tilled the soil, owned businesses, held public office, fought alongside fellow citizens in major wars, and worked to make Vermont and the nation a better place. Now visitors and Vermonters alike can learn about this history. The Vermont African American Heritage Trail explores their stories and those of some of their fellow Vermonters. The guide takes visitors to Vermont museums and cultural sites where exhibits, films, tours and personal explorations illuminate the lives of African Americans for whom the Green Mountain State was part of their identity. Visitors meet teachers, storytellers, activists, ministers and legislators who bring this important history to life.

The Clemmons Family Farm expands the number of historic farms found on this diverse list. The African American Heritage Trail in fact begins at a famous farm, the Rokeby Museum, in Ferrisburgh. This National Historic Landmark preserves over 200 years of domestic and agricultural artifacts, and was a key stop on Vermont’s Underground Railroad. Other sites on the trail that combine Vermont’s agricultural and African American history are the Billings Museum, Justin Morrill Homestead, and Hildene.

The African American Heritage Trail is just one of many ways to explore aspects of Vermont’s culture, including how agriculture touches different facets of our history. Check out the range of suggested itineraries from the Vermont Department of Tourism and also the food-specific explorations found on DigInVT.


Related Links:

African-American-Owned Farm Added to Heritage Trail - Burlington Free Press

African American Heritage Trail - VT Department of Tourism & Marketing


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