Historian eyes Ferrisburgh's historic outbuildings

Architectural historian and barn expert Thomas Visser will guide a tour through Rokeby Museum's historic outbuildings on Sunday, July 5, at 2 p.m. Visser's tour examines new exhibits in the outbuildings and on the grounds.

"You might not notice them at first glance - they're mostly small and unassuming," said museum Director Jane Williamson. "But Rokeby Museum's historic farm buildings are among its greatest treasures."

Still sitting in their original locations, they tell a 200-year story of agriculture in Vermont - from Merino wool production to boarding tourists. Simple wood-frame structures with gable roofs, each one was designed and built to fill a specific function on the farm.

Visser directs the Program in Historic Preservation at the University of Vermont and is a recognized expert in both architectural conservation and New England farm buildings. His book, Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings, is the standard source on the subject and it includes all the structures at Rokeby. Copies will be available for sale on the day of the tour.

The project was funded by grants from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership and the Walter Cerf Community Fund.

Rokeby Museum is a National Historic Landmark designated for its significant underground railroad history. Located on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh, it is open Thursday through Sunday with tours at 11, 12:30, and 2 p.m. until Oct. 11.

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