April 4, 2005
WOODSTOCK, VT – The environmental assessment (EA) for Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park’s proposed Historic Wood Barn Project is now posted on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/mabi/pphtml/documents.html. Anyone interested in the project is encouraged to share their thoughts. Comments are welcomed through May 10, 2005 and should be mailed to Resource Manager, Attn: Wood Barn and Mill EA, 54 Elm Street, Woodstock, Vermont 05091 or emailed to e-mail us.
Tucked along the main carriage road leading from the entrance of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park into the heart of the Mount Tom Forest, sits an 1876 Wood Barn and the site of the former Saw Mill. This area served as the center of timber processing for the Billings Estate through the mid-twentieth century. At this location, men working in the Mount Tom Forest sawed logs, stockpiled lumber, and stored machinery used in forestry operations. Today the Wood Barn is badly deteriorated and in need of repair. The Saw Mill disappeared in the 1960’s and the area around the Wood Barn no longer functions as the center of forestry operations.
The Park proposes to rehabilitate the Wood Barn to house displays on the history of the Mount Tom Forest, sustainable forestry, and value-added wood products. The exhibit would also provide orientation to the park’s 20 mile network of 19th century carriage roads and trails. The rehabilitation would improve environmental conditions for the collection of sixteen historic carriages and allow them to be publicly exhibited for the first time. The project would also include building a 2,500 sq. ft. structure near the site of the former Saw Mill, adjacent to the Wood Barn, to provide classroom and meeting space for school groups and other users. This indoor classroom space would complement the Wood Barn as a staging area for education and learning programs utilizing the Mount Tom Forest.
Copies of the EA are also are available at the Park’s Carriage Barn Visitor Center and at the Norman Williams Public Library in Woodstock, Vermont, or upon request.