Merck Forest and Farm Center Farm History Rupert Vermont
Teaching and demonstrating the benefits of innovative, sustainable management of forest and farmland

Farm History

Thanks to Charles V. Cogbill for taking the time to research and document land use at Merck. The following text is taken from Cogbill's publication, Land Use at Merck Forest & Farmland Center: 1761 to the Present.

"The nature of the land at Merck Forest today represents the result of centuries of natural changes overlaid by generations of human activities. The simplified view is that this 3000 acre forest was a consolidation of three old declining farms in the 1940s, now in 200 residual acres of fields and pastures as a demonstration farm, and the remaining 93% of the land covered by second growth woodland. Lost in this story are the specifics of what nameless people did, when, where, how much, and perhaps why. A few clues to the answers remain in place names such as the Stone Lot, The Gallop (hill on Gallup Rd.), the Wade Lot Road, and Clark Hollow, all of which bespeak the family names of earlier inhabitants. More directly, the "Harwood Farm", one of the three original parcels, still has descendants maintaining contact with Merck Forest.

Older residents also remember sheep being pastured on the "Sheldon Farm" and hay harvested on the "Young Farm" in the 1920s. Importantly, one can still find numerous stone walls roughly in eight clusters, some 14 cellar holes, and various even-aged second growth forests scattered around the property documenting earlier agricultural activity." Cogbill, pg. 1

Read more of Cogbill's publication.

Merck Forest Farm

Merck Forest Farm

Merck Forest Farm

Merck Forest Farm

Photos courtesy of the Harwood Family

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Banner photo courtesy of Dan Sullivan
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