801 E Main St., Berryville, VA 22611 - United States
Clermont is a state-owned research and training site in agriculture, history, and historic preservation, whose land and buildings are teaching tools. Clermont Farm is open by appointment and for scheduled public events. A five-year study of the historic buildings has been completed, as well as research on the history of the site in topic areas including agriculture, architecture, African American life, women’s roles, military history, legal and medical history, and Clermont’s role as a public history site.
Clermont, personally surveyed by an 18-year old George Washington on Oct. 19, 1750, from Lord Fairfax’s 5.2 million acre Northern Neck Proprietary, and owned by just four families from then until 2004 (Vance, Wadlington, Snickers, McCormick/Williams), encapsulates the history of the Great Valley and of early national development, including extension of slavery.
The land was shaped by Native Americans over at least 10,000 years for game production and harvest, and after contact was inhabited by a community of European- and enslaved African- Americans who built on it and tilled it. The farm’s timber-frame buildings represent a span of construction from the initial house in 1755-6 to major additions in 1970.
Clermont is still a working farm. It currently raises Angus beef cattle and Katahdin (hair) sheep. The Clermont Foundation has partnerships with the Clarke County Public Schools and Farm Bureau to provide a training site for Clarke agriculture students, and with Virginia Tech, JMU, and others for student training/faculty research purposes, and with Virginia Extension for working farmers.
The historic buildings are undergoing a long-term process of stabilization. Given Clermont’s purpose, the treatment mode chosen under the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards is “Preservation” (preserving all layers, all periods), as opposed to “Restoration” (to a specific point in time), “Reconstruction” (from little or nothing), or “Rehabilitation” (for modern adaptive re-use). The buildings are basically empty, all dendrochronology dated, and their fabric has been opened for research and to assist the teaching of students in several historic disciplines. The site is on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
The Clermont Foundation welcomes you to Clermont Farm for a one hour guided tour of its historic buildings.
Your tour will include the 1823 Slave House, 1803 Smoke House, and the main house.
We look forward to your visit.
1ST TOUR: 1:30 PM until 2:30 PM
2ND TOUR: 3:00 PM until 4:00 PM
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