History of Nutting Farm
The ownership of Nutting Farm can be traced back to 1837, nearly 40 years after the town of Montgomery’s founding was incorporated in 1789, itself one of the last as a town of Like much of Vermont, first-growth forest was cleared, and the open pastures likely grazed sheep to supply New England’s rapidly-growing woolen mills. Eventually, dairy became the dominant agricultural product in the region, and Nutting Farm hosted a herd until the late 1950s. Smaller parcels amalgamatedBut the farm’s difficult access over an old, single-lane bridge and then up a steep gravel road made supply and transportation difficult. The herd thinned, and one night in 1957, the barn took a lightning strike and burned to the ground.
I don’t know what possessed my father to purchase the defunct dairy farm more than 250 miles away from Boston at the very top of Vermont, outside the town of Montgomery Center. He was a psychiatrist without a drop of farming in his blood. He didn’t even own a home yet. Perhaps it was nothing more than the very remoteness of the place — the stillness and quiet that, even in 1958, felt about as far from he hubbub as one could get, which it still is. Perhaps it was the vastness — 640 acres, a square mile of field and forest with a close-up view of Jay Peak’s off-piste side, and Canada only a few miles beyond. I didn’t think to ask him about when I could have, and now I can’t.
We hardly ever visited. Other places offered our family more welcoming accommodation than the farm’s desolate, leaning farmhouse, which I saw standing just once. Sometime in the 1960s, after a decade of facing relentless winter winds without so much as a fresh nail having been driven into its beams, it finally blew down. I heard about it much later.
A few years later, my quasi-hippie cousin demonstrated his MIT architecture training by building a new house that was very sturdy, but probably wouldn’t have earned any credit toward his degree. Rather, than encourage more regular family visits, the house seemed only to attract one strange tenant after another. If you’re not a native of Montgomery, you’re a refugee of someplace else.
The land itself was left to nature. Pastures that had been opened by back-breaking labor and mules over the preceding century were quickly encroached by the forest. Landmarks were subsumed: Roads vanished, stone walls and rock piles — testaments to the the land’s arduous taming — sank as growth sprung around, over, and amid them.
In 55 years, Nutting Farm has become what any self-respecting northern Vermont parcel wants to be — a hardwood forest dominated by acer sacerum, known around these parts as the sugar maple.
Want to get in touch with us here at Nutting Farm?
- Mailbox: 756 Nutting Road Montgomery, VT 05471
- Email: email@example.com