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Porcelain at Mary Rockefeller's Mansion

Posted by : Teena Fuller on 9/18/2013 to Historical Porcelain

Marsh Billing Rockefeller National Historic Park


Mary Rockefeller's Family Home
 Mary French, a grand daughter of Frederick Billings who was famous in the late 1800's as a lawyer, pioneer in reforestation, scientific farm management, and as President and part owner of the Northern Pacific railroad, gave her family home and contents, located in Woodstock Vermont, to the American people.
Gardens near Pool House
The home and land were declared a National Historic Park in 1992. Her husband, Laurance Rockefeller, a conservationist himself, said that "his interest in Woodstock flowed simply from the fact that it was Mary’s home – his active participation in the shaping of Woodstock’s future grew as a natural consequence of their shared interests and their love of the outdoors."
Cement Bench Covered in Moss

 There are two great parts to this National Park. One is the land itself. Vermont was a beautiful forested land until sheep farmers cleared the trees without knowing the consequences which included drainage problems and erosion. It took years of study, experimentation and dedication to restore the land to its natural state and still wisely use some lands for profitable farming and subsistence.

Displayed in Dining Room
The second great part of this Historic Park is the Mansion and its contents. Her grandfather, Mr. Billings, purchased the George Perkins Marsh Estate in 1869 mainly because he was familiar with the previous owners pioneering volume on ecology called Man and Nature. After Billings' death in 1890, his wife and daughters took over management of the farm and forest properties
Chia Ch’ing Period 1796-1820

Julia Parmly Billings, Mary's grandmother, was managing the Billings Farm when it took top honors at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The Billings' daughters, Laura, Mary (Mary's mother) and Elizabeth, took up the responsibility for managing the estate after their mother's death in 1914.  Eventually Mary French, who married Laurance Spelman Rockefeller in 1934,  inherited the farm and properties in the 1950s.


K’ang Hsi Period 1662-1722

Much of the contents of this historic home were collected during the late 1800's when  Mr. Billings was alive and are still available to see with the purchase of a $4.00 to $8.00 Home Tour Ticket. Although photos in the home are not allowed, the Museum Curator, Laura Anderson, was kind enough to provide me with three photos of different porcelain items that are on display in the home: one blue and white 24" porcelain vase, one multi-colored ginger jar from the Chia Ch’ing Period (1796-1820)  one blue and white porcelain ginger jar from the K’ang Hsi Period (1662-1722).

If you find yourself near Woodstock, Vermont, I hope you will take time to enjoy the hiking, displays and tours available at this National Historic Park.