A historic landmark connects the past and future of land use.
At the turn of the millennium, a unique opportunity arose to purchase the historic West Monitor Barn and 233 acres of conserved forest and agricultural land. A successful capital campaign conducted in partnership with the Richmond Land Trust led to the restoration of the barn and a campus for VYCC. In 2008, the adjacent East Monitor Barn and 167 acres became available and VYCC, with help from generous donors, acquired this contiguous parcel.
The West Monitor Barn is a familiar sight to travelers along I-89. A horse farm marked the beginning of active farming on the site in 1851. Moses and Uziel Whitcomb purchased the farm in 1871, and built the carriage and monitor barns between 1900 and 1904. At the time, the West Monitor Barn supported more than 175 dairy cows.
In 1948 Xenophon Wheeler bought the farm, renamed it “Venture Farm,” and ran a successful dairy business. Interstate 89 was constructed in the 1960s, which isolated part of farm from the riverfront.
The Vermont Farm Bureau bought 170 acres in 1974. The land ceased to be active in dairy farming in the 1980s, and the West Monitor Barn was literally ready to fall onto Route 2 in the late 1990s when Richmond resident and active conservationist Steve Libby engaged the Richmond Land Trust to save the barn and conserve the property. This local volunteer group of about 150 members worked tirelessly for ten years to raise funds for the barn.
Federal grants from the National Park Service’s National Treasures Program and the Federal Highway Enhancement Program totaling $500,000 enabled the group to begin the barn’s restoration.
The West Monitor Barn offers a quintessential Vermont event location. The magnificent post and beam interior is full of rustic charm and regularly hosts weddings, milestone celebrations, meetings, and conferences. Enjoy a green event at the West Monitor Barn: a solar orchard generates more power than the campus uses. Guests can source organic vegetables, poultry, and flowers from the property. Caterers enjoy a large commercial kitchen. Proceeds support youth development and conservation programming.
Find photos, details, and rental info at the West Monitor Barn website.