Shelburne Farms, on Lake Champlain near Burlington, Vermont, once comprised a 4000 acre property. Some of the land was sold off, and more recently, in making the transition from a private property to a property run by a nonprofit foundation, certain isolated and hidden parcels within the remaining property were sold in order to underwrite the foundation’s endowment. These parcels were intelligently selected so as to be out of view of those who come to visit the farm’s barns, to stay or dine at the inn, or to concerts on the lawn overlooking the lake.

The property’s barns are remarkable. The breeding barn was at one time the largest clear spanned space in the country. The farm barn is a turreted courtyard building on the edge of a large meadow, the carriage barn a brick courtyard building down by the lake. Olmsted apparently separated the fields in a patchwork. This is a pattern that has distinguished the Vermont landscape generally since land was first cleared in the 1840’s for sheep farming. (This house is on Orchard Point, a prominence northeast of the original house, with views west over Lake Champlain, and north over a bay to Burlington ten miles away).