The Clermont Foundation will be celebrating its 5th Annual Historic Clermont Farm Day, or HarvFest, on Saturday, June 23, from 10:00 to 4:00, at 801 E. Main St., Berryville.
The family event focuses on history, agriculture, and food, and takes place on a working farm (85 beef cattle, 100 sheep) which has been in continuous production since it was surveyed by George Washington in October, 1750. Only four families have owned it, the last, the McCormick-Williams, for 185 years. The farm is now owned by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, and operated by The Clermont Foundation.
The first house was built in 1755-56 and stands today, along with many additions, and a variety of historic service buildings . Tours of the house, which has been the subject of intensive study over the last five years, will be led by David Edwards, Director of the Northern Region, Department of Historic Resources.
A new feature of the tour this year will be the showing of a 3-D computer model of the historic house and surrounding service buildings. Visitors will be able to see the appearance of the house and site through thirteen stages of development from 1755 to 1970, when the last major addition was made.
A special HarvFest event this year comes in partnership with the Clarke County Committee on the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War and Emancipation. At 2:00 Saturday Karen Hughes White, Director of the Afro-American Cultural Center of Fauquier County, will speak about “Life During the Civil War: Slaves, Free Blacks, and the Impact of War.” This will be a different look at life on the home front during the Civil War in Clarke County and the region.
This will be followed by a tour of the 1821 log Slave Quarters at Clermont, never opened to the public before.
There will be hayrides for children and adults, live music by Crosswinds 12:00-4:00, lots of food and drink, children’s activities (including an archaeological dig), petting zoo, craft exhibitions, and more. The Potomac Guild of Blacksmiths will have a live forge going, and re-enactors from the 8th Virginia Infantry Co, F&I will be giving demonstrations.
This will also be the first time the public will have access to a new exhibit, the largest mill artifact every excavated in Virginia: the Woolf’s Mill (1798) tubwheel. A tubwheel is a horizontal water wheel, and this one was excavated from the Paul Mellon farm near Upperville, on Goosecreek. A presentation about it will be given at 3:15 in the Barn at Clermont.