Faces of Clermont – Elizabeth

The past and future of Clermont Farm — the 261-year-old State Historic Site just to the east of Berryville — will be the subject of The Clermont Forum, which convenes this Friday (June 24, 12:45-2:45, 3:15-5, with a reception to follow) at the Grace Episcopal Parish Hall, 110 N. Church St. in Berryville and Saturday (June 25, 9:30-11:30, 12:30-2:30) at the “Old” Clarke County Courthouse, also on N. Church St. Distinguished Virginia scholars and local historians alike will be looking at Clermont through multiple lenses, including military and African-American history, architecture, the role of women, farm life, and more. The Forum is free, and the public is invited. To learn more about the participants and what they will be discussing, see www.clermontfarm.org.

This “Faces of Clermont” series, compiled with the help of the Clarke County Historical Association, features some of those who have been instrumental in Clermont’s long and rich history.

Elizabeth Rust Williams - photo courtesy Clarke County Historical Association

Faces of Clermont – Elizabeth Rust Williams

A woman of multiple talents, Elizabeth Rust Williams, worked as a journalist, editor, and public-relations consultant before turning to law and taking over the practice of her father, Edward McCormick Williams. Elizabeth was one of the first two females admitted to the Clarke County Bar (in 1982) and served as Bar Association president from 1983-1988.

Upon her in 2004, she donated the 361-acre, 18th-century Clermont Farm to the people of the State of Virginia, Department of Historic Resources. Elizabeth’s fervent hope was that the historic buildings and cultural landscape would be preserved, that the farm would continue in operation, and that Clermont would serve as a model community and state resource.