News Releases

April 26, 2017

Vermont Announces Additions to African American Heritage Trail

The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing and the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity are pleased to announce that new sites have been added to the Vermont African American Heritage Trail. The additions for 2017 include the Clemmons Family Farm in Charlotte, as well as Buffalo Soldiers Historic Markers in Colchester and Essex.

Clemmons Family Farm is one of the oldest and largest African American-owned farms in Vermont and has been in the family since 1962. The 148-acre property includes six historic farm buildings, prime farmland and forest on the shore of Lake Champlain and serves as an African American heritage and multicultural center.

"Less than half of one percent of farms in the U.S. are African American-owned, making Clemmons Family Farm a unique and important asset to Vermont's identity and a valuable addition to the African American Heritage Trail," said Hilary DelRoss, Heritage and Recreation Specialist at the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. "The farm blends agriculture with storytelling, art and cultural events, captivating visitors with connections of the historic and modern."

Dubbed the "Buffalo Soldiers" during the American Indian Wars, the 10th U.S. Cavalry was one of the first peacetime all-black regiments established in the regular U.S. Army after the Civil War. The 10th U.S. Cavalry arrived at Fort Ethan Allen in July 1909, where they were heavily engaged with the local community during their assignment.

"Few things excite the mind of a traveler more than the discovery of some new bit of knowledge in some unexpected place," said Curtiss Reed, Executive Director of Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity. "As African American history and Vermont are not top-of-mind associations, visitors will be pleasantly surprised at the depth of the intertwined history between persons of African heritage and Vermont dating back to the 1600s, long before the founding of Vermont as a state."

The Vermont African American Heritage Trail takes visitors to museums and cultural sites where exhibits, films, tours and personal explorations illuminate the lives of African Americans for whom the Green Mountain State was part of their identity. This trail was established four years ago to celebrate the historic and new populations of Africans in Vermont and to promote the attractions associated with their achievements and contributions to visitors and residents alike.

In a proclamation ceremony earlier this year, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott declared February 2017 Vermont African American Heritage Trail Month to celebrate and highlight the significant contributions of individuals and sites associated with the trail.

Governor Scott remarked at the ceremony, "Vermont's history, at its roots, is multicultural from the members of Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys with African heritage to the state's constitution, which was the first to prohibit slavery."

The Vermont African American Heritage Trail is an initiative of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness & Diversity in collaboration with the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, local historical societies and museums. Resources for student educational programming can be found at vtafricanamericanheritage.net.

Media Contact: Philip Tortora, Communications Director, Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, (802) 522-7323, Philip.Tortora@Vermont.gov

Source: Department of Tourism and Marketing
Last Updated at: April 26, 2017 13:15:57