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Town Analyses > Dummerston > Cultural Landscape

Contemporary

Since the 1950s, Dummerston's economy has expanded significantly. Modern dairy farming continues to be the major agricultural element, but other modes of production exist as well. Farming has diversified and expanded to include fruit orchards and organic niche markets for specialty meats and cheeses. In addition to cultivating crops, the sediment terraces located alongside the Connecticut River are also mined for sand and gravel reserves.

A landscape that 125 years ago was nearly entirely cleared and inhabited by farmers has now largely re-forested, and become home to a variety of artists, merchants, and professionals. Even so, the legacy of the town's cultural past can be readily observed in the present, notably in the miles of stone wall and barbed wire that criss-cross the landscape, the rows of black locust trees once used as fence posts, old apple trees standing alone in the woods, abandoned sugarbushes, mill dams, and the various styles of homes and barns that were constructed during different periods of economic growth.

In this history of clearing the land and its subsequent re-growth, we have left a significant imprint of our land-use on the patterns of vegetation in our forests, continuing our circular relationship with the ever-present natural landscape that sustains our daily lives.

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