Hoag Farm Interpretive Panels

The Hoag Farm Interpretive Panel Series

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This project pays homage to the history and culture of The Willowell Land. For thousands of years this area has witnessed great physical changes and shifts in human culture. From the glaciers that formed these mountains and valleys; to the the First People’s subsistence off the land; to the turn of the century’s agricultural families– this land has been home to many resilient, productive, and dynamic people and ecosystems.

The Series consists of two interpretive panels on the Willowell land and a series of interviews that tell the story of this particular parcel. Developed by both students and staff, the project focuses on the area’s ecological shifts through time, its first inhabitants (the Abenaki Tribe), and the Hoag Family who owned and farmed the land before us. We gathered information on these content areas with the help of The Monkton Historical Society, The Vermont Folklife Center, and through research done by Willowell’s past AmeriCorps members. Students and staff also conducted ethnographic interviews with Abenaki scholar Melody Brook and members of the Hoag Family. To hear their stories about the Willowell Land, The Abenaki People, and farming at the turn of the century, please see the interview segments below.


Many thanks to all who contributed: The Hoag Family, Melody Brook, The VT Folk Life Center, The Walden students who worked on the project, our dedicated AmeriCorps Service Members, David Schein, the Monkton Historical Society, and Emily Bissonnette.


Thank you also to our funders: The Vermont Humanities Council and the Five Town Friends of the Arts.


We hope you enjoy the project!



Listen to Interviews

Melody Brook, Abenaki Scholar Interviews:

  1. Introduction—Melody Brook and her relationship to Abenaki Culture
  1. Authenticity— Finding your sense of self within an indigenous context
  1. Preservation—Nothing is ever lost, it’s us who lost our way
  1. How to Exist—The balance between old ways and modern culture
  1. The Seven Sisters—Agriculture and our connection to the past
  1. Identity and Recognition— The struggle to reclaim culture
  1. Conclusion— Walking softly on the earth


Judy (Hoag) Tasetano Interview:

  1. Introduction—Growing up in a slower time
  1. Changes—Walter takes over the farm
  1. Siblings—shooting woodchucks and helping out on the family farm
  1. Life on the Farm—making ends meet
  1. Scenery—the beauty of the land
  1. Riding Horses—exploring the pastures and property
  1. Conclusion—changing seasons


Robin and Marlene Interview:

  1. Introduction— A brief history of the farm
  1. Growing up—life lessons
  1. Getting back to the farm basics— work hard, play hard
  1. Changing times—hard times were worth the lessons
  1. Horse down the well
  1. Conclusion—Reflections about a way of life


Thank you to all who participated in this project for their time and stories!


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Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Vermont Humanities Council.