Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Justin Morrill?

Justin Morrill was Vermont’s US Representative and later US Senator from 1854-1898.

Why is he important today?

Morrill was the chief author and sponsor of the Land Grant College Acts passed in 1862 and 1890, which became the most important piece of educational legislation in the 19th century and is still relevant today.  The goal of the legislation was to create in each state a land grant college which would provide Federal funding for a liberal and practical education for farmers, mechanics, artisans and laborers.

What is at the Morrill State Historic Site?

This site is a mid nineteenth century estate designed by Justin Morrill in the most popular architectural style of the 1850s.  The site includes the Gothic Revival-style Morrill House and seven agricultural buildings all set in a picturesque designed landscape in the rural upper village of Strafford.

Why is the Homestead painted pink?

After returning from a European tour Justin Morrill and his wife Ruth decided in 1859 to paint their Gothic Revival house a rosy pink to resemble the freshly cut sandstone they saw in Europe.  The original 1850 color of the house was a light tan color and the outbuildings a shade of brown.

Did the Morrills have any children?

They had two sons; Justin who died as an infant and James who lived to adulthood and worked for his father as secretary.
Who was Justin Morrill's wife?

Justin Morrill married Ruth Swan from Easton, Massachusetts.  They had been introduced by his mentor, Jedediah Harris.  Mrs. Morrill’s half-sister, Louise Swan, lived with the family and took care of many of the details of managing the household.

Where is Justin Morrill buried?

Shortly before his death in 1898 he designed a mausoleum made from Barre, Vermont granite. Senator Morrill, his wife, their two sons and Mrs. Morrill’s half-sister are buried in the mausoleum located in the hillside town cemetery behind the Strafford Town House.