Skip to main content

Battell Lands Papers, 1919-1999

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: A1.I.7

Scope and Contents

This collection contains numerous documents concerning Middlebury College’s Battell Lands’ Gift. The majority of documents are letters from and to President Moody and various trustees and lawyers as they worked diligently to manage and ultimately sell the Battell Lands within the letter and spirit of the restrictions laid out by Battell in his will. Supporting documentation, in the form of surveys, reports, deeds and maps, details the management practices of the College and the efforts to sell the land to the U. S. Government.


  • Publication: 1919-1999

Conditions Governing Access

Records of the Board of Trustees are restricted for 50 years from the date of creation. Records older than 50 years are open for research without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish materials must first be obtained in writing from the: College Archives Middlebury College Library Middlebury College 110 Storrs Avenue Middlebury, VT 05753 Phone: (802) 443-5501 Fax: (802) 443-5698 E-mail:

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Battell (1839-1915) attended Middlebury College from1856-1859 before withdrawing for health reasons. After purchasing the Bread Loaf Inn in Ripton, VT in 1868, Battell began buying large parcels of land in the Green Mountains, eventually amassing some 40,000 acres. Concerned about land degradation in Vermont, he began a campaign to institute ecologically sound logging practices and to preserve forest lands as wilderness designations. At his death in 1915, he left Middlebury College over 35,000 acres of land, which it managed and then subsequently sold to the U.S. Forest Service during the 1930’s and 1950’s. The proceeds of the first sale in 1936-7 (some $750,000) were used for the construction of Forest Hall. Battell’s land serves as the backbone of the Green Mountain National Forest in the Ripton, Hancock, Goshen, Granville, and Middlebury areas. Today the land is used for logging, as well as retaining recreation and wilderness designations.


3 Boxes (3 document boxes)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

The majority of the Battell Lands Papers are shelved in Bank 2. Some boxes are shelved in Bank 3 8 1.3

Other Finding Aids

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States