Bed & Breakfast and Retreat
Why is it called "Pie-in-the-Sky?"
ur farmhouse and the surrounding land were owned
by the Dwinell family, one of the early Marshfield families, for nearly two
centuries. That's where the name of the town road we're on comes from. The
Dwinells passed on with nobody left in the younger generation who could
keep the farm going, a difficult prospect at best by the 1960s with the greater
out-of-state regulation and consolidation of the milk industry. Then, for a
couple of years in the early 1970s, the house became a hard-scrabble
back-to-the-land commune, of which there were several at that time in this
vicinity and as many as 95 in the state of Vermont. At the suggestion of Susan Green, the new set of countercultural folks named their commune after a
song by the old Wobbly folksinger and labor activist,
, the chorus of which goes: "You will eat, bye and bye /
in that glorious land above the sky /
Work and pray, live on hay /
You'll get pie in the sky when you die."
lthough the commune didn't last for very long for one reason or another, it was well known at the time locally and state wide among the 94 different communes in Vermont. When we bought the house and the land belonging to
the old farm in 1985, local people -- and
even the UPS deliveryman -- still knew the address by that name.
We respect the sensibilities of those times, want to keep them alive, and we
like the name.
For a great book about the
of those halcyon days written by a former resident of Pie-in-the-Sky, see
Robert Houriet's (unfortunately) out-of-print Getting Back Together
Houriet nowadays is an retired organic vegetable farmer and small-farm activist who
lives further north in Vermont.
There are two very good books about the communal movement in Vermont and specifically in the area just north of Pie, which were published in the last two years: Going Up Country by Yvonne Daily and We Are As Gods: Back to the Land in the 1970s on the Quest for a New America by Kate Daloz