At the heart of Rokeby Museum is the family that cherished this place as its home. Quaker Thomas Robinson left Newport, Rhode Island, to stake his claim in Vermont — a brand new state with a bright future — in 1792. His children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren lived and thrived on the land he purchased in Ferrisburgh for the next 170 years. The Robinsons remained productive and respected members of their community until 1961, when the site became a museum. Over the years, they welcomed a large and diverse extended family of relatives, friends and Friends, fugitive slaves, domestic servants, farm workers, and tourists into their home. 

The mission of the museum is to connect visitors with the human experience of the Underground Railroad and with the lives of the four generations of Robinsons who lived at Rokeby from 1793 to 1961. In 2019, Rokeby Museum trustees enlarged the museum’s vision to include social advocacy. Guided by Rachel Gilpin and Rowland Thomas Robinson’s commitment to speaking truth to power, today’s Rokeby is committed to serving as a center for the exploration and discussion of contemporary social justice issues.