Will Knight’s Spider Web Farm, the only one in the world, is a rather small operation.
Two garage-sized barns are packed with wooden frames, built in grids, hanging from the ceiling. These square frames are ideal spots for spider webs, and the abundant orb-weaver spiders that live on Knight’s farm make themselves at home.
As the cells fill with webs, Knight (after shooing the spiders out of harm’s way) sprays each web with white spray paint to make it more visible, and then passes a wood plaque through the hole, saving the web. Add a few coats of lacquer, and Knight has perfectly mounted and preserved an intricate work of arthropod art.
According to a sign on the property, more than 16,000 webs have been collected since 1977.
Though there is not necessarily much to see on the farm, (depending on the timing of a visit, all of the webs may have been recently harvested, or the spiders hiding) the unique webs for sale are reasonably priced, and Knight himself, now 87 years old, is a delight to talk to. Just don’t call him Spiderman… he prefers Spiderwebman.
Update October 2016: The Farm is temporarily closed due to a fire that destroyed the barn that housed the wood shop and the gift store. No one was injured – humans, spiders, and cat are all okay. The season is over for this year, so rebuilding will likely happen after this winter.
Update October 2017: A new building is nearing completion and new spider racks are up to attract the weavers, with hopes to have the store open and new webs for sale by the spring. Sadly, Will Knight has passed away but the family intends to continue his work.
Update August 2018: They are back up for business, albeit in a very limited capacity. People should contact Terry directly via email/phone to confirm supply.
Know Before You Go
15 mi. South of Montpelier, and 7 mi. South of Barre. Driving Instructions: From I-89 - Take Exit 5 towards Williamstown then take Route 14 South through the village.