Saint Johnsbury is the county seat of Caledonia County and, with about 7,000 inhabitants, is the largest town and commercial center of the Northeast Kingdom, an area made up of the three northeasternmost counties of Vermont: Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans. There are several interesting things to see and do in Saint Johnsbury, including Maple Grove Farms and the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium.
Saint Johnsbury was first settled in 1786 and was called Dunmore at the time. By 1790, the settlement had 143 inhabitants. During the first town meeting held in that year, the name was changed to Saint Johnsbury. Ethan Allen, the founder of the state of Vermont, is said to have recommended calling the town Saint John, but in order not to confuse it with Saint John, New Brunswick, it was decided to call the town Saint Johnsbury instead.
By the mid-nineteenth century, Saint Johnsbury became a minor manufacturing center, especially with respect to scales. The platform scale was invented here in 1830 by Thaddeus Fairbanks. Other industries included dairy farming, logging, and the manufacturing of maple syrup. In the 1850s, a railroad between Boston and Montreal helped increase the economic growth of Saint Johnsbury. In 1856, it replaced Danville as the county seat.
During my years in Vermont, I lived in Peacham, a quaint village nestled in the isolated hills of the Northeast Kingdom. At that time, Peacham only had about 400 residents, but nowadays the population has increased to around 665.
Peacham was founded in 1776, when New Hampshire governor Benning Wentworth chartered only three towns in what is now Caledonia County as part of the New Hamphire Grants. (At that time, Vermont was part of New Hampshire). The town arose after a stockade had been constructed around a house built by Jonathan Elkins in 1776. The Bayley-Hazen Military Road, which was built during the American Revolutionary War and ran from Newbury, Vermont to Saint John's, Quebec, passed through Peacham. The road helped bring goods and commerce to the new town.
Despite its remoteness, Hollywood has discovered Peacham. Two movies were filmed there in the last few years: The Spitfire Grill and Ethan Frome. In addition, Yankee Magazine recently described Peacham as "unsurpassed among New England villages" and listed it among its "101 Superlative New England Places."
Drove by and took this picture at Vermont State House at the state capital of Montpelier. Montpelier, population of over 8,000 only was chartered in 1781 and named after the French town of Montpellier.
This beautiful Capitol building with the Federal style classic Greek doric columns was built in 1859 after a fire engulfed the previous building.
Just a passing photo for a passing memory.
Location: 115 State Street.
Open: Monday-Friday 8am-4pm. Free tours available in July to mid-October.
Fourteen counties divide the state up into equal political chunks; these groups each are independent of one another and generally do not have more than local interests.
The first county was created in 1777 and the last in 1835.
The county seat is referred to as the "shire town" (don't go looking for hobbits there though because the name comes from the old English for center).
County populations range from 6000 (Grand Isle) to 60000 (Washington).
Once again JP tried getting local. I wasn't able to actually take a hike while in Vermont this time around so I decided the next best thing was to taste the liquids of the land. Why buy budweiser crap liquid when theres delicious liquids flowing everywhere. Vermont has a very German feel to it, the street signs, the cottages and yes the beerskis. I love Vermont. They also have made the state a Historic District so box stores such as Wal-Mart won't ruin its character. Smart move VT. So if there is a fending off of everything big business than there is plenty reason to taste the little mans prodi.. Tasting turned into overindulging as my eyes grew closer and closer together as the New Year approached.
"Long Trail Ale is full-bodied amber ale modeled after the "Alt-biers" of Dusseldorf, Germany. Our top fermenting yeast and cold finishing temperature result in a complex, yet clean, full flavor. Originally introduced in November of 1989, Long Trail Ale quickly became, and remains, the largest selling craft brew in Vermont. It is a multiple medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival."
Fondest memory: Go to www.longtrail.com
According to 'USA Today' (which, by the way, recently did a feature about Virtual Tourist), their May 18th, 2003 edition selected Grafton as the sixth most beautiful place in America.
In my own opinion,Grafton certainly is one of the prettiest villages in Vermont. Many of its beautiful old buildings have been lovingly restored by its residents and the Windham Foundation
We had not intended to visit Grafton, nor had we even found it on our travel map. It was actually located some way inside of our marked route, from Windsor, then west of the Green Mountains, on Route 100, and back into New Hampshire at Bellows Falls.
We thought that we might be off our actual chosen route, and stopped to ask someone where exactly we were. This gentleman, a Highways Engineer, told us not to miss visiting Grafton. so we took his word for it, and went there.
Favorite thing: Situated on Highways 30/100, the small town of Jamaica is rather non-descript. There isn't a great deal here, a few shops selling antiques, a coffee house with no rest room, and a few other places. However, it was nice to just stop for a short break and have a coffee and a muffin (or whatever it was we ate). Even in early October, it was still quite warm.
Unfortunately for us, we were a little early with our tour of New England. Another week would have seen the magnificent Fall colours at their best. We knew there had been snow on Mount Washington (New Hampshire) and thought that the colours might be a little more vibrant in Vermont, than they were in Maine. We weren't disappointed!
The journey from Maine to Vermont was rather a lengthy one, just to say that we had 'been there', but we are most glad that we undertook the journey. Certainly the Fall colours were much more advanced in Vermont.
Favorite thing: Heading now due south along Highway 100, we passed the beautiful lake Rescue. between Tyson and Ludlow. With the beautiful early Fall colours it was really rather inviting. I wondered why it was called 'Rescue'?
We came here to Plymouth, Vermont, in trial rather than by error! This was the final day of our vacation before the drive back to Boston for the flight home. We had intended to visit Windsor, VT, but the route afterwards was not planned, and would be dependent on our valuable time. However, there was time to head towards the Green Mountains by way of lesser used highways, and hence our 'arrival' in (or near) Plymouth.
Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the United States, from 1923 until 1929. Born in Plymouth, Vermont, on July 4, 1872, Coolidge was the son of a village storekeeper. He was graduated from Amherst College with honors, and entered law and politics in Northampton, Massachusetts. He slowly ascended the political ladder from councilman in Northampton to Governor of Massachusetts, as a Republican. He died on January 5th, 1933.
The town of Windsor is located in southeast Vermont, on the Connecticut River. It has a population of about 5,000. First chartered in 1`761 by Governor Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire, settled in 1764, and rechartered in 1772 by New York Colony. The convenition that adopted a consitution and organised Vermont as an independent state (under that name) was held here in July, 1777, and in 1778 the first legislature met in the town.
Machinery and rubber products are made here. Old Constitution House has been restored as an Inn.
Having made a little error in our navigation whilst in New Hampshire, we went rather too far south, and spent the night in a not so nice Motel in Concord. We should have cut across country from the White Mountains, and headed towards (say)Lebanon, but it was getting late, and we were anxious to find a room before it got too dark. So, in the morning, we had to head back up Freeway 89 towards Lebanon, turning Eastwards at lake Sunapee (another place we would have liked to have seen).
We soon found ourselves at 'home' in Cornish City, on the line with Vermont.
Fondest memory: The Covered Bridge here between Cornish, New Hampshire, and Windsor, Vermont, is the longest covered bridge in the United States. It is also the longest covered bridge, with two lanes (for traffic) in the World! Unlike many covered bridges, this one is in constant daily use to connect the two towns.
The first white man known to have entered the area that is now Vermont was Samuel de Champlain, who, after beginning the colonization of Quebec, journeyed south with a Huron war party in 1609 to the beautiful lake to which he gave his name. In 1666 the French built a fort on the Isle la Motte in Lake Champlain. However, this and later French settlements were abandoned, and until well into the 18th Century, the region was something of a no man's land.
Fort Dummer, built (in 1724) by the English near the site of Brattleboro to protect settlers from Indians, is considered to be the first permanent settlement in what is now Vermont.
Plan to visit Vermont during peak fall foliage. I'm sure it's beautiful at other times of year as well, and probably a lot less crowded, but the beautiful color of the leaves at this time of year is really special.
Fondest memory: Kris and I have been friends for a long time. She was an ex-girlfriend's best friend and managed to stay close to both of us through our breakup. We had wanted to do a trip together for a long time and finally we jumped on a long weekend camping trip to Vermont to check out the fall foliage. It was a meager year for the leaves coloring due to lack of rain in the spring but we had managed to squeeze in a few hikes and of course sample the local brews. The best place had been McNeil's in Brattleboro, just as we entered the southern portion of the state. We had loved the old wooden interior, great house-made beers, and the cool and friendly alternative clientele. After doing some more touring around the state, we were headed back to New Jersey, coming down through the Adirondacks of New York State but I just couldn't get McNeil's out of my mind. I joked that we should go back over for one more beer before going home, even though it was clearly not on our way. Kris said she wouldn't complain. After all, I was driving. So, I let the Honda take its natural course, that always being towards the best brewery in the area and before we knew it, we were back in Brattleboro, sucking down the McNeil nectars. Getting back to New Jersey would be our next problem, but that would have to wait until we had another beer.
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