Modern Fossils

Strangely Isolated from its central village location and untouched for more than 30 years – this place has the eerie kind of remoteness where every noise heard inside its cavernous and dark interior is startling, and the thought of this once being an active business with a vibrant human presence borders on the absurd.

What was once a prosperous creamery seemed to have suffered the same inevitable fate as other Vermont creameries. Fluctuating milk prices and the high costs of expenses were much higher than the final paychecks distributed to local dairy farmers, and the eventual pressure from larger industrial creameries made smaller operations like this one obsolete. And as gravity came, the good times couldn’t be reinvented. Built in the early 1900s, this rural creamery operated for most of the century, shipping it’s milk and dairy products locally and beyond to exotic destinations like Boston and New York City. In the last years of it’s life, it became a cheese factory, before finally shutting down in 1999 after a landslide of problems the business couldn’t circumnavigate.

Because of the thick forests that obstruct it from view, it was only when I walked right underneath its shadow that I got a good impression of the place. A sizable melding of wood and brick that eventually raises to 4 stories, the complex is made up of rambling additions that marked periods of the creamery’s success, now a chaotic collection of decaying ruins surrounded by young forests and actively farmed fields. From the outside, the warping geometry of the wooden structure is showing signs of neglect and pride that has long vanished into the smoke – the building slowly burying its storied legacy.

Inside, once you are enveloped by cold and filthy shadows, no order prevails. As you walk around, you begin to adapt to your surroundings as you notice the uncomfortable stillness that creeps over your skin. Your boots crunch over plaster dust and broken glass and lead paint rains from the ceilings. You experience feelings of vertigo as you maneuver your way around collapsing ceilings that are masqueraded by the dark. The floors are littered with debris and dirt. Wooden tables sit underneath years of dust which obscure the artifacts left behind. Fading signs that comically demand you partake in sanitation efforts still hang on warped vinyl walls, an almost laughable concept amongst the utter filth that hangs around you. Certain hallways were plagued so badly by water damage that my boots sank into the tiles like a sponge as I passed. It’s easy to lose yourself in the dark and desolation, but someone else has been here. Graffiti can be seen on dingy white walls where offices once resided. As you take a moment to take it all in, the wind blows a lose piece of rusted mangled tin – the sound echoes throughout the building as you immediately tense up. And on this lovely Autumn day as the Green Mountains blazed outside broken windows, an odd sense of tranquility permeated through the hallways.

This decrepit place is apparently well known to local kids who are revved up everything and wild like hurricanes. It makes sense. Small town kids love the mystic of places like this, just as I did. Although, my visits were one of reverence, and these kids seem to erroneously view the old creamery as a “law free zone”. According to a police officer who saw me go in with my camera and pulled me out a gun point, the powers that be have to enter the sketchy property far more than they’d like too. The reasons range from those aforementioned kids stashing stolen property there, drug labs and drug usage, and activities that range on the more destructive, such as arson attempts or scrapping. Because the property is designated as a brownfields location because of heavy contaminants as asbestos, lead paint and heavy metals, little can be done with the otherwise prime piece of real estate without lots of money for state approved clean up and permitting, and so far, no developers are interested enough in investing.

Sort of like how the abandoned creamery in my hometown was a local rite of passage for kids, the creamery in this burg is of the same culture. A friend and frequent exploring companion used to work at a restaurant nearby, and one night as he was offhandedly conversing with their teenage dishwasher, the youth told him animatedly “Oh, yeah, I know the old creamery! I fell through the floor there a few weeks ago!” Good times, I’m sure.

A historic postcard view, circa 1938


Fall 2013

DSC_0028_peDSC_0025_pe_peDSC_1006_peDSC_1007_pe DSC_1012_pe DSC_1020_peDSC_1021_pe DSC_1027_pe DSC_1026_peDSC_0527_pe DSC_0529_pe DSC_0530_peDSC_1035_peDSC_1041_pe DSC_1049_peDSC_1046_peDSC_1047_pe DSC_1048_peDSC_1053_pe DSC_1058_pe DSC_1061_pe DSC_1063_peDSC_1069_pe DSC_1071_pe DSC_1075_pe DSC_1079_pe DSC_1086_pe DSC_1089_pe DSC_1092_peDSC_1095_peDSC_0001_peDSC_0004_peDSC_0005_peDSC_0011_pe


To all of my amazing fans and supporters, I am truly grateful and humbled by all of the support and donations through out the years that have kept Obscure Vermont up and running.

As you all know I spend countless hours researching, writing, and traveling to produce and sustain this blog. Obscure Vermont is funded entirely on generous donations that you the wonderful viewers and supporters have made. Expenses range from internet fees to host the blog, to investing in research materials, to traveling expenses. Also, donations help keep me current with my photography gear, computer, and computer software so that I can deliver the best quality possible.

If you value, appreciate, and enjoy reading about my adventures please consider making a donation to my new Gofundme account or Paypal. Any donation would not only be greatly appreciated and help keep this blog going, it would also keep me doing what I love. Thank you!


Donate Button with Credit Cards

2 Comments on “Modern Fossils

  1. Thank you for your posting about the creamery and for your other very interesting posts. I am working with a group trying to cleanup and reclaim the creamery site. Can you contact me? I would appreciate your impressions. Thank you!

    Ann Cousins Preservation Trust of Vermont Director, Historic Places Revolving Fund Field Service Representative 104 Church Street Burlington, VT 05401 802-343-8180 802-329-2032 (fax)

  2. Government price controlling or Crony Capitalism caused many Farms and businesses go bankrupt, Sad really our biggest threat has become and over powering ,ever enlarging intrusive government

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: