Obscure Vermont

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I woke up at 5 AM, was reminded that I wasn’t a morning person, and stumbled out my back door at 6. My friend was waiting for me in his parked car as the headlights cast a dull amber pallor onto quiet streets that were under the cold gray dawn. It was 41 degrees and I was all shiver bones in the new coming chill. I stopped for a few gas station coffees… Read More

“Wait – there it is!” I shouted, pointing to the top of a long rock emergence that confined a rootsy trail between a steep descent down to more rocks and dead leaves. I hastily bushwacked off from the path, clambered up the small incline thick with lots of scratchy underbrush and got to a plateaued area at the top, and found what I had been searching for – the very camouflaged Franklin… Read More

Queen Connie Vermont’s roads are pretty regulated, so there isn’t much here in terms of weird or kitschy personalized properties that people like to put into the broad category of roadside Americana – which includes a perpetually growing compilation of the same genre (nonstandardized) but vary widely in sentiment and imagery. But, that doesn’t mean obscurities can’t be found along Vermont’s byways. Take the tiny farm town of Leicester, whose most famous denizen… Read More

Everything changes, a truth that I’ve always fought a stubborn battle with. This town, once rolled over and turned into a sought after destination built around its exploitable mineral springs, has since witnessed it’s appeal, it’s many hotels, and it’s identity all become ghosts. In the 19th century, natural springs were discovered in a hollow near town that had high levels of sulfur, magnesium, and iron in them – which were thought to have medicinal properties if… Read More

Legacy is one of those nouns that we as humans are all united by. While all of us will leave some sort of mark behind, many of us mull over just what that will be. How will you be remembered? Some of us make our mark in life through death, and on rare occasions, certain people achieve beyond that and find themselves exhibitioners of the long sought after status of immortality. Humans have collectively been searching for… Read More

“Wow, how does a place like this even exist?” mulled my friend aloud, lost in her own luminous reverie. I had seen photos of this beautiful dereliction online, but I was just as awed, as the stagnant cold inside stung my hands. The early morning wintry cold was still hanging over the misty hills of Bolton flats in a hundred shades of blue as we departed for southern New England. While we drove we sat in… Read More

Vermont’s visage is one of scenic mountains and an eye magnetic lack of industry, which makes the state a notable contrast from its neighbors. But a few decades ago, our Green Mountains were combed with industry that depended on the state’s naturally occurring topography and it’s profitable innards. Many of the state’s rural areas have once been cannibalized for their precious commodities that lay underneath the ground, and if you look below the surface, many small communities… Read More

This old postcard may be one of my favorite finds from the Milton archives. Published by Raymond A. Coburn, who owned the pictured general store in Milton from 1908 until the flood of 1927. This image of “downtown Milton” depicted a cartoonish almost satirical image of what town had the possibility to be like in the future. That vision included blimp taxi service to South Hero, which I still think would be sort of cool. Today’s… Read More

Last weekend, I took a road trip with a friend to The Borscht Belt, a tongue-in-cheek colloquial moniker given to an area of New York’s Catskills Mountains interspersed with decaying hotels from a bygone era. In the 20th century, the Jewish community from New York City were being battered with a growing antisemitism movement which barred them from many mainstream hotels and vacation destinations. That well-realized awareness encouraged them to build a destination… Read More

For years now, I’ve heard talk of adventures in the caves and abandoned quarries of Southern Vermont, which compelled me to research them. The town of Dorset, northwest-ish of Manchester, has a remarkable 31 abandoned quarries within the town limits, and a drive through town offers some perspective here. Dorset is mostly mountainous, with the Green Mountains rising east of town, and a clump of formidable peaks that fill in the northwestern portion. The cluster… Read More