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EDITOR’S NOTE

Up, up and away - it’s autumn in Vermont! It’s another fall in Vermont with lots of things to do and see. In this issue of Our State Vermont we’re thinking outside the box with new ways to experience the Green Mountain State in autumn. Come along with us as we look at some adventurous tours for autumn leaf peepers that will take you beyond the standard, heavily traveled auto leaf-peeping tour routes. How about seeing Vermont’s spectacular color changes via a Green Mountain Railroad passenger train? GMRR offers two terrific rail tours in southern Vermont, plus a dinner club-car package on the fall tour schedule for lots of fun and romance. Or how about scheduling a pampered tour bus trek which includes the historic and popular Von Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe? It’s like experiencing a little slice of Austria right here in Vermont (where the hills are always alive with the Sound of Music). For the more adventurous minded, climb aboard a hot air balloon to see the leaves. Several balloon tours are available where you can ascend to reach out and touch fluffy clouds, a la Jules Verne’s fictional “Around the World in 80 Days” protagonist Phileas Fogg. From above, leave the tourists behind and look down on the land’s Technicolor changes at a relaxing pace (maybe with a sip of champagne, too). Oh, and don’t forget the thrill of sailplane soaring in central Vermont. These motorless, long-wingspan gliders are eerily silent (except for the whoosh of chilled air over the glider’s clear cockpit canopy). Being lightweight aircraft, gliders provide you with the closest soaring perspectives of a bird of prey; there are no engine sounds except that of your powered tow plane which takes you to the perfect altitude, releases your glider, so you can fly like an eagle. We can’t think of anything more divine than feeding on mountain and valley thermals while soaring safely above autumnal forests dabbed in gold and flame. Add to autumn’s to-do list more ways to shake off summer’s laziness. Maybe it’s your time to try out a new sport like dual-sport adventure riding? We give you some tips on how to get started on Vermont’s many dirt roads and trails on two wheels. When the leaves start changing color, it’s an even better time to resume your exploration of Vermont’s 2,600 covered bridges. That’s why we continue our series with another four iconic covered bridges to check out. Finally, we ask four Vermont residents why they happen to love our state and choose to live and work here. It might just inspire you, too, to make Vermont your new home. Have fun and take us along when you explore Our State Vermont this fall.

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our s ate General Manager Ashley Charron ashley@addison-eagle.com Editor Lou Varricchio lou@addison-eagle.com Publisher Ed Coats ed@addison-eagle.com Marketing Consultants Ashley Charron ashley@addison-eagle.com Cyndi Armell cyndi@addison-eagle.com Heidi Littlefield heidi@addison-eagle.com Graphics Team Design 2 Pro howard@design2pro.com Feature Columnist Lou Varricchio Writing Contributors Elicia Mailhiot Ashley Charron Emily Curtis-Sinkevich To advertise in our next issue, please contact Ashley at: 802-388-6397 (office) or ashley@addison-eagle.com Published by: New Market Press 16 Creek Road, Suite 5 Middlebury, VT 05753 We are pleased to announce that Our State Vermont has been named an award winning magazine! Photo taken by Jen Bergeron of Essex, VT at Shelburne Orchards

4 | Our State Vermont | AUTUMN 2017


Contents

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FALL TO DOS

It’s time to think outside-of-the-box when it comes to fall foliage tourism in Vermont. So, we go beyond the typical tourist traps and routes for the annual in-migration of leaf peepers to the Green Mountain State. Get ready to strap yourself inside an ultraquiet sailplane, toast a glass of champagne in the gondola of a hot air balloon while drifting high above a forest, or climb aboard for a train ride to view autumn’s splendid offerings in Vermont.

ADDISON-BRIDPORT DETECTIVES

In 1816, a group of Addison County farmers organized to stop the increase of cattle and horse rustling in Vermont. These local vigilantes hunted high-and-low for the bad guys and made a genuine dent in crime during the 1800s and early 1900s. The Addison-Bridport Detective Society is alive and well today although its crime-fighting days are over. We look at this historic, early forerunner of the Vermont State Police.

RUTLAND’S HIMILAYAN SALT CAVE

Dr. Margaret Smiechowski is America’s foremost expert on Himalayan salt. Her work has helped spread the benefits of unprocessed Asian salt to Americans through the creation of simulated salt caves. She has created many salt caves including the beautiful salt cave at the Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center in downtown Rutland.

VERMONT’S ANCIENT PETROGLYPHS

Vermont’s first peoples left their marks on several rocks near the Connecticut River. These mysterious stone images depict strange humanlike figures sprouting horns and antenna-like do-hickeys. While some imaginative folks have theorized that these petroglyphs are evidence of ancient alien encounters, most experts believe the figures probably represent the dead ancestors of native peoples.

GOT WOOL?

Vermonters love wool. With many sheep, goat, alpaca, and rabbit farms around the state, a lot of our rural neighbors have developed a passion for nature’s warmest material. We look at where our wool comes from, how it’s processed into yarn and fabric, and provide some preliminary resources for you to get started in the hobby.

DUAL SPORT RIDING

There are unlimited possibilities for dual sport and adventure riders in Vermont if you know where to look. A dual-sport motorcycle is a type of street-legal motorcycle that is designed for both on- and off-road use. Check out this fast-growing, popular sport and find the places where you can try it out for yourself.

I LOVE VERMONT

Vermonter Erika Sweet blogs a lot about her love of Vermont: “For one of the smallest states in both area and population, Vermont undoubtedly has loads to offer. With authentic local products, infinite outdoor adventures, adorable towns and some of the friendliest people you’ll meet, you can understand why so many love to call Vermont home. You may want to as well.” Meet a few other folks who have made Vermont their home-sweet-home.

AUTUMN EVENTS

A colorful calendar of events for all the many things to do and see (and eat!) during Vermont’s most magical, colorful season of all... autumn.

AUTUMN 2017 | Our State Vermont | 5


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Our State Vermont’s

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Change is in the air. Cool fall days make the forests, covering more then half of our state, explode into amazing vibrant colors as the leaves start to turn. Whether you are touring the state on scenic back roads, or taking a hike, everywhere you look is bursting with red, orange and yellow colors! 1. Roast marshmallows...

After the sun goes down the chill of a fall night makes a perfect setting for a bonfire to roast marshmallows. Clear a large a space in your back yard. To make it a true rustic Vermont bonfire, gather hay bails as your seating and lay flannel blankets over them to ensure comfort. Hang twinkle lights from posts around your gathering area for extra lighting. Search for sturdy branches as your marshmallow skewers and place in a syrup bucket. Spread out all of your necessities; marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers. If you want to add some flare to your traditional S’mores offer Reeces Peanut Butter Cups

in place of the chocolate bars or even toasted coconut marshmallows for a fun flavor.

2. Have a canning party...

Throwing a canning party is a fun way to gather a bunch of friends, celebrate the season’s harvest, and take home some delicious preserves to enjoy all year long. Canning is a great way to utilize your summer crop. You can produce an abundance of delicious flavored recipes including jalapeno salsa, dill pickles, zucchini soup and many others. Invite your friends who also enjoy canning to the party. Each of them bring a dozen jars to swap so everyone goes home with a seasonal medley that lasts all winter.

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AUTUMN 2017 | Our State Vermont | 7


4. Visit a brewery...

The mixture of barley, water, hops and yeast have taken over Vermont with breweries popping up all over the state. Each has their own style, unique flavors and craft. With a plethora of choice breweries, it is a great way to spend a whole day, sampling the many tastes. Many breweries offer a free glass with your paid sample tour. Go ahead and collect as many as you can!

5. Enjoy a hay ride...

Everyone knows that a bumpy hayride is a quintessential Vermont activity in the fall for families and couples. Enjoy a crisp October day being pulled through an apple orchard trailing beautiful horses or a big green tractor. For a more romantic evening, soak up a sky full of stars on a nighttime hayride with a cup of warm apple cider in hand.

3. Sip warm cider....

6. Craft with leaves...

Nothing warms the soul better then a hot cup of apple cider on a brisk fall day. The crisp taste of fresh apples and the aroma of mulled cider spices will leave you wanting a refill. For the favorite fall beverage all you need is cider, cinnamon and nutmeg but over the years, people have gotten fancy with their recipes. A more elegant touch includes infusing the apple cider with tea blends and adding milk making it rich and creamy. Get creative by adding other delicious scents like ginger, vanilla, oranges, caramel and others alike. If you are of age, a splash of spiced rum definitely tops off the traditional cup of apple cider.

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Make the best of a sunny fall day by collecting leaves that have fallen from our vibrant trees. Bring crethe colors of the season inside to make beautiful cre ations. Dust glitter on all sized leaves and string them into garland. Choose the most unique looking leaves and display them in picture frames for wonderful fall décor. You can even paint pumpkins white and use clear Mod Podge to adhere them around the sides. The options are endless and will certainly bring you joy!

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with Vermont’s agriculture. There you can meet a bounty of farm animals. Watch the pigs roll around in a mud filled pen, pet the adorable donkeys or feed the clucking chickens. Many petting farms offer educational information about each animal and farming, fun games and activities.

8. Tailgate at a game...

Pull down the tailgate and light up the grill, we are about to have a party! With what started as a couple hot dogs and beers before the big game is now an American sports tradition. Whether you are meeting a group of friends at a football game or a concert, there are many ways to be the star of the show. The traditional tailgating party includes a grill, lots of burgers and dogs, coolers full of pasta salads, deviled eggs and ice cold beer; if you are of age, of course. Chips are passed around while you fill your plate full of American favorites. However, if you are heading to a jazz concert on the green you may be packing a different tune. A flannel blanket is the perfect placemat for your cheese platter, chilled fruit, cracker spread and a bottle of red wine. Tailgating is perfect for any outside event!

9. Shop at a craft fair...

The change of colors in the leaves is a sure sign of fall festivals. Many towns throughout Vermont offer wonderful craft fairs showcasing some of the greatest handmade items around. As you stroll the isles of crafters you will find perfectly scented lotions, delicious baked goods, women’s accessories, baby clothes and so much more. One item is almost always guaranteed to be at each event; maple syrup. Whether it be in the form of syrup, candy, popcorn or even cotton candy you are sure to be delighted with the sweet taste! Check our calendar of events for local craft fairs this fall and early winter.

10. Get spooked...

Be afraid, be very afraid! Halloween is the time for mystery, magic and superstition. Many spooky events are held during this creepy holiday for all ages. Dress up your kiddos in their favorite costume and attend a Halloween parade. If you are looking for something to make you shake in your boots then check out the farmland of terror but be ready to meet the half-dead residents of North Village and prepare to scream at the top of your lungs. Other spooky adventures include haunted zombie paintball, haunted hayrides, ghost tours and haunted forests. There are more than a few vampires, zombies, witches, and monsters walking about the forests of Vermont so watch your back!

AUTUMN 2017 | Our State Vermont | 9


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Grand Theft Cattle By Lou Varricchio

Bridport detectives and the year without a summer

T

he years 1816 and 1817 were especially brutal ones in Vermont and all across northern North America and Eurasia. In April 1815 the eruption of the Indonesian supervolcano Tambora spewed 10 billion tons of ash, carbon dioxide gas, and sulphuric acid droplets high into the Earth’s stratosphere. The resulting cloud of fallout caused extreme cold and shortened daylight hours all across the Northern Hemisphere. Spectacular orange-red “volcanic sunsets” were visible for months following the titanic eruption.

Crops failed worldwide during the year following the explosion with cattle and sheep especially hard hit in the fields of northern lands. “The second-coldest year in the Northern Hemisphere since around 1400 A.D. was 1816, and the remainder of the 1810s are the coldest decade on record, a result of Tambora’s 1815 eruption,” according to Wikipedia’s account of the disaster. “Many livestock died in New England during the winter of 1816–17. Cooler temperatures, heavy rains and early snow resulted in failed harvests.”

The “year without a summer”, as 1816-17 became forever known, triggered Vermont farm failures and out migrations on a never-before-seen scale. It also triggered a crime wave. Among Vermonters adversely affected by Tambora’s aftermath were the lower classes who, in many cases, became highway men and thieves as a means to survive the year in which some snow fell during every month of the year including summer. continue page 12

AUTUMN 2017 | Our State Vermont | 11


One place in New England especially affected by the cold winter of 1816-17, and its ensuring rise in crime, was Addison County. Cattle and sheep were being pilfered on an alarming scale throughout the farms of the “big sky” country of Vermont’s broad Champlain Valley. In this time of volcanic-induced climate change with its scratching for a living was born the AddisonBridport Detective Society. The society operated with two hardworking, volunteer-staffed branches: the Committee of Safety and the Committee of Pursuits. In December 1816, farmer Alan Smith called together a “posse” of 24 county farmers and hands in 12 | Our State Vermont | AUTUMN 2017

his Addison barn. Smith wanted to share in the fight to battle the increase in cattle and horse thieving in the area. As legend tells it, Smith had been rustled during one of his long, tough cattle drives, ranging overland and across streams, from Addison to Boston. This incident, still shrouded in some mystery, prompted Smith’s organizing a group of citizen rangers—actually more like vigilantes to police the open farmland and woods of the county. Last year, members of the private detective agency celebrated their group’s bicentennial at the Bridport Grange Hall just before Christmas.

Several Vermont VIPs attended the affair including former Gov. Jim Douglas and Dr. Travis Jacobs, a retired history professor from Middlebury College. According to Jacobs’ talk at the 2016 celebration, the early 19th century vigilantes of Addison County tackled all kinds of theft during the “year without a summer” and in the years beyond. There was theft of personal farm property, such as implements, wagons, weapons, even clothing and cookware. General stores in remote rural communities were prime targets with many break-ins occurring at night when no one was watching.


As more and more Vermonters lost work in the fields as the volcanic-summer of 1816 turned into the volcanic-fall with little harvest, robberies around the region skyrocketed. Without much of a local municipal constabulary, it was inevitable that citizens would take the law into their own hands. During the 2016 bicentennial gathering of “detectives”, Jacobs reported that the history of the society is fairly well documented with a number of historical records preserved by this, Vermont’s oldest law enforcement group. In fact the detective agency served as a kind of proto-state police force, at least until the Vermont State Police was officially established in 1947. According to society records, members were paid a daily rate of 50 cents while they tracked down rustlers and other kinds of thieves. The vigilante phase of the society continued into the early 1900s with its last documented case taking place in 1926, the same year Vermont natives President Calvin Coolidge and First Lady Grace Goodhue Coolidge lived in the White House. In the summer of 1926, when the Tracey brothers’ general store, at the site of today’s Four Corners Store in Addison, was robbed, a $50 reward poster was circulated for the capture of the thief. Apparently, few local folks knew who the perpetrator was, but Bridport farmhand Franklin Johnson figured it out; he stepped forward, turned informant, and claimed the $50 reward offered by the detective society. What tipped off Johnson were his daily observations of Charlie Forest, a fellow farmhand, who was wearing brand new trousers. The baggy pants, probably a few sizes too large for the scrawny, underfed Forest, were enough to make Johnson suspicious. “I seen him acting funny,” Johnson told the Burlington Free Press. “He dressed in new floppy clothes and sure was acting funny.” Forest contacted detective society members. Shortly afterwards, Forest was approached on the farm. He admitted to the theft and returned all the goods. The farmhand was sentenced to serve a term in the county jail on Washington Street in Middlebury. Today’s Addison-Bridport Detective Society, headed up by Bridport residents Lynne Boie and Ed Mitcham, might be a somewhat graying shadow of its glory days—no matter, the group meets for fun and storytelling while helping keep alive the old days when rustlers, thieves, and probably even a few killers, were firmly in the sights of members’ guns. Note: Burlington Free Press and Rutland Herald news stories of the period served as the basis for this story.

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Himalayan Salt Cave By Elicia Mailhiot Walking by Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center - which sits curbside on one of the most traveled streets in downtown Rutland - it could be mistaken as your average wellness center. First time visitors quickly learn, however, that Pyramid is no ordinary wellness center. Pyramid Holistic Wellness includes a fitness space, marketplace, Oxygen bar, and much more. Beyond its rough brick exterior sits Vermont’s original salt cave - a spacious room built to replicate a naturally-occurring salt cave – leaving visitors wondering if they’re in Rutland or little Himalaya.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

Homeopath Dr. Margaret Smiechowski designed and built the one-ofa-kind cave 10 years ago, making Vermont home to the first public salt cave in North America. Smiechowski was inspired by her first-ever salt cave built in Rutland, and went on to form Salt Cave, Inc., an organization that designs and constructs Himalayan Salt Caves. While there are no natural deposits of salt in Rutland County, Pyramid Wellness’s cave was modeled after the naturally-occurring salt caves found in Smiechowski’s native Poland, which are

14 | Our State Vermont | AUTUMN 2017

used regularly by locals for maintaining their wellbeing. Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center – and its most notable feature – fell victim to heavy rain and flooding in Rutland City back in 2008. The staff spent several months trying to find a solution that would allow them to rebuild in its former location, just around the corner on West Street. Pyramid and the salt cave were soon rebuilt in its current location on Merchants Row. The rebuilt cave is 500-squarefeet - making it large enough to fit 12 people inside - and is made from more than 16,000 pounds of salt, most of which was imported from Pakistan. The walls are lined with salt bricks, while the floor is made up for loose salt rocks, similar to a grain of sand. But why a salt cave? Salt therapy greatly contributes to overall wellness and relaxation, with the salt cave acting as “a relaxation chamber for your body and soul,” according to Pyramid’s website. And relaxing it is. Inside the salt cave is a handful of zero-gravity chairs, which are meant to emulate the weightlessness experienced in space. These chairs allow you to recline while propping your legs up at a comfortable angle. Blankets are also available, so don’t feel bad if you fall asleep inside the dimly lit chamber that glows a serene, soft pink.

The cave is warm in Vermont’s colder months and comfortably cool in the summer. Most clients wear regular street clothing inside, although layers are convenient. Cell phones aren’t allowed in the cave, so the only light will come from an electric fireplace in the corner, and ceiling lights that twinkle as if visitors are laying under the stars on a dark night.

BEAT THE BLUES AND OTHER BENEFITS

Salt therapy – also known as halotherapy – has been on the rise stateside for several years, with caves being sought out for their relaxing, meditative environments. The health benefits come from simply breathing the air, which is filled with Himalayan salt. Himalayan salt is natural, unprocessed, and contains minerals that are vital to human life, including magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, calcium, copper, iron, and more. Himalayan salt is also anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal. Dry salt air is more powerful than moist air, and the negatively charged ions found in salt are believed to help improve overall health and mood. Salt therapy is believed to help manage a wide range of medical conditions in other parts of the world, including a number of respiratory issues, including Allergies, Sinus Congestion, Asthma, Emphysema, and more. Salt therapy is also believed to help skin conditions including Eczema, Acne, and Psoriasis. Unlike regular table salt, Himalayan salt has natural moisturizing properties. This purifies the skin, which directly absorbs the salt vapors. The calming and detoxifying effects of salt therapy are believed to help manage illnesses involving the immune, nervous, and lymphatic systems. Breathing in dry salt particles during a trip to the salt cave is believed to help strengthen the immune system, detoxify, and cleanse the body.


SMALLER SCALE

Salt therapy is believed to help with the effects of other medical conditions including Lyme Disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Post-Partum Depression, and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Seasonal Affective Disorder – known to many Vermonters as “the Winter blues” – affects as many as six out of every 100 people in the United States, especially those living in northern geographic regions like New England.

A HISTORY LESSON

Halotherapy originated more than 150 years ago in naturally-occurring salt caves and mines. Across the globe, the benefits of salt therapy are more widely recognized. Its Polish roots date back to 1843, when a physician observed that men who worked in salt mines displayed fewer respiratory problems than others. Because of this observation, a therapeutic salt therapy spa was built. In the 1950s, salt therapy took a new turn as doctors in Europe discovered ways to simulate the natural conditions of salt caves. This advancement contributed to modern-day salt therapy techniques.

Dr. Margaret Smiechowski is North America’s foremost expert on Himalayan salt.

Salt therapy rooms began popping up in hospitals across Europe, allowing medical patients to get the benefits of salt therapy in a controlled medical setting. In Hungary, it is recommended by doctors and is even covered by health insurance. Halotherapy was widely ignored by Western medical practitioners until a few years ago and is a relatively new trend in American spa treatments.

Visitors interested in continuing the effects of salt therapy beyond the cave are in luck. Wellness stores sell Himalyan salt lamps, which give off a soft glow and are a natural source of fresh, clean air. Not only are these lamps beautiful, but they reportedly have loads of health benefits. Salt lamps have the power of removing dust, pollen, and other contaminants from the air. They also reduce allergy and asthma symptoms, ease coughing, promote better sleep patterns, improve mood and concentration, treat Seasonal Affective Disorder, and more. Himalayan rock salt also has benefits when added to water – either in a humidifier or in a hot bath, known as balneotherapy. Research backs up the stress relieving effects of bathing. Thirty minutes of relaxing can affect how you handle stress the rest of the day. Bathing in a Himalayan punk salt solution can also help to pull some of the toxins that are encountered daily out of individual’s skin.

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AUTUMN 2017 | Our State Vermont | 15


PETROGLYPHS

Vermont’s Ancient By Lou Varricchio

Bellows Falls’ famous petroglyph site is the strangest archeological site in Vermont. This display of what appears to be pre-Columbian Native American rock art is located near the Vilas Bridge above the Connecticut River in the town of Bellows Falls.

several residents of the area have made it a point to patrol the area as a means of saving the figures from vandals. (Sadly, during the 1930s, some of the carvings were “redrawn” by members of the Daughters of the American Revolution in their heartfelt, but botched, attempt

Abenakis and it was considered one of the finest locations for fishing in northern New England.” Biron’s research has uncovered the fact that the abstract features of rock heads are visually consistent with Abenaki and Iroquois corn-husk masks.

While similar native art exists elsewhere in the northeastern United States, the Bellows Falls site offers Vermonters a rare glimpse into the past and how ancient peoples communicated before their modern use of the written word. Settlers in the Bellows Falls area first encountered these petroglyphs (rock writing) in the early 1700s. These fascinating anthropomorphic figures — perhaps up to 1,000 years old — provide a rare look at the magical, spiritual lives of the first New Englanders. While the site has been vandalized over the centuries, many of the figures are still there, now acknowledged as a significant site by the National Register of Historic Places. While being on the national register won’t protect the art from destruction,

to save what had already been partially destroyed.) One such protector and champion of the site is Gerry Biron who lives near the riverside display of ancient rock art. Biron has collected information about this important site on his blogsite devoted to ancient Abenaki art and beadwork.   “I’m privileged to live in southern Vermont, just a short distance from the cascade known as the Great Falls located in the village of Bellows Falls,” according to Biron. “This was a venerable site to Vermont’s First People.  Today, most of the rapids that once rushed through this Connecticut River cataract have been diverted to a nearby hydroelectric plant and all that remains of the Great Falls is a mere trickle of its former self. In times past, the splendor of this natural wonder attracted large numbers of

“The southern panel, about five feet long, has eight figures, and the northern panel, about 10 feet long, has 16 (figures). Other archaeological sites are located in the general area, but their association to this site is not known. It is known that additional panels may be protected by riprap laid along the river bank; these panels are also sometimes protected from occasional vandalism by silt deposited by the river.” The existence of these figures has been known and commented upon since the late 18th century. And while similar figures are a rarity here in New England, figures like them have been found around the  Great Lakes  in New York, Pennsylvania and Ontario. “Since the first (colonial era) settlements in Bellows Falls, numerous Indian graves have been inadvertent-

16 | Our State Vermont | AUTUMN 2017


ly dug up throughout the village and near the falls,” Biron notes. “There is a tradition among longtime residents that the section of town located on the west side of Main Street, across from the square, was once an Indian burial mound. Additionally, two centuries of excavations for roads and building construction near the petroglyphs have uncovered numerous skeletal remains throughout the village and on the island leading to the bridge that crosses the Connecticut River. Early 1900s Vermont historian Lyman Hayes wrote, “The whole distance across the island had, in a much earlier period, been used for an Indian burial-ground.” As Biron indicates, “Hayes’ 1907 History of Rockingham, Vermont records an account of a group of Abenaki who early in the summer of 1856, made their annual pilgrimage to the petroglyphs and set up a summer camp on the banks of the Connecticut River.”

in Canada and New York State. They came down the Connecticut in their canoes, usually bringing supplies of baskets and other trinkets which they had manufactured during the previous winters, which they sold to citizens of Bellows Falls and the then large number of summer visitors.” Today, the site attracts the curious as well as world travelers. “To see the petroglyphs, walk towards Vilas Bridge and turn right onto

Hayes wrote that, “During the first half of the last century (19th century) small parties of more civilized and peaceable ‘Abenaqui’ Indians used to visit Bellows Falls nearly every summer, coming from their homes

a gravel road,” writes world travel blogger Katerina Carlson. “There is a steep cliff on your left, and if you look down, you will see yellow markings that indicate where the petroglyphs are. If you are ambitious and in good shape, walk

These faces may have been way markers, pointing the way to the afterlife

down the footpath to the site (it is past the fence). It is a very cool spot and the river is very beautiful.” So, what exactly do the Bellows Falls rock figures tell us about Vermont’s first human inhabitants? Weird faces with horns and antennae have given some UFO enthusiasts cause to hypothesize that the rock art represents so-called ancient astronauts, records of past “close encounters” with extraterrestrial space travelers. But the simpler, more likely explanation is that the figures represent various spirit creatures, perhaps ancestors, of the native people who inscribed them. “These faces may have been way markers, pointing the way to the afterlife,” says the online site Atlas Obscura. “Adding to this theory, an Abenaki burial ground was found not too far from the site. But no one really knows...” An 18th century researcher, David McClure, suggested that since the figures face to the west, they are likely

signs of the souls who have passed on to the western horizon, a common direction for the many Valhallas, Hesperides, and Isles of the Blessed that were a part of the primitive religions of ancient peoples.

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AUTUMN 2017 | Our State Vermont | 17


Take a tour of Vermont’s

Fall Foliage T

here are more ways to see Vermont’s spectacular fall foliage than meets the eye. Sure, you can fire up the GPS and chart an automobile or bicycle route to follow the roads and peep the colorful leaves. But this autumn, why not see Vermont in a different way? Why not be bold and try leaf peeping from a new perspective? By train, balloon, glider, motor coach, and foot, you can choose a top-notch way to immerse yourself in the special Technicolor of autumn in Vermont.

Every season, but especially in the fall, you can discover Vermont’s hidden gems and wonderful attractions to seek out and visit across the state, and doing a little research ahead of time will only make your autumn trip that much more enjoyable. Taking advantage of the host of available transportation resources to Vermont visitors will all but ensure that your travels here are memorable ones.

Chug Along

Let’s start with one of the most romantic forms of travel—by passenger train. Vermont has a long love affair with rail and you can experience the passion with a fall rail trip all your own. The Green Mountain Railroad’s (GMRR) passenger services offers a fun, relaxing way to enjoy fall in Vermont. GMRR serves southern Vermont and offers several historic and beautiful fall foliage train rides. Start with GMRR’s route north from Chester to Ludlow and back. Inside a comfortable passenger railcar, you’ll

Balloon Ride

There’s no better way to experience Vermont’s fall foliage then from the basket of a hot air balloon. Safe balloon flights are thrilling and provide a slow, bird’s eye view of the landscape below. The term  “balloon ride” or “balloon flight” can be slightly misleading, since the event is more of a life experience than anything else. Your Vermont fall foliage experience will include everything from the anticipation and excitement before your balloon flight, to the wonder and awe that comes during the actual balloon ride itself, followed by the euphoria that blankets you during the traditional post flight toast as you recount your experience. 18 | Our State Vermont | AUTUMN 2017

roll past quintessential Vermont towns, over rivers, and through the trees of the Green Mountains where you’ll see the backwoods of Vermont’s culture and the beautiful foliage the state has to offer. Then there’s GMRR’s dining train, Vermont’s most unique dining experience. Onboard the train you’ll enjoy a four-course meal while viewing an autumn sunset running along the rails. Catered by one of Ludlow’s finest restaurants, the Chophouse, this two and a half hour round-trip moveable feast departs Chester depot at 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights during the fall foliage season.  Another GMRR foliage rail tour chugs north from the Victorian Chester Depot to the Okemo Mountain Resort and back. This train will take you up to one of Vermont’s finest mountain resorts where you can enjoy lunch and alpine scenery, or even stay the night and enjoy a day of golfing or the family friendly adventure zone. For information about train tours and tickets, call GMRR at  800-707-3530  or email  passenger@vrs.us.com.

Balloon flights at Above Reality in Essex Junction, which is one of several Vermont balloon operators offering autumn flights, occur at two times of the day: the flight windows are just after sunrise and in the few hours preceding sunset. So the actual meeting time for your flight will depend upon the length of the day at that time of year you fly. These times range between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. for morning flights, and  2:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.  for afternoon flights. After you make your reservation you will receive a confirmation email that specifies your meeting time. The entire balloon ride experience (from meeting time through post flight champagne celebration) will last approximately three and a half hours.

For flight details and times, contact Above Reality, toll free, at 1-877-FUN-RISE (386-7473) or visit  www.balloonvermont. com. Check out other balloon tours online for competitive process.


Soar High

Vermont’s Mad River Valley is home to one of the state’s award-winning glider tour operators. Sugarbush Soaring at the Warren Airport not only offers scenic flights to see Vermont foliage, but they also offer flight instruction, rentals, introductory flights, and aero tows. Glider flights can be booked seven days a week from May to October, weather permitting. Sugarbush provides not only lovely autumn scenery but an opportunity for soaring passengers to experience all three forms of soaring lift—thermal, ridge and mountain wave—often on the same day. The topography of the valley provides for a fun and unique soaring environment. You can also enjoy a fine breakfast or lunch at the Warren Airport Cafe, which offers wonderful views of the glider operation and the colourful valley ridges in fall. Sugarbush offers 15, 20, 30 and 45 minute rides. The airport’s experienced commercial pilots will treat you to a magnificent view of the Mad River Valley from above.  On a clear day you’ll see the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain to the west, Camel’s Hump and Mt. Mansfield to the north, and Mt. Washington and the White Mountains to the east. In the fall - when the mountains turn red and gold. The view is truly spectacular.  For the latest rates, call the Warren Airport office at (802) 496-2290, or purchase an online gift certificate or visit www.sugarbush.org. Note: All passengers must be at least 10 years old and weigh less than 242 pounds.

Motor Coach

The Vermont hills in fall are alive with the sound of music which is exactly why OSV recommends Tye’s Tours’ fall foliage lunch and history tour at the famous Von Trapp Lodge in Stowe. Passengers depart Merrimack. N.H., in time to arrive at the Trapp Lodge for a noon lunch. The meal is a traditional Austrian buffet consisting of salmon, goulash, chicken, bratwursts, salads and a seasonal dessert. After lunch, you’ll learn a bit about the Von Trapp story made famous in the award-winning 1965 Disney movie, “The Sound of Music”. In the early 1940s, the von Trapp family toured the United States as the Trapp Family Singers before eventually settling

in Stowe, Vermont on an enchanted farm with sweeping mountain vistas reminiscent of their beloved Austria. In the summer of 1950, they began welcoming guests to a rustic, 27-room family home/lodge. After a devastating fire in 1980, the original structure was replaced by the new Trapp Family Lodge, a striking, 96-room alpine lodge situated on 2,500 acres offering magnificent indoor and outdoor resort amenities. The entire property is owned and operated by the von Trapp family.  After lunch, tour attendees will stop at the Morse Farm to learn about the Maple Sugar Industry and a little tasting. Next, you continue on to Queeche for a sampling of Cabot cheese, fudge, distilled spirits and a visit to the Alpaca wool shop and farm. For reservations contact  (800) 374 6819 or visit www.tyestravel.com.

Country Walking

Of course you can research and design your own fall foliage walking tour in Vermont. There are many websites and hiking books offering trails and maps. But then you can leave the planning and details to the experts and join one of the many organized walking tours of the state. Country Walkers offers high-end Vermont rambles with the best mountain and valley vistas in the northeast. Every autumn, an ecstasy of color kindles Vermont into an artist’s vision of brilliant reds, deep burgundies, glowing oranges, and sunny yellows. In this rural landscape of working farms, rolling hills, old-growth forests, and picture-perfect villages, you’ll be perfectly positioned to enjoy the Green Mountain State’s grand spectacle.

Savor the beauty of Quechee Gorge, a 165-foot-deep, glacially carved ravine punctuated with schist outcroppings, hemlock trees, and cascades of clear water. Walk the ridgeline of Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, to an amazing view encompassing three states and Canada. Explore a lost pioneer settlement, and then trek through Smugglers Notch, a mountain pass with a notorious bootlegging history. Trails through pastures lined with birch trees and mountains alive with birdsong lead to quintessential New England towns like Norwich, Woodstock, and Stowe—where you’ll find a mix of old-fashioned general stores and chic boutiques. Tour Highlights: Walk a stretch of the nation’s first long-distance hiking route, the Long Trail. Country Walkers is proud to help maintain this historic trail. Explore the manicured grounds of Shelburne Farms (designed by Frederick Law Olmsted), a Vanderbilt country estate turned nonprofit organic farm. Get a personal sense of Vermont history when we visit our friend George Woodard, whose dairy farm has been in his family for over a century. For details about Country Walkers ‘Vermont walking tours, call (800) 234-6900 or visit www.countrywalkers.com.

Special thanks to Green Mountain Railroad, Vermont vacation.com, Above Reality Balloon Rides, Sugarbush Soaring, Tye’s Tours, Von Trapp Lodge, and Country Walkers in the preparation of this article.

AUTUMN 2017 | Our State Vermont | 19


? L O O W GOT How

m r a W p e e K s r e t n o m r e V By Lou Varricchio

Vermonters love wool, lots of it. From cozy scarves to traditional Buffalo-plaid Mackinaw hunting jackets, more than a few Vermonters have a passion for not only wearing the stuff, but doing barnyard shearing and making yarn to produce all things woolen. And many have discovered a passion for nature’s best insulation after living in the Green Mountain State for a very short time—well, at least one winter’s duration. “Wool is my favorite knitting fiber,” says Donna Druchunas of Barton, Vt. “There’s just something so comforting and cozy about the feeling of sheep’s wool, that I can never find anything else that beats it  in my book.” Druchunas keeps busy with all things woolen in her Barton house and studio. While it’s a labor of love, she’s sold patterns and books to Vermonters starting out in the world of wool. “I love dyeing yarn and I haven’t had a chance to do this since I

20 | Our State Vermont | AUTUMN 2017

moved to Vermont. So I’ve ordered 80 pounds — yes, pounds — of wool, to have custom spun, so I can dye it.” Druchunas isn’t alone when she talks about a personal satisfaction she finds working with wool. Yet others may find making wool even more satisfying. Jenna Woginrich owner of her one-woman Cold Antler Farm, located in Washington County, N.Y., just across the Rutland County, Vt., line, says making her own wool is not only satisfying but it’s a valuable skill, too. Among Woginrich’s several books about homesteading and small farming, is her popular volume titled, “Cold Antler Farm: A Memoir of Growing Food and Celebrating Life on a Scrappy Six-Acre Homestead”. It has been a popular guide for Vermont-North Country homesteaders who like to do their own shearing. Woginrich says shearing sheep, or even goats and alpacas, is nec-

essary to make clothing yarn, but it’s also important for the animals. Shearing makes the animals healthier and happier. “The process is time consuming and physically laborious, but it’s not a difficult task to learn,” she says. On the other hand, if you don’t want to do the shearing work yourself, there are several shearing experts with services to offer in Vermont; they’ll do the hard work for you, but for a price of course. Here in Vermont, wool mostly comes from sheep, goats and alpacas, but the  textile  fiber  can come from other animals, like  angora from rabbits. Scientifically speaking, according to wool expert and author Ann Braaten, “Wool mainly consists of protein together with a few percent lipids. In this regards it is chemically quite distinct from the more dominant textile,  cotton, which is mainly cellulose.”


Four easy pieces

According to those who work in wools, like Druchunas and Woginrich, there are four basic steps for transforming fleece into yarn. 1.  Shearing the sheep Shearing is step one in the process and is mostly done in the early spring, right before the ewes’ give birth. Typically, sheep only need sheared once a year but for fast-growing animals, it’s done a second time, in late summer or early fall. 2.  Carding the fleece Once you shear the wool into a big pile, you have to “fluff” it, by separating all the fibers so it can be spun into yarn. You take the fleece and work it with what’s called a carding paddle. Even a dog comb from a pet store works, too. Expensive machine can do the work, too, which is how commercial mills do it. With carding paddles, you comb through the fiber with one hand, with your other hand holding a second paddle which aligns the fibers making it fluffy. (Hint: When you card the wool to make it line up in one direction — shazaam! — you have what’s called worsted wool, ideal for gentlemen’s suits and other high-end clothing.)

3.  Roving Roving is the last step before spinning the wool. Roving requires the wool being divided into strips of even length; this is wrapped on spools. 4.  Last but not least: Spinning the roving into yarn Druchunas and Woginrich say spinning is the final step in the yarn-making process. Beginners like to use a drop spindle with the rovings prepared to be spun into yarn. All wool needs to finished which “sets” the fibers to then open up in a method call twisting.

A modern mini mill such as Vermont Fiber Mill & Studio in Brandon, Vt., offers custom processing of  fiber into high quality batts, roving, yarn and felt using modern equipment that enables small batches and individual fleeces. This mill, located between Rutland and Middlebury, also lets customer rent looms and carders and the owners also host fiber-related workshops. Across the Green Mountains from Brandon, in Waitsfield, Vt., the  Mad River Woolery is another popular mini mill. The mill’s brand new equipment is manufactured by Belfast Mini Mills in Canada. Your raw fiber can be handled, from washing through yarn and every step in between. This mill specializes fine wools such as Merino (a Vermont original), Cormo and Rambouillet to courser wools such as Icelandic Lopi, alpaca, llama, mohair and angora bunny. You can begin your wild and wooly adventures in shearing and yarn making by contacting some of the specialist noted in the sidebars. In Vermont, all you have to do is ask and someone will show you how it’s done to get you hooked on wool.

Vermont’s modern mills

Beyond the do-it-yourselfer purists are the many resources and services of Vermont’s new boom in wool and fiber mills and related fiber businesses. These small operations will help you process your wool using modern, mostly Canadian and European-made minimill equipment. AUTUMN 2017 | Our State Vermont | 21


VERMONT’S BACKCOUNTRY IS MADE FOR

DUAL-SPORT adventuring By Lou Varricchio

I

n case you haven’t heard about the popular experience sense, all motorcycles at that time were dual-sports, intendof dual-sport riding, here’s your chance to get up to ed to be used on dirt as well as pavement. Advertisements speed. well into the 1920s depict motorcycles on dirt roads, raising A dual-sport motorcycle is a street-legal motorcycle that is clouds of dust. By 1940, most roads in  developed countries, built or modified for on- and off-road use. The terms “all-road” like in the USA, were paved and motorcycles had become and “dual-purpose” are also used for this unique class of motor- heavier and more oriented to the street.” Vermont is a natural for dual-sport riding.  Considering cycles. Dual-sports bikes are equipped with street-legal equip- that the state has over 8,000 miles of gravel roads (that’s more than paved roads), there are many places for motorbike ment:  lights,  speedometer,  mirrors,  horn,  license riders to get muddy, traverse rocky streams, and climb platemounting, and  muffler  and most are regishillsides. tered and licensed in Vermont. “Vermont classifies roads by In “The Essential Guide to Dual Sport condition and level of mainMotorcycles”, author Carl Adams claims tenance. Riders can use the that sport had its origins in the early classification as a guide for 20th century, a time when most roads general road conditions. Dualwere dirt and gravel, and motorcycles Vermont classifies roads by sport riders focus on class 3 and were a new mode of transportation folcondition and level of maintenance. 4 roads,” according to Motorcycle lowing World War I. Riders can use the classification as Vermont.com. a guide for general road conditions. “The concept of a verThe go-to website for duDual-sport riders focus on class 3 and satile motorcycle equally al-sport enthusiast’s reports 4 roads,” according to Motorcycle at home on dirt and pavethat Class 3 roads are mainVermont.com. ment  is as old as motorcycling ittained regularly and often provide self,” Adams says. “Most roads were a stable surface (they are navigable still unpaved when  motorized bicyby a regular automobiles during dry cles  first appeared around 1900. In a

22 | Our State Vermont | AUTUMN 2017


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purpose motorcycles… and it was my job to show them a side of Vermont few visitors get to experience,” While the sport appeals to the independent-minded outdoorsperson, it’s wise to join a group where there’s safety in numbers, better chances for a great learning experience, and a lot more fun. To get started here in Vermont, you can connect with several clubs that are always looking for new members. There are many groups in Vermont check them out online. Group rides are fun and you’ll discover new routes with the gang that you can later go explore on your own. Also, if you’re new to the sport, try renting a motorcycle first and see if you like it and can handle it safely.

R

conditions). However, spring mud season, and periods of high summer rains, make Class 3 roads rough for dual-sport riders. And when it comes to Class 4 roads, they are not regularly maintained and are usually town owned right-of-ways where there are no trespassing concerns. Vermont dual-sport rider and tour leader Eric Miland described a recent experience with tourists seeking adventure on the miles of dirt and gravel roads in the state. “I was leading a Boston-based group. They had come to Vermont to escape their high profile jobs and the bustle of their busy lives in the city,” Miland reported in the State of Vermont’s official summer guide this year. “The group rented dual-

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Vermont Historical W

hile the state of Vermont is home to nearly 2,600 covered bridges, only about 106 of them are covered, built between 1820 and 1905, some being rebuilt recently. Covered bridges are often referred to as “kissing bridges”. Covered bridges offer shelter from the elements and from prying eyes, young couples in love would often slow their carriages on their way through the bridges and sneak in kisses on the way through. Today, vandals and anarchists have perverted the cover of these bridges to do harm to the structures. Covered bridges are sprinkled across the entire state; out of 14 counties in Vermont, 13 of them have at least one covered bridge. We continue our feature exploring four covered bridges in each issue of Our State Vermont.

Paper Mill Bridge, Bennington

The Paper Mill Village Bridge, also called the  Paper Mill Bridge  or  Bennington Falls Covered Bridge, is a woodencov-

24 | Our State Vermont | AUTUMN 2017

ered bridge that carries Murphy Road across the  Walloomsac River  northwest of  Bennington, Vermont. Built in 1889, it was

listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The Paper Mill Village Bridge is located adjacent to a former paper mill building, located on the south side of Route 67A, just south of the campus of Bennington College, northwest of downtown Bennington. The Paper Mill Bridge was built in 1889 by Charles F. Sears, whose family was prominent in the local bridge-building business. The bridge, which is the longest covered bridge in  Bennington County, is similar in design to the nearby  Silk Covered Bridge, whose design is sometimes attributed to Sears’ father Benjamin. It was rebuilt in 2000.


COVERED BRIDGES Chiselville Bridge, Sunderland The Chiselville Covered Bridge, built in 1870, spans the Roaring Branch on Sunderland Hill Road in Sunderland. There is scant history about this bridge but it has graced magazine covers and even appeared in a Hollywood movie. The now famous bridge was featured in the 1987 movie “Baby Boom”, set in a fictional Vermont town and starring Diane Keaton. This townlattice structure is 117 feet long. The bridge is also famous for the sign at the entrance: “One Dollar Fine for Driving Faster than a Walk on This Bridge.”

Worrall Covered Bridge, Rockingham The Worrall Covered Bridge, also known as the  Worrall’s Bridge   is a wooden  covered bridge  carrying Williams Road across the  Williams River in Rockingham. Built in 1868, it is the only surviving 19th-century covered bridge in the town, after the Hall Covered Bridge collapsed in 1980 and was replaced in 1982. The bridge was listed on the  National Register of Historic Places in 1973.  The Worrall Covered Bridge is located on Williams Road, a dirt road a short distance north of Vermont Route 103 that generally parallels the Williams River on its north side, while Route 103 follows the river on the south side.  The bridge was built about 1868 by Sanford Granger, a local master builder. Of seventeen 19th-century bridges once located in the town, it is one of only two that remain. At the time of its National Register listing in 1973, there were three such bridges, with one of them, the nearby  Bartonsville Covered Bridge, destroyed in 2011 by flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene.

Burt Henry Covered Bridge, Bennington

The Burt Henry Covered Bridge, also known as the  Henry Covered Bridge  or just the  Henry Bridge, is a c overed bridge that spans the  Walloomsac River  near  Bennington. A  town-lattice  truss bridge, it carries River Road, just south of the village of North Bennington.  Originally built about 1840, it was listed on the  National Register of Historic Places  in 1973 as  Bennington County’s oldest covered bridge. It was rebuilt in 1989 by the  Vermont Agency of Transportation.

Sources: “Vermont Covered Bridges” and Wikipedia. AUTUMN AUTUMN 2017 | Our State Vermont | 25


H

I By Lou Varricchio

ow do we love Vermont? Let us count the ways. Here are insights from a few individuals who are either natives or relative newcomers to the Green Mountain State. What sets them apart is their determination to recreate themselves in a new place to live—Vermont. It isn’t hard to get a conversation going here. Whenever you see someone and are curious what they’re up to, just ask them, “Why do you love Vermont?”

Dick Chodkowski Middlebury, Vt.

My wife Flanzy and I moved to Vermont from Los Angeles in the 1990s. We made trips here while still living in L.A. and we were impressed with the friendly people and the affordable real estate prices. We could afford a house and studio here. We started Monroe Street Books in Middlebury and I contin continued my art with creating greeting cards. So it was a win-win liv living here.  We sure couldn’t have this kind of bookstore in L.A. I was one of those “Madmen” creative types working for an advertising agency. It was just like the T.V. show “Madmen”. Our company was bought by Ogilvy. It was time for a change and Vermont was right there, on the other side of the continent. We were amazed by the traffic, or I should say the lack of it, compared to California. It takes me five minutes to get to work now. In L.A. you couldn’t do that. I love the seasons in Vermont, especially the fall. But I still can’t get used to winter; the rest of the year makes up for it. This may not be politically correct to say, but the winter weather here keeps away the riff raff. My wife likes the cooler weather. When I think back on how I used to sit in freeway traffic for 90 minutes, I’ve become spoiled here. Sure Route 7 is busy but then I can easily forget what real city traffic is like. And we discovered how resourceful Vermonters are, too. So many of us work two or three jobs to get by. Vermonters are a hardy breed. There are many towns to explore here. It took about 20 years to get mostly familiar with the geography. I guess I feel like a native even though I am still discovering Vermont. 26 | Our State Vermont | AUTUMN 2017

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Relocating to Vermont was a leap of faith. We moved to Vermont in 2008 from the Boston-metro area. I was born in New Jersey, so the Northeast has al always been home. When my husband and I were ready for a transition, I accepted a job at the Addison County Chamber of Commerce. We spent a day driving around Addison County. I knew then that I’d love living in Vermont. I like the outdoors and there’s no better place than Vermont for hiking, biking, skiing and boating. One of my favorite rambles is the hike up from Lake Dunmore to Silver Lake with my dog. I love the Falls of Lana Trail and now that I am with the Chamber, visitors ask about nice places to walk. I always suggest the Falls of Lana in Salisbury. It’s such a beautiful spot. Waitsfield & the World There are so many simple things we Serving take for granted here in more than years Vermont but when you leave, you realizeforwhat you50left behind. Living in Boston we were always tuned into to the traffic reports. Here you have to put all that in perspective.Open Daily 9:30 - 6:00 Since coming to Vermont, and being at the Chamber, there have Route 100, Waitsfield, VT 05673 been so many wonderful changes and improvements like the Cross Street Bridge in Middlebury, the revitalizedwww.vermontstore.com Kennedy Brothers Cen(802) 496-4465 ter in Vergennes, the new Vermont Gas pipeline service, improvements to the railroad that will bring passenger service here, even all the wonderful arts and cultural offerings at Middlebury College. In the final analysis, I have to say that the quality of life keeps me here. In fact, my mother moved here and lives in Middlebury now.

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I was born and raised in Vermont, but it took moving away for a few years to make me realize what I left behind. I spent my efforts aimed at coming back to my Green Mountain roots. Today, I own and operate Juice Amour in Middlebury. We make raw, organic vegetable and fruit juices. Everyone calls me the ‘main squeeze’. I love it and I am having fun. I caught the popular juicing wave in 2010. I’m vegan, but I’ve always been curious about food and its influences on our health. So I bought a juicer. I loved how the fresh juice made me feel. I wanted to create something that makes people feel good. I think I have accomplished that goal. I lived in Atlanta, Ga., and worked in the marketing field. I moved back to Bristol and relocated my marketing company, with AUTUMN 2017 | Our State Vermont | 27


graphic and designing services, here. Being a virtual office it was relatively easy. Things are so different down South compared to Vermont. It’s a different culture. They’re still fighting evolution in the schools, so moving back here was more in-tune with my values and work ethic. In Atlanta, people used to say to me, ‘You sure are a hard worker, is everybody like that back home?’ Yes, indeed. Like many Vermonters I have always been a hard worker. I show up. That’s the example I set for my sons. I realized I wanted the boys to have that experience and Vermont was where they’d get it. I guess I echo a lot of people who have come home or relocated here from cities. I don’t miss the traffic. Six lanes of traffic through Atlanta and nothing is moving. Our little traffic patterns here are nothing in comparison. Vermont is such a beautiful place. People are health conscious with good environmental values. Vermonters are open-mined, educated, and a handshake means something here. And Middlebury is a great place for my business. It’s more of a melting pot here than elsewhere in the state. Where else could you have college faculty PhDs painting houses in the summer and folks with high school diplomas running companies?

Heidi Holliger Vergennes, Vt. & Pat Stevenson Salisbury, Vt. Pat: I moved here with my husband from Connecticut 14 years ago. We wanted to have some space, peace and quiet. We were semi-retired and looking for things to do. Vermont is a perfect place to live. I love hiking and swimming. Being a political progressive, I also am proud of Bernie Sanders being our U.S. senator. Heidi Holliger and I have been in the art framing business for several years. We started at the Ben Franklin variety store in downtown Middlebury. Now we have our own business, Middlebury Frame Shop & Gallery. Heidi: I was born in Chicago and then moved to New York City at the age of 5. My connection with Vermont started early. My parents had honeymooned here and they started looking for a house here. They retired in Shrewsbury, Vt. Meanwhile, I lived in New York City—I owned and operated Chelsea Frame Shop on 8th Avenue in Manhattan for many years—and would come and visit my parents on weekends. That’s when I fell in love with Vermont. Pat: For a small state, Vermont has an amazing variety of people who love arts and crafts. People here love to frame their jigsaw puzzles, for example. Being an animal and environmental advocate, I feel at home here. I especially like being close to the Adirondack Mountains just across Lake Champlain. I like hiking and getting out in nature even though I don’t like camping. About the weather in Vermont: I love winter even though I am not a skier. I hate Florida, so in that sense, I am a Vermonter. The irony is that in recent years, Connecticut has had more snow than Vermont. But I wouldn’t return. Heidi: Over the years we’ve seen wonderful objects of art in Vermont. A gentleman brought in a rare and delicate butterfly to be placed in a shadow box. He had it stored away safely in a closet for 25 years. It was a treasured gift from his daughter. He felt it was time to showcase it at home. It is a beautiful, natural object. We also lovingly framed some moving Civil War letters written to loved ones by a Vermont soldier. Now the letters are preserved in acid-free materials for posterity.

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DOG Mountain

By Emily Curtis-Sinkevich

W

hat is a dog’s value to someone? Many consider the dog to be man’s best friend and others would say they’re our furry children. They play fetch with us on the weekends, keep you company when you’re lying on the couch and enjoy long evening walks after they wait all day for you to come home, but what happens when those fuzzy loved ones must leave us? The death of a beloved pet can be a difficult time for many and we often seek ways of coping. Some rely on family while others turn to electronic devices for answers, but before you go looking for an app on how to deal with the five stages of grief you should know Vermont has a place for that. The Dog Chapel that sits upon Dog Mountain in Saint Johnsbury is 150 acres of natural beauty where the sign displayed in front of the chapel proudly reads, “Welcome All Creeds All Breeds No Dogmas Allowed”. Dog Mountain came to be in 1995 when artist, sculptor, furniture maker and author Stephen Huneck and his wife Gwen bought the property following a near death experience that gave him the vision to build the Dog Chapel. Since Ste-

30 | Our State Vermont | AUTUMN 2017

phen and Gwen never had any children, their dogs were their children that they deeply cherished, especially one Black Labrador named Sally who was the inspiration for Stephen’s 10 books and much of his artwork. After setting up his production studio and gallery, they went to work building a place where people could come to enjoy the mountain not only as a spiritual place for dog owners to remember, but as a vast dog park for owners and their dogs to make memories. The vision would become a reality in 2000 when the Dog Chapel officially opened and people from the closest town to as far as Australia have come to leave, notes, pictures and remember their canine companions. Today the chapel is now covered from floor to ceiling with heartfelt notes and pictures of cherished dogs of every breed. According to Pam Mccann, the general manager and event coordinator people have gone as far as to leave sculptures and urns of their dogs in the chapel, however there are limits to what can stay there and they ask that you only leave notes and pictures taped to the walls, except for on the benches with wooden Labrador carvings and the beautiful stained-glass windows depicting Stephen’s work. For years Stephen and Gwen ran the Dog Chapel while continuing to create his artwork and run the gallery, but on January 7, 2010 after falling on hard times and having to lay off many employees Stephen tragically ended his life. Gwen would continue to run the gallery and chapel to the best of her ability, but it would become too much of a burden and she too would follow Stephen on June 2, 2013. As tragic as the loss of Dog Mountain’s founders was, the spirit that Stephen and Gwen put into the Dog Chapel, and possibly still do in spirit is warm and positive for all who enter, though many feared


without them, it would mean the end of or as Pam Mccaan referred to them as, Dog Mountain. Fortunately the Dog Cha- “pawographs”. You can usually find Sally pel would find salvation to keep it going. laying outside the gallery waiting to welIn 2015, The Friends of Dog Mountain, a come you to Dog Mountain. Much of the busy season centers non-profit organization formed dedicated to working behinds the scenes and rais- around Spring, Summer and Fall getting ing funds to keep the Dog Chapel and Dog anywhere from 20-100 people a day, and Mountain alive and to share the beautiful while winter is slow there is still much to do. People are welcomed to come for works of art that Stephen left behind. Stephen had many galleries dur- cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or ing his life, today Dog Mountain is the even to ride your sleds down the hills last and contains the largest collection with your dog running alongside you of his work. While there are few origi- in an epic winter race. Though if winter nal sculptures left and many not up for sports are not your thing, there is always sale, there are original prints available the 1.6 miles of hiking trails to explore ranging on average from $796.00 to as where you’ll find three ponds where your high as $1095.00. However, for those dog can swim, scenic vistas and meadows who can’t bring themselves to buy such blanketed with wildflowers for your eyes a piece, the gallery does offer replica to feast on, no leashes required. While Dog Mountain is known for prints of his work alongside copies of Stephen’s books, t-shirts, pins, and even its artwork, it is currently become a venue for the musical arts. Saint Johna Sally the dog plush doll. While the original Sally is no longer sbury recently won The Levitt AMP around, Sally the third, a loveable Black Grant Award of 25,000 dollars to be Labrador is there to greet its guests and is turned into the music destination for often for pictures autographs 2016 sought OurState:Our Stateand 08/15/16 10:55the PMsummer Page 1 and fall. Thanks to a part-

nership with Catamount Arts, Dog Mountain will be hosting nationally touring and regional acts that will perform every Sunday from 4 pm to 7 pm from July 9 to September 17. The hills of Dog Mountain will be alive with the sounds of Jazz, Neo Folk Rock, Brazilian Folk and Bluegrass and many more. Groups like Prydein, Evolflo, and Lao Tizer will feature their original pieces while you and your dogs can enjoy food and a beer garden featuring local brews and vendors from the region. To find out more about the shows, groups and how to get there, you can visit their website at http://concerts.levittamp. org/stjohnsbury. With all this and more wonders for you to explore, Dog Mountain may be as close to dog paradise as you can get on Earth. Whether you’ve come to remember your fuzzy friend, or to let your dog run free and enjoy life, Dog Mountain and The Dog Chapel can give you a peace of mind and warm your heart with all they have to offer.

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A utumn

2017

September 21 John Cleese Presents Monty Python and the Holy Grail Flynn Center for the Performing Arts Burlington 7:30pm-10pm Sir Lancelot himself presents perhaps the funniest movie ever made, followed by a live interview and questions from the audience. John Cleese and his Monty Python cohorts conceived Holy Grail in 1974 during a hiatus in the comedy troupe’s seminal Flying Circus BBC television series.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

September 22 Village Wine Tasting Stroll & Soup Contest Village of Wilmington 5pm-7pm Stroll the historic village of Wilmington while sampling soups from the Valley’s chefs. The various shops, galleries, and restaurants will all be featuring wines from around the world including award winning Vermont Wines by North Branch & Shelburne Vineyards. Sample over 30 different soups and wines. September 23 Mount Snow Resort Grand Tasting West Dover & Mount Snow 10am-5pm Enjoy sampling dozens of Vermont’s finest wines, spirits, cheeses and farm-fresh products. Crafts, artisans and more. September 23 Restaurant Relay Valley Trail West Dover 10am-4pm A crazy relay obstacle race to celebrate the harvest and the end of our festival. Be a spectator

32 | Our State Vermont | AUTUMN 2017

or a participant as 50 teams of 4 compete to win a top prize of $1,000. All teams will receive race bibs, entrance into event after party & discounted Vermont Wine & Harvest Festival Tickets. September 23 The Color Run 5k Burlington Champlain Valley Exposition Center Essex 10am Get your color on with either a team or just you, and run in the 5k Color Run known as the happiest 5k on the planet. It is a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness, and individuality. September 23 Vermont Wine & Harvest Festival Mount Snow Resort West Dover 10am-5pm Great wine, food and fall foliage September 24 Annual Vermont Wildlife Festival Mount Snow Resort West Dover 10am-4pm Produced by the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum. Live animal exhibits, interactive displays, animal educators and over 20 additional booths. September 24 Fledglings Figure it Out Birds of Vermont Museum Huntington 2pm-3pm Kids aged 5-10 (siblings welcome) meet up for a new bird challenge. From what can you eat with to why do some birds dance, we’ll share the wild and wonderful world of birds with you.

September 24 Rutland County Humane Society Duck Derby Pittsford Recreation Area Pittsford 2pm Every autumn we hold our Annual Duck Derby to raise money for homeless animals. Adopted plastic ducks will be launched into the stream at Georgetti Park in a race to the finish! The first ducks to reach the finish line win cash prizes. September 24 The Head and the Heart at Ben and Jerry’s Concerts on The Green Shelburne Museum Grounds Shelburne 6pm-10pm Higher Ground & Evenko Present Ben & Jerry’s Concerts on The Green at Shelburne Museum THE HEAD AND THE HEART w/ The Shelters Gates: 6pm, Show: 7pm All Ages. Children 12 & under free. Rain or Shine. Please carpool, parking is limited. September 24 Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin Festival Snowflake Lodge Stowe 11am Trubuchet contest, chili cookoff and live music September 21-23 Oktoberfest Vermont Waterfront Park Burlington Times Vary Held at the Waterfront Park on Lake Champlain come and enjoy the barvarian themed festival with a celebration of local food, authentic oompah music, tons of games and contests, local business sponsors, locally made rustic decor, and of course beer, with over 40 brewers in attendance.


September 23-24 Haunted Castle Masquerade at Wilson Castle Willson Castle Rutland 8pm-1am The next restoration fundraiser for the Wilson Castle has been scheduled! This is a BYOB event, so bring your coolers & let’s kick off the season with a fully decorated Haunted Castle Masquerade! There will be refreshments served throughout the night, which is included in the ticket price.

cascades of color. 2 daily tours. History & Foliage Tour from 9:30am-11:45am or Foliage Sampler Tour from 1pm-4pm.

September 23-24 Vermonster 4x4 12th annual Fall Festival The Vermont State Fairgrounds Rutland 10am Thousands of fans flock to see every type of 4x4 action from the little ones and their power wheels, right through the 10 classes of head-2-head mud drags, Monster Trucks, tough trucks, rock crawling and the big bad TRENCH! Enjoy a day of fun the family and friends at the Vermontster!

September 30 National Parks Fee-Free Day All National Parks Vermont 9am Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise

September 23-24 Vermont Woodworking & Forest Festival Billings Farm & NMR National Park Woodstock 10am-5pm Meet Vermont wood artisans and furniture makers. Vermont woodworking vendors will be selling their unique products, including wood carvings, cutting boards, turned bowls, home accessories, jewelry, puzzles, handcrafted boxes, toys & games, wooden birds, unique chairs, bedroom and dining furniture, & more! September 29 - October 28 Fall Foliage Sampler Tour Foliage in the Shires of Vermont Manchester 1pm-4pm Fall in Vermont is known for beautiful foliage. Travel the backroads in an 8-10 passenger tour vehicle with local guide. Many stops along the way. View mountain/valley vistas and up close

September 28 Swan Lake Flynn Center for the Performing Arts Burlington 7:30pm Russian Grand Ballet’s full-length classical production for the first time includes the rarely seen Waltz of the Black Swans, and features Russia’s brightest ballet stars.

October 1 GMAD Animal Walk Church Street Marketplace Burlington 12pm Green Mountain Animal Defenders’ Walk is being held in honor of all animals. The Walk is in downtown Burlington. Whether you have a soft spot in your heart for bunnies or beavers, cats or cows, dogs or ducks, goats or giraffes, hamsters or horses, pigs or peacocks, or all of the above, you’ll be glad to know that GMAD has actively come to the aid of every one of these species, and many more since 1983! October 6-8 Stowe Fall Foliage Arts Festival Topnotch Field Stowe 10am-5pm Enjoy exquisite Art and fine Craftwork from over 150 Fine Artists and Artisans. There will be live music and other entertainment, great food, draft beer, wine, and demonstrations of traditional craftwork. No pets please. AUTUMN 2017 | Our State Vermont | 33


COMMUNITY EVENTS

A utumn

2017

October 7-8 Art in the Park Rutland Green Rutland 10am-4pm The Chaffee Art Center invites you to our 56th Annual Art in the Park Fine Art and Craft Festivals featuring fine artists and craft persons, specialty foods, kid’s activities and musical entertainment. October 7 Pink Out the Park Bayside Park Colchester 10am This year Pink Out the Park is going to be extra special because we are celebrating our 5 year anniversary! Join us for this family fun event to benefit Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Walk or run this scenic 5K in Colchester and make sure to wear those crazy pink costumes. The Pink Panther will be around for pictures and to cheer you across the finish line. Of course we will have lots of great prizes, raffles, live music, a survivor ceremony and more!!! October 7 Quilting in the Land of Milk and Honey Middlebury Recreation Center Middlebury 10am-5pm Many quilts on display as well as Quilts of Valor and Youth Exhibit. Two local quilters will be the featured artists this year . There is a quilt raffle, basket raffles, and a consignment table, vendors and lunch will be available. October 8 Wag It Forward Champlain Valley Exposition Essex 10am-5pm A Festival for Pets - rain or shine, they plan to provide tons of fun and

34 | Our State Vermont | AUTUMN 2017

entertainment for the whole family, including your furry friends. Dock Dogs will be on-site providing the opportunity for your dog to show off some water skills and The Grift will be keeping us moving with their booty-shaking grooves. October 8 Charlotte Tractor Parade 17th Annual Charlotte Tractor Parade Charlotte 11am Bring the kids for this annual event of old tractors and new tractors. Everyone enjoys the parade. October 14 Roktoberfest Basin Harbor Club Vergennes 4pm-8pm Basin Harbor is throwing their annual beer, bacon and bands party once again! Line-up, menu and ticket info coming soon. October 24 Nestlings Find Nature Birds of Vermont Musuem Huntington 10:30am You will discover how nestling songbirds grow and develop in their challenging world. Books, crafts, nature walks, and outdoor activities enrich the hour. October 27-29 Essex Fall Craft and Fine Art Show Champlain Valley Expo Essex Junction Fri Noon-6pm; Sat, 9am-6pm; Sun, 10am-4pm This is a great opportunity to get a head start on your holiday shopping. Come and discover that perfect something you can only find at the craft show.

October 28-29 Halloween Express Echo Center Burlington all day event Kid focused family event. A Halloween train ride from Burlington to Shelburne. Ticket includes entrance to Echo Center. Check website for times and ticket information. October 29 A Family Halloween Billings Farm & Museum Woodstock 10am-5pm Pumpkin carving, doughnuts-ona-string, wagon rides, cranking pumpkin ice cream, plus “not-tooscary” Halloween stories, pumpkin games, and animal programs will be featured. October 29 Haunted Happenings Shelburne Museum Shelburne 10am-1pm Join the annual Halloween extravaganza. Visitors are invited to trick-or-treat on the grounds of Shelburne Museum and visit the haunted forest. Participate in holidaythemed activities with the entire Museum staff dressed in costumes inspired by the natural world. November 4 Wilburton Inn Murder Mystery Wilburton Inn Manchester 6:30pm-11pm Get away with murder at the Wilburton Inn in Manchester, Vermont for our 5th annual interactive murder mystery weekend! Guests are invited to dress up and pack their inner Miss Marples and Sherlocks as they follow a cast of actors through the 1902 Wilburton «Clue» worthy mansion!


November 4 Williston Craft Fair Williston Central School Williston 9:30am-4pm Shop for holiday crafts. Local crafters come together and sell their beautiful handmade items. Perfect time to start holiday shopping or pick something up for youself! November 5 Jingle Jog 5K Shelburne Museum Shelburne 9am Run off your Thanksgiving dinner! All racers provided with Jingle Bells and Santa hats. November 6 Kids Eat Free El Gato Cantina Burlington 5pm The kids menu items include: Enchilada or Taco with Rice and beans, Chicken Quesadilla, Taco and Nacho Plate, Chicken and Beef Burrito. November 11 Carbon Leaf at Higher Ground Higher Ground Ballroom South Burlington 8pm 104.7 The Point welcomes Carbon Leaf November 11 Mount Abe Craft Fair Mount Abraham Union HS Bristol 10am-3pm Stroll this fair to find unique items that are crafted by local artists. Stop by and grab a yummy treat to enjoy on the way home too! November 18 Fall Holiday Fair Holiday Inn Rutland 9am-4pm Holiday Craft Fair.

November 25 Bow Wow Film Festival Town Hall Theatre Middlebury 2pm & 5pm Join us for a delightful evening to celebrate our beloved canine companions and all the joy they bring to our lives! December 1-3 Vermont International Festival Champlain Valley Exposition Center Essex Times Vary This festival showcases the diversity of Vermont with arts, crafts, food, dance and musical performances representing cultures from all over the world. Friday, December 1, 5pm-8pm; Saturday, December 2, 10am-6pm; Sunday, December 3, 10am- 5pm. Tickets available at vermontinternationalfestival.com December 2 Deck the Halls Shelburne Museum Shelburne 10am-4pm Ring in the Holidays with a visit to see the festive trees, participate in art activiites and explore the grouds in a horse and buggy ride. December 8 A Christmas Carol Flynn Center for the Performing Arts Burlington 7pm The Nebraska Theatre Caravan returns with Charles Jones’ delightful adaptation of Dickens’ “ghostly little tale.” December 16 Christmas Holiday Show Holiday Inn Rutland 9am-4pm Stop by and shop local crafters including handmade scarves, hats, mittens, delicious treats and many other crafted gifts! AUTUMN 2017 | Our State Vermont | 35


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All of our entrees and burgers are half off! (dine in only)

TUESDAY’S WEDNESDAY NIGHTWEDNESDAY TUESDAY’S TUESDAY’S WEDNESDAY NIGHT NIGHT daily from 11am-2:30pm ARE GAME NIGHT! ARE GAMEARE NIGHT! GAME NIGHT!Lunch isTheserved IS MIDWEEK MADNESS! IS MIDWEEK MADNESS!MADNESS! IS MIDWEEK bar opens at 4:30pm

The Bearded Frog Bar & Grill serves inspired икат & eclectic American fare. nter to Win!ОЧЕНЬ НОРМАЛЬНОвввцвцауПодарочный

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Bring a friend, your appetite Bring a friend, your appetite andappetite andDinner is served nightly at 5pmAll of our entrees Bring aand friend, your andentrees burgers All of our andentrees burgersand burgers All of our the will to crush your enemies. the will to crush your the will toenemies. crush your enemies. are half off!are (dine only) halfinoff! (dine in only) are half off! (dine in only)

Lunch is served daily fromLunch 11am-2:30pm Thedaily opens at from 4:30pm Dinner is served nightly at 5pm is served from 11am-2:30pm Lunch isdaily served fromdaily 11am-2:30pm Lunch isbar served 11am-2:30pm The bar opens at opens 4:30pm The bar at 4:30pm The bar opens at 4:30pm Dinner isDinner servedisnightly served atnightly 5pm at 5pm Dinneratnightly is5pm served

www.thebeardedfrog.com

5247 Shelburne Road, Shelburne VT 802-985-9877

The Bearded Frog Bar &Frog Grill serves The Bearded Bar inspired & Grill & eclectic American fare.

serves inspired & eclectic American fare.

Located in Shelburne Village, inside the recently renovated, historic Shelburne Inn. Located in Shelburne inside historic Shelburne Inn. The cozy barVillage, opens at 4:30pm for the cocktails. The cozy bar opens at 4:30pm for cocktails. is served seven nights a weeka beginning at 5pm Dinner isDinner served seven nights week beginning at 5pm 5247 Shelburne Road, Shelburne VT 802-985-9877

Located in Shelburne Village, inside the recently renovated, historic Shelburne Inn. The cozy bar opens at 4:30pm for cocktails. Dinner is served seven nights a week beginning at 5pm

36 | Our State Vermont | AUTUMN 2017

5247 Shelburne Road, Shelburne VT


253 Main Street Vergennes VT 802 877 9991

Our menu has been prepared with fresh, local ingredients and inspired by traditional French flavors. The ambiance is warm, genuine and inviting…relax and enjoy. Open seven evenings a week from 5pm - 8:30pm. Reservations are suggested. 253 Main Street Vergennes VT 253 Main Street Vergennes VT www.blacksheepbistrovt.com 802 877 9991

802 877 9991

Our menu has been prepared with fresh, local ingredients and inspired by traditional French flavors.The ambiance is warm, genuine and inviting…relax and enjoy. Open seven evenings week from 5pm - 8:30pm. Reservations are suggested.

Our menu has been prepared with fresh, local ingredients and inspired by traditional French flavors.The ambiance is warm, genuine and inviting…relax and enjoy. Open seven evenings week from 5pm - 8:30pm. Reservations are suggested.

253 Main Street Vergennes VT

802 877 9991

Our menu has been prepared with fresh, local ingredients and inspired by traditional French flavors.The ambiance is warm, genuine and inviting…relax and enjoy. Open seven evenings week from 5pm - 8:30pm. Reservations are suggested.

www.parksqueeze.com

Welcome to the Park Squeeze! Located on Main Street in historic downtown Vergennes. We invite you to stop in for a bite and a beverage …. Bring the family or meet up with friends. Serving dinner seven nights a week – Walk-ins are welcome….

161 Main Street Vergennes VT

802 877 9962 AUTUMN 2017 | Our State Vermont | 37


Fire & Ice

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26 Seymou Seymou urr Street | Midd ddllebury | 8 802 02.38 02 .388 .38 8.716 166 6 | firean reandiceres ceresttaau ura u rant.c rant .co om

38 | Our State Vermont | AUTUMN 2017


Nationally Recognized

Locally Chosen

SPRING 2017

WINNER 2017

AUTUMN 2017 | Our State Vermont | 39


Culligan Water Technologies Servicing Vermont, Upstate NY and New Hampshire www.CULLIGAN4U.COM Family Owned & Operated since 1949 1-800-400-0099

Osv autumnr2017 print tl lowres  
Osv autumnr2017 print tl lowres