Page 45

more than a century, and their doors are open to townies and tourists alike. All walks of life duck into general stores, leading to some interesting opportunities for eavesdropping and people-watching. Step inside and find just about anything you could possibly need: grab a sandwich and fishing bait, or pick up some penny candy and a freshly baked pie, don’t forget new work gloves and a coffee — the possibilities are endless.

oath office in an impromptu inauguration performed by his father who was a notary public. The ceremony took place by the light of a kerosene lamp because his father refused to incorporate modern conveniences such as electricity. President Coolidge’s father started the Plymouth Artisan Cheese company on site in 1890, making it the secondoldest cheesemaking operation in the country. The cheese factory follows the same standards and process today as it did under the direction of the Coolidge family, which ran the factory until 1998. It’s open year-round, so be sure to stop in and taste their rich cow’s milk cheeses.

SOUTHERN VERMONT

If you’re heading to Killington Resort, Pico Mountain, Okemo Mountain Resort, Suicide Six or Quechee Ski Area, you’re in luck because you’ll be surrounded by some of Vermont’s longest standing, family-owned general stores. The Original General Store in Pittsfield (Vermont Route 100) is a great stop for pre-ski breakfast. F.H. Gilingham & Sons General Store has remained in its location in the center of historic Woodstock (Elm Street) since 1886. Vermont’s oldest, the Barnard General Store (Vermont Route 12), was saved by local fundraising efforts to keep it from closing. Singleton’s General Store in Proctorsville (Main Street) carries so much more than the “whiskey guns ammo” sign at its entrance would lead you to believe. In Norwich, the motto at Dan & Whit’s General Store (Main Street) speaks for them all: “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.”

For more presidential ties in Vermont, albeit far more lavish, take a self-guided driving tour of the historic mansions in Manchester. The designs of these houses offer a sneak peek into the lives of their past residents. Architectural styles were chosen based on distinct uses, desired aesthetics and materials available at the time of construction. Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert, built a Georgian Revival–style mansion here after falling in love with the area during family vacations with his mom to the nearby Equinox Resort. He called his estate Hildene (Hildene Road), and it later became home to three generations of the president’s descendants. Robert also served as president of the Pullman Company and, at that time, employed the largest number of African Americans in the county as Pullman porters. Tour the property from its cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, and don’t miss the restored Pullman train car to learn about the porters’ work and how it influenced their lives. Head next door to one of the oldest standing buildings in Manchester, the Inn at Ormsby Hill (Vermont Route 7A). The 1764 structure still contains one of the earliest jail cells in town, which was constructed almost entirely of locally available white marble, as was the inn’s oversized threshold. This was once the home of Robert Isham, a friend and colleague of Robert Todd Lincoln, who later bought the adjacent property where he built Hildene.

Speaking of families, a short detour while you’re in the area will provide you with a glimpse into what could arguably be one of the most closely-knit communities in Vermont. Head to the top of Plymouth Notch (Vermont Route 100A) where almost every structure in the village is incorporated into the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site. This is the birthplace of the 13th U.S. president and Coolidgefamily homestead. Take a walk through the 19th-century village during any time of year, and you’ll see the clapboard homes, schoolhouse, general store, church, barns and cheese factory primarily occupied by President Coolidge and seven generations of his family. It was in the parlor of his boyhood home, after news arrived of the death of the 29th U.S. president, Warren G. Harding, that Coolidge took the

The mansions of Manchester stand at the foothills of the Taconic Mountains, located west of the area known as “The Golden Triangle.” The triangle is anchored by Bromley Mountain, Magic Mountain and Stratton Mountain Resort SkiVermont.com

43

Profile for Ski Vermont

Ski Vermont 2018 Magazine  

Ski Vermont's 2018 Magazine features articles on everything from Vermont's famous racing family to our ultimate gear guide. Find out more ab...

Ski Vermont 2018 Magazine  

Ski Vermont's 2018 Magazine features articles on everything from Vermont's famous racing family to our ultimate gear guide. Find out more ab...

Advertisement