Stowe Guide & Magazine Winter/Spring 2021-22

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CONTENTS w i n t e r


s p r i n g

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The Nose Dive: Stowe’s most famous ski trail by Biddle Duke


Razor Dave: Longtime ski school director hangs up the skis— mostly by Mark Aiken



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Pictorial: Magical Mansfield by Nathanael Asaro




Stowe speaks: Historical society’s oral history project by Rob Kiener


Backyard boil: One Vermont family’s maple sugar operation by Mark Aiken


Porch portraits: Elmore photographer’s pandemic project by Amy Kolb Noyes


Big Fish: Stowe chef Jack Pickett scours the seas for his fin-forward menu by Tommy Gardner




Glass house: A masterful reimagining: from dated ranch to minimalist vacation home by Robert Kiener

CONTENTS w i n t e r

s p r i n g

essentials 10



Rural route: Sunset Grille closes, Globetrotters, Fine Wine Cellars, Bigfoot carver


On mountain: A brief history of Vermont’s most famous ski area


Outdoor primer: Cross country Ice skating • Snowmobiling Fishing • Snowshoeing


Shopping and galleries


Edibles: Shugah Cookie, Round Hearth rebrands, Dedalus, Shrub, anyone?


departments 12

First person: Driving the bus


Rural route


Trail journal: Snow walkers


Ski dispatch: Old goats


Natural history: Krusch Preserve


On the water: From gang to crew


On mountain: Six-pack lift


The Current: Stowe’s center for contemporary art


Coffee house: Alice Howe


Stowe people: Mona


At the movies: ‘The Wind and the Reckoning’


Found in Vermont: Shopping list


Travel tip: Animal kingdom


Ski lifestyle: David Goodman


Spotlight: Amber Hodgins


Real estate: Three homes for sale


Our cover this winter is “Mt. Mansfield,” oil on panel, 24"x30", by Vermont-based artist Brian Hewitt. “I tend to lean toward the ‘wow’ factor. I want my work to have impact and be noticed but not overwhelm a room,” the self-taught artist says about his use of contrast, shadows, and vibrant colors. Hewitt’s technique requires several layers of paint to achieve the depth he’s looking to achieve. “Each piece takes weeks. I am not a plein air artist. I use photos and imagination to paint primarily in my studio,” the artist says.













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He was raised on a dairy farm, so Vermont’s landscapes are familiar, though he’s also spent time in the nation’s capital, the Big Apple, and San Francisco, and found inspiration while living in Maine. See Hewitt’s work at Northwood Gallery in Stowe, Artisans’ Gallery in Waitsfield, and Rock Art Brewery in Morristown. More at


Getting people up and down since 1995


Quality Rentals and Demos 4081 MOUNTAIN ROAD, STOWE, VT 802-253-4531 • MOUNTAINOPSVT.COM




GUIDE & MAGAZINE Gregory J. Popa

Bryan Meszkat, Patrick Immordino, Judy Kearns, Wendy Ewing, and Michael Kitchen

Gregory J. Popa

Katerina Hrdlicka

Kate Carter, Robert Kiener, and Tommy Gardner

Leslie Lafountain

Leslie Lafountain

Gordon Miller

Stuart Bertland, Kate Carter, Orah Moore, Paul Rogers, Kevin Walsh

Mark Aiken, Avalon Styles-Ashley, Kate Carter, Nancy Crowe, Willy Dietrich, Biddle Duke, Elinor Earle, Tommy



Gardner, Robert Kiener, Brian Lindner, Scooter MacMillan,

IN THIS ISSUE: Porch portraits: Jay Kennedy, p.106

IN THIS ISSUE: Wind and the Reckoning, p.102

Peter Miller, Mike Mulhern, Amy Kolb Noyes, David

Most memorable takeaway: I’ve known Jay for a long time. He took my engagement photo in 1992. He developed photos I took for the News & Citizen. He photographed my children every year at Wolcott Elementary. But the sheer number of unguarded images Jay captured during the pandemic is completely mind boggling. He documented the truth of the moment, at great personal expense. The project was a noble endeavor with amazing results.

Behind the scenes: I met John Fusco 30 years ago when we both lifted weights at Locomotion Gym in Waterbury at the beginning of his film career. I hadn’t seen him in the years since, but I watched his movies. When I met with him on an ideal fall day at his home in Morristown, we sat in his herb garden overlooking the Lamoille Valley to talk about his latest film, The Wind and the Reckoning. It struck me that he was a refined version of what I remembered—kind, generous, passionate, thoughtful, and remarkably welcoming.

Rocchio, Julia Shipley, Nancy Wolfe Stead, Kevin Walsh

Currently: Amy is pursuing a master’s in studio arts at Northern Vermont University. She is an award-winning journalist who has been telling Vermont stories for three decades, on the radio, online, and in print. In her free time she can be found riding the triple or in net at Stowe Arena.

TOMMY GARDNER IN THIS ISSUE: Big Fish, p.140 Behind the scenes: I worked in the restaurant industry— bartending and waiting tables at 10 different restaurants in four states—for most of the eight years after graduating college with a journalism degree. It was the best training for a certain type of journalist, where talking to strangers comes as second nature and there’s often no choice but to listen to people talk while you polish wine glasses and flatware. Currently: Tommy is news editor for the Vermont Community Newspaper Group, with a primary reporting focus on the Stowe Reporter and the county’s paper of record, the News & Citizen. He can still crank out cocktails under pressure.


Takeaway: Watch The Wind and the Reckoning! Currently: Kate is a freelance writer and photographer, and when she’s not researching stories she’s photographing homes for Vermont real estate agents, builders, interior designers, concierges, and this magazine. Contact her at

ROB KIENER IN THIS ISSUE: Stowe speaks, p.84 Most memorable takeaway: After interviewing scores of local residents for the Stowe Historical Society’s oral history project, both Barbara Baraw and Amanda Kuhnert admitted that with each new interview they learned something new about the town’s rich history. As Baraw explained, “It’s a privilege to play a role in preserving this town’s past for present and future residents.” Currently: Rob, a frequent contributor to the Stowe Guide & Magazine, has been an editor and staff writer with Reader’s Digest in Asia, Europe, and Canada,

and now writes for the magazine and other publications from his base in Stowe.

Stowe Guide & Magazine & Stowe-Smugglers’ Guide & Magazine are published twice a year:

Winter/Spring & Summer/Fall Vermont Community Newspaper Group LLC P.O. Box 489, Stowe VT 05672 Website:, Editorial inquiries: Ad submission: Phone: (802) 253-2101 Fax: (802) 253-8332 Copyright: Articles and photographs are protected by copyright and cannot be used without permission. Editorial submissions are welcome: Vermont Community Newspaper Group P.O. Box 489, Stowe VT 05672 Publication is not guaranteed. Enclose SASE for return. Subscriptions are $15 per year. Check or money order to Stowe Guide, P.O. Box 489, Stowe, 05672 Advertising inquiries are welcome. Best Niche Publication, New England Newspaper & Press Association 2010 through 2018


Remarkable food for every occasion. 504 Mountain Road, Stowe, Vermont 05672

802-253-1444 @vtbutcher




/ Shawn Kerivan


/ Katerina Hrdlicka

Stowe Resort Homes

WHY I DRIVE THE BUS Finding humanity behind the wheel It does not seem to make much sense. From afar it is a non sequitur. Where does it fit in? Not with teaching. Not with writing. Not with the apparent life led. But look closer and it begins to make sense. Look closer and a pattern emerges. Look closer and see why I drive the bus. In Stowe, the ski town where I live, the bus has been a big part of my family’s life, and that is because my wife and sons have all used the bus to commute to work at Stowe Mountain Resort. The boys worked their way through high school with winter jobs, mostly in food service. My wife, Chantal, worked there, too, while we ran our small B&B. It wasn’t for the money. It was for the free ski passes, which could cost a family of four thousands of dollars per season, pre-Vail Epic Pass. Each winter the town of Stowe, along with local businesses and the Stowe Mountain Resort, help to fund a shuttle bus that Green Mountain Transit runs through the village and seven miles up the Mountain Road to the ski area, which stopped right in front of our inn. My wife and I would often take the bus ourselves to go skiing, which relieved us of parking and schlepping our gear across the lot—the bus dropped us at one of three base area lifts. In 2017 we sold our inn. One of our sons was in college and the other had just graduated. We stayed in Stowe, and while I continued to teach and write, I found I had lots of extra time. That same year fellow innkeepers Tom and Sue at the Timberholm Inn sold their place, and Tom took a job as a manager with the bus company that operated the shuttle. It wasn’t long before Tom remembered I worked for FedEx for 10 years and held a commercial driver’s license. I liked the idea of driving the bus in the winter. I like to drive, and this would get me out of the house a few days a week, for a few hours a day. Plus, it would allow me to escape the cat. After we sold the inn, we found a nice place in Stowe to buy, but it was just Chantal and me … and the cat. Gone were the boys and the dog, happy diversions for the cat. Jimmy Jazz had nothing to do except sit on my desk and look at me. Hour after hour, sitting two feet from my face. Unblinking. And maddening. So, I trained to drive the shuttle bus—a big, 35-foot Gillig that could hold 50 passengers—and I was soon driving people around Stowe on the bus. Most of the passengers were people who worked at the mountain, and many >>



of them were students from other countries here on J1 visas. Many came from South America—Ecuador and Brazil and Peru. College students on their summer break. Ostensibly they were here to improve their language skills and learn about American culture, but mostly they were here to make a few bucks and party. The other group of workers I regularly drove around were Jamaicans, here on 10-month visas. They would work at ski areas during the winter, and at summer resorts—typically Cape Cod—before returning home for two months. Most of them worked as housekeepers or in kitchens, and they were here on a mission: to make money and send it home. For the busiest ski times—Christmas week, MLK weekend, President’s weekend—I would also fill up with skiers. It was lively and fun and challenging to drive safely in some of the toughest driving conditions imaginable. Heavy snow was a blessing. Worse was a quick burst, a squall that laid down a half inch of slippery snow in 30 minutes. Or freezing rain. Or a snow squall followed by freezing rain followed by a fog … at night. After a while, I began to wonder why I drove the bus. It wasn’t the money. While the challenge of driving was real, that wasn’t it, either. One quiet night at the beginning of the ski season of my second winter driving, I picked up a lone rider at the Spruce Base stop and began to head back down to the village. I recognized the rider as one of the Jamaicans who worked in one of the kitchens at Spruce. He was huddled over his phone, and as we drove alone down the dark Mountain Road, he began to cry. His sobs were damp and irregular. I looked up into the mirror. He lifted his head, his face slick with tears, his eyes red.


“Are you OK?” I asked. “Is there something I can do?” He shook his head and wiped his eyes. “I just spoke with my family back in Jamaica. I miss them so much. This hurts so much. I just miss my kids.” I swallowed. “I’m sorry. But it’s going to be all right. We are going to take care of you while you are here. Make sure you tell your family that. Tell them that the locals are going to take care of you. That you will be home soon.” I told him that my wife worked at the Adventure Center, and that she worked with lots of people he probably knew, and that he should go over and say hello. He nodded and thanked me, and I dropped him off in the dark and the cold. I saw him a lot that winter, and he soon looked better, finding a group of friends, finding his place. The last time I saw him was on the final day of bus service in the spring. “What’s next?” I asked him. “I’m going to Cape Cod for the summer. Then home,” he said. “Will we see you next year?” He laughed. “You see me all the time. I’m everywhere. We all the same, mon. So, thank you!” That might not be the only reason I drive the bus, but it’s one of them. It’s the reason why we all drive the bus. It’s the reason why we do anything. Shawn and Chantal Kerivan ran the former Auberge de Stowe B&B in Stowe’s Lower Village for many years. More at




fter 33 years, Stowe’s popular Sunset Grille has moved permanently over the horizon. In August, Rich and Nancy Haab finally retired after decades running one of the town’s stalwart establishments. Together, the Haabs have seen it all, and watched as a resort ski town grew into a four-season tourist destination. “It’s gotten a lot busier in the last three decades, that’s for sure,” said Rich, who goes by the mononym “Haabz.” “Way busier, it’s gotten way busier. Even in the last year. This summer was really busy. We rolled it out, took care of business and then said ‘OK. It’s time.’” COVID-19 actually delayed the Haabs’ retirement plans, which had been in the works prior to 2020. Instead of taking the lockdown closure of their restaurant as a sign to quietly move on, the couple stuck it out so they could go out on their own terms. They took their beloved barbecue and burger’s cuisine to take-out only and reopened in 2021 when outdoor dining was allowed, staying on through the summer before finally closing the Sunset’s doors for the last time. The Sunset Grille was a family endeavor, not just for the Haabs and their employees, many of whom had been around almost as long as they had owned the place, but for longtime Stowe residents and those who visit year after year. In its last days, the restaurant was packed with diners looking for one last meal. “I’m definitely gonna miss the people. That’s going to be the biggest adjustment, not seeing a bunch of different people every day,” Nancy said. Now the Haabs are looking forward to more free time, much of which they may spend traveling and visiting their four daughters, all currently enrolled in some level of higher education. “We’re not going anywhere,” Rich said. “We’re going to be sticking around. So, you’ll see us all over. People can still see the Haabs.”


Leaving a legacy When you’ve been around as long as the Sunset Grille, a certain mythology organically forms from the stories and narratives repeated again and again. It’s well known, of course, that Rich and Nancy met over a game of pool at the very restaurant they came to own in 1985, back when it was Lil Abner’s Tavern. The Lil Abner wings, a signature of Sunset Grille brought over from its former owners, is the one dish Rich will continue to make in retirement. “We’re the only ones that still have the recipe,” he said. With Rich hailing from Long Island and Nancy from New Jersey, together they built an unapologetically mid-Atlantic family restaurant and bar in the heart of New England. Other than an uptick in diners during the final weeks of the restaurant, there was no big event, no party for the staff and longtime regulars to mark the setting of the Sunset. The Haabs wanted to keep their exit consistent with the vibe they had always maintained. “We just wanted to kind of go out low key,” Rich said. —Aaron Calvin



END OF AN ERA A current aerial view of the Ricketson Farm on Route 100 north of Stowe village. Arnold and Grace Ricketson on the front porch of the family farmhouse. The couple purchased the farm in 1916. A farmhand moves the girls across Route 100.

Stowe Land Trust looks to northern gateway


farm, ricketson-style

towe farmer Ken Ricketson is partnering with Stowe and Vermont land trusts to protect 210 acres of key farmland on Route 100 that has been in his family for three generations. A fundraising effort is underway to help cover the $2.5 million cost of conserving the former dairy farm. When Ricketson’s grandparents bought the farm in 1916, there were close to 200 farms in Stowe. Today, the Ricketson Farm is one of the few that remain, and its future is uncertain. After selling his herd last May and thinking about retirement, Ricketson needed a plan, and he didn’t want that plan to include his farm being subdivided and developed. By working with the land trusts, he hopes the land can stay together and in farming. “The farm is an amazing agricultural resource and a unique landmark. If it disappeared, it would be a huge loss to the Stowe area community,” said Kristen Sharpless, director of Stowe Land Trust. The Ricketson Farm defines the northern scenic gateway to Stowe. Including a distinctive farmstead, 115 acres of excellent agricultural soils, and surrounded by conserved farmland, it greets motorists as they drive into town from Morrisville along Route 100 and bids you farewell when you head north out of town. Many know it as the place where traffic


often stops to let the cows cross the road from the barn to the pasture along Moss Glen Brook. “The Ricketson Farm is part of the fabric of Stowe,” said Rita Ricketson, Ken’s sister, who also grew up on the farm and now lives nearby in Middlesex. “I’m grateful that my brother,

the land trusts, and the community are making it possible for the land to remain in agricultural use, even though the farm may change.” The Ricketsons also have a special attachment to the forested part of the farm that contains a rare peat bog. Their mother, Lillian, was an amateur botanist and took the family on outings there to explore and learn the native plants.

The bog is part of a regionally important wetland complex that extends into Morristown and includes Joe’s Pond and Valcour Bog, both conserved with Stowe Land Trust. This collection of wetlands provides vital habitat for a diversity of plants and wildlife and ecosystem services like carbon storage, water quality protection, and flood reduction. The section of Moss Glen Brook that runs through the farm along Route 100 will also be restored and protected with a separate river corridor easement, leveraging the project’s investment in clean water, healthy habitats, and flood control. Conserving the farm will cost $2.5 million. Ken Ricketson has already committed to donating $425,000 in value to the effort, and he will continue to own the property subject to a permanent conservation easement held by Vermont Land Trust. “Over the long term, the land could support many different types of farming operations and enterprises, such as hay, grains, dairy, beef, goats, vegetables, berries, or vineyards, and more,” said Sharpless. “There are no guarantees for what will happen on the farm, but it is exciting to think about what could be possible.”





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Wine lover: Mike Alekson ‘Learning by tasting, taking notes’ Mike Alekson is owner of Fine Wine Cellars in Stowe, along with his wife Vicki. They met during college in Boston, where Mike, who grew up in Rochester, N.Y., attended Northeastern University pursing a political science degree, and Vicki, a St. Albans native, got her degree in economics at Boston University. They were second homeowners coming to Stowe from Boston and wanted their kids to go to school in Vermont. Their son Charlie graduated from Stowe High School and is a sophomore at Union College in Schenectady and their son Ben is a junior at Stowe High School.

How did you become interested in wine? I was introduced to wine by someone knowledgeable and learned about pairing wine with food and how they influence each other. The right pairing makes both taste better. It can be wine to have with a cheeseburger on the grill or a much bigger endeavor of different courses with different wines.

Do you have any formal training?

the intErviEw

I was taught to learn by tasting and taking notes. That has been my foundation.



How did you get into the wine business? I started as a customer when Roy Schwarz and his son, Edward, owned the business. I loved the concept and their approach and they asked me to join them. Vicki and I started as partners, and then bought them out in 2010. Like most small business owners, we’ve worn every hat. Now I run the store and Vicki manages the books.

Wine is everywhere now. Why Fine Wine Cellars? It’s friendly, welcoming, unpretentious. We are a wine store for everyone, whether you are a collector or have $10 to spend. We’ve built good relationships and most of our customers are return ones. We present wines in a non-pretentious manner. Fine wine does not have to be expensive, but we try to avoid mass-produced wine. We don’t have enough room to carry everything, but we have the perfect cellar. The building was built in the 1860s and is the perfect environment for wine. The temperature is consistent and there is no outside light. If the wine is old world, it’s organized mostly by region. If it’s new world it’s organized by style. Wine under $10 is sprinkled all over. Upstairs we have a nice variety of wine accessories.

Are you a wine connoisseur? I don’t care for that word; it’s too fancy. I’m a wine lover. I’ve found that being a good listener is important. People know more about wine than they think. If there’s a wine that you like, that’s all that matters. Some people come in knowing what they want and others come for suggestions. Wine is subjective and that’s what makes it fun and interesting.




Do you travel to taste? There have been great opportunities to travel and visit wineries and we try to do a trip once a year to a major wine region. I will go anywhere I can drink some wine. There are three dimensions to learning about wine. You can read about it, you can taste it, and you can visit the winery. One of the best parts of my job is tasting wine and finding out it is much less expensive than I expected.

breakfast • lunch • weekend brunch • catering espresso • lattes • locally roasted coffee • fresh juice unique art + gifts from VT + beyond

What have you learned from being in the wine business? When learning about wine, and especially visiting a winery, you also learn about history, geography, culture, and language. I find it fascinating. I’ve learned so much just because the topic is wine. It’s been made for hundreds of years and when you visit a winery you meet people whose families have been making wine for generations. If you’re a history buff, it’s hard not be fascinated.

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What is your favorite grape? Pinot noir. I like the style, it’s food friendly, it crosses a lot of palettes and hits most people’s tastes.

What do you mean by style? Different wines have different characteristics —full body, medium, light, heavy. When you drill down, there’s much more fine tuning and you can get a lot more specific.

What does the future hold? Pre-COVID we had changed our website to include e-commerce, which turned out to be a very good thing, because it was most of our business during the pandemic. We weren’t having customers in the store, so thanks to our online presence we could do curbside pickup and shipping. In some ways our business increased, and in some ways it decreased. Now that we’re open again it’s nice to be able to provide our personal touch.

What are you drinking tonight? Good question. Let me call Vicki and ask what we’re having for dinner.




THE EAGLE HAS LANDED Known for its power and majestic presence, the eagle is a symbol of patriotism and national pride. Sculptor Martin McGowan hopes that his unique eagle sculpture along Route 100 in Waterbury Center conveys that feeling of patriotism to all who drive by. The massive, nearly two-ton eagle stands about 9 feet high and has a wing span of 24 feet. Off and on for months, McGowan, a carpenter and welder by trade, welded together chunks of metal, many taken from old cars, to create this roadside art. A Newark, Vt., resident and graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, McGowan has been creating outdoor works of art for more than 20 years. A large metal horse, which formerly occupied this same spot, now calls a business park in Shelburne home. The eagle is also for sale to the right person, and at the right price—think the mid-five-figure range. Until then, with the Mount Mansfield State Forest’s majestic peaks as backdrop, the eagle sculpture welcomes visitors to admire, think, and ponder. McGowan says he hopes this piece of art makes people “feel patriotic, just hopefully in a welcoming and peaceful way.” Stop by and see how you feel. —Kevin M. Walsh

THESE POSTCARDS HAVE KICKED around our archives for decades, tucked into folder in the morgue, likely picked up by a former staffer on a ski trip or sent in by a reader of the Stowe Reporter. Anyway, our local sources don’t know if they have a Stowe provenance or not—likely not. The only identifying information is that they’re numbered, so there are at least 14.




COLLECT AND BOIL Clayton J. Fuller of Montgomery boiling maple sap in the early 1900s. Albert Lynde of Guilford gathering sap in April 1960. Insets: A traditional Abenaki paddle used for stirring maple sap as it is heated and condensed into syrup or sugar. Though a Penobscot birch bark bucket, it is similar to one the Abenaki would have used.

“Sugaring and being a Vermonter—they kind of go hand in hand,” said Doug Edwards. “If you’re a real Vermonter.” Edwards, who runs a maple operation in Jeffersonville, has been sugaring since he was 6 or 7 years old, helping his great uncle, grandfather, and others gather sap. But turning maple sap into the sweet stuff has been a Vermont tradition that goes back long before Europeans arrived in the New World. Don Stevens, chief of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation, said those first white settlers learned about maple sugaring from Native Americans. “There are journal entries saying they watched our people tap trees and boil syrup,” he said. “Maple syrup is part of our long history. I can’t tell you how far it goes back, but I’m assuming it goes back as long as time itself.” Stevens said it’s documented that Indigenous people were collecting maple sap and boiling it down before 1600, because there are citations from Europeans in the early 1600s talking about watching Native Americans boiling maple sap. He thinks his ancestors might have boiled their food in water and sap because the maple sap made food sweeter. Perhaps someone forgot and left a bucket holding water and sap near a fire, Stevens speculated, with the result being a concentrated sweetness. Stevens doesn’t think his people spent a lot of time collecting sap because it was a lot of work and, until they had metal kettles, difficult to boil down. When Native Americans in New England moved toward mass production, they used a spile, a flat piece of wood Stevens compared to a tongue depressor, to collect sap. The was inserted into a cut in a maple tree, and the sap would run down it and drip into a bucket.

Studying sap Mark Isselhardt of Elmore, maple specialist with the University of Vermont Extension, said by 1809 at least two-thirds of Vermont families produced maple sugar, many of them making more than they needed in order to trade or sell. Isselhardt works at the Proctor Maple Research Center in Underhill, founded in 1946 on more than 200 acres devoted to studying maple production.


“It was one of the few cash crops and was the first crop coming in the spring, right around Town Meeting Day, when taxes are being decided, so it was an important thing for sure,” he said. These early Vermont farming families were producing maple sugar, not syrup, Isselhardt said. “The advent of pourable syrup is really more of a relatively modern product. Hard sugar is much more stable. It doesn’t have to be refrigerated,” Isselhardt said. Most farmers gathered maple sap with buckets hung on taps until the mid1900s. Most sugarmakers today use a plastic tubing system. The advent of tubing has also changed the kind of weather that’s best for producing maple sap. Old-time producers wished for warm days and freezing nights, but now a freeze every two or three days works fine, Edwards said. “Sugaring is an exciting time,” he said. “You’re always looking forward to getting started and you’re always looking forward to when you’re all done.” —Scooter MacMillan


➊ ➌


1. Meg Cossaboon, who spends summer months in Vermont but lives in Clarksboro, N.J., was thrilled to begin traveling to faraway places again after being restricted by COVID. Cossaboon visited a painted monastery in Voronet, Romania, accompanied on the trip by Patricia Schultz, the author of “1,000 Places to See Before You Die!” “It was terrific to begin seeing some more of the wonderful places in our world again,” says Meg. 2. Jonathan and Nataly Thomas of Worcester, Mass., while visiting Nataly’s home country of Bolivia outside the Cathedral Basilica of St. Lawrence in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. “We forgot to bring the magazine for a photo while visiting La Paz, the highest capital city in the world, to show 21,122-foot Mt. Illimani. But we didn’t forget it this day,” says Jonathan. The Thomases are frequent Stowe visitors who like to stay at Sterling Ridge Resort in Cambridge. 3. Hilarie Young Sullivan and her mother, Maureen Izzo Young, at the Gilgo Beach 4x4 drive on Long Island. Both brought copies of Stowe magazine to the wedding of Michaela Meehan of Stowe to Thomas Cobbs on Aug. 7, 2021.


Do you have a photo of our magazine on some far-flung island or rugged mountain peak? Send it along to us at, with Stowe Magazine in the subject line. We’ll pick the best one—or two!—and run it in the next edition.

RURAL ROUTE RENAISSANCE MAN Ed Billings with his wife Patty at his 100th birthday party this summer. At his home in Stowe Hollow— at 99! Inset: Bob Bourdon took this photo of Mt. Mansfield Company CEO Sepp Ruschp, Ed Billings and Ted Kennedy in 1962. Billings was director of the the famous Stowe Ski Patrol and Kennedy was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts. “We just completed a run down Mt. Mansfield on Hayride,” Billings wrote on the back of the photo. “Ted actually kept up with Sepp and me.”

There’s a tendency to call someone a “longtime” this or a “longtime” that, but when you crack the century mark, you leave the young ones in the dust. Ed Billings, who turned 100 on Sept. 15, didn’t move to Stowe until he was about 30 years old, but we dare say 70 years in town is a good, long time. Former head of the Stowe Ski Patrol, master builder, building designer, artist, poet, World War II Merchant Marine officer, and deep-sea diver Ed Billings celebrated 100 with his family and dozens of his closest friends who turned out to say happy birthday. Born in 1921 and raised just north of Greenfield, Massachusetts, Ed got interested in skiing when the brother of a girl he was dating told him that, if he wanted to hang around with her, he’d better know how to ski. So using rented skis, poles, and boots, Ed joined the girl and her brother at Chickley Alp, a now abandoned ski area in Hawley, Massachusetts, for a day on the slopes. But Ed couldn’t stand up on those skis once they began to move, and later overheard his paramour’s brother say that “he was a loser, would never be able to ski and she should dump him.” For Ed, the challenge was on. After 10 days of lessons and long hours on the slopes at Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Ed was well on his way to becoming an expert skier. He returned home and blew the girl and her brother off the slopes of Chickley.


Soon he was headed to Stowe with his eye on joining its famous ski patrol. He got the job and later served as its head. Ed’s unofficial 100th birthday party was hosted by the old guard of the Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol, what Larry Smith nicknamed the “Smell the Roses” faction at one of their occasional gatherings a decade or so ago. Denny Bender is always the initiator, the cheerleader, and assumes the mantle of host. He starts calling around the country in May to urge long time no-shows to come. This year he worked the miracle of snagging Jeff Snyder, who had been hiding in Colorado for 40 years. Denny’s wife Sandy and daughter Jennie do all the work, with smiles, and Ed’s son Ray pulls in from Kennebunk with a pickup full of freshcaught lobsters. This year, 70 or so gathered on a gorgeous early fall day. No one could tell me how many former patrol directors were present but assuredly Ed was the oldest and new director Karen Wagner the newest. After cutting the cake and hugging wife Patty he moved to leave with a bow and a “See ya next year.” Knowing Ed, we will. —Peter Beck, Nancy Wolfe Stead and Tommy Gardner

Berries back on North Hollow Sometimes you don’t pick your next adventure, other people pick it for you. That’s sort of what Kerry Sedutto and her husband Kevin Komer found this summer as they brought blueberries back to North Hollow Road. They purchased the storied Stowe Hollow Nursery at an estate sale and re-launched the pickyour-own business that former property owner—and longtime Stowe dentist— Walt Zuber started in 1980, six years after he planted his first 200 bushes behind his horse barn. Sedutto and Komer may have rechristened the place North Hollow Berry Farm, but the dramatic views of the Bolton and Mansfield ranges remain the backdrops, and the Stowe Pinnacle still looms overhead. “People are excited that it’s staying on,” Komer said. Sedutto, a Stowe native, owns the enterprise, and serves as the entrepreneurial side of the berry farm. Komer, with a degree in plant and soil science, brings his horticultural experience. When Zuber died in 2018 at 88, his beloved bushes had already started to fall into decline, and it didn’t take long for nature to take over, like a hairdo during a pandemic. The couple chipped away at the growth all summer, mowing between rows, and pruning back canes from other plants. Spread throughout the rows are the three different types of blueberries—Blue Crop, Blue Ray and Patriot varieties—that Zuber felt grew best in the property’s soil. “Every day, we discover something new about the place,” Sedutto said. —TG


RURAL ROUTE LIFE OF DEVOTION Brother Dutton in his study on Molokai’s Kalaupapa Peninsula, where he served the Hawaiians banished there because they suffered from Hansen’s disease, formerly known as leprosy. One of the panels on the outside of Stowe’s Blessed Sacrament church: Father Damien greets Brother Dutton as he arrives on Molokai in 1886.

Will the church canonize Stowe’s selfless son? Is Brother Dutton, born in Stowe in 1843, worthy of consideration for sainthood by virtue of his 44 years of service to the 19th century leper colony on Moloka’i? Two people who served with Dutton were recently canonized—St. Damien (2009) and St. Marianne Cope (2012). Now, the Catholic Church has asked Bishop Larry Silva of Hawai’i to investigate Dutton’s worthiness to be the third saint of Moloka’i. Blessed Sacrament Church on Stowe’s Mountain Road was built in 1949 on the farm where Dutton was born. While his family soon moved to Wisconsin, the Stowe church is dedicated to Dutton to recognize his extraordinary service to the “least of God’s people.” French artist Andre Girard painted 12 panels on the sides of the church that tell the story of the leper colony and Damien, Dutton, and Cope serving on Moloka’i. The artwork is the connection between these servants of Moloka’i and several generations of worshipers at the Stowe church. Recognizing Dutton has been a passion for many here in Stowe. In 1952 the von Trapp Family Singers paid their respects to Damien and Dutton at their gravesites on Moloka’i. Enthusiastic parishioner, the late Gerry Kirchner, made several visits to Hawaii and received the Dutton Award for Service in 2008.

In 2018 Monsignor Peter Routhier travelled with several pilgrims to Honolulu to attend the second annual conference for St. Damien and St. Cope. This year Blessed Sacrament Pastor Jon Schnobrich will be a keynote speaker for the conference, and Sister Cheryl Wint, serving with the St. Marianne Cope’s Sisters of St. Francis, Third Order, is the conference organizer. And, just in October the Hawaiian Congressional delegation met with the ambassador of Belgium and Schnobrich to recognize Dutton’s cause for sainthood. —Lynn Altadonna

In our story on photographer MARION POST WOLCOTT last winter, local historian Brian Lindner notes that the skiers in one of her photos are resting against an original MT. MANSFIELD SKI PATROL toboggan. They were the first official ski patrol toboggans in the U.S. and were made by the CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS under the direction of AL GOTTLIEB of Stowe. One in great condition can be seen at the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum in Stowe Village. Lindner reminds us they were made from corrugated roofing tin with wood frames and rope handles.




B LU E On Valentine’s Day, I noticed a burst of blue outside my window. Looking out with my binoculars, I counted six eastern bluebirds. Clustered on and below my suet feeders, they were a wonderfully pleasant surprise on a chilly February morning. The bluebirds briefly fed on the suet before finding perches in a red maple above the feeders. Within a few moments they were gone entirely, an ephemeral splash of color amidst a snow-covered lawn. With their vibrant colors, bluebirds are easy to identify. Males sport a rich blue head and back with a rust-colored breast. In contrast, females are gray-blue with lighter breast coloration. The birds have small, round bodies, dark eyes, and a short bill. Bluebirds usually weigh about an ounce and are anywhere from 6 to 8 inches long. Eastern bluebirds can be found throughout northern New England and parts of southern Canada during the breeding season. Historically, birds breeding in these regions have wintered in the southeastern United States and Mexico, but their year-round range has been shifting toward the north in recent years. The year-round population now extends from Central America to as far north as parts of New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. Once a harbinger of spring, eastern bluebirds may eventually reside in the northwoods throughout the year.


Flocks of bluebirds travel together during the cold-weather months seeking both natural and supplemental sources of food and will feed on a variety of wild fruits including sumac, winterberry, poison ivy, and wild grape. At feeders, bluebirds will consume suet, mealworms, and certain fruits. According to ornithologist Stephen W. Kress in his book “The Audubon Society Guide to Attracting Birds,” eastern bluebirds may eat raisins and currants placed “on a conspicuous surface such as a flat rock or table feeder.” During the spring and summer, eastern bluebirds primarily eat insects, including crickets, caterpillars, beetles, and grasshoppers. Feeding typically occurs on or near the ground, but bluebirds take insects in the air as well. They eat natural fruits found in preferred habitats. In the Northeast and elsewhere, eastern bluebirds live in open areas such as orchards, fields, parks, rural backyards, golf courses, and farms. Favored nesting sites include tree cavities, previously excavated woodpecker holes and nest boxes of suitable size. Bluebirds may have up to three broods during the breeding season, as local conditions permit. Although eastern bluebirds are currently thriving in much of the United States, the situation was not always so rosy. According to American Bird Conservancy, “Eastern Bluebird populations plunged in the early 20th century, when non-native house sparrows and European starlings were introduced into the United States. Both of these invasive species are also cavity-nesters and much more aggressive than bluebirds, so they quickly took over suitable nest cavities and habitats.” The recovery of the species is a well-documented conservation success story. Once on the brink, the eastern bluebird has become relatively common in suitable habitat throughout its range. With a North American population currently estimated at 20 million, the future looks bright. However, continued habitat loss and pesticide-related threats still pose dangers. To support bluebird conservation, bird watchers may install an appropriately sized nest box or leave local snags standing as natural nest sites. —Lee Emmons Lee Emmons is a nature writer, public speaker, and educator. Essay courtesy of Northern Woodlands and Wellborn Ecology Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation,

The Current Festival of Trees and Members Art Show, 2019. The 2021 show runs through December.

Caleigh Cross and Orah Moore.

Chris Curtis, Kira Curtis, Tari Swenson, Millie and John Merrill.

Hannah Normandeau and chorus.

A decorated tree and members’ art.

Chris Doyle and Laurie Fogelson.


Sandra Noble and friend.

Admiring the handmade ornaments.




Averell Harriman, a railroad magnate in the 1930s, saw the growing popularity of destination ski resorts in Europe and felt the United States should have one too. Skiing was becoming more popular in the U.S., but ski areas tended to be in rural towns with few luxury options. Harriman wanted to build a ski resort for the rich and famous that would be easily accessible via his Union Pacific Railroad. After an exhaustive search, he settled on Sun Valley, Idaho. By the way, one of the sites that didn’t make the grade was Alta, Utah. Sun Valley opened in 1936 and featured the first chairlifts in the world. The rich and famous did come. Movie stars like Gary Cooper, Lucille Ball, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, and author Ernest Hemingway were regulars. Another visitor, 20th Century Fox studio head Daryl F. Zanuck, thought Sun Valley would be a natural setting for a movie featuring one of his box office stars, Sonja Henie. Henie won her first gold medal in figure skating at 15 at the 1928 Olympics, and added to her medal count with gold medals in two subsequent Olympics, 1932 and 1936. She later started a very successful touring ice show and eventually made a successful transition to the silver screen. A retrospective about Henie claims that she was arguably the first superstar, although that term wouldn’t be coined until the 1960s. In the winter of 1940-1941, 20th Century Fox and Zanuck made “Sun Valley Serenade” in, of course, Sun Valley. In addition to Henie, it starred John Payne, with Milton Berle providing comic STORY BY


/ Greg Morrill

relief. It also featured Glenn Miller and his orchestra, the most popular musical group at the time. In this romantic comedy, John Payne’s character sponsors a Norwegian refugee fleeing the Nazi invasion. He expects a young child, but instead finds himself confronted by a young woman with designs on marrying her sponsor! The movie featured something for everyone. There was Sonja skating, of course, and boy could she spin. There was great music—“In the Mood” and the debut of “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” sung by Dorothy Dandridge. The latter would be Glenn Miller’s first recording to sell a million copies. And, of course, skiing. The movie highlighted the ski fashions of the day and while we tend to think of outfits from that era as more function than fashion, there are some that would hold up today. The equipment of the 1940s, though, is from an altogether different time—long wooden skis, leather ski boots, and those ski poles with huge baskets.

SKIING FAMILY From left, Marilyn Shaw as a teen. The movie poster. Fun fact: In 1940, Marilyn Shaw would win Stowe’s Sugar Slalom and that year the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club created the “Shaw Trophy” for the winner of the slalom and to honor Shaw’s U.S. National title in 1940. Inset: From an early magazine feature on the Shaw family: Theresa Shaw and her four children—Gale Jr., Marilyn, Barbara, and Ann—carve herringbone patterns in a Stowe ski hill, circa 1930s or early 1940s.

The movie’s ski scenes take you on a tour of 1941 Baldy: the three single chairs that took you to the top; the views of Ketchum in the valley below; and Christmas and Easter bowls. The skiing involves a chase scene, which was a part of every ski movie of the era. There was also a comedic ski run by Berle’s character. So who doubled for Sonja Henie on the slopes? The expected answer, of course, is Gretchen Fraser, who in 1948 would be the first American to win Olympic medals, a silver in the combined and a gold in the slalom. But Mike Leach, historian for the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club, unearthed a controversy. Marilyn Shaw of Stowe was an upand-coming ski racer and was the youngest to make the U.S. 1940 Olympic team. Of course, those Olympics were canceled, but 1941 found her in Sun Valley training and racing. Shaw family lore has it that Marilyn was a skiing stand-in for Henie. By the way, that claim was echoed in Marilyn’s induction to the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame in 1986 and in noted Stowe historian Pat Haslam’s “Ski Pioneers of Stowe, Vermont.” Leach has a letter from Marilyn’s scrapbook from 20th Century Fox dated April 3, 1941, asking for Marilyn’s Social Security number, which would indicate she probably did some work for them. So, was it Marilyn or Gretchen who stood in for Henie? Maybe both? “Sun Valley Serenade” was named one of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame’s top 100 ski films in 2011. I highly recommend the movie. You can rent it on several streaming services. Or you can stay at the Sun Valley Lodge where it’s shown on a loop, 24-hours a day, every day. Greg Morrill is a retired computer programmer and college professor. He writes a weekly column, Retro-Ski, for the Stowe Reporter during the winter months. More at



Motorists driving on Route 100 just south of Stowe on a misty or snowy morning may find themselves doing a double take. Is that bigfoot looming just off the side of the road? Upon closer inspection, however, the curious would find it is not, in fact, the legendary cryptid, but only an extremely lifelike approximation of what such a creature would look like carved into solid wood. Bigfoots, sasquatches, yetis—these creatures have become a bit of a specialty for Jake Swanson, an ambitious young woodcarver who works out of Where The Bears Are, a long established shop specializing in the titular animal. No two renderings of the imaginary—or, at least, unverifiable—creature are alike, but they do share similarities: a near-human face, well-defined fur, a medically accurate anatomy and startling presence, whether 6-, 9- or 11-feet tall. “I have an 11-footer that I carved, I sold to a woman in Hardwick,” Swanson said. “She put it in a really cool place up in the corner of this field kind of far from her house and she’s had the helicopters that check the power line hover over it and check it out, because it’s just surprising to see, they’re so human.” Swanson, 23, got his start at carving when he was just 15. “Everybody has a chainsaw in northern Vermont,” he said. “I cut firewood with my father and family growing up. When I was old enough, he would teach me how to use a chainsaw in the woods. I just kind of started playing with making things with the chainsaw. I bought my own saw and that was it.” Though some purists decry the carving of non-traditional creatures and figures out of wood, Swanson will take on any challenge commissioned to him, taking delight in pushing boundaries. “Some people absolutely hate the bigfoots. It’s really funny. I even did Godzilla. People were like, ‘This doesn’t even look like it should be made out of wood.’” Of course, Where The Bears Are may churn out bears and other woodland creatures, but they’re no strangers to unique commissions. Charlie O’Brien, a carver who has been at Bears off and on since the 1980s, carved a giant middle finger for a Westford man looking to make a statement to his town selectboard in 2018. The country pop musician Kid Rock caught wind and commissioned one for himself.


But it’s Swanson who takes on the most interesting and challenging projects. With vision and craft, he’s able to take the thick trunks of eastern white pines and northern white cedars and craft them into a variety of visions. His most recent sasquatch—a 9-footer sold to a buyer in Colchester for upwards of $5,000—was carved primarily from a pine tree felled in a Stowe cemetery. At his home far north of Stowe, Swanson has been working on building a weatherized workshop that will allow him to carve through the winter months, something the outdoor work area at Where The Bears Are doesn’t provide. The ability to work through all seasons will allow him to take on even larger, more fantastic wood sculptures, which are already in the works. The bigger the better, in Swanson’s book. “I’d rather spend two weeks to a month or something on this and enjoy it rather than pump out 25 little things,” he said. —Aaron Calvin


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towe’s two magnificent mountains, Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak, form a grand panorama defined by the rugged cliffs of Smugglers Notch. Stowe’s bounty of natural snow, its open glades, uninterrupted fall line, and the spectacular twin summits of Vermont’s highest peak were a magnet for the pioneers of skiing in America. Today, almost 100 years later, alpine, cross-country, and freestyle skiers—and snowboarders—continue to bring world fame to this proud mountain community. In fact, of all of America’s winter Olympic teams, few have failed to have a representative from Stowe. Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak capture skiers’ and snowboarders’ interest because they boast a total of 2,360 feet of vertical on 485 acres, offering the longest average trail length in the East. Skiers and riders will find every type of terrain, from wide-open cruisers to narrow, winding trails and glades. What makes Stowe so special? It starts with Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest mountain at 4,393 feet and home to the East’s greatest natural ski terrain. Stowe thrills with its famous double-diamond Front Four trails: National, Liftline, Starr, and Goat. The Front Four are the quintessential classic New England trails, with steeps and bumps that pump even the most accomplished skier’s adrenaline. They hold their place with the world’s great runs, and among skiers the world over they’re household words. (For details about COVID and any restrictions, go to

Long history of skiers Its awesome and timeless beauty inevitably strikes first-time skiers at Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak. Gliding toward the top of Mansfield, one is embraced by the stillness of a panoramic bowl that stretches toward forbidding cliffs guarding the narrow pass known as Smugglers Notch. Many of the trails gracing the flanks of Vermont’s highest mountain can trace their history back to the birth of skiing in North America. Nathaniel Goodrich, a Dartmouth College librarian, made the first recorded descent in 1914. Others soon followed. By the 1930s, even before the first lift, skiers flocked to Stowe. These ski pioneers came here first for a simple reason: best mountain, best snow.


Areas of Stowe Mountain Resort marked outside of the ski area boundary on trail maps and with signage on the mountain itself, is hazardous backcountry terrain, containing unmarked hazards such as cliffs, thick, brushy terrain, riverbeds, stumps, rocks, avalanches. This area is not patrolled or maintained. Vermont law states that any person who uses ski area facilities to access terrain that is outside the open and designated trails shall be liable for any costs of rescue, medical, or other services. —


Most of Stowe’s trails were cut in the first half of the 1900s, and without the benefit of bulldozers. The first ones were handcut by the Civilian Conservation Corps. in the 1940s. Charlie Lord, the architect of trails like Nose Dive, Goat, and Perry Merrill, had a natural sense of a mountain’s fall line. His trails flow down the mountain like poetry. Those of you who like to follow the sun will find Stowe is laid out perfectly to ski around the mountain. In the morning, the Front Four bask in soft morning light. In the early afternoon, work your way to the right and ski off the gondola. And to catch that elusive afternoon warmth, head to Spruce, which gets magnificent afternoon sunshine. The forgiving terrain of Spruce Peak’s sunwashed slopes also provides a haven for the youngest or newest skiers. On Mansfield, the 3.7-mile-long Toll Road is the perfect spot for beginners. The wonderful thing about the Toll Road is that it allows beginners to enjoy an experience that advanced skiers get all the time: seeing the whole mountain. Intermediate skiers can test themselves on miles of groomed cruising runs. The broad expanses of Gondolier and Perry Merrill at the Gondola, or Sunrise and Standard, where the sun shines late on the shortest days of winter, are popular with skiers and riders of every ability. Skiers who like wide cruisers will be completely exhilarated after taking a few runs down Gondolier. A favorite of many skiers is at the top, off the quad. Ridgeview, not quite as wide open as Gondolier, provides the perfect place to practice short-radius turns. Spruce Peak is also an intermediate skier’s paradise. For those learning to tackle bumps, Gulch is covered with medium-sized moguls, so skiers can concentrate on technique without being tossed around. For the adventurous, Mount Mansfield also has premier glade skiing. After a storm, when there’s a solid base of snow, advanced intermediates will want to head for the consummate off-piste experience. Stowe Mountain Resort offers a number of gladed areas—all described on the ski area’s interactive trail map—including Tres Amigos, Sunrise, and Nose Dive glades. n



SNOW WALKERS Expand your tracks in Cady Hill Forest STORY

Visiting Cady Hill Forest in the winter is like being inside a snow globe. It’s a wonderland of snow-clad trees, bird songs, and tempting trails, and while most associate Cady Hill Forest with mountain bikers, in the winter snowshoers outnumber them. It’s a great place to go for outdoor exercise, meet up with friends, walk the dog, and experience a peaceful snowshoe outing on one of the most popular mountain bike trail networks in the Northeast.



Cady Hill Forest is Stowe Trails Partnership’s flagship trail network, with 11 miles of maintained routes. The terrain is diverse, has one great view, and access is easy from a dedicated parking lot near Stowe Village. In 2012, the partnership, along with Stowe Land Trust and the town of Stowe, spearheaded an effort to conserve the property, which is now owned by the town. It has 320 acres of forestland and boasts healthy stands of white pine, red maple, sugar maple,

SOLITARY SLIDE A light snow turns a Cady Hill snowshoe into a magical delight.

hemlock, and yellow birch. Once the snow arrives and covers the well-maintained trails, snowshoes are your best bet. “In winter we discourage walkers. Walking creates postholes that can be dangerous and not fun for others,” said Rachel Fussell, the outgoing executive director of the trails partnership. If you don’t own snowshoes, they are relatively inexpensive to rent or buy. If you’re a first timer looking for something easy yet rewarding, start at the parking lot on Mountain Road, across from Town & Country. You’ll get your heart rate up immediately by climbing the aptly named Cady Hill Climb. Take that to Green Chair for a beautiful view of Stowe, and one of the few opportunities for a view in this tangle of trails. Stay on Green Chair to loop back to the start or branch off at any number of trail intersections for a longer trek. For something more challenging, take Cady Hill Connector to Sap Bucket to Lower McKutchen. Trails are marked one way for the safety of speedy mountain bikers, but in winter no one will mind if you take a trail in the opposite direction. Be aware that you might encounter a mountain biker or two, riding bikes with super-fat tires made for traction on snow. Trail etiquette recommends slower travelers yield to faster ones. On climbs this could be a draw, but going downhill the bikers will clearly take the lead. It’s doubtful you’ll encounter too many cross-country skiers, as the terrain is not ideal for skiing. The trails are narrow, winding, and often steep. Better to don the snowshoes. Cady Hill Forest can be accessed year-round from the parking area on the Mountain Road across from the Town and Country. According to Stowe Land Trust, access from Cady Hill Road is closed in the winter to protect deer wintering habitat. n /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ESSENTIALS:




SAVED FOREVER A view of Stowe on the Nordic trails that connect with the Bolton backcountry.

THE OLD GOATS Cadre of skiers rediscover, reclaim historic backcountry trails STORY

A friend once threatened me to never write about the Bolton Valley backcountry. He offered no specific ultimatum, but I’ve long respected his wishes because the land on the southern end of Mt. Mansfield State Forest over the ridge above my Jericho home is one my favorite areas to ski, too. Between a winding Nordic network, long-distance point-topoint routes that trace the Green Mountains’ spine, and ample glades that snake through tangled birches, the only thing more extensive than Bolton’s offerings is its legacy. And that history— which predates most northeastern skiing—is as essential to the story of Vermont’s backcountry as Johnson Woolen Mill pants and the motivation to push beyond the underbrush. So here it goes.



Edward Soheir Bryant cut the first ski trails high on the flanks of Bolton (3,690 feet), Ricker (2,896 feet), and Woodward (3,100 feet) mountains in the 1920s. After earning a degree from Harvard’s school of forestry, the youngest son of a Massachusetts physician opened a Boston-based forestry consultation business, worked for the U.S. Forest Service, and became a commissioned officer with the U.S. Army stationed in France during World War I. He arrived in Vermont in 1922. There, above the Winooski River between the towns of Jonesville, Underhill, and Stowe, Bryant purchased the first of 10,000 acres from a Connecticutbased timber company and set about reforesting the land, >>






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S K I D I S PAT C H HEAVENLY HIGHWAY Soaking in the stunning scenery. A trail named for Gardiner Lane, one of The Old Goats, who worked for 40 years on the trails in the Bolton backcountry.

according to research by Ann Gotham, a coordinator with the Friends of Bolton Valley Nordic & Backcountry. Bryant built three cabins and cut a dozen or so ski trails alongside famed ski instructor Otto Schniebs. But after his untimely death in 1951 or 1952—records aren’t clear—Bryant’s trails faded into the landscape. “His land holdings must have been extensive,” Gotham wrote. “After (World War II) he tried but failed to get backing to build a rope tow and a base lodge.” Twenty years later—after another Massachusetts family, the DesLauriers, opened Bolton Valley Ski Area on Bryant’s old land in 1968—a group of skiers would rediscover the forester’s trails and revive his legacy. That group included Johannes von Trapp, Clem Holden, and Gardiner Lane, the latter two who’d go on to organize a trail-stewardship fraternity known as the Old Goats. According to ski historian David Goodman, Lane, then president of the


Green Mountain Club, and von Trapp cut 9 miles of trail along the eastern shoulder of the Green Mountains in 1972. The Bolton-Trapps Trail, as it became known, dove from Bolton among birch glades into Mt. Mansfield State Forest’s Nebraska Notch before ascending to von Trapp’s 27-room lodge that had been welcoming guests to Stowe for two decades. Lane kept busy that year along with Holden, he cut back some of Bryant’s original trails and began carving an eastbound route off Woodward Mountain toward Waterbury Reservoir. While the route wound through open terrain that had been logged before and after Bryant’s era, the duo abandoned the project before they reached the reservoir, some five miles and 2,500 feet below. In 1994, Goodman says, some Catamount Trail Association members found a trail sign indicating Lane and Holden’s handiwork and approached the Old Goats about finishing the trail. Three years later, the two men and several other individuals descended the inaugural run of the Woodward Trail.


Holden was 73 and Lane was 83. “Gardiner was a perfect skier—really stylish,” Holden reminisced to Goodman in a 2012 interview. “He never went fast. None of us did.” Fast or not, these individuals laid the groundwork for an expansive network overshadowed by the trails cut by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and 1940s. To this day, the Friends of Bolton Valley Nordic & Backcountry still organizes Old Goat workdays to clip and clear Bolton-area trails. When more than 1,000 acres of this land went up for sale in 2012, these groups, along with the Vermont Land Trust, led the effort to purchase the acreage for $1.8 mil-

lion. During that fundraiser, Clem Holden wrote the first check—for $5,000. That land is now forever part of Mt. Mansfield State Forest. So, while Bryant and the Old Goats get plenty of credit for creating and maintaining these favorite glades and trails, they deserve ample thanks for protecting them, too. And that’s perhaps the most important reason to tell Bolton’s backcountry story. n ••• Tyler Cohen writes for Backcountry magazine, published by Height of Land in Jeffersonville, where this piece first appeared.


NATURAL HISTORY OLD GROWTH Sally Laughlin has stewarded the creation of a nature preserve named for her late husband, Peter. The 200-year old trees in the 22-acre oldgrowth forest.

CAMBRIDGE IS KRUSCHING IT Nature preserve opens old growth forest to public The opening of the Peter A. Krusch Nature Preserve in Cambridge this fall brings a dynamic and tranquil piece of land to the public while expanding access to the Cambridge Pines State Forest and its stand of old-growth forest. Opening the 51-acre parcel was a lifelong dream for Krusch, who purchased the land in 1958 and died in 2018. His widow, Sally Laughlin, has stewarded the project with the help of a state grant, her neighbors, STORY / AARON CALVIN and many volunteers. Laughlin was well-suited to lead PHOTOGRAPHS / GORDON MILLER the opening of the preserve that has become her and her husband’s legacy. Not only does she have decades of familiarity with the land—she and Krusch married in 1992—she was also the director of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science in Woodstock for 20 years prior to their meeting. “His great dream was always to have the land be open to the public and have this beautiful land shared with the town,” Laughlin said. “One


of the first things he said to me when we met on a blind date was, ‘I have this beautiful piece of land in Cambridge. Are you by any chance interested in that?’ So, I guess that worked out pretty well.” Seeing the community out enjoying the land, as they did with trail guides and naturalists on the preserve’s opening weekend, made the long process worthwhile and honors the man who made it all possible. “This is exactly what he wanted. If he just could have seen this. It made me so happy. It seemed like it was all worthwhile and everybody’s saying, ‘Oh, thank you for giving this land to the town,’ but I always say I’m happy to do it. It was Peter’s idea. Peter, who held onto the land through thick and thin for 60 years with the hope that it could be preserved and open to the public.”

Walking the trail The preserve’s one trail—others are in the offing—offers an impressive array of terrain and natural wonder from patches of moss and ferns and soft decaying stumps of trees logged over a hundred years ago to a small meadow filled with cotton grass, milkweed, and monarchs. There is a



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hidden waterfall and a wetland with massive ostrich ferns, all of which segues into the 22-acre old-growth pine forest. This state park, while not containing truly pre-Columbian pines, is home to a forest that hasn’t been touched in over 200 years, probably not since the area was first settled in the late 18th or early 19th century. A sign posted claims a possibly 300year-old hemlock tree with a 51-inch diameter lives in the forest, though Laughlin has yet to locate it. n ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ESSENTIALS: The preserve in Cambridge is just east of Cambridge village. Take Pumpkin Harbor Road from Route 15 and turn right on North Cambridge Road.



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Ø Æ SNOWMOBILE CLUBS: STOWE: Stowe Snowmobile Club / LAMOILLE COUNTY: Snopackers / EDEN: Gihon Trak Packers / Facebook MORRISVILLE: Morrisville Snow Riders & Packers / Facebook JEFFERSONVILLE: Smugglers’ Notch Snowmobile Club / Facebook JOHNSON/HYDE PARK: Sterling Snow Riders / Facebook VERMONT: Vermont Association of Snow Travelers / PHOTO CREDITS: STOWE MAGAZINE ARCHIVES; FISHING AND CROSS COUNTRY: PAUL ROGERS.

OUTDOOR PRIMER On skinny skis Stowe boasts one of the most diverse cross-country trail systems in the United States. More than 150 kilometers of groomed and 100 kilometers of backcountry trails crisscross its landscape. One of those backcountry trails is the Catamount Trail, 300 miles of wilderness skiing over the spine of the Green Mountains from Massachusetts to Quebec. It connects 15 ski centers throughout the state, including those in Stowe. Trapp Family Lodge, the first commercial ski center in the U.S., is the heart of Stowe’s network with 60k of groomed trails and 100k of backcountry trails. Stowe Mountain Resort Cross-Country Ski Center’s accessibility to the downhill ski area creates an uncommon fusion of Nordic and alpine skiing. Stowe Mountain Resort’s 45k of groomed and 30k of backcountry trails are the highest in elevation in Stowe. Topnotch at Stowe Resort and Spa offers additional terrain. Over the mountain in Cambridge, the Smugglers’ Cross Country Center at Smugglers’ Resort offers 30k of trails dedicated to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Figure 8, anyone? Public skating is offered daily at Stowe Arena. The arena has skate rentals. For public skating schedules, check out

Winter fish tales This may be the Ski Capital of the East, but don’t tell the fish that! Fish do not go dormant in the winter. Their metabolism slows, but they still need to eat. So if you enjoy eating—or just catching—fish, there’s nothing better than a mess of yellow perch out of Vermont’s frigid waters. Local outfitters will be thrilled to help you set your line.

Snowshoe heaven The Stowe area is home to some of the most extensive and diverse hiking trails in the East, making it the perfect destination for snowshoeing. From the flat 5.3-mile Stowe Recreation Path to the challenging summit of Madonna Mountain, snowshoers go at their own pace and reap the benefits of safe, aerobic exercise. The Green Mountain Club, on Route 100 in Waterbury Center (green, has compiled a list of favorite snowshoe hikes in the Stowe-Smugglers’ area. Stowe Land Trust ( allows snowshoeing on many of its conserved properties.

It’s VAST out there Imagine a 5,000-mile highway that suddenly appears every winter. One that goes through backcountry and snow-covered mountains, secluded valleys, and friendly villages. In Vermont, you don’t have to imagine it; it’s the winter world of snowmobiling. All riders in Vermont must belong to the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST), a non-profit, private group of over a hundred snowmobile clubs with tens of thousands of members. (See our list of local clubs at left.)

Maple mojo Mid- to late-winter means maple time in Vermont, producer of the world’s best maple syrup. Many maple producers keep their sugarhouses open year round. It’s most fun during boiling time. A great resource is n




‘BEAUTIFUL THING’ Arshay Cooper’s Manley Team on location in Oakland, Calif. Cooper is the subject of a recent documentary, “A Most Beautiful Thing,” and he visited Vermont this summer to connect with friends at Craftsbury Outdoor Center and Concept2. Inset: Arshay Cooper


FROM GANG TO CREW Black rower finds peace on the water

rowing up on the West Side of Chicago in the late 1990s, Arshay Cooper had to walk like he was on a chessboard, past the turfs of no fewer than a dozen gangs on his way to Manley High School. Life was violent and teachers intoned a chilling statistic: one in three boys on the West Side wouldn’t see their 18th birthday. Like many teens, Cooper and some of his classmates turned to sport for an escape, but theirs was an unlikely pursuit in an almost all-Black neighborhood: crew. They constituted the first African American high school rowing team in the country. Those teens, and the versions of themselves 20 years later, are the subject of last year’s documentary “A Most Beautiful Thing,” based on Cooper’s book of the same name. Cooper recently brought a group of 10 athletes of color from various big cities—Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, Newark, D.C. and Cincinnati—to an annual rowing camp at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and toured the Concept2 factory in Morrisville,


which creates the rowing machines that whipped the boys—and later, the late-30s versions of themselves—into shape. “We can measure the sport one way, and that’s by medals, because you have to be fast, right?” Cooper said. “But more times, you see that, just to get a chance to overcome the fear of water or something in their neighborhood, and to make a commitment to one another when they didn’t like each other at first, those are big wins.” Cooper might as well be talking in two planes at this point, as much about the adult work he has done as a coach, motivational speaker, and guidance counselor, and the way he and his classmates had to overcome their fears when they were kids, when some of his fellow rowers indeed didn’t make it to adulthood. >>


“Rowing was stronger than the gangs, and that was a powerful thing.” That’s a line spoken near the beginning of “A Most Beautiful Thing,” uttered after a statistic showed the comparative rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by combat veterans and the rates experienced by inner city life—25 percent versus 45 percent. Alvin Ross, one member of the main group of five Manley High alumni that forms the narrative core throughout the 20 years covered by the documentary, was already in a gang by the time a white stock trader named Ken Alpart came to the West Side to start a crew team. Ross left that gang to be part of a new team that had to work together to get things done, because in crew, no one rows alone. The very presence of a white man in that part of the city was eye-popping enough. The fact that eight to 10 Black boys from various gangcontrolled parts of the West Side coalesced around one of the traditionally whitest sports was historic. Cooper said the traditional athletic outlets for inner city kids held no interest for him. “I couldn’t play football because it triggered a lot of trauma, because in school you hear gunshots, and you can’t sleep, and all I kept thinking about is someone’s trying to hurt me,” he said. “Basketball’s just a trash-talking sport.” Without spoiling too much of Manley’s initial foray into rowing, it was a mixed outcome, but only if measured in gold medals. Alpart recalls his realization years after the boys left high school that the core group of rowers ended up, to a man, being entrepreneurs and leaders in their community—albeit with a couple of brushes with gangs and prison. The meat of the movie, and the very logistical reason for making it, comes 20 years later, when the 2018 versions of Cooper, Ross, Malcolm, Ray “Pookie G” Hawkins, and Preston Grandberry get back together to race the 1,000 meters in the Chicago Sprints, in order to spark some hope in the city’s youth.

C2 connection First, though, they had to get back into shape. To do that, Cooper enlisted a little help from a small company in Morrisville. Josh Carlson has been working at Concept2 since 1996, right after he graduated college.


VERMONT CREW Arshay Cooper on the lake at Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Cooper with friend Josh Carlson of Concept2, which makes the rowing machines that whipped Cooper’s crew into shape. COURTESY PHOTOS

Escape on the water

He fielded the first call from Cooper, who said he’d found Carlson off a simple Google search. Cooper had moved to New York City and wanted to do a program with the city’s youth but didn’t have the equipment—rowing is an expensive sport, and even if inner city rowers can get equipment, it’s rarely going to be the fastest or the newest. Even indoor rowing machines aren’t cheap. “I called Josh and said, ‘Hey man, I know it’s a long shot, but there’s this program, this mentorship with indoor rowing and we don’t have a lot of resources. Do you think you can help me out?’ He just sent a bunch of stuff,” Cooper said. A friendship formed, and extended to the owners of Concept2, who also now own the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, a nifty marriage of machine creation and testing ground. When Cooper came to visit Vermont the first time, Carlson lent a copy of the book to the principal at Peoples Academy in Morrisville, who enthusiastically scheduled Cooper to speak at the school. Cooper stayed with the Carlsons, the first time he stayed any-

where other than a hotel on a trip. They talked about things that white people who grow up in Lamoille County rarely talk about, namely every aspect of Cooper’s and his classmates’ upbringings. “I hate to say it, but I wouldn’t be thinking about that kind of stuff without him,” Carlson said. “I feel really lucky and fortunate that he kind of plunked down on my desk, so to speak.”

Peaceful In the documentary, Cooper notes that, on the West Side, the sounds are sirens, screams, and gunshots, but on the water, silence. And, he said, that was the first time he felt peace, when the stress of the world just melted away and the rough edges smoothed out to a pencilshaped boat making quiet ripples in the river. That’s a peacefulness he tries to instill in the kids he works with as they get introduced to rowing. When those 10 kids were in Craftsbury, they were a little scared of the rural quietude. But by the end, they didn’t want to leave. “They were able to see the stars at night,” he said. “They were able to use the sport, not to get fast, but to meditate, and download that serenity and peace. It was such a joyful space for them.” n



SIX-PACK It’s a triple times two for winter 2023 A six-person lift is expected to replace the Mountain Triple and be ready to start cranking ahead of the 2022-23 season, according to Jeff Wise, Stowe Mountain Resort’s communications manager. “This will give us the ability to spread people out and reduce lift wait times on the Quad and give us the ability to increase our uphill capacity and get people spread out along both edges,” Wise said. He’s referring to the location of current Mountain Triple, which is to the left of the Mansfield base lodge, looking uphill, and the gondola, which heads the opposite direction, far to the right. It will be the resort’s first six-pack lift. Wise said engineering specifications are still unknown, but he does know it will be a very different loading and unloading experience. The line for the new lift will queue up right in the parking lot, to the left of the base lodge. This will eliminate the long trek up the steep stairs and slog across to the current triple lift loading station. The unloading situation will be much different, too, since the high-speed detachable lift will be able to shuttle up twice as many skiers and riders as is capable now—and do it faster. That means the footprint at the top will have to be expanded. Wise said there are no plans to modify any of the on-piste (non-wooded) trails on the section of Mount Mansfield serviced by the triple-cum-sixer, but there have been ongoing changes to some of the gladed “adventure zones” on that part of the slopes. One of the key attributes to the lift is its reputed stability in the face of stiff winds that sometimes put the Quad and other nearby lifts on hold for hours or more, according to Wise. Replacement hinges on winning the appropriate land-use permits. n


DOUBLE UP Thirsty for lift capacity, Stowe puts a six-pack on the menu to replace its triple chair on Mount Mansfield.

Commercial and Residential • Sales • Service • Deliveries/Removals 59

NOSE DIVE ARCHITECTS Charlie Lord, below left, and Abner Coleman, two local skiers who originally started cutting trails around Mount Mansfield for their own amusement. By the time they turned to creating Nose Dive they were working for the CCC for the benefit of the Vermont and Stowe economies and a growing community of Eastern skiers. Both were founding members of the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club and both served as its president. Next page: Nose Dive now has three turns at the top but when first cut, there were seven, including this section called “Cork Screw,” 1940s.


nose dive stowe’s most famou

s ski trail



: biddle duke



t’s no exaggeration to say that Nose Dive on Mt. Mansfield made Stowe what it is. Not just the ski area—or resort, as that’s what it’s called these days—but the skiing community and the energy that sustains it. For a few decades in the middle of the last century Nose Dive was among the best known and respected ski descents in North America. Top American and international skiers—women and men—were crowned national and international champions at downhills and slaloms on the trail, from American Olympians Buddy Werner and Andrea Mead Lawrence to international stars Stein Erickson, Toni Sailer, and Jean Claude Killy. Lesser but no less important reputations were also made there. The Nose Dive was a standard by which all were measured. To have skied it was to have passed a test. Nose Dive is modern Stowe’s first trail. Its original version—a sinewy track through the forest compared to the boulevard it is today— was completed in the spring of 1935. For four never-to-be-repeated seasons in the late 1930s the only way to ski down it was to climb up the mountain. It was an exhilarating and demanding feat, a prize unique in skiing at the time: a long, almost 2,000-vertical-foot flog on more than 7-foot-long, heavy wooden skis and lace-up leather boots, followed by an equally long, tricky descent on uneven, ungroomed snow. It was a several-hours endeavor, usually a one-run day, although some were rumored to have accomplished two—or even three. The favored route started on state Route 108 and followed a path in the woods along the north bank of the Ranch Valley Brook. Skiers might have stopped for a drink at the cabin at Ranch Camp, where the early trail builders lived, before pushing on to the Bruce Trail. The first purpose-cut ski trail in Vermont, the Bruce snakes up through hardwoods before entering spruce thickets higher on the south-facing skirt of Mt. Mansfield. At its summit, then as today, it breaks into a rare clearing on the mountain’s thickly treed flanks, a little plateau at the three-way intersection with the Toll Road and Nose Dive. The Toll Road was well established by the 1930s, built in the mid 1800s for horse-drawn carriages and improved in 1922 to make way for automobiles. It offered warm-season access to The Mt. Mansfield Hotel that once stood on the summit ridge. But in winter the road would have been covered in snow. From there to the north unfolds the most dramatic alpine view in Vermont: The dark cliffs and snowed-in bowls and chutes that form Mt. Mansfield and Smugglers Notch. Arriving at this juncture, skiers could continue on a thin track up the Nose and ski the Upper Nose Dive. More likely they would have looked for a small sign on a tree, “The Nose Dive,” indicating an opening in the forest. The trail began as a slight, steep strip of snow down into a steep

northeast-facing glade, dropping out of sight into a vast, forested valley. Once into it you were on your own, a tight, twisting, gladed ski adventure into the wilderness. “The best skiing in the East,” The Boston Globe declared of Stowe in 1937 after locals added a rope tow at the Toll House. Indeed. •••• The story of Nose Dive is the story of American skiing itself. How the sport took hold here in the last century and sparked exploration, development, and business. The run helped launch careers, growth, and innovation in the sport. Its evolution mirrors the evolution of the sport, from a moderately inexpensive wilderness experience for enthusiasts on rudimentary ski equipment to a glamour sport drawing the masses, open to anyone with the money and enough athletic skill to learn and excel—on all sorts of modern snow-sliding equipment. More than anything Nose Dive launched Stowe skiing in the modern era and some say sealed its reputation forever. “The Nose Dive is a big part of the reason Stowe earned the reputation as the Ski Capital of the East,” Mike Leach, the historian for the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club, explained.

MT. MANSFIELD HOSTED the men’s Nationals March 5-6, 1938, and the women’s races on April 9-10, 1938, the first women’s national championship ever held. There was still no lift service in 1938, and all race equipment was carried up the mountain. Race map from the 1952 U.S. Nationals on Nose Dive. The men’s downhill started at the top of the Nose, while the women started at the intersection of Nose Dive and Toll Road. Next page: Estimates ranged from 8,000 to 15,000 visitors for the March 22-23 National Ski Championships in 1952. Spectators at the 1938 U.S. Nationals. Nose Dive was skiable by spring 1935 but required further work that summer to remove stumps and rocks. This photo shows the eastern side of Mansfield in 1939, when Nose Dive was the only visible trail. An early suggested name was Nose Drop, then Nose Dive, naturally, as the trail started on the Nose. By 1938, Albert Gottlieb of Stowe and the CCC installed 15 first aid caches on Mt. Mansfield, three on Nose Dive, located at Station 13, 25, and the Houghton Junction. Winston Morris is shown next to one of those Nose Dive caches.



EARLY VIEWS OF NOSE DIVE Skiers exiting the single chair in the 1940s faced this view as they looked uphill toward the trail; the Octagon is just out of view on the right. Next page: After the ski club won the bid to host the 1952 U.S. National Championships, FIS rules required increased vertical drop on the course, so in 1951 the elevation of the old race start was extended from 3,650 feet to the top of the Nose, which gave a vertical drop of 2,500 feet and a total length of 1¾ miles. Photo at top shows the Nose Dive Bypass, which goes straight instead of turning into Nose Dive’s first turn. Finish line of the 1952 downhill.

Skiing began in Vermont in the late 1800s, and by the 1920s skiers had begun exploring the flanks of Vermont’s highest mountain. Skiing was taking hold in the European Alps at the time and there was a growing sense among Vermont business and political leaders that the sport could lift the state’s depressed farming and extraction-based economy. Among them was lumber baron and Stowe businessman Craig O. Burt who was instrumental in launching Stowe’s earliest winter ski carnivals and encouraging the use of thousands of his acres around Mt. Mansfield for ski trails. On Mt. Mansfield, the Toll Road offered the easiest access, and its first ski descent was in 1914. But until Nose Dive was cut, skiing on Mansfield was largely limited to the Ranch Valley, much of which Burt owned. The Depression was, ironically, a key spark in the creation of Nose Dive and other Stowe ski slopes. The Civilian Conservation Corps formed in 1933 as a federal volunteer public works relief program during the Depression, and a Vermonter and budding ski enthusiast by the name of Perry Merrill was put in charge of Vermont’s CCC. Immediately, he set CCC crews to work on building ski trails in Stowe. Merrill put an out-ofwork engineer and surveyor—and an avid skier who had explored on skis around Mt. Mansfield— in charge of the crew in the Ranch Valley. Assisting Charlie Lord was another local skier, the surveyor, state highway engineer, and mapmaker Abner Coleman. The CCC crews lived at Ranch Camp, a logging cabin Burt had fixed up as a rustic ski lodge. In the winter of 193334 the CCC men began by connecting Ranch Camp to the Toll Road. Named for a lumberjack that had worked the area for several years, the Bruce Trail was finished and first skied in February 1934. The Bruce was a stepping stone. The aim was always the other side—the entire area where the ski area has been developed—where trails did not yet exist. A few years before his death, Charlie Lord described to Waterbury ski writer David Goodman how he and Abner Coleman hiked up to where the Bruce ends and Nose Dive would soon begin. Goodman recounted: “As they peered down toward Smugglers Notch, Coleman exclaimed, ‘God, that’d be a nice place to ski, wouldn’t it?’ Lord nodded his agreement, and the two plunged down the mountain. ‘We spent many trips up and down the mountain laying out the Nose Dive,’ Lord remembered. ‘We probably changed it a half-dozen times. The original trail was a lot narrower and a lot rougher.’” With local resident Albert Gottlieb in charge of the CCC crew, work began on Nose Dive in 1934 almost immediately after the crews finished the Bruce. Completed in the spring of 1935, Lord himself is recorded as the first person to ski the Nose Dive.


By then well-to-do skiers from New York were finding their way to Vermont and poking around Stowe for lodging, ski guides, and adventures. Among them was the New Yorker Roland Palmedo, an investment banker with an entrepreneurial spirit and a hunger to find and create the best skiing. When the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club held its first ski race on The Bruce in 1934—the club formed in 1933—it took on Palmedo’s New York Amateur Ski Club. The club effort was led by Burt himself and its stated mission, set down in the bylaws, was a paean to the sport: “to provide, maintain, and improve skiing facilities in the Mt. Mansfield region of Vermont; to assist members in obtaining the most enjoyment from these facilities; to further the technical skill of members; to promote ski competitions; and, generally, to cultivate an interest in skiing.” The club wasted no time. Racing was the pinnacle of the sport back then, and nothing demonstrates this more than the club hosting its first race on the Bruce on Feb. 11, 1934, just days after the trail’s completion. It was an interclub challenge: Vermont’s Mount Mansfield Ski Club against Palmedo’s New York friends from the Amateur Ski Club of New York, which Palmedo himself had formed a few years before and was another driving force behind Vermont skiing (credited with the launch of Mad River Glen). The race went from the summit of the Bruce to its base. Jack Allen of Burlington won in 10 minutes and 48 seconds. Lord was second, Burt Jr. third. A few weeks later the club held another, bigger race on the Bruce. Dartmouth skier and internationally ranked Dick Durrance won the day by more than a minute. •••• Once Nose Dive was finished, racing moved there. In rapid succession, Nose Dive hosted a series of the most influential races in North America, drawing much press and public attention and further driving skiing’s expansion on Mt Mansfield. The February 1937 Eastern Championships, in which Jack Durrance beat his older brother, Dick, drew such a huge crowd that “it took till midnight to untangle the traffic jam at the mountain,” Stowe Mountain Resort historian Brian Lindner recalled. Thousands threaded up the Mountain Road to the dead end at Smugglers Notch. Parking was limited, and the weekend of the men’s races in March led to what Lindner said in his written history of the mountain as “probably one of the three worst traffic jams in Vermont history. It took weeks before the last car was freed.” In March and April of the next year, 1938, Nose Dive hosted its first national championship. In attendance were European greats of the era who were the standard by which the world’s best racers were measured. The race marked the emergence of Americans in the ski racing world. Dick Durrance captured second place, behind a German ace but ahead of the best Swiss, Austrian, German, and Norwegian competitors. Racing then looked nothing like it does today. The narrow trail—barely 25 feet wide in some sections, was ungroomed, with bumps, trees mid slope, and other obstacles. The downhill race was a summit-to-valley-floor event, with few gates. Instead, the natural terrain and forest guided racers to the finish. The downhill was literally a nose dive. In a 1992 article about famous ski trails, The New York Times would report that it “was considered one of the most difficult trails in the world.” The start was placed near the Nose of Mt. Mansfield itself. Racers would come flying down the track still visible today above the Toll Road and


CHARLIE LORD AND ABNER COLEMAN named the parts of the trail, and in 1938 the club’s trail committee made a detailed survey and drawing. Notice the steepest section at the time was at the bottom in the section called Gulch—a 34 degree pitch. “Going through the strainer,” artwork from the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club newsletter, 1950. Next page: Ann Taylor Cooke, aka “Nose Dive Annie,” was a frequent skier on Nose Dive in the mid-1930s, often hiking up and skiing the trail twice a day. Here, Cooke is seen in the starting gate for the 1938 downhill. In a rare twist, she tied in both downhill and slalom with the same racer, Francoise McNichol. She was an alternate to the 1940 Olympic team. The first Sugar Slalom was held on Nose Dive April 30, 1939. That first course, set by Hannes Schneider, went from Station 13 to 35 (bottom of the turns past the Shambles), and snow conditions were reported to be excellent. The first winners were Milton Hutchinson of the Mount Mansfield Ski Club, shown at left, and Marian McKean. (Hutchinson is likely more well known for breaking Toni Matt’s Nose Dive downhill record in 1940, which stood until 1950.) Nose Dive’s first sanctioned race was the Vermont State Championships on Feb. 23, 1936. The race was won comfortably by Bob Bourdon in 2 minutes 35 seconds. Bob, a member of the Sepp Ruschp Ski School, was also a writer, seen here reading his book, “Modern Skiing,” while skiing.

make a high-speed turn left into the “Cork Screw,” which consisted of seven steep, sharp turns in the spruce forest. Then, over the course of a mile, came the Corridor, a glade named the Strainer, the Upper Schuss, Shambles Corner where the run took a hard right turn, Lower Schuss, Skid Way, and finally, Gulch, which remains to this day. Due to the equipment and the challenging snow conditions “one thing about these races back then … you would probably do pretty well if you could make the whole run without falling,” Leach said. Race organizers were prepared for accidents. The ski club had, in 1934, established a ski patrol, and placed toboggans along the run should racers need to be hauled off the slope. Those and other safety efforts relied on local volunteers and others from newly formed ski patrols in Massachusetts and Burlington. The patrol effort was coordinated by New York skier Charles Minot Dole. Dole himself knew all too well the necessity of on-mountain rescue services: when he’d fallen on the Toll Road in 1936 and broken his ankle it took the Stowe patrollers hours to get him off the mountain. It wasn’t until well after dark that he was brought to the road for transport to the hospital. With Dole on that ski outing was his friend Franklin Edson. In a tragic twist, Edson died later that same season from injuries after careening off course in a race on a wooded trail near Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Dole was near the bottom of the race on Nose Dive that March in 1938 when Roger Langley, president of the National Ski Association of America, walked over to congratulate and thank him for a job well done. Langley “basically said to him ‘Hey Minnie, this organization that’s here, that we are looking at, this Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol is amazing, and would you take on the task of organizing a national ski patrol based on what we see here at Stowe?’ ” Dole agreed, and thus was born the National Ski Patrol on Nose Dive’s Shambles Corner in the spring of 1938. Dole would not only go on to launch and run the national patrol organization but was instrumental soon thereafter in forming and recruiting for the 10th Mountain Division, the skiing troops who helped turn the tide against the Germans in Italy in World War II. The races that spring of 1938 also sparked the push to construct Stowe’s first top-to-bottom lift. By then rope tows and surface lifts were appearing across mountains in the United States. But ski area chairlifts had only just been invented. Sun Valley leapt ahead with the first chairlift installation in 1936. In Europe, trains had long transported skiers in the mountains, so it’s little wonder that the European racers were the


loudest grumblers about the exhausting hike to the top of Stowe’s race courses. But it wasn’t only racers who had to make that trudge; every piece of equipment—gates, ski patrol toboggans, timing equipment—had to be carried up. That took time, which explains why race starts were customarily scheduled for midafternoon. As president of the Mt. Mansfield Lift Company, Palmedo would be the one to pull together investors to open the single chair, “the longest chairlift in the world” in November 1940. Local investors included Ruschp, Lord, Gale Shaw, and Munn Boardman. •••• The combination of the groundbreaking new lift on the highest mountain in Vermont, the succession of storied national and international races, the proximity to New York that brought avid, wealthy skiers keen to advance the sport, and the creation and continued improvement of the summitto-base Nose Dive trail thrust Stowe into the American spotlight. Stories about the snow and skiing here appeared in newspapers across the nation. The noted broadcaster Lowell Thomas was so enchanted he would move and deliver his reports from Stowe in the winter. “The foremost skiers of this country, Canada and Europe, including the Olympic champions crowned at Oslo, Norway, will participate in the Nationals to be held for the third time in the past 15 years in this part of the country,” The New York Times reported in January 1952 from Stowe. “A pioneering ski center long before the sport became popular in America, Stowe continues to make improvements on a large scale. The famous Nose Dive Trail has been extended another 500 feet, almost to the summit of Mt. Mansfield. This addition, completed a few weeks ago, now allows a vertical drop of 2,500 feet … thus meeting the specifications for national title races.” Stowe was increasingly mentioned among a small and early constellation of revered American ski areas. Mountain towns, headlined by Aspen and Sun Valley, were attracting a glamorous crowd. Among them was “Nose Dive Annie.” Ann Taylor moved to Vermont with her first husband and taught herself to ski at Stowe in the 30s. Athletic and persistent, she mastered the Nose Dive when it was hike-only and was first in line when the single chair started turning. Stowe locals, Palmedo among them, coined her “Nose Dive Annie.” The moniker stuck.


Taylor’s exploits, coupled with her beauty and a unique fashion sense, were emblematic of the burgeoning Stowe. A model who designed her own clothing, she was featured in a full-page black-and-white photo in Harper’s Bazaar in 1941, shot at Stowe, shouldering a pair of wooden skis with beartrap bindings. The article noted: “Mrs. James Negley Cooke, Jr., has become so closely identified with Mt. Mansfield’s crack ski trail that everyone calls her ‘Nose Dive Annie.’ She practically lives on it.” Taylor made the American ski team in 1939, only to be thwarted by the war, then went on to become a civilian flight instructor to Navy and Army cadets—she learned to fly at the age of 12, then brushed up as an adult to become an instructor. After the war she continued to design and make clothing that she sold in her shop in Stowe and at the Lord and Taylor department store in Manhattan, where she had modeled. Taylor moved to Colorado in the late 1940s where she and her oil-man husband would become some of the founders of Vail ski resort. •••• By the early 1940s the hugely wealthy, relentless entrepreneur C.V. Starr was in the orbit. The successful insurance magnate had big ideas, but he needed a knowledgeable skier to build them out. He found that in Austrian ski instructor Sepp Ruschp. Ruschp had been brought from Europe by the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club in 1936 to teach skiing. But, like Starr, he had bigger plans. The two took hold of the lifts and various pieces that comprised skiing at Stowe and guided the ski area’s future, adding lodging, lifts, food and base services, and ski schools under one umbrella to create the resort that would resemble what we know now. In those early days—the 1940s through the early 1970s—the best marketing was ski races. It brought the luminaries in the sport and the crowds to watch them. Racing, Starr learned quickly from Ruschp, would be how Stowe earned and retained its place as “Ski Capital of the East.” He spared no expense putting on the best racing shows in the sport. What’s more, Nose Dive had something unique in the East. A great downhill. From the summit of the Nose to the finish, the course was a 2,500-foot descent that was long and complex enough for the longest, fastest, most dangerous of the three alpine disciplines.


Under Ruschp’s guidance Nose Dive would be continually tweaked to make it suitable and safe for the discipline. Extended for races in 1952, the trail was significantly widened to meet international racing standards for the 1966 Alpine International Championships. The notorious Seven Turns near the summit were turned into three wide turns, and the trail assumed the character that skiers experience today. •••• “One of the biggest moments of my childhood was in 1957 on Nose Dive,” recalled Stowe logger, former innkeeper, and local raconteur Jed Lipsky. “I was 10 and I was spectating the American International ski races, and all of skiing’s greats were there.” Lipsky had started skiing at Stowe at the age of five on visits with his family who lived in the Berkshires. “My parents loved to ski and they loved Stowe.” Lipsky joined the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club and competed on Nose Dive alongside future American champions. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s he thrilled at seeing Billy Kidd, “Jean Claude Killy, the Japanese Olympian Chick (Chiharu) Igaya, Hank Kashiwa, Anderl Molterer, American Jimmy Heuga, and locals MadiSpringer Miller and Marvin Moriarty. They were all here.” “Emotionally, ski racing history in Stowe was very important to the joy and romance of skiing in the East, and the happiest memories of my life were as a kid in Stowe in the winter, which encouraged me to move here with my own children in middle age,” said Lipsky, who eventually moved his family to Stowe from western Massachusetts in 1999. •••• “Although Aspen had the world championships and Squaw Valley the 1960 Olympics, we have held, over the years, more important races with international participation than any other area in the United States,” Ruschp wrote for the race program in 1966. “Most important in all this is the part we play in making skiing a national sport … our big races have inspired many

SCENES FROM THE SUGAR SLALOM, first held in April 1939. Skiers of all ages enjoy sugar on snow at the race finish in 2019, but not on Nose Dive. The race is now held on Spruce Peak. “Hippy” sugarmakers in the 1960s. What looks to be writer and PR man Bill Riley at the slalom in 1964. A classic shot from 1980. Inset: The 1967 U.S. Junior Alpine Championships was the last major downhill race held on Nose Dive. This race featured ski racers Erica Skinger, Marilyn, Barbara and Bobby Cochran, Crandy Grant and Hank Kashiwa, among others. Nose Dive was deemed no longer suitable for modern downhill after that.

young athletes, some of which have made great names for themselves. For example, Billy Kidd, the best slalom skier in the world today. It is a long process to attain the fame, which now is Stowe’s in the sports world.” For Kidd, an American skiing legend who grew up on Mountain Road and now is the director of skiing at Steamboat in Colorado, it all began for him chasing Anderl Molterer down Nose Dive on a training run in 1955. Kidd, at 12 or 13 at the time, kept up with the Austrian champion for six of the seven top turns until he lost an edge and skidded to a stop at the elder skier’s feet. Right then, he told the writer Peter Oliver, is “where I got hooked on the adrenalin of racing.” The last major races on Nose Dive were the junior nationals in March 1967. Racing in that series were Olympians Hank Kashiwa and Vermont locals Bob, Barbara, and Marilyn Cochran, who’d go on to compete in the Olympics, and Vermonter and future U.S. ski teamer Ricky Skinger. “I am not sure why no big races were held on Nose Dive after 1967. Perhaps the trail was no longer suited to (safely) hosting modern downhills,” explained historian Leach. •••• The one race that persisted is the venerated Sugar Slalom. Held annually in April, the open race that launched in 1939 has forever marked the culmination of the Eastern racing season. It has attracted racers of every age and level, including members of the U.S. Ski Team after their seasons in Europe. Everyone shows up as much for the competition as the fun. Coming as it does near the end of Vermont’s sugaring season, the finish area is something of a maple sugaring festival, with old-salt Vermonters boiling and pouring warm syrup onto the snow for everyone to lap up. But now, even the Sugar Slalom is gone from the Nose Dive. Traditions die hard. When the Sugar Slalom moved to Gondolier, a slope with better lift access and easier access for spectators, “you would have thought it was akin to someone proposing that … the Mountain Company hire the Guvnor and his crew to paint the hill red, white, and blue in honor of some nebulous cause,” Stowe Reporter ski columnist Kim Brown reported at the time. “Mountain Company chief Hank Lunde was besieged with angry phone calls and irate e-mails, even though he had little if anything to do with the decision to move it.”

•••• Nose Dive today is a bit more milquetoast than in its racing heyday. But only a bit, and only if compared to its original self. Broad and buffed by grooming equipment, with snow cover assured thanks to man-made snow, the current trail nevertheless retains some of its original character. It’s rarely called “The Nose Dive” anymore; only by the long-timeiest and oldest of locals, just the less distinctive Nose Dive now. But the thrill remains, as does the mystique. When New York Times ski writer Janet Nelson, in 1992, polled expert and well-traveled skiers to name America’s legendary ski trails, Nose Dive was among the seven, along with Ruthie’s at Aspen, KT-55 at Squaw Valley, Corbett’s Couloir at Jackson, Exhibition at Sun Valley, Riva Ridge at Vail, and High Rustler at Alta. Nelson noted, however, that due in part to its modifications over the years, Nose Dive was no longer strictly an expert-only run like most of those others. “Its charms are hard to pinpoint,” says Nick Paumgarten, who’s skied Stowe for 40 years and writes about skiing for The New Yorker and other ski publications. “It has an insistent and sustained pitch but is not so steep as to go bad in icier conditions. Except for the top bit.” “It has a back door quality,” he continued. “It’s a bit of a snow magnet back in there. Plus, the way it widens out, making room for freshies.” Plunging into Nose Dive—yes, it’s still a plunge at the top—you are these days entering a quieter nook in the mountain. After the initial steep pitch, Slalom Glade, cut in the 30s to a skier’s left where the trail widens, adds more hide-and-seek possibilities. But even picking up speed out on the broad, popular boulevard you can feel and see what drew Lord and Coleman and why so many people recognize that it’s Stowe’s signature descent. n

CREDITS: page 60: New England Ski Museum; page 62, map, Mount Mansfield Ski Club (MMSC); page 63, clockwise from top: parking lot, Al Gottlieb/Karin Gottlieb; Mansfield in 1935, New England Ski Museum/Henry Sheldon collection; spectators and ski cache, Winston and Patti Morris family; page 65: lower right, Brian Lindner; race finish, Al and Karen Gottlieb; page 66, strainer, MMSC; page 67, Ann Cooke, New England Ski Museum; Milton Hutchinson, courtesy of Brian Hutchinson; pages 68-69, inset, Mike Leach and MMSC. All others from Stowe magazine archives. (Thank you to Mike Leach, Brian Lindner, New England Ski Museum, and the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club.)


ra zor dave Longtime Stowe Ski School director hangs up the skis, mostly



: mark aiken



: gordon miller / mark aiken


Dave Merriam, while director of mountain recreation at Stowe Mountain Resort, explains the function of the trolley mechanism to be used with the resort’s then-new zipline. Merriam with Caleigh Cross for a learning to ski feature in the Stowe Reporter, Stowe’s hometown newspaper, in January 2020.



A press photo to accompany a 1994-1995 Ski Strong class press release: “Dave Merriam, technical director of the Stowe Ski School and SKI’s instructional editor, is a 10-year veteran of the Professional Ski Instructors of America alpine demo team. He is featured in Warren Miller’s ‘Learn to Ski Better,’ and in Olin Ski Co.’s ‘Ski Better Now.’ Merriam also stars in ‘The Signature of Excellence,’ which was awarded Best Instructional Film in the 1993 International Film Festival.” Inset: Skiing powder at Stowe.


All of these relate to Merriam’s easy-going interpersonal faculties, his preparation and skill as a public speaker and writer, and his genuine sense of humor. Less well-known, though, are his behind-the-scenes contributions and the way he helped and supported those around him. “It was always about taking care of people,” said Donna Barton, Stowe ski and ride school’s longtime operations manager, who served as Merriam’s right-hand, and who still serves as the school’s analyst. “In any situation, he will stop everything to help a person in need.” Make no mistake: The ski business is filled with hot dogs, showboats, and over-inflated egos. Check out old-time photos of Merriam in his national team stretch pants and Moriarty hats in some of world’s hottest spots with the world’s hottest skiers. He stood on the apex of that egofilled world. Yet Merriam takes most pride in the accomplishments he achieved as part of a team. “He has so much pride but almost no ego,” said Barton. “He wanted as many people as possible to be part of the process.” Barton herself is a perfect example of Merriam doing what’s best for the team. Not an avid alpine skier or even what one might consider the typical ski and ride school manager, Barton complemented his efforts with her tenacious attention to business details while he took care of the


ver have a boss who just gets it? One who truly supports your efforts to succeed? One who’s also an icon? A boss so exciting, dynamic, and inspiring that you look forward to coming to work each day? For anyone who’s worked at Stowe Mountain Resort in the last three decades, one such boss comes to mind: Dave Merriam, who fits all those descriptors. Merriam, Stowe’s longtime ski and ride school director—a role that evolved into director of mountain recreation and most recently director of skier services—was considered by many to be the “face” of the resort. He retired in January 2021. Known to instructors nationwide as Razor Dave, Merriam always brought a team-first approach, a global perspective and, above all, boundless enthusiasm, positivity, and passion to everything he did on the mountain. I should know. I worked as a supervisor and manager on Merriam’s ski and ride school team for 14 years, which still makes me a relative newcomer compared to many veteran instructors on the hill. Walking into his natural light-filled and immaculate kitchen at his Elmore home—so very different from his cluttered, burrow-like office at the mountain—Merriam and wife Eva warmly greet me. “He’s not your boss anymore,” says Eva. “You can finally speak your mind.” “That’s exactly what I intend to do,” I say.

Accomplishments and accolades Merriam’s contributions, accomplishments, and accolades within the world of ski and snowboard instruction are well documented. He served five terms on the Professional Ski Instructors of America National Team, the pinnacle of the profession, the final two terms as the team’s head coach. Twenty years on the national team—then known as the demo team—took him to mountains and resorts on all corners of the globe, experiences that gave him invaluable perspective throughout his career at Stowe. He spent several summers race coaching in La Parva, Chile, and wrote articles as a contributing editor to SKI magazine, many coauthored with the late Stowe legend Stu Campbell, including the “Be Strong to Ski Strong” and “The State of the Art Skier” series. He appeared in ski films by the likes of Warren Miller and Greg Stump.

PR side—and she took over leadership responsibilities in his oftenextended absences. “It’s completely unique for someone like me to be promoted to this level,” she said. Added Merriam: “I’m a firm believer in surrounding yourself with people who are better than you at the things you suck at.” At one point during terms as leader of the national team, Merriam was on the road so much that his ski and ride school supervisors performed a skit called, “Where’s Dave?” Nobody could answer the question, but it didn’t matter: His top-rate team was assembled and in place.


In retirement, Dave Merriam turns more of his attention to another passion, woodworking and fine furniture making. Insets: A small side table. Merriam from a Stowe magazine photo shoot, “Powered by Vail,” a story about the ski giant’s takeover of Stowe, which profiled four of the power brokers at the mountain at the time: Rob Apple, planning director, Jeff Wise, communications director, general manager and vice president Bobby Murphy, and Merriam.

Part of Stowe history As a kid growing up in Bangor, Maine, Merriam first taught skiing at Sugarloaf in 1980 after a brief stint at Colby College. Professional Ski Instructors of America lexicon regards highly the research of Howard Gardner, a Harvard researcher best-known for his theory of multiple intelligences—the idea that intelligence may come in a variety of forms often not easily measured by testing or other traditional measuring sticks. And the super-smart Merriam is a textbook example of Gardner’s theory. “I have always learned by doing,” he said. “I was just too busy for college,” a pronouncement he acknowledges his parents received with some skepticism. At Sugarloaf he quickly advanced to supervisor and trainer, and four years later was selected to the PSIA National Team. Urged by mentors to “move West,” he did—to Stowe, where he became training director in 1989. A resort steeped in history—many of its earliest visionaries like Charlie Lord, Sepp Ruschp, Abner Coleman are still revered as pioneers today—Stowe has had just six ski school directors after Ruschp opened the rope tow at the Toll House in 1936. Merriam was fourth in that group, succeeding legends Ruschp, Kerr Sparks, and Sepp’s son, Peter. Rather than reflect on that list of icons, Merriam quickly moves on to how the Stowe Ski School innovated and revolutionized the sport. “We were leaders nationwide in terms of hiring instructors off-snow,” Merriam said, explaining that Stowe pioneered autumn hiring events that focused on someone’s people skills rather than skiing and riding ability. Merriam recalls an episode when longtime Stowe CEO Hank Lunde, a classic, old-school resort operator, observed the goings-on at one such fall hiring clinic. Far from usual job interviews, Lunde walked in on a scene filled with laughter, blindfolds, ropes, and experiential activities. “He was like, ‘Merriam, what’s going on here?’” But not even a traditionalist like Lunde could argue with the positive feedback and financial numbers that Stowe’s ski and ride school began to rack up. Despite a reputation as having some of the East’s most challenging terrain, Stowe’s focus began to shift toward guest experience and education. The massive development of Spruce Peak also occurred during Merriam’s career at Stowe, and his fingerprints, along with those of many others, are all over it. One accomplishment that stands out for him is Stowe’s Adventure Center, a $30 million project that prioritized children’s programs and drove real estate sales—a novel concept. “We learned so much about the guest experience,” he said of the project. “I’m proud of that.”

Woodworker and skijorer Merriam retired at the height of the coronavirus pandemic and four years into a new era at Stowe—the ownership of Vail Resorts. “I always figured on retiring around age 62 or 63, so I originally wasn’t going to come back for the start of last season,” Merriam said. But deeply involved in the five-person national committee responsible for Vail’s ski and ride school pandemic response, he didn’t feel he could in good conscience step away during a period of such angst, uncertainty, and change. “I helped the team get the ball rolling,” he said. Then, when the new year rolled in, he retired. Having spent most winters working six days a week, Merriam cut back his Mount Mansfield visits significantly after retirement. “I skied at


the resort maybe eight times,” he said, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t ski last year. He nods toward a couple sets of light backcountry setups—low-performance, 70mm backcountry skis with fish-scaled bases and 3-pin Fischer boots that offer little, if any, support. “We backcountry skied pretty much every day here at the house,” Merriam said. Anyone who has skied on light backcountry gear knows that grace on such equipment is unattainable. “We crack each other up,” Merriam said of himself and Eva, two elite alpine skiers who, on light touring gear, look just as much like flailing, off-balance novices as the freshest beginners on Spruce. Adding to the awkwardness, Merriam took to skijoring with his daughter’s Labrador puppy, using a jerry-rigged bungy setup to tie himself to the dog. And last winter, both of Merriam’s adult daughters moved home, working remotely during the lockdown—a “blessing” of the pandemic, said Merriam the dad. When I visited him this fall, I learned something else. After years of going over action items, bullet lists, and S.W.A.T. analyses with him, I discovered another side of my former boss: Dave Merriam is an artist. His medium: wood. The centerpiece of his woodshop is a huge combination Felder planerjoiner-table-saw-and-everything-else-a-furniture-maker-could-possiblyneed-tool that he found in Austria two decades ago between European ski trips. His shop is as clean as a sailboat, with a massive dust collection system, perfectly organized tool racks and shelves, and safety equipment. Merriam’s interest is in discovering fallen local timber, often on his Elmore property, milling it, drying it for months in a passive-solar kiln, and creating breathtakingly beautiful furniture and artwork. “Stump to finished piece,” he said. His home is mostly furnished with his own furniture pieces and cabinetry as are the homes of many family members and friends. He is learning—by doing, of course—to sketch out pieces using computer CAD programs so that he can eventually turn his woodworking passion into a part-time, post-retirement occupation. But until then, Merriam has other plans. He applied to be a part-time instructor at Stowe, on select and specific dates. So, after being a leader at the resort for the past 30 years, he’ll continue to spread his enthusiasm around, but this time to one group of ski school students at a time. “I wake up every single morning psyched,” said Merriam. “I just can’t wait for this next chapter.” •••• After 21 years balancing freelance writing with ski and ride school management roles, Mark Aiken is now a part-time instructor at Stowe. The former Stowebuster manager, Mark skied every Sunday last winter with his 6-year-old daughter in a program called Papa-Busters. The co-author of “Teaching Children Snowsports,” the PSIA instructors’ manual for teaching kids to ski and ride, he lives in Richmond with his wife and kids.




Mansfield The first time I saw Mansfield was from my backyard in Cambridge. I was 4 and called it “Mans Mountfield.” My family only lived in Cambridge for a year before we moved to Greensboro, but we continued to come to Stowe to ski and snowboard. My dad often talked about hiking in Stowe, and he always made Mansfield seem like a mystical place. I wanted to ride and hike all the same places my dad and his friends did. As I got better at snowboarding, more opportunity opened to share experiences with him, and I learned a lot about the mountain and discovered lots of places many people don’t know about. Places that I still return to year after year.

One of the things I love about The Mountain is that I still haven’t explored it all, so each year I add a few new places to expand my knowledge.

As a teenager, my interest in photography developed, and I eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in photography at Burlington College, and it was while in college that Vermont magazine published my first photo of Mansfield on its cover, helping to launch my career. Since then, I have sold countless images of the mountain to other publications, for commercial endeavors, and as prints.

Now 29, I still have the same passion and excitement about being on Mt. Mansfield. Sometimes I venture out alone, but I always enjoy the company of good friends who feel the same way about experiencing the mountain. Like my dad and his friends.

For that, I have the mountain to thank.

It always feels like home.

In my early twenties I started to read old books and maps, which pushed me to explore new places on the mountain, and it cultivated my interest in the area’s history and geology. I’ve explored the mountain in all four seasons and experienced almost every kind of weather, from sunrises and sunsets to winter storms with 40 mph winds. I’ve been at the summit in mid-winter at night to see the stars and photographed landscapes in below-zero temperatures. To be a successful landscape and outdoor photographer it’s important to understand weather and natural light, so I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to be on the mountain in unique conditions.



But it’s not just getting the photograph while on an excursion. It’s the connection to nature and the excitement of finding new ways of seeing the same landscape that I have explored for 25 years. I always respect the natural surroundings, staying mindful of my impact on the landscape and wildlife, and never trampling the fragile, alpine environment to get the shot.

Nathanael Asaro is a professional freelance photographer who specializes in lifestyle, landscape, and product photography. More at

& P H O T O G R A P H S : nathanael asaro







The Abenaki, Vermont’s native people, called Mansfield, Mozdebiwajo, meaning “moosehead mountain.”



stowe speaks people will listen Stowe Historical Society’s oral history project offers fascinating remembrances of times past

n a sunny, early October morning the streets of Stowe are jam-packed with excited leaf peepers eagerly exploring the village and, as they hold their mobile phones in front of them, snap picture after picture of the town and its surroundings in all its fall finery. While Main Street bustles, it’s far quieter at the Stowe Historical Society Museum on nearby School Street, where Barbara Baraw, the society’s president, is sitting at a long oak table next to longtime Stowe resident Charlie Lusk. The 80-year-old Lusk, who first came to Stowe in the mid-1960s and has since held numerous jobs—both paid and volunteer, private and municipal—agreed to be interviewed by Baraw for the society’s oral history project, “Stowe Speaks.” The two have known each other for years and before Baraw switches on her digital recorder, Lusk jokes, “If I say anything that may be libelous, we can excise that right?” Without missing a beat, Baraw responds, “No problem, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” She starts her recorder and begins, “I am here with Charles Lusk, better known as Charlie. Tell us, Charlie, how and why you first came to Stowe.” With that, Lusk is on a roll, detailing how he first came to Stowe in 1967 as a ski bum and budding arborist, landed a job at The Shed bar and restaurant and eventually became a ski instructor and ski patroller at the mountain. When Baraw asks him about his work as an instructor, Lusk smiles broadly and volunteers, “Good story! There was the time the comedian Bill Murray came to Stowe, and I was asked to be his ski instructor. When word got out that I had been chosen to be his instructor, someone at the mountain told the management, ‘That’s not a good fit. Charlie will be funnier than Bill Murray!’” Lusk’s blue eyes light up and he laughs, adding, “But he was a delight. We had a couple of great days together.” For the next hour and a half Baraw will skillfully lead Lusk through his time in Stowe, teasing out interesting details and anecdotes from his




: robert kiener


varied experiences in town where he has served as everything from tree warden to selectboard member to zoning board member and more. •••• Lusk’s reminiscences are the latest in a long line of more than 40 interviews that the Stowe Historical Society has gathered under its “Stowe Speaks” oral history program. “Although some interviews were done as long ago as the 1980s, it wasn’t until 2010 when several of us from the historical society attended a local presentation about the importance of oral histories that we decided to set up this program,” remembers Barbara Baraw. “The idea was to provide an oral record of Stowe’s history, filling in the gaps left by written records and artifacts and brought to life by personal, anecdotal accounts.” Said Baraw, “We realized that Stowe had so many interesting people with fascinating stories who were getting older. We felt that we had to record their stories before they left us. That’s how and why this program was born.” Baraw, aided by longtime resident Alice Dana Spencer, journalist and oral historian Amanda Kuhnert, and others, drew up a list of possible interviewees from Stowe’s farming, skiing, and business circles. “We ended up with almost 100 people on our wish list,” remembered Kuhnert. “It was a good cross section of the town and, because so many were elderly, we felt a sense of urgency to begin interviewing them.” Baraw, Spencer, and Kuhnert also came up with a list of about 15 core questions. “Of course, we also knew we could improvise and ask questions that would occur to us during the interviews,” says Kuhnert. “Our goal was to make Stowe’s history engaging and important to present-day residents, to help them connect with the place they live in.” Sometimes, adds Baraw, it is the little things that turn out to be so interesting.


: gordon miller


Clockwise from right: A treasure trove of history is contained in the Stowe Historical Society’s “Stowe Speaks” oral history project. Barbara Baraw, who helped to

spearhead the project, with Charlie Lusk, the latest in a long list of participants in “Stowe Speaks,” this fall at the society’s museum on the Stowe cultural campus on the corner of School and Pond streets in the village. Lusk in a 1986 Stowe Reporter photograph reading the newspaper in front of the Akeley Memorial Building. Lusk with his son, Nate, for the Shed Restaurant’s last night of operations.



Clockwise from top left: Frank Lackey in a Stowe 4th of July parade. Barbara Baraw at the Stowe

Historical Society. She helped spearhead the Stowe Speaks oral history project. Helen Beckerhoff, one of the project’s subjects, at her jewelry store on Stowe’s Main Street in 1982. Trow Elliman, former publisher and owner of the Stowe Reporter in a Verner Reed photograph at town meeting.

For example, here’s an excerpt from the program’s 2011 interview with the late Zona Oakes, then in her nineties: “We had two family doctors. One of them was a little older than the other, Dr. Morgan. Dr. Barrows lived down Maple Street. Dr. Morgan would do more things than Dr. Barrows, like I had horrible toothache one time and I was just a kid, of course. I cried a lot, and my dad couldn’t stand that and so he sent word—because we haven’t any phone back then—sent word to Dr. Morgan to please come down. He came down with his horse and sleigh and he said, ‘Well, I hate to pull these, but we can’t save them.’ Of course, we didn’t have any dentist. ‘But I’ll have to put her to sleep.’ “My dad didn’t like that idea, but he said, ‘I’m not leaving her. I’m going to stay right here with her.’ Which he did, and Dr. Morgan pulled out my two molar teeth. “Afterward, he waited to see that I wasn’t going to be awful sick or something and he could leave; he was putting on his coat and my dad said to him, ‘How much do I owe you, Doc?’ “Doc says, ‘Fifty cents.’”

Anne & Frank Lackey Clem Curtis Armin Frank Stewart Bouchard Anne Morgan Simmoneau August Merton & Ora Pike Morris Pike Arden Magoon Hanna & Tony Thompson Rosemarie Trapp Barbara Allaire Leigh Wright Mike Adams Helen Beckerhoff Paul DeCelle Dr. John Gale Harold & Kenneth Ricketson Gordon Lowe Zona Oakes Bill & Marianne Goodson Leigh Tabor Jim Leahy Alice Dewey Harriet Durett Diane Foster Lamphier Rosemary Smenner Gar Anderson Marvin Moriarty Dan Frank Ethel Towle Al Besser Dr. Gretchen Besser Fred Bailey Claudia & Trow Elliman David Stackpole Ken Strong Frank & Marion Kellogg




•••• After the interviews they are edited, not so much for content but for, as Baraw notes, “listenability.” She explains, “We take out the ‘ums’ and the ‘ahs’ and the long pauses.” They are then transcribed and converted to digital audio CDs. After interviewing so many people, both Baraw and Kuhnert realized that just publishing transcripts would not be as rewarding as voice recordings. “Voice can be so powerful and engaging,” says Kuhnert. “It can make the listener imagine they are with the person speaking.” Says Baraw, “Intonation is invaluable because it’s based on emotions and it’s so wonderful to hear someone getting excited and raising their voice, or maybe cackling and laughing, over a memory.” Here, for example, is John Gale, in 2010, remembering a prank Stowe High School students used to play on their school principal in the 1930s: “The school was heated with a coal furnace. ’Course, it’d sometimes get down to 30 below. You know it can in Vermont. And it was pretty hard to heat that old building with no insulation, and if it was just too cold, then they’d call school off. I don’t know what’d happen to the kids who, for instance, would come to school on the milk truck, but it didn’t happen very often. I don’t know … why we got the idea, but the thermometer had a little metal guard around it, around the bulb at the bottom of the thermometer. It looked as if you could put ice chips in that. It’d probably cool it down (laughing). That did happen—once. We didn’t do it again. We kept quiet about it. There was no punishment. But school was canceled for the day.” In 2011 Rosmarie Trapp, now 92, remembered how a fly helped “break the ice” during one of the famous singing von Trapp family’s first concerts in America in the 1940s: “We would give concerts and we were pretty European and were pretty polite. We would sing a song and then bow and smile but the manager said he wanted more interaction with the audience, and we didn’t know how. We didn’t know the language so one day there was a fly buzzing around my mother while she was singing, and she took a big breath and the fly went right down her throat. She sputtered and coughed and after the song, she went forward and said, “I apologize because I just swallowed a fly,” and everybody started roaring because they knew the song “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” and my mother didn’t know that song. She didn’t know why they were laughing but anyway, it broke the ice and my mother started talking on stage.” Mother, of course, was Maria von Trapp. Subjects covered in the interviews range from the lighter, such as school pranks, to meatier, even controversial subjects. In 2010 the late former innkeeper and selectboard member Helen Beckerhoff, who came to Stowe with her husband in 1946, spoke frankly about the discrimination at “restricted” inns that occurred in Stowe: “When we came to Stowe, there was a ‘Where to Stay’ brochure. In the right-hand column, it said, ‘policy.’ And there was the word ‘restricted,’ and I didn’t know what that meant. When I asked my husband, he said, ‘That means no Jews allowed.’ And there were only about four or five places, including ours, that had a ‘blank’ in that area. My husband said, ‘You know, we may be socially censored if we take Jews,’ and my response was, ‘That’s too bad.’ So, we did. I must say the people who (said they were ‘restricted’) were not committed to the cause. During Christmas and Easter and Washington’s Birthday—the major holidays—


they wouldn’t take Jews. But when they needed the business, they did.” Beckerhoff’s remembrance is a perfect example that the oral history program is accomplishing one of the goals its founders hoped it would. As Baraw explains, “The interviews are an important part of our historical collection. The series helps us learn from our past, so we don’t repeat our mistakes and we do repeat our good things.” •••• Almost everyone who has been asked to be interviewed for the series has agreed. “We’ve had very few people turn us down,” says Baraw. “But most have been flattered and while some may have at first asked ‘Why me?’ they agreed and proved to be interesting interviewees.” As Kuhnert, who is now based in Woodstock as a writer and editor, explains, “So many of the people I interviewed for the series were flattered to be recognized. They were proud of—and often moved by—the idea that their voice was going to extend beyond their lifetime.” Sometimes interviewees seem to appear, says Baraw, “as if by magic.”

In June 2010 she was attending an annual gathering of historical societies at the Vermont History Expo in Tunbridge. As she remembers, “A man approached me and said he was the great-great-great-great grandson of Oliver Luce, the founder of Stowe. I couldn’t believe it. I screamed ‘Oh my God!’ because there was so much I wanted to know about Luce and the family. I grabbed my recorder and him, Leigh Wright, and asked if he would sit in my car for an impromptu interview. He did and I got some great, never-before-published family anecdotes.” Has anyone ever regretted being interviewed? “That’s a good question,” says Baraw as she flashes a wide grin. “There was the man”—she stops herself before saying any more. Another wide smile and then, “Let’s just say he is from Stowe, and he had lots—and lots—of racy stories about who was having an affair with whom. We will call them ‘Deer Camp stories.’ He and his wife made us promise not to release the interviews until both of them, and everyone he mentioned in the interview, has passed away. It’s in the contract!” n


backyard boil One Vermont family’s maple syrup operation As a lifelong Vermonter, I know, of course, that the sweetest, most delicious food on Planet Earth is Vermont maple syrup. But until a few years ago, I didn’t fully understand the process of how syrup is made. Gunnar changed that. Four years ago, on a mild and muddy February day, I brought my then4-year-old son Gunnar and his then-2-year-old sister Ingrid to check out my cousin Sherwood Morse’s backyard sugaring operation in East Montpelier. The kids were impressed with his homemade sugarhouse, the blazing fire in his Leader evaporator, and the sap bubbling madly in the maple pan over the flames. The kicker, though, was obvious: the maple syrup samples that Sherwood generously handed out in small shot-glass-sized cups.





: Mark Aiken


Previous page: Sugarmaker Gunnar Aiken, 8, collects sap at his family's backyard sugaring operation. Clockwise from top left: Gunnar inspects buckets hanging

from a sugar maple. Ingrid Aiken poses in front of the first-year primitive boiling setup, also known as a pile of cement blocks. Mark Aiken checks his upgraded evaporator and maple boiling pan. Sweet reward.

On the drive home, Gunnar was quiet as he processed what he’d seen. Then he uttered five life-changing words. “I want to do that,” he said. As anyone will tell you, I’m a yes person, so rather than explaining that I didn’t really know much about tapping sugar maples, that I certainly didn’t know anything about collecting sap, and that I knew nothing—zero!—about how to boil it, I instead answered, “Sure, let’s give it a go.” A couple of days later, after a few email exchanges with Sherwood, some Google searches, and a $36 shop at Agway, Gunnar supervised my drilling of six holes in four maple trees at the end of our driveway. He inserted metal taps and hung buckets. He steered those first sap collections, pulling his red Radio Flyer wagon down the driveway as we poured sap into five-gallon buckets. That first boil—on Gunnar’s fifth birthday— took forever. Boiling 60 gallons of sap in a stainless-steel buffet tray over an open fire on concrete blocks while kids sledded on our backyard hill took almost 13 hours to yield about a gallon-and-ahalf of syrup. For fuel, we mostly used sticks from a brush pile. Boiling off the last gasp of sap was the hardest part, but we finally brought a large pot of almost-syrup up to the propane grill on our deck.


Soft fluffy snow began to fall as we peered through darkness at the readout on the digital meat thermometer we used to tell us the status of our syrup. When the thermometer reached the magic number—sap becomes syrup when it reaches 217 degrees Fahrenheit— three inches of fresh snow had fallen on the railing of our deck. My wife Alison got four spoons. I removed the pot from the grill and ladled it onto the snowy deck railing. With goose feather flakes falling on handknit hats, our family scooped fresh sugar on snow off the railing—one of the most memorable and well-earned desserts of my lifetime. Four years later, we’re still sugaring. Gunnar continues to drive our operation, which has seen significant upgrades—15 taps on eight trees, a boiler converted from an 80gallon steel barrel, and a real maple sap boiling pan we found online. We also cut two woodpiles each summer— one good hardwood pile for heating our home and one pile of scrub, pine, and hemlock to

power the maple ops. We make just enough syrup to share with friends and family. The best part of the Aiken maple operation is the year-round focus it gives our family. Maple season stays in the back of mind all year as we make minor upgrades and preparations. Then it culminates with those few weeks every February and March when the days get warm and the nights cold, and we place the taps and make our collection rounds. Our family’s reward on boiling days is that sweet golden gift from the trees that you get when you make your home in the mountains of Vermont. •••• Mark Aiken is a Vermont writer and ski instructor at Stowe. He co-authored the guidebook “Hiking the Green Mountains” (FalconGuides, GlobePequot Press) and is working on a guide to the fire lookouts of New England. He lives in Richmond with his wife and kids and prefers Vermont maple syrup on pancakes and in his morning coffee.



ART MAKING Rachael Wells gives a demonstration of printmaking at The Current, Stowe’s Center for Contemporary Art, on Pond Street in Stowe Village. The center now has printmaking, glassmaking, and pottery classrooms for members, visitors, and others to enjoy. See The Current’s upcoming shows on p.94.




CATHERINE OPIE Stowe exhibit explores climate change, erosion of norms THE CURRENT, STOWE’S CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART, this winter presents an exhibition of photographs by internationally renowned artist Catherine Opie, Jan. 13 through April 9. Opie’s photographs of rural and urban American scenes investigate the parallels between natural and political landscapes and their connections to a sense of identity and community. Her work in this exhibition focuses on climate change. Large-scale photographs of swamps, national parks, and other abstracted iconic landscapes are both gorgeous documentations and a quiet plea for environmental preservation. “Her swamp series in particular evokes not only the dangers of climate change, but the precarious state of our country, as calls to ‘drain the swamp’ erode fundamental structures of democracy,” said Rachel Moore, executive director and director of exhibitions at The Current. Opie was born in Sandusky, Ohio, in 1961, and has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, and has shown work in solo exhibitions at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Guggenheim Museum.

THE CURRENT 90 Pond St., Stowe Village. Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. - 3p.m. Free, donations welcome. Visit for monthly public events. (802) 253-8358. January 13 – April 9 Catherine Opie

Large-scale photographs of swamps, national parks, and other iconic landscapes that focus on climate change. Opening reception and artist talk, Jan. 13, 5 - 7 p.m. Curated by Rachel Moore.


February 17 Panel discussion: The land in which we live

Responsibility, caretaking, fragility, and climatology. Panelists: Kristen Sharpless, Dave Mears, Annie White, Michael Snyder. Moderated by Moore. May 3 – 31 Student art show Spring 2022 Helen Day’s popular spring gala. Lodge at Spruce Peak. Tickets:

From top: Yosemite Falls #2, 2015, pigment print 30"x45"; Untitled #4 (Swamps), 2019, pigment print, 40"x60"; and Untitled #5 (Yosemite Valley), 2015, pigment print, 30"x45".

Jim Westphalen • Photograph

Silmar • Acrylic

Joëlle Blouin • Acrylic




SONGSTRESS Folksinger Alice Howe spent part of her summers in Stowe with her dad while growing up. She came back this summer to headline a gazebo concert offered by Stowe Performing Arts.

ALICE HOWE Folk singer travels to Stowe for homecoming, of sorts One hundred years ago, Alice Howe’s great-great uncle built a home in Stowe. This August, Howe came home. She played a homecoming show of sorts in front of the library as part of Stowe Performing Arts’ gazebo concerts. Howe’s family home in Stowe is a rustic affair, meaning it’s only inhabitable during warmer months, but the solace she finds in the area’s natural beauty and musical tradition found its way into her life as a musician. Stowe remains an emotional place for Howe. It’s where she spent summers with her father growing up, before his death when she was just 18. STORY / AARON CALVIN “My memories of him are just so vivid. I feel that his spirit is very much alive here. It’s a place he loved and taught me to love, that’s really special. That finds its way into my songs a lot.” Performing a brand of modern Americana music, inflected at times with a country swing and drawing on a blues tradition, Howe got her start with a 2017 release that topped the folk charts and led to her ongoing musical partnership with Daniel Friedberg, a seasoned session bassist who goes by the stage name Freebo and most famously spent the 1970s playing with Bonnie Raitt. “Visions,” Howe’s first album, was recorded in Bakersfield, Calif., and released in 2019. With a full band and Freebo’s springy bass lines, Howe presents a set list on her debut album that hums with musical competency and a magpie tendency to flit across country songs awash in steel string guitar, rhythm and blues romps, and quieter folk moments. Howe has a penchant for covers, tackling renditions from musicians who are also clearly strong influences. “Visions” alone covers Sam Cooke, Taj Mahal, and Raitt, of course.


Her latest single is a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” from the seminal album “Blue,” which Howe makes her own while ambitiously tacking Mitchell’s challenging phrasing and cadence. “Angel from Montgomery,” penned by folk-country legend John Prine and popularly performed by Raitt, often closes Howe and Freebo’s sets. The moments where Howe shines brightest are when her steady voice is allowed to take center stage alone. She closes the album with a rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” a song it would be easy to fall flat on that she instead wrangles with a smirking swagger and an effortlessly twang that would make Gillian Welch smile in approval. “I’m a songwriter, but my last record had five covers on it and my next record will have two. I find that inhabiting another artist’s songs actually can be very powerful,” she said. n

S TOWE PEOPLE SEED CYCLE Danielle Rabidou—with crew—launched Mona, a business that promotes seed cycling to help bring women back into hormonal balance.

MONA SEEDS LaunchVT helps Stowe startup lift off About two years ago, Danielle Rabidou of Stowe was having a hard time getting pregnant. She discovered being an athlete growing up may have affected her menstrual cycle and ability to conceive. “I never really had a regular menstrual cycle, and I truthfully didn’t really understand why,” Rabidou said. In her search for a way to bring her body back into hormone balance, she discovered STORY


seed cycling, a little-known practice women have used for years. With seed cycling, not only did Rabidou get pregnant—twins Siena and Fells were born Jan. 5—she found a new business venture. Rabidou and her sister, Madison Visco, have started Mona, a company that markets prepared seeds to be consumed at specific times during a woman’s menstrual cycle. Mona was one of eight start-up companies



awarded slots on LaunchVT’s accelerator cohort this year. LaunchVT’s 10-week program is designed to help entrepreneurs develop the expertise to launch successful startup businesses. This was the ninth year LaunchVT has awarded eight entrepreneurs the opportunity to work with business and marketing experts in developing strategies for starting new businesses, executive director John Antonucci said.


Raffaello Rossi

Lilla P

Margaret O’leary








Come See What's In

“They will leave the program with a comprehensive go-to-market strategy, dozens of new connections, and thousands of dollars in professional services from our partners,” Antonucci said.

Hormone balancing Although seed cycling worked for Rabidou, she found it very time consuming and labor intensive. Seed cycling, sometimes called seed balancing, involves consuming a tablespoon each of ground pumpkin and flax seeds for the first 14 days of a woman’s cycle and sesame and sunflower seeds during the second 14 days. >>

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Rabidou said the daily practice has been around for a long time, but it’s starting to become more popular “among women who are looking to kind of realign and rebalance their reproductive hormones.” “I’m a photographer and so I traveled quite a bit for work, so to be able to keep up with it was really difficult,” Rabidou said. She found it was so much easier to follow the regimen if she pre-ground and pre-packaged the seeds for doling out the proper amounts at the proper times. That’s where Mona comes in. The sisters plan to grind, package, and market the packet of seeds, which can be mixed with yogurt, a smoothie, a soup, a salad, or whatever food or drink is on the menu. The ground-up seed can be eaten with “just about anything, anywhere. You can honestly eat them all by themselves,” Rabidou said. “But I probably wouldn’t recommend it.” They plan to sell monthly subscriptions and send subscribers a box with 14 packets for phase one of their menstrual cycle and 14 for phase two. Initially, all of Mona’s sales will be online. “Hopefully we’ll be selling in retail stores as well, but that probably won’t be until the fall or next term,” Rabidou said. The name for their startup, Mona, is derived from the word lunar. “We also wanted it to be short and kind of have a personification of a female.” Rabidou is partnering with a nonprofit that provides job training and employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to grind and package the seeds. She said the LaunchVT experience has connected her with a lot of people in small business throughout Vermont. “It’s just been nice to kind of go through and fine tune our branding strategy, our marketing strategy, and just sort of take a fresh eye and a different perspective on some of the work we’ve already done setting up.” n //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ESSENTIALS:


AT T H E M O V I E S VALLEY OF THE KINGS Jason Scott Lee as Ko’olau in “The Wind and the Reckoning,” which filmed on the Big Island of Hawai’i during the height of the COVID-19 lockdown. The film’s screenwriter and producer, John Fusco, on location, overlooking the Valley of the Kings, also known as Waipi’o Valley.

‘WIND AND THE RECKONING’ Morristown filmmaker chronicles Hawaiian historical event Lying in a hammock on his honeymoon in Hawai’i in 1985, screenwriter John Fusco had an idea, one that gestated for nearly 35 years. Finally, Fusco’s latest flick, “The Wind and the Reckoning,” is coming to a big screen soon. He signed off on the final cut Oct. 7. Fusco, who lives just north of Stowe in Morristown, wrote the screenplays for some of America’s most iconic films, including, among many others, “Young Guns,” “Hidalgo,” “Marco Polo” and, most recently, “The Highwaymen,” a Netflix movie starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson. A complex man, Fusco has written several novels, is a vetSTORY / KATE CARTER eran blues musician, a husband, father, animal protector, environmentalist and, as many who know him will tell you, an eternally kind and passionate human being. As a filmmaker, Fusco likes to focus on the back story of historic events and then set the record straight, as he did in “The Highwaymen,” a crime drama about the two Texas Rangers who took down Bonnie and Clyde. He spends years doing research and uncovering important details that history often neglects. “The Wind and the Reckoning” is Fusco’s latest deep dive into an American historical event that took place in Hawai’i during the leprosy pandemic of 1893. “Those who were suspected of having leprosy, now known as Hansen’s Disease, were rounded up and sent to the island of Moloka’i. Families were ripped apart. All they wanted was to stay


with their families in their own quarantine and it resulted in the largest manhunt in U.S. history at the time,” Fusco explained. “It has the element of a Hawaiian action western, but it’s also about the dignity of the Hawaiian people and how they created their own community and held each other up while being persecuted.” The story follows Kaluaiko’olau (Ko’olau), his wife Pi’ilani, and their son Kaleimanu, who live in the Kalalau Valley on the island of Kaua’i. When Ko’olau and his son contract leprosy, the government bans them to the leper colony on the remote Kalaupapa peninsula on the island of Moloka’i, forbidding Pi’ilani to join them. Ko’olau refuses to be separated from his wife and the family flees. While being pur-


sued, Ko’olau, a paniolo and expert marksman, shoots and kills a sheriff and two provisional government soldiers, inciting a two-year manhunt. Ko’olau’s story became a symbol of resistance for many Hawaiians following the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani and the eventual illegal annexation of the Kingdom of Hawai’i to the United States. The big-budget project, directed by well-known Hawaiian film producer David Cunningham, was eventually pared down in scope, Fusco said. “People were skeptical,” he said. Then, ironically, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, just as shooting began on a film about a pandemic that took place over a century ago. “We wanted to keep going, so we figured out how our film could be shot safely,” Fusco said. “We thought we >>

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could do it, but everything had to go right the first time. The entire cast and crew quarantined together, completely cut off from the rest of the world. The island rallied and supported the entire project. We shot it in 17 days.” The cast consists of a few heavy hitters and a few newcomers. Jason Scott Lee, who is part Hawaiian and part Chinese and whose credits include playing Bruce Lee in “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story,” plays Ko’olau. Pi’ilani is played by Hawaiian native Lindsay Watson, who most recently starred in “Finding Ohana.” Seventy-five percent of the film is in native Hawaiian with subtitles, and the cast was tasked with learning the ancient language. “I’m so proud of the cast’s command of the language and their ability to internalize and

deliver it,” Fusco said. “We had cultural advisors with us all the time, and we used indigenous music like slack key guitar, a finger-style genre of guitar music that originated in Hawai’i after Mexican cowboys introduced Spanish guitars in the late 19th century. We also brought in a Hawaiian children’s choir.” “The Wind and the Reckoning” is part Hawaiian action western and part social commentary, but mostly it’s a celebration of family, perseverance, and the beauty of the Hawaiian culture. It has been selected to open the Hawaiian film festival this year and is in consideration for the Sundance Film Festival. As for why it took 35 years to make it to the screen, Fusco said: “The movies most meaningful to me steep for a long time.” n

FAMILY, CULTURE, HEART Writer-producer John Fusco on location on the Big Island of Hawai’i during filming of “The Wind and the Reckoning.” Lindsay Watson as Pi’ilani with director David Cunningham, on location. Actor Henry Ian Cusick portrays McCabe in the film, which is based on a short story by Jack London and the events of the Koolau Rebellion.




n Zachary and Jaxon Lawrence,

and Whitney and Caydence Horner, Eden Mills

elmore photographer shoots thousands of images for pandemic project

porch portraits


t’s hard to put a label on Jay Kennedy. Like so many Vermonters, he has cobbled together a living by combining hard work, talent, and a willingness to try new things—investing his time, money, and talents in new ventures outside of his wheelhouse. While an avid outdoorsman with an incredible eye for wildlife and nature photography—two of his nature photos hang at Walt Disney’s Epcot Center as part of the Journey to Imagination ride—Kennedy makes his living taking portraits. By his own account he has photographed 1,160 weddings and taken an infinite number of pictures and portraits of families, children, pets, and graduating high school seniors. An East Barre native, Kennedy has lived for three decades in East Elmore. He comes from a family that worked hard to get by: His father was a U.S. Air Force veteran and a welder, his mother worked as a physical therapist’s aid.


: amy kolb noyes




k Self portrait

: jay kennedy 107

k Kitty Coppock, Stowe / Barry and Penny Shonio with Hanna, Joe,

and grandson Mason, Stowe 108

k Jill Anne, Stowe / Willie Noyes, Stowe

Kennedy is an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. As a scout he earned the William T. Hornaday Award for his conservation work, and to this day he’ll tell you his proudest moment was receiving a phone call from President Gerald Ford congratulating him on that national award. His newest title is grandfather. Kennedy’s son, Collin, 32, lives just down the road with his wife Brittany and their infant son, Weston. His other son, Casey, 29, lives in San Diego. But the persona most know Kennedy by is photographer. He set up shop in Morristown because it was an open market—two nearby high schools and no local photographer. The school portrait and wedding markets were there for the taking.


oday, Kennedy’s home and studio blend into the surrounding woods. Like his photographs, he shaped the land to his vision. A field when he purchased it three decades ago, he’s now surrounded by trees, many that he planted. Kennedy lives there with Lisa Kelley, his wife of 15 years. It’s the type of cabin-in-the-woods many people dreamed of riding out the pandemic in—remote and picturesque. Despite this and the fact that weddings, his bread-and-butter gigs, were largely canceled, Kennedy didn’t hole up in 2020. Instead, he set out to document how other Vermonters were living and working, for what he calls Porch Portraits, a project that has seen him log thousands of miles and shoot thousands of frames. Kennedy’s Porch Portraits are spontaneous, socially distanced outdoor photos of people and pets. He converted them all into sepia tone, that yellowish-brown finish of old-timey photographs. “I ended up working on the project 16 hours a day, every day, for weeks,” he explained. “Then my wife dragged me aside and said, ‘You need to take a break.’ And then I went another four or five weeks. I would photograph from first thing in the morning until dusk and work on the images all night, so I’d convert them and save them all, and start over again the next day.” In the evenings he put the day’s work on Facebook for everyone to see. People would message and ask him to come photograph their families. He never charged a fee but did ask his subjects to make charitable donations—first to the local food shelf, Lamoille Community Food Share, and later to the Wolcott animal welfare group Justice for Dogs or to The Elmore Store, where >>



n Waterhouse family, Craftsbury

Spaulding and Nichols families, Morristown

proprietors Warren and Kathy Miller faced crippling medical bills leading up to Warren’s death in August 2020. The project raised thousands of dollars for each charitable recipient and created a photographic record of an unprecedented time. “I was trying to collect a cross-section of Vermonters. And people as they were, not posed, not dressed for the situation,” Kennedy said. “I think I was just driven by the excitement. I’ve always wanted to just stop and photograph people, and this gave me that option,” he said. “I did up to 35 a day. I’d try to narrow it down by town so I would be in the same area. The pandemic meant a lot of people were home, so it made it easy for me to find people and people kept contacting me and arranging it.” Last year Kennedy self-published a thick coffee table book containing 300 portraits. But he took over 52,000 images during the summer of 2020 alone, so more books will be forthcoming if he can find the funding. “A lot of times I would just see people, near their home, and just ask if I could take their picture, which has always been a dream of mine, to photograph people as they are—characters as I see them,” he said. “But it also gave me the license to ask, ‘Can I take your picture?’ because I had a reason. I’m doing a project. So, I’d hit up a lot of farmers and older people. I was obsessed.” While he raised well over $45,000 in charitable funds, Kennedy didn’t get a paycheck. But he found support in other ways: Grateful patrons passed along gas cards and gift cards, quarts of maple syrup, pickles, produce, and farm-raised beef. He shared his haul of what added up to 20 gallons of syrup with his neighbors. He says he’s still snapping images for that project, but his pace has slowed significantly. “It’s not the same when everyone’s at work,” he said. “One thing I found was that so many people were home I had a captive audience.” At a photo shoot in Cambridge, Sarah Collins—with her husband Jeremiah, their young child JJ, and some other family members who drove up to pose with the rest of the clan— said Kennedy took her class photos, as well as those of many members of her family. He would have been their wedding photographer, but the ceremony was postponed, and Kennedy was already booked on the new date. Now, he sees all these grown-up kids—and older adults—on their porches, in front >>

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k Hope Leaker with Maybel, Carlie, Sadie, and Veronica Leaker, Hyde Park


of their businesses, next to their woodpiles or their junk cars, in their garages or barns, often with the whole family, right down to the fourlegged ones. And he sees them with the same dominant eyeball as always. Sometimes, like with little JJ, he reverts to the old tactics to get them to smile, like his trademark “hee hyoo” squawk or his entreaty to “sayyyy pickles!” “It’s just a funny word,” he said. “Right? Pickles. It just makes you smile.”


ennedy’s mother documented her family’s life on Kodachrome slides, and when he was about 8 years old, she gave him his first camera, an old-fashioned box camera, the kind old-time portrait photographers used, peering down through glass into the box from above. Film was hard to come by, which helped Kennedy train his eye. When his mom gave him a 12-frame roll, he’d make it last. “I’d pretend to take pictures and wait for the great shot,” he said, “so I would get 12 different photographs.” In the years that followed, Kennedy mowed lawns to pay for film. By the time he was 12, he managed to stash away $250 to upgrade his camera and buy a flash and a tripod. The following summer he snapped a photo of a big whitetail buck, printed and sold over 80 copies, and upgraded his equipment again. At 15 he was hired by a neighbor to photograph his first wedding. Now he shoots around 25 weddings a summer. Kennedy works hard, crediting his work ethic to his grandparents’ efforts to keep their Corinth Corners dairy farm afloat. As a child he spent long hours haying, tending cows, lugging milk buckets, and playing in his grandparents’ hayloft. His love of fishing and the outdoors stems from time spent at his family’s camp on Groton Pond, where his great-grandmother also had a place. In 1981 he opened Village Photographer, a camera shop and one-hour photo lab in Morristown. It was a side venture that allowed him to keep working as a photographer, while saving himself the expense of sending out film to be processed. The shop grew to be both successful and time-consuming. By the late 1990s, with the advent of digital photography, he refocused his efforts on shooting pictures, rather than developing them. By 2000 he’d sold the shop and built a large studio on his property in Elmore. “I saw the writing on the wall, that if I sell it now, before digital really hits, now it’s worth something. In three years, it was worthless, so I really got lucky,” he said. Catamount Studios, his current photography business, grew from that transition. >>


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More recently Kennedy started another company, Boondocks Logowear, which sells shirts, hoodies, and sweatpants with graphic designs aimed at “anyone who lives, hunts, fishes, or vacations in the Boondocks,” according to the company website. But he isn’t giving up on his first love. “I’ll always be a photographer.”


t 61, Kennedy has begun to prioritize the larger Elmore community beyond his immediate neighborhood. He has served on the town’s development review board for the past three years. Using his new logo wear expertise, this fall he organized a fundraiser for the Elmore School, selling custom-branded T-shirts and sweatshirts. He also made sure every student and staff member got a shirt for free. A self-professed giver, picking up the tab for a stranger at a diner brings him joy, as does sharing his catch-of-the-day with the folks down the road. He said he’s not motivated by money, and when asked what does motivate him, he thought for a while, but came up blank. “Fishing,” Kennedy finally said with a chuckle. He was only half joking. Motivation or not, fishing is a priority. This summer he spent 60 days on the water, including five saltwater trips to Cape Cod. When he’s closer to home, he heads out before first light and is home by 8 or 9 a.m. to get some work done. “I just enjoy the time on the water,” he said. “It’s relaxing and I’ve seen all sorts of things. I’ve seen eight bald eagles at eight different lakes this summer.” He always brings a camera out on the water, but usually ends up using his cell phone to snap those personal pictures. (Pro tip: always wipe off your phone’s camera lens before taking a shot. Jay just gives it a wipe with his shirt.) His next project got its start between casts this summer. “While being on the lake, I’d photograph every single camp I could see, visibly, from the water. And my goal is to do short-run books with those,” Kennedy explained. “I did over 10 lakes, every single place I could get, but while fishing at the same time.” He’ll process those photos this winter. Well, in between ice fishing in the Northeast Kingdom. “My favorite is Norton Pond,” he said, “for catching trophy northern pike.” n

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DSKIDESIGN Handmade books are a thing of the past, unless you are Eric Drzewianowski, aka Dski Design book bindery. He creates books that run the gamut from small-run custom books to one-of-a-kind pieces. Small runs are made with the care and quality of a custom book, and one-of-a-kinds are made with complete attention to detail, right down to the last thread. His collections include guest books, photo albums, atlases, diaries, merino wool felted books, and special orders. He also makes leather totes and tool covers. Silky soft and smooth and such a pleasure to handle you’ll not want to put down a Dski Design hand-crafted book. Made in Brandon. INFO: Find at Common Deer in Burlington and online at

IT’S A WRAP. IT’S BEE’S WRAP Plastic wraps are bad for the environment, so ditch the Reynolds and go organic, sustainable, and reusable with Bee’s Wrap. These protective coverings are made of certified organic cotton that’s coated with sustainably sourced beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. It’s an easy, reusable, all-natural way to store everything from fruit and vegetables to baked goods and leftovers. The wraps come in different sizes, lay flat to store, yet are subtle enough to wrap around a clump of cauliflower or cover a bowl of berries. And they’re easy to wash. The beeswax is sourced from sustainably managed hives, and all other ingredients are natural and plant based. So, there you go. It’s a wrap. A Bee’s Wrap. INFO: Available in most kitchen stores and

FEEL GOOD, LOOK BETTER Elli Parr is a modern, woman-owned jewelry brand of hand-crafted pieces that are stylish yet sophisticated. The woman behind the business is Sara Nelson, who started out selling her own hand-crafted jewelry to a few boutiques in Burlington. Now she’s owner of a lifestyle boutique in Shelburne Village, where she sells jewelry and other accessories for the home and body. Nelson collaborates with skilled artisans to create unique pieces that are not only beautiful, but light and delicate-looking. The collection consists primarily of bracelets (wear alone or stacked), rings, earrings, and necklaces. Men take notice! Nelson also creates handsome beaded bracelets, and for the kids—colorful hair clips. INFO: Visit Elli Parr in Shelburne or online at

VERMONT GLOVE Talk about tradition. Vermont Glove company’s goatskin leather work gloves have been made in Vermont since 1920, and a century later they continue to be worn by the hardest-working tradespeople around. Made for women and men, the gloves and mittens are incredibly durable, remarkably well-made, and surprisingly comfortable, all while protecting hands from hard work, weather, and tools. And they come in 24 sizes, so you’re sure to find a pair that fit like, well, a glove. Vermont Glove values social and environmental sustainability as much as they value hard work accomplished by the folks who wear their gloves. Their net-zero factory, located in Randolph, runs on 100 percent renewable energy. INFO: Available all over and at COMPILED BY KATE CARTER Have a product you’d like us to feature? Send us, not your sales rep, a two-sentence description of why our readers need to know to


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ANIMAL KINGDOM Local vets say the best defense is preparation You’re on vacation and having a blast. You even found an inn or Airbnb that let you bring your four-legged family member. It’s all going great, that is, until your pet suddenly gets sick or has some other medical issue. Fortunately, the Stowe area’s vet clinics can come to the rescue if STORY / KEVIN WALSH your pet needs standard medical attention, which generally includes routine injuries, moderate-level sickness, such as diarrhea or vomiting, and relatively common soft tissue injuries that might require basic surgery. So, while it seems that veterinary care might be plentiful and fully comprehensive here, where


ON THE ROAD From top, make sure you are prepared when taking pets out in Vermont’s rugged terrain. A vet at Sequist Animal Hospital removes painful porcupine quills. Waterbury Backcountry Rescue Team members Nicole Cutler and Eric LaRose rescue two dogs from Hunger Mountain.

animals big and small are found in abundance, that’s not always the case. Serious or complicated medical conditions will likely be referred to a regional emergency veterinary clinic in the Burlington area. Complicating the ability to get your visiting pet veterinary care is a combination of factors: the shortage of veterinarians—both locally >>


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RESOURCES: The following animal hospitals in the Stowe region are often able to care for animals brought to the area by travelers. However, always check with a particular facility, as sometimes they are so busy that they have to decline new patients. • Lamoille Valley Veterinary Services Hyde Park, (802) 888-7911 • Sequist Animal Hospital Morrisvillle, (802) 888-7776 • Waterbury Veterinary Hospital Waterbury, (802) 244-5452


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and nationally—and the growing number of pets, especially during the pandemic. Frankly, local vets have seen a surging workload. Most vets say they can get Fido and Fluffy in for a significant medical problem, but don’t expect to get an appointment soon for gardenvariety medical issues. But despite those overwhelming workloads, most local vets will try to help as best they can. “One of our biggest hurdles right now in the industry is the incredible increase in demand, along with a shortage of veterinarians,” said Laurie Lacharite, regional operations manager at Sequist Animal Hospital. “We absolutely want to care for every patient that comes our way, but it might take a little longer.” The same concern exists at the Lamoille Valley Veterinary Services in Hyde Park. According to staff, sometimes their hospital is so busy they have no recourse but to refer patients to out-of-county emergency animal hospitals, and wait times of two to four weeks for non-emergency pet care is common. Vets warn, too, to be aware that northern Vermont poses some additional risks for pets. Local clinics report a significant increase in the number of dogs injured in porcupine attacks, and owners should not try to remove quills themselves, since doing it incorrectly can lead to serious health problems. Other local risks include exposure to leptospirosis, a potentially fatal bacteria found in some local streams and creeks, and vets urge vacationers to get a preventative vaccine for

this bacteria before they arrive. Other waterborne issues that can cause serious problems are algae blooms in some lakes and ponds. “We also see a ton of Lyme disease in dogs,” said Karen Hart, practice manager at Lamoille Valley Veterinary Services. According to Hart, one in every eight area dogs tested for Lyme disease test positive. Now that Vermont has mandatory composting, a growing risk includes dogs eating rotting compost. Other risks include eating marijuana, wildlife bites, and dog fights. Local veterinary hospitals recommend that visitors traveling with pets know how to best reach their own vet, and bring copies of the pet’s important medical records, perhaps schedule a general wellness exam before leaving home, keep dogs on a leash while outdoors, watch for traps, which some local hunters use on public lands, and establish early contact with a local animal hospital if you plan to be staying in the area for an extended period. If your pet has not recovered from a medical problem before you leave for home, arrangements will have to be made for your pet to be kept locally as long as necessary. If the ill or injured pet can be transported, local veterinarians know how to coordinate the pet’s transfer with the animal’s primary veterinarian. Like their colleagues who treat people, Stowe-area vets care about all their pet patients, but like the rest of the pandemic world, they are busier than ever. All they ask from visiting pet owners? Be prepared—and patient. n

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The Stowe area boasts a variety of cuisines and dining atmospheres, from swanky bistros that embrace the local food movement to fine-dining establishments featuring award-winning chefs and busy pubs with the latest microbrews—and everything in between! Check out the area’s great places to stay, as well, from full-service resorts to quaint country inns. Our guide to dining and lodging outlines the myriad choices from which to choose.



HOME BAKED Shari Vermeulen in the commercial kitchen where she bakes her custom cakes, cookies, and other confections.

SHUGAH COOKIE BAKING CO. Turning family traditions into handmade confections Shari Vermeulen loves to bake, almost as much as she loves the people who indulge themselves with her custom dessert cakes, cookies, and other delicious creations. “I so love baking and I don’t shy away from indulgent, fun, celebratory baking that’s a joy as well as a treat,” she said. Vermeulen grew up in Long Island, baking under the watchful eyes of her mother, who taught her traditional Jewish recipes. “Our home




really was the social epicenter of our Long Island community. Baking was our way of gathering family and friends and showing love for them. I never had a store-bought cake for any occasion until I was living on my own as an adult.” As owner and baker at Shugah Cookie Baking Co. in Stowe, Vermeulen is carrying on that family tradition. The name is a nod to time spent in the South, where she discovered southern cooking while attending Duke University. >>



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BAKED-IN LOVE Petite pecan streusel coffee cake, coconut cream pie, and heartshaped chocolate chunk cookie cake. Vermeulen believes in presentation. Maple creme sandwich cookies. Inset: Sour cream streusel coffee cake with orange glaze.

“Everyone in the South calls you shugah, not honey or sweetie, like they do around here,” Vermeulen said. The name may have a southern etymology, but her baking is firmly rooted in her Long Island upbringing. Take, for example, Vermeulen’s mostasked-for cake, Brooklyn black-out cake. Or the New York crumb cake that’s twothirds crumb, one-third cake, or her best-selling layer cake, chocolate strawberry ganache. Plus, there is rugelach, New York-style baked goods, Jewish specialties, and other special requests. If you’re after an iconic throw-back dessert, check out the hostess with the mostess cupcakes, Vermeulen’s own version of Hostess cupcakes.

Florida, where Vermeulen, always looking for a reason to make a batch of something yummy, began baking for Blue Mountain Bakery. “Working for Blue Mountain resurrected my love of baking,” she said.

By trade, Vermeulen is a corporate meeting and event planner, but in 2009 she went to New England Culinary Institute to get her professional baking and pastry certification and followed that with an internship in New York City at a Brooklyn-based French patisserie. After spending time in Florida, New York, and Vermont, Vermeulen and her husband bought a house in Stowe to be closer to family in Montreal. They continued to spend time in

Then came the pandemic. During the summer of 2020, the Vermeulens left Florida. “We came back to Vermont and I started the company. My entire career was about planning events of all types, so this is not such a departure. Vermont has a very robust cottage industry and we fit right in,” Vermeulen said. A commercial kitchen was necessary, so Vermeulen approached Chris Vigneau of the Round Hearth and asked about renting com-

mercial kitchen space at their cafe. Chris welcomed the opportunity to have a baker/renter, and they both consider their business relationship fortuitous and symbiotic. Customers can pre-order Shugah Cookie custom baked goods online and pick up their orders at the Round Hearth. The menu includes standard baked goods, as well as seasonal ones and traditional Jewish delicacies. Vermeulen offers gluten free, fat free, and other special requests. “Having a professional culinary background, I can figure out the chemistry for many things,” she said. For the next special occasion, such as hightea baby showers, birthdays, and any other cause for celebration, Vermeulen has you covered. “Bringing people together is important to me. I’m a foodie. If it’s delicious, why deny yourself in that moment,” she said. Presentation is also important, much like the icing on a cake. “Presentation elevates a gift and makes it more special,” she said, and adds that her gifts made for sharing come in servable packaging. “In this year of isolation, I hope I’ve brought a glimmer of joy to people’s homes. It’s just food, but it’s also everything.” n //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ESSENTIALS: Also available at Stowe Sandwich Company and for holiday sales at Commodities.


AFLOAT Round Hearth is also an antique, gift, and consignment shop. The famous round hearth serves as a dramatic focal point. Chris, Merry and Ali Vigneau.

FAMILY AFFAIR Vigneaus reinvent Stowe’s historic Round Hearth

When the Vigneau family put their beloved Round Hearth, a 150-room ski dorm for youth groups, up for sale prior to COVID, there were no takers. Then the pandemic hit and it seemed the Round Hearth was doomed. The days of youth groups taking ski trips had come to an end, and like so many other business owners, the Vigneaus faced an unprecedented challenge: how to keep the Round Hearth afloat. So, in September 2020, the family abandoned its focus on the youth group market and converted its well-equipped kitchen and spacious dining room and reopened as a café, serving breakfast and lunch seven days a week. “We’re lucky it’s a family business,” said Ali Vigneau Ewald, general manager and daughter of Merry and Grady Vigneau, who bought the Round Hearth in 1988. “It means a lot to all of us and we all jump in to help.” >> STORY






NOT YOUR DAD’S SKI DORM The very tasty lobster cobb salad—celery, grape tomatoes, avocado, bacon, and bleu on mixed greens with a maple walnut vinaigrette and lobster, of course. The Hearth offers a variety of grilled sandwiches. Inset: Everything is for sale, even the place settings!

(Charlie and Blanche Blauvelt along with Graham and Peg Gilcrist built the original Round Hearth lodge in 1947.) Ali’s brother, Chris, the assistant manager, focuses on building upkeep and maintenance. Sister-in-law Whitney is the barista, and Martin Green, who cooked at the Round Hearth when it was a ski dorm, is back as head cook. Mother Merry Vigneau created the menu, with lots of taste-testing and vote casting among the family. The café is simple, straightforward, unpretentious. Breakfast consists of the usual bacon, eggs, and sausage served with fruit and toast, as well as daily muffin and quiche specials. Mitzi’s Granola with Cabot Greek yogurt and berries and the spicy breakfast sandwich are both big hits. Lunch features a variety of creative sandwiches. How does pastrami, caramelized onion, mustard, and gouda on la panciata sound? The grilled balsamic blueberries, spinach, and brie sandwich is a surprising blend of distinct flavors, and the house-made black bean burger, basil aioli, and choice of cheese takes the classic veggie burger up a notch. Or maybe you’re just craving a soul-warming bowl of homemade tomato soup and a good-ole grilled cheese. You’ll find it here, as well as inspired salads—think lobster, celery, grape tomatoes, avocado, bacon, and bleu on mixed greens topped with maple-walnut vinaigrette— soup of the day, beer, and wine. But what about those dorm rooms upstairs that hosted all those kids? That’s where the marketplace comes in. The bunk beds were ripped from the walls and hauled to the dump. Those rooms are now occupied by 75 artisan and antique vendors. Almost everything in the building is for sale, including the chair you’re sitting on while enjoying your meal, the glass you’re drinking from, the wall décor—pretty much everything you see. While visiting Stowe, one family bought an entire table and its China place settings. “It’s shop-while-you-wait,” said Ali. While your food is being prepared, you can wander around and shop for unusual antiques and beautiful crafts, while carrying a buzzer that lets you know when your food is ready. “We are non-stop. It was nice to open a restaurant in town that’s not in direct competition with anyone else. We love this town and want to see it do well. Most gratifying has been the locals coming in. We have our Sunday crowd of locals and our weekday crowd of visitors,” Ali said. “But most rewarding is we get to keep our family business.” n ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ESSENTIALS: On Stowe’s Mountain Road. (802) 253-7223.


EDIBLES WHAT’S COOKING? Wildflower owner David Cid and executive chef Jonathan Shepard.

WILDFLOWER FUSION New American cuisine like you’ve never seen before Can a cocktail tell prospective diners everything they need to know about where they’re about to eat? The gin and tonic at Wildflower—the casual new American eatery at the Grey Fox Inn in Stowe—just might. Officially called the Market G&T, the recognizable stalwart of every cocktail menu from the swankiest hotel bar to any neighborhood dive becomes something more elusive at Wildflower. The gin is there along with the tonic water and the St. Germain—but this foundation expands with the addition STORY / Aaron Calvin of fresh-pressed cucumber juice and a stiff bouquet of PHOTOGRAPHS / Gordon Miller market-fresh herbs. Familiar enough to comfort, unique enough to surprise, and fresh enough that each order is not quite the same as the last. That’s the Wildflower ethos. Wildflower is the result of intense collaboration between partners David Cid and Darnell Holguin, alongside chef Jonathan Shepard, three hospitality professionals who brought their cultural backgrounds together to offer a menu populated with deeply personal new American dishes. “We’re all from different cultures. We all look different,” Cid said. “It’s the diversity of wildflowers, you can see it in the diversity of the partners. There’s almost a philosophical side to the use of the term ‘wildflower’ in our branding.” Along with a waffle, served with or without chicken, French toast, gougères breakfast sandwiches, and even ribeye steak, the breakfast menu contains a winking nod to a previous resident of the Grey Fox Inn’s restaurant, Dutch Pancake Cafe. Wildflower’s Dutch baby eschews the clumsiness of the traditional cast-iron skillet and instead opts for the more elegant gleam of the stainless-steel


pan; its foundation is thick enough to support a syrupy pile of blueberry compote, but somehow doesn’t come off too heavily. Dinner, however, is where it all comes together for Wildflower, the stage upon which Shepard—a chef who cut his teeth in New York, moonlighting at Momofuku prior to its ascent into a global brand before going on to helm restaurants Harlem Burger and Harlem Pizza—is allowed to bring his full creativity and seasoned technique to bear. After getting the restaurant off the ground last summer, Wildflower’s chef de cuisine Dan Williams has taken over the day-to-day operations of the kitchen. “When it comes to the dinner, you see where we really wanted to land, which is Americana with Asian and Latin-Caribbean flair. It’s food that you will recognize, but with elements that are really inspired from our cultures. Food that we grew up with, both in the states as Americans and what we grew up with being Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Korean,” Cid said, naming his Holguin’s and Shepard’s ethnicities. >>


CULTURAL MIX The chopped salad. Wildflower’s sleek, open and inviting dining room. Menu favorites: Chicharron with steamed rice, stewed black beans and habanera onion escabeche, the house-made tagliatelle, which can be served with optional roasted mushrooms or pork belly, and chopped salad.

Take the crispy octopus bao appetizer. The soft bao gets out of the way to let the octopus do the talking. A spicy ssam sauce offers a complimentary kick that lingers on the tongue, balanced with pickled cucumber. The roasted chicken is the entree that speaks from Wildflower’s heart: a whole chicken presented over a pile of maduros, or fried plantains, and sautéed kale. Crisp, salty skin gives way to juicy white meat offset perfectly by the sweetness of the plantains, a rare find in a Vermont mountain town. This style of chicken is ubiquitous in Puerto Rico, according to Cid. Taking center stage for dessert is another dish reflecting the ownership team’s lived experience: flan with maple-poached apple, delicately diced—one of few maple-involved dishes on the menu. To perfect the dish, Holguin and Shepard, whose friendship spans a decade at least, turned to the best flan-maker they knew—Holguin’s mom.


“There hasn’t been another flan I’ve tried that would ever have changed my world the way hers does,” Holguin said. “Just before she was going to depart to the Dominican Republic, we both just went over to the house, sat down with my mom, learned how she made her empanadas and learned how she made her flan. We were literally just eating empanadas and flan all day.” Holguin’s mom even approved of putting a Vermont twist on her flan recipe, subbing out the traditional caramel for maple syrup. “That’s really where our inspiration came from. It was the wildflowers of Vermont. There’s like 70 different varieties in this state, and that’s kind of what we’re doing: offering different varieties and experiences,” Holguin said. n //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ESSENTIALS: On Stowe’s Mountain Road. (802) 760-6044.

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ARONIA BERRIES Shrubbly all around. Amy and Matt Sayre at Sayre Fields, their 15-acre farm in Hinesburg


SHRUB, ANYONE? A berry exciting way to start a drink business

att Sayre picked a profound date to launch Shrubbly, the berry-flavored drink he pinned his hopes on to make his family’s Hinesburg farm profitable: 2/20/2020. “We had our cans on shelves. That was our big launch moment. That’s when we first got into Lantman’s,” Sayre said. “It really started to sell well in those markets and cafes and then — you know what happened after that.” Less than a month later, businesses and schools closed as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across Vermont and the nation. Shrubbly comes in two flavors—lemon ginger and aronia berry and aronia berry and pomegranate, and the name is a portmanteau of shrub and bubbly. A shrub, Sayre discovered as he researched a way to use his berries to make a commercially viable canned drink, was a popular drink mixer dating back to the 15th century. A shrub, or “non-alcoholic syrup made of a combination of concentrated fruits, aromatics, sugar, and vinegar,” preserved fruits before refrigeration was invented. “What emerged was, in a sense, a fruit juice vinegar that was lightly sweetened with sugars and used as a cocktail mixer,” Sayre said. When refrigeration came on the scene, shrubs fell out of favor and were forgotten, until being rediscovered by small Pennsylvania farmers in 2012. At a business lunch in Burlington, Sayre saw a drink on the menu called a raspberry shrub. He tried it. He liked it.


“It was refreshing, but it was way too sweet, and I thought, ‘OK, there’s an idea for something we could make with the berries we grow,’” he said. But not so sweet.

Little house on the berry In 2010, Sayre persuaded his wife, Amy, that selling their home in Burlington’s New North End to buy 15 acres in Hinesburg to start a berry farm was just the thing to do. So, the Sayres bought a property from the Hinesburg Land Trust, which sold below market value because the Sayres agreed to keep the property in agriculture. As he finished the couple’s house, Sayre decided to grow a resilient crop that could weather any extremes and came across a study on aronia berries as a potentially new sustainable crop for the Northeast. After attending a workshop in Maine, Sayre was convinced. The Sayres planted their first berry bush in 2013. Now, the farm boasts 500 aronia berry and 75 black currant shrubs. Native to eastern North America, the aronia berry is also known as chokeberry and is prized for its probiotic properties. From the road, their berry bushes look like blueberries. “The berries themselves are about the same size as blueberry. It’s a little less plump. The berry itself is not something that most people pick and eat right off the bush,” Sayre said. He’s upbeat about Shrubbly’s chance for success, citing data that says there has been a “662-percent growth for probiotic-type functional beverages” like Shrubbly over the last year. The drink sells for $3 a can. n —Scooter MacMillan //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ESSENTIALS:


big fish Stowe chef Jack Pickett scours the seas for his fin-forward menu

S T O R Y : tommy gardner




: gordon miller


JACK PICKETT KNOWS THE RAW BAR AT HIS NEW STOWE RESTAURANT, BIG FISH, CATCHES THE EYE of anyone walking by, with the craggy gray oysters and their tightlipped frowns spread out for display atop a bed of ice. A couple of days earlier, an out-of-towner came in to pick up a takeout order of two large clam chowders, paid for it and headed for the exit. Then saw the raw bar. He fixated on the oysters, inquired as to their provenance and intended uses and changed his order on the fly, throwing a bunch of those bivalve beauties into the bag. “You could tell by the look on his face,” Pickett said. “I don’t know, maybe he was from New Orleans or something like that, but he just saw them and was, like, ‘aww, I gotta have ‘em.’”


Big Fish Seafood Grill, located pond-and-pool side of the Commodores Inn on Stowe’s south end, is Pickett’s next stand. The chef and restaurateur has been a fixture in the Stowe food scene since he and his wife Julie moved to town ahead of the 1978-79 ski season, starting with the fine dining French trappings of Ten Acres Lodge. Along the way, he has foreseen the rise of things like American fusion and authentic Mexican and has been out in front of whatever it is that customers crave, or soon will. This venture, as the Big Fish name suggests, focuses on the water, and as the Jack Pickett name suggests, focuses on quality product. >>

MIX MASTER Big Fish bartender Jayson Willett is known in Stowe for his signature creations, like Buzz Bait—Redemption Bourbon, Campari, and Carpano Antica—or our favorite, the Paloma Troll—Camarena Silver Tequila, fresh lime juice, Vermont maple syrup, and grapefruit juice.



His mentors throughout his career have included plenty of people who don white coats and checkered pants, but his favorites seem to be the ones who don rain slickers and shit kickers. They tend to be fish mongers and farmers, along with the cheesemakers and butter churners, sausage stuffers and picklers and their countless food-producing ilk. When he talks about farmers, in fact, he uses the “we” pronoun. “Most of the fish, we can trace it to where it came from,” he said. “I’d like to see you do that with a fast-food hamburger.”


Protein and produce Pickett likes when other people get excited about good product. Growing up in the Pioneer Valley region of western Massachusetts, agriculture and farmers markets were a way of life. The area is known for its good tilth and grows some of the highest-quality tobacco, but it was also a world-renowned source for Hadley asparagus, as well as scads of sweet corn. “I grew up in a seasonal world,” he said. Pickett’s first job was at a French restaurant in Northampton— he is French trained, having studied at Le Cordon Bleu—and was tasked with going out and shopping for produce, from one >>

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of at least a half dozen farmstands in the immediate area. There was a fishmonger who made daily trips from Boston. There was a baker who had just returned from studying in France. Chefs, through their training, develop a varied skill set, from being able to wield a cleaver and manage seven different hot surfaces to making stock and boiling eggs. Pickett has a different view. “This is my definition of a chef,” he said. “The most important thing a chef does is procure food. Because otherwise you just go to the supermarket and buy the food. That’s what a home cook does.” He speaks with warmth of his affinity for the people who grow the crops, raise the livestock, process the quality


RAW BAR Big Fish owner Jack Pickett mans the raw bar with its changing selection of oysters, depending upon what’s fresh and available. On the night we were there: Rocky Nook, Saint Simon, and Malpaque, served with mignonette and hot sauce.

ingredients. He counts as his neighbors on a dirt road in Elmore the folks at Mansfield Creamery, and he enjoys going there to pick up some. “Every time I go in there, it just takes your breath away. There’s the mold, and this stable, wet feel,” he said, noting that there are far more modern cheese caves out there, but there’s something about one a cheesemaker uses to age the cheese they just made. “Yeah. It’s world class.” >>



Fish of the day When the family vacations near Sarasota, Pickett will often go to a place called Star Fish Market. It’s located at the end of a pier where about 20 good-sized boats tie up and unload their haul each morning. The key to get the best of the catch is to get to the place a half hour or so early and grab a number, because once the doors open, the line forms, and those with number tickets get in first. Pickett coos about the mullet, the Gulf shrimp. He said the first time he shows up, the “vendor gives him a sidewise look and ‘yeah, whattya want?’” On subsequent visits, though, Pickett will order a couple pounds of stone crab and the vendor will throw in six more, gratis. Pickett will ask for one fish, and the monger will say, “No, but we got this snapper that just came in, or this or that.” Negotiating for product is how he spends the bulk of his days before and after suppertime at Big Fish, working the phones with a handful of trusted fishmongers. There’s a reason why “Market Fish, Market Price” is a marquee menu fixture, and why there are three different choices that change daily. Certain things won’t make the cut, not because they aren’t delicious, but because they aren’t sustainable. Pickett points to bluefin tuna, for instance, which he said is being overharvested by Japanese fishermen. There’s also no shrimp on the regular menu at Big Fish. When he was conceptualizing the menu, one person urged him to put a jumbo shrimp cocktail on the menu, real monsters, like U-6—meaning fewer than six per pound. But they don’t get that big out in the wild, which is where Pickett would prefer to find his, and are instead farmed on diets of soybean meal. And then there’s the whole pee thing.


WHAT’S FOR DINNER! Chef Jason Clark seasons a sirloin for his version of steak frites. The original Baja taco, but this time with brisket, served with local organic soft tortilla. Smore tart.

“Farmed shrimp are wiggy,” he said. “They sit in a pool of their own urine, so what do you think they taste like?” The pandemic has made sourcing good ingredients more difficult, not just with the small vendors providing protein and produce, but the larger ones, like Sysco and US Foods. “They don’t want big volume and they don’t want small volume, because their supply chain is so messed up right now,” Pickett said. “They want the middle tier. They want to have enough product to make it worth their while, but not so much that they’re going to have big gaping holes in their orders.” Good food isn’t cheap, and there’s just no getting around it. Well, there is, but Pickett would prefer people don’t get around it and head to Subway or McDonald’s or anywhere and grab a $2 burger or a $6 footlong with a price point that is only possible because of the huge government subsidies these mega food companies get. “I can’t stand all the crappy restaurants. I won’t go to a chain restaurant,” he said. “Sometimes we’re on the road and Julie will say, ‘I’m really hungry. Let’s stop here.’ And I’m, like, ‘Go ahead. I’m not eating. I’ll starve.’” It’s not like Pickett is beyond a good sandwich, which is basically an amalgamation of whatever is in the fridge and pantry. The secret is having quality stuff in the fridge and pantry. “A good sandwich, to me, has got to have that ratio of filling to fat to acid,” he said, banging out each of those three components with a rap of knuckles on the table. >>



Big fish, little pond Good food isn’t cheap, at least now. But check out the Stowe prices 40 years ago for white linen fine French dining. In the late 1970s, early 1980s, the most expensive thing on the Ten Acres menu was tenderloin of beef for $12.50—for comparison’s sake, the Big Fish beef menu item is a sirloin steak frites for $34. Pickett remembers toiling away making liver pate appetizers, but he didn’t fully appreciate the chasm between labor cost and menu price until a few years ago, when he got his hands on some of the old menus and recipes. “I probably had 12 man-hours into those, and we were selling them for $4.50,” he laughed. Pickett’s star rose as he became Ten Acres’ executive chef, and rose further when he opened Blue Moon Café, where Stowe diners saw fancy American twists on French techniques and Pickett favorites—and favorites of his chef partner Josh Bard—like rabbit and duck.


THIRST QUENCH Many cocktails at Big Fish have a South American influence, like the Peruvian margarita—Milagro Silver Tequila, triple sec, homemade sour mix, maracuya (passion fruit) juice. The perfect pour.

After a decade there, Pickett took some time off and did some catering and for years wrote a twice-monthly food column for the Stowe Reporter. It was a fallow time for him in the kitchen because he almost blew himself up in the early 2000s when a leaky gas line met a spark while he was doing house construction. Pickett was badly burned and required multiple surgeries over the next several years. Cooking helped him and a friend, Gerard Rubaud, a French baker who lent his first name to highly sought out bread loaves throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, eased some trauma together. Rubaud, who died a few years ago, suffered a stroke around the same time Pickett suffered from his own debilitating incident. Toward the end of Pickett’s recovery, he helped Rubaud make his first batch of bread. “He was still paralyzed, so I don’t know how he did it,” he said. “He was doing four batches a day, which is insane.” >>

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Frida’s Taqueria + Grill, a beloved authentic Mexican restaurant at the corner of Main and School streets—just 30 feet or so from the old Blue Moon—was Pickett’s first foray back into the restaurant scene, teaming back up with Bard. But his time in the kitchen there was limited mostly to prep work because of the still-acute experience with fire. One time at Frida’s the crew was preparing lobster on a gas stove where you can hear the hiss of the gas and the click of the ignitor, but the spark comes late and it’s a sudden whoosh of flame. It was a shock of PTSD that sent him into his office to calm himself. “Oh yeah, I lost it,” he said. He’s gotten his groove back in the kitchen, but he’s still extra wary around the fryolator, because the skin grafts on his hands make them extra sensitive, and he is concerned about the unpredictability of spattering and popping hot oil. Plenty of cooks and front-of-the-house folks have followed him when he opens a new place, from Blue Moon to Frida’s to Phoenix, the short-lived “regional American” place that Pickett and Bard ran for 18 months from 2014-15. Most of those folks, Bard included, have gone on to other things now, so there are fewer familiar faces at Big Fish. Head chef Jason Clark is the newest person to follow Pickett to the next thing. Clark worked with him at Trapp’s Bierhall the past few years, during which Pickett dreamt up his new venture.

FINDING A NICHE Big Fish marks Jack Pickett’s fourth Stowe restaurant venture after Blue Moon Café, Frida’s Taqueria + Grill, and Phoenix.

CASUAL VIBE As people in the local food industry— whether producers or chefs—have grown older, died off, or moved to different, lowerstress jobs, food trends have changed, as well. The short lifespan of the butter purchased from a small producer in Morrisville was never in danger of spoiling back in the 1980s because chefs ran through it so quickly, because the French style was en vogue— “You’d get a gallon of demi-glace out of 50 pounds of veal bones that you cook for three days”—when the Picketts moved to Stowe. Then, there was a time when no one wanted fatty foods. Then came a time when pork belly went from being a niche treat to something ubiquitous. Things change and people change. “For your main restaurant people, in your 30s, when your career takes off, you have money, you want to treat yourself. Then you start getting into your late 40s and your gallbladder starts acting up and you can’t drink six beers a night anymore,” he said. “Things are going to change and we’re going to have to be something else when it does.” He paused for a second. “I’m kinda hoping it’s fish.” n



WINE STEWARDS General manager Rick Wilson oversees Dedalus, a new gourmet shop in town that he calls a “curated market experience.”

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The folks at Dedalus Wine Shop like to say, “What grows together goes together,” and it’s at the heart of what they do: pairing great wines with great food from the same geographic regions. They specialize in sustainably produced wines from smaller wineries around the world. The wine is farmed organically, biodynamically, or using low-intervention methods, with no additives and no mass production. The food—a robust selection of cheeses, meats, charcuterie, and baked goods—is centered around the wine. “It’s a curated market-type experience. We want people to come in and have a jovial, transformative occasion in one space,” said Rick Wilson, general manager at Dedalus’s new Stowe location. Jason Zuliani first opened Dedalus in Burlington in 2007. Zuliani, a literary buff, named the shop after Stephen Dedalus, James Joyce’s alter ego in “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.” A decade later Zuliani moved the wine shop to Pine Street and added a wine bar. When Harvest Market on Mountain Road in Stowe closed, he saw an opportunity that was too hard to pass up and opened a satellite location there in 2020. Dedalus is a hybrid model of an upscale wine and food market. “People can come here and work with our cheese mongers and sales-


people to buy wine and complementary foods, often from the same wine producers, for a transformational experience at home,” said Wilson. The wine is organized geographically with a heavy focus on France, Italy, and Spain. The selection covers a broad spectrum, with a “fine and rare” room, a seasonal highlight table, and a table of wine $25 and under. This past summer, Dedalus held outdoor dinner events on Friday and Saturday evenings,

WORLD TOUR Dedalus features an impressive selection of wine, speciality meats, cheeses, and baked goods. Inset: Dana Pellicore fulfills an order.

featuring grilled fish and local meat, and using “nose-to-tail charcuterie” that complemented the grilling, along with feisty, robust wine pairings. Chef Jeremy Wood plans to put his energy into house-made charcuterie as winter approaches. Patio events on Fridays and Saturdays will continue this winter and will be centered around Wood’s seasonal menu and the wood-fired oven, conveniently located on the patio. “We did this last winter and the feedback we got from clients who arrived in ski gear was that they were fine being outside,” Wilson noted. For those not clad for the slopes, there will be outside heaters, as well as inside seating. Also new for the winter is baker Beth Minor, who will focus on classic traditional croissants, pastries, French bread, and other alpine-influenced breads. So if you’re looking for a transformative and different après ski experience, at home or away, Dedalus will surely provide it. n //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ESSENTIALS: Open daily. 1031 Mountain Road. (802) 585-7717,


R E A L E S TAT E & H O M E S Are you searching for the perfect home or vacation getaway? Looking to update your 1970s kitchen, add a great room, or find a stone mason to redo your uneven terrace? Well, the search is over. Our guide to real estate and homes is your one-stop shop to find a new home or connect with the finest architects, interior designers, builders, and other craftsmen and suppliers for everything home-related. Our newspapers and websites—Stowe Reporter ( and and News & Citizen (—are great community and real estate resources.




THE REVOLUTION David Goodman on a bluebird day in 2010, skiing on the summit of Mt. Marcy.

INTO THE WOODS David Goodman updates his classic backcountry bible




uthor David Goodman literally wrote the book on backcountry skiing in this area 30 years ago, and fortuitously found himself updating it last year just in time for a winter season where the expectation was that record numbers of skiers would be heading into the woods. “I always wanted to write a book where I invited people to the revolution,” Goodman, who also does investigative reporting and writes about politics, said. “I just didn’t think it was going to be my ski book.” He said he was first approached in 1987 by the Appalachian Mountain Club to write the book, which was considered “radical” for the club, best known as the country’s oldest hiking organization. In the late 1980s, backcountry skiing in the Northeast had long been abandoned. Fifty years earlier, however, in the 1930s, the club had been a significant promoter of “this new sport of skiing,” before ski lifts made hiking or skinning up a mountain to earn some turns a throwback activity. Indeed, Goodman said, the heyday of New England backcountry was during that decade, when trails cut by the Civilian Conservation Corps—“also known as Roosevelt’s Forest Army”—gave egalitarian access to the high peaks. >>





The topic was ripe for re-discovery, and Goodman was launched on what he thought would be a one-time adventure, to “research” as many mountains in New England as possible, shunning resorts the whole way. “I lived out of my 1974 Dodge Dart and just skied my brains out all over the Northeast,” he said. When “Classic Backcountry Skiing” came out, Goodman began to see copies of it on dashboards of cars parked at the head of various backcountry areas. The first edition was printed with a defective binding, turning peoples’ copies into a mishmash of loose pages, but it was the only guide out there. A decade later, he updated it, dropping the fairly flat Rhode Island and Connecticut, which were basically only in there to satisfy the “New England” in the book’s title. He added New York’s Adirondack region to the update, which was retitled “Backcountry Skiing Adventures” and split into two volumes—Vermont/New York; and Maine/New Hampshire. Another update came out in 2010, and now there’s the 30th anniversary edition. Now married with kids and more responsibilities, Goodman said the current edition took him three winters to research. The book has changed as the backcountry scene has; some choice areas in the 1989 version have all but disappeared.


Some have come back. Goodman points to the Thunderbolt trail on Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts. When he first visited the area while researching the 1989 book, he said the once hallowed trail was in pretty rough shape. But a teacher at nearby North Adams High School later turned his students onto the trail’s history, and they breathed life back into it, and it’s now included in Goodman’s book. “Far from being the scratchy, barely-there trail that I found in the 80s, they have really restored this to its old glory,” he said. >>

It’s all about the details.

DROPPING IN David Goodman in his Waterbury Center office, 2012. Goodman digs an avalanche pit while skiing on Mt. Katahdin, Maine, mid 1980s. Skiing the historic Steeple Trail, one of the original 1930s-era ski runs in the Ranch Valley in Stowe.

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SKI LIFESTYLE UPDATE The cover of the 30th anniversary edition of David Goodman’s backcountry bible.


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Trailblazers Stowe features prominently in the history of ski trailblazing. Goodman said because of “the curious way” the Civilian Conservation Corps operated, projects were put under the control of state foresters. In Vermont, that man was Perry Merrill, who has at least one trail on Mount Mansfield still bearing his name. Merrill had trained as a forester in Sweden, and he noticed that skiing was a way of life there. “He thought, this poor rural state of Vermont, maybe skiing could help lift it up,” Goodman said. “So, when he gets thousands of axe-wielding men at his disposal, he sends them here, up the side of the highest mountain in Vermont, Mount Mansfield, to cut what became The Bruce Trail.” That was 1933, and that was just the beginning of skiing in Stowe. The Bruce Trail is still there, unmarked, but still one of the classic entrees into the sport of off-piste skiing. Goodman gives Stowe plenty of love, partly because he lives so close and is so familiar, but partly because it’s legitimately great. Another legendary hotbed of New England skiing was—still is—Tuckerman’s Ravine, atop New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, “where legends are made and made up, and a few get dashed,” Goodman quipped. The 4,000-foot drop from the summit to Pinkham Notch drew thrill seekers with a race called the American Inferno. An Austrian, Toni Matt raced in the third iteration, in 1939, >>


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ON CANVAS Waterbury artist Belle McDougall painted David Goodman skiing Angel Food on Mt. Mansfield.

and just straight-lined the 4-mile course in 6 minutes, 29 seconds, a record that has not been broken. “He said, ‘I didn’t know what I was doing. I had strong legs and I was very stupid,’” Goodman said.

People powered



The backcountry ski revolution Goodman mentioned earlier really took off with the formation of central Vermont’s Rochester/ Randolph Area Sports Trail Alliance, or RASTA. He credits it with being the first sanctioned trail cutting and woods glading group in America, working not as outlaw tree trimmers, but in conjunction with the National Forest Service. “What has been created is what I call community supported skiing,” Goodman said. Shortly after RASTA formed the mold in Vermont, New Hampshire grabs the baton and “takes off in a full sprint” with its Granite Backcountry Alliance. He said the two groups will regularly attract dozens, sometimes hundreds of volunteers to trail-cutting days, doing the trimming in a sustainable, safe way. “I think that the revolution in skiing is really about people who come for the skiing, and stay for the community,” he said. “A community is the basis of all good things that we do.” Goodman is keenly aware how more and more people going into the backcountry can have a tendency to change it, which is why he heaps such praise on responsible stewards such as RASTA. But, he said, the better a job they do making the backcountry more accessible, the busier the parking lots get. Goodman is also aware that some people might groan to find one of their favorite backcountry lines in his book. But, he said, he was careful to only include places that can handle the visits and keep to himself the more fragile places that he and his ilk like to visit. “I don’t like to blow up people’s stashes, but I do like to share the joy of backcountry skiing,” he said. n



‘A HOME IS A SANCTUARY’ Amber Hodgins brings your personality to her interiors STORY & PORTRAIT


Amber Hodgins, an interior designer and botanical artist, grew up skiing in Lewiston, Maine, and after graduating high school, decided she wasn’t ready for college and moved to Stowe to be a ski bum and immerse herself in the local art scene. She has been working in other peoples’ houses for 24 years as a faux finishing and mural artist, and now exclusively as an interior designer. She lives in Stowe with her husband, Ryan Thibault, a graphic designer, and their daughter, Asmé. >>





ART PROJECT Amber Hodgins’ design aesthetic.

Have you always been into art?

What is the biggest project you’ve done?

Yes. When I moved to Stowe, I pursued watercolor and painting botanicals. I would do art shows throughout New England, including Taste of Stowe.

It was a lake house in Hudson, outside of Montreal. I was there for two years. It was for clients I’d met in Stowe when helping them with their second home. They asked me to work for them in Montreal and I ended up handling the whole interior design project, everything from designing spaces to lighting to furniture, and I hand painted the entire house myself! The style was old-world European. It was over the top and a lot of work!

Do you have any formal art education? I went to Johnson State when I was 24 and got an undergraduate degree in fine arts, mostly drawing, painting, and art history. Later, my husband, who is French Canadian, and I went to school at the Art Institute at Vancouver, he for graphic design and me for interior architecture and design.

How did you get into interior design? It was a process that started when I worked for a woman in Greenwich, Conn., doing interior painting techniques. My first job was Michael Bolton’s recording studio. I worked during the week and came home to Stowe on weekends. I continued with clients in the New York City area until 9/11, when work dried up as everyone left the city. I moved back to Stowe and ended up doing faux finishing and murals throughout New England from 2002 to about 2005.

What was your smallest project?

How did you make the switch to interior design?

When did you stop decorative painting?

The type of interior painting I was doing was intense, both mentally and physically. After a while it takes a toll on the body. It was fun, but I couldn’t see doing it at age 50. One thing led to another. I was working with interior designers, and it evolved into more, so I decided to look into graduate programs. I needed to take the next step. That’s when I went to Art Institute at Vancouver.

What do you like about interior design? I get to create a space that is a full art project, not just one element. I become close to my clients when learning how they want to live in their home. I get so excited when clients see the final result and how happy they are. A home is a sanctuary and when livable, functional, and visually appealing it is so much more pleasurable. A good design is about taking a space and listening to my clients’ needs and creating an environment that works for them. I like to start with a space, then add layers, bringing in finishes, colors, backsplashes, style, texture, lighting—the list is long. It gives personality to the architectural layout.


Going into someone’s house to pick colors, but I don’t do that anymore. I did it well into my interior design career, but when I became pregnant I stopped. It was too strenuous and there are too many caustic fumes.

Where are your clients from? Mostly Boston. Right now, local work is only about 20 percent of what I do.

What makes a successful interior designer? First and most important is listening to clients and learning their needs and lifestyles. I’m going into their homes to provide a skill set they need. I’m never trying to make it like my home or what I think it should be. It’s always about >>

SPOTLIGHT the clients’ desires, so a lot of what I do involves people skills. It’s an interview process and at the end of the day it’s about problem solving. We do all of that first, then bring in the creative elements. Working with the budget is also important. The budget directs the materials sourcing and how we move forward. That all comes out in the listening and interview process.

How do you stay on top of all the moving pieces? I’m extremely detail oriented. I create a schedule, track everything, stay as organized as possible. Everything is interconnected, from layout of plumbing and electricity to choosing the compatible plumbing and electrical fixtures and everything else that is happening. I look at it holistically from the beginning. It’s also important to have good relationships with the tradespeople who can educate me on what needs to happen and the availability of products. I’m the liaison between the client and builder. That’s where the problem-solving process starts. One challenge in Vermont is we don’t have showrooms and our resources are limited. Everything is sourced throughout the country.

What are you working on now? A full renovation and addition of a historically preserved house in Cambridge, Mass., formerly owned by early American botanist Asa Gray, and a Spruce Peak condo renovation by the same owner. Also in Stowe, a full renovation of a house in Robinson Springs, a new build on Weeks Hill Road, and a full renovation on Guild Hill Road in Waterbury.

How has COVID effected your work?

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It’s doubled the demand. People are living and working in their houses now and they’ve had to create offices and home-learning spaces. Everyone took a step back during quarantine and realized they wanted their homes to function better and be more aesthetically pleasing. Backburner projects come to the forefront when you live in your house 24/7. The mass exodus from cities has brought a lot of families to Stowe who made their second home their first home. Right now, supplies are so backed out—six months now versus two months preCOVID—that we have to course-correct all the time, even when we plan ahead, and there is no way we can get projects done on time. Logistics, course corrections, and redesigning spaces are happening constantly because we can’t get half of the materials for the original plan. It’s new territory for me and everyone else. Our reality now is completely different from when I first moved here. n



BACK ROADS All that Stowe offers, but a bit outside of town TEXT & PHOTOS BY / KATE CARTER




Whispering Pines residence with guest cottage 2,291 square feet, 10 acres Built in 1988 Taxes: $9,684 Agency: Pall Spera Company

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ith abundant privacy on a gravel road, this 4-bedroom home comes with a separate guest cottage. Its south-facing deck overlooks landscaped lawns, established perennial gardens, fruit trees, and a brook. The main house has a vaulted beamed great room, fireplace, large windows, and a garage with three bays. Located equidistant between Stowe village and Morrisville. Outside: 10 acres to explore, Elmore Mountain hiking trails, and two nearby golf courses.







Quiet road, mountain views 2,075 square feet, 2.18 acres Built in 2003 Taxes: $6,859 Agency: KW Vermont This house has an interesting layout. Most living is done on the same floor, except for the living room. It’s four steps down from the kitchen, has a cathedral ceiling, a loft, a pellet stove, and two sets of large windows that overlook the deck and mountains beyond. The large kitchen has an abundance of counter and cabinet space. A mudroom, laundry room, and one-car garage are beyond the kitchen. The 3 bedrooms and 3/4 baths are also on the first floor, and there’s an unfinished basement. Outside: Country setting, apple trees, gravel road, fabulous views.

DUXBURY / $529,000 Custom-built post-and-beam home 2,672 square feet, 2.25 acres Built in 2005 Taxes: $7,896 Agency: Vermont Realty Group This 3-bedroom home is all about outdoor living, with two covered porches, a wraparound deck, a private stone patio, a threeseason porch, and a babbling brook nearby. Great craftsmanship throughout, a gorgeous custom cherry kitchen with double breakfast bar, cathedral ceilings in living and dining rooms. An owner’s en suite bedroom, a studio with half bath, a walkout basement with a third bedroom, a large family room, and access to an oversized two-car garage round out this package. Outside: Wood boiler, brook, lots of privacy. n




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: robert kiener 179

a“ snow globe.” That was Boston-based architect Jeremy Jih’s first thought after he woke up and looked out the main floor wall of windows in the Stowe ski chalet he’d designed. A heavy snow had fallen throughout the night and blanketed the ground and nearby trees as well as Mt. Mansfield’s ski runs in the distance. As he sipped a cup of strong coffee and marveled at the view and the falling snow he thought, “It’s as if I am standing inside a snow globe and looking out. It’s beautiful, magical.”

Jih smiles when he’s reminded of that wintry morning because, as he admits, “That’s the moment I realized I had accomplished what I had hoped to when I began redesigning this house.” The five-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot ski home is owned by Boston friend, health care executive, and frequent skier Jeff Merselis. “Jeff told me he wanted a design that was modern, low maintenance and, most importantly, that would take full advantage of the view,” says Jih. Merselis, who fell in love with the view—the house, not so much— when he first saw the property in 2015, says “Jeremy reimagined this house and his novel, radical design turned it from ordinary to extraordinary. It is more than I ever imagined it could be.” Merselis, who says “I could ski before I could walk,” had looked for a second home in Stowe for nearly a decade when he learned of a neglected, water-damaged ranch-style home on Notchbrook Road, near Stowe Mountain Resort. It was dated—think shag rugs and dark interiors—and needed major structural work. Even worse, according to Merselis, the home, built in 1978, didn’t take advantage of its dramatic Mount Mansfield view. Its windows were small and the trees on the sloping, 1.5-acre lot needed serious trimming. “But it had potential,” remembers Merselis. Best of all was a massive, three-sided flagstone fireplace that anchored the two-story house. story, p.196 photographs, p.182 >>






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The home was offered at auction in May 2015 and Merselis remembers sending its plans to Jih, who was working in Beijing at the time. “We FaceTimed each other and once Jeremy saw the three-sided fireplace and the home’s three-winged footprint, he told me to go for it.” Ten minutes later, the auction, which took place in the home’s water-damaged, moldy basement level, was over. Says Merselis, “The house was mine! Now what?” Jih’s vision called for a massive rebuild that would replace most of the structure except for the foundation, ridge beams, and the triangular, 13-foot-high hearth. Using the same footprint as the original house, the new Y-shaped version would feature three sections that radiated out from the hearth—a living area, bedrooms, and a kitchen and dining area. To maximize views, Jih suggested an expansive, wraparound deck and a 150-foot-long commercial grade glass curtain wall that wraps continuously around six of the home’s nine sides. Because so much of the house would be fronted with glass, Jih developed computeraided models and renderings that helped him locate the exact position of the sun throughout the year so he could increase solar exposure in the winter and lower it in the summer. Lots of planning for thermal performance went into the design. For example, Jih designed the roof’s overhanging eaves to minimize and maximize the sun’s thermal effect. He also opted for a poured black polished concrete thermal radiant-heated floor throughout much of the house—an efficient way to help heat the home over the cold winter months. As Jih explains, “We went to these extremes because I feel there is a high burden of responsibility for building a glass house in Vermont.” He adds, with a smile, “We wanted to make sure we had all our ducks in a row.” (Utility bills average $350 a month for the 5,000square-foot home.) >>




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IN ADDITION TO MAXIMIZING the home’s views, Merselis’s wish list also included a design that was modern, minimal, low-maintenance, and unfussy. He wanted a home that could comfortably house large groups of people and was rugged enough to withstand traffic from skiers, hikers, and dogs. The entry level includes ski lockers so guests have plenty of room to stow gear. Merselis also explained that he wanted to “bring the outside in” so he chose an interior design palette that consisted of mostly neutral tones and natural materials such as stone and wood, largely cedar and walnut. To produce the minimalist modern interior both Jih and Merselis were looking for, the architect interviewed several builders until he settled on Alex McKenzie from Waterbury’s Cypress Woodworks. “Alex understood the aesthetic we were after,” says Jih. “For example, I joke that I am allergic to trim. I am a modernist and I think it’s important in a space like this to quiet as many elements, including trim, as possible.” Avoiding trimwork meant McKenzie and his team had to be exact when it came to framing and finish work. “Modern, minimalist detailing like that may look simple but it is demanding,” says McKenzie. “To pull it off you need everything to be perfect. There can be no mistakes, like those you could ordinarily cover up with trim, and there’s no wiggle room. It is a challenge.” Jih’s attention to detail is also evident in the way he tucked away both the home’s window headers and sills. “Again, we wanted nothing to detract from the magnificent view,” he explains. Even the deck’s steel and cable railing was designed to not obscure the view. The one-eighth-inch-wide steel verticals tend to disappear when viewed from the inside. Instead of curtains on the bedroom wing of the home, Jih designed custom steel louvers. These are only one-eighth-inch wide but four inches deep so from the inside they are practically invisible and virtually disappear into the vertical pattern of the lot’s tree trunks. But they offer privacy when viewed from the outside. >>


While the home’s lower level is mostly functional in that it houses a two-car garage, ski storage area, game room, bunk room, and another bedroom, it also includes one of the home’s most novel features. It is a cedar and glass enclosed sauna that is fronted with a large acrylic etched USGS topographical map of Mount Mansfield and its ski trails. There are holes in the acrylic at each grid junction on the map to hold a bottle of wine. Jih made the acrylic map himself, milling it from a one-and-a-half-inch-thick acrylic slab on a TNC milling machine. “Our idea was that you would come back from skiing and warm up in the sauna, look at the map to see the trails you skied and pick out a bottle of wine,” Jih explains. THE REBUILD TOOK ABOUT a year and while Merselis originally intended to use it with his friends and parents as a year-round holiday home, he has frequently rented it to vacationers. While the house has received raves from its owner and its many visitors, the architectural world has also taken notice. Although it was only Jih’s first solo project for his new company, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design alumnus received a Small Firm Design Award for it from the Boston Society of Architects in 2018 and lots of press coverage. “I got lucky,” says Jih. Merselis, who hopes to one day live in the house permanently, begs to differ: “Jeremy is way too modest. He made magic happen.” n


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STOWE GUIDE & MAGAZINE BUSINESS DIRECTORY ARCHITECTS ANDREW VOLANSKY, AIA / VOLANSKY STUDIO ARCHITECTURE & PLANNING The term studio speaks to an open process of collaborating with our clients and general contractors who execute our designs. This respectful approach has proven to contribute significantly to project success. (802) 793-4999,

ECK MACNEELY ARCHITECTS Home is a place where comfort is found and given. Since 1976, we have considered every design detail an opportunity to create the spirit of home. 560 Harrison Ave., Suite 403, Boston 02118. (617) 367-9696.

ELD ARHITECTURE Creating thoughtful, site-specific designs with an emphasis on custom residential projects throughout New England. We utilize stateof-the-art software to help our clients envision their home before construction begins. (802) 521-7101.

ELIZABETH HERRMANN ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN EHA+D is an award-winning residential architecture firm based in Central Vermont. We specialize in designing exceptionally beautiful, well-crafted, energy-efficient homes. (802) 453-6401,

HARRY HUNT ARCHITECTS Modern green homes—true to the spirit of Vermont. Member American Institute of Architects. Certified passive house designer. (802) 253-2374,

J. GRAHAM GOLDSMITH, ARCHITECTS Quality design and professional architectural services specializing in residential, hotel, restaurant, retail, and resort development. Member Stowe Area. (800) 862-4053. Email:

LEE HUNTER ARCHITECT, AIA Stowe-based architectural firm offering a personal approach to creative, elegant design. Residential, commercial, and renovations. (802) 253-9928.

MAD MOOSE ARCHITECTURE Mad Moose Architecture was founded on a commitment to provide a more thoughtful way of designing shelter, with reverence for the environment and respect for the earth and its inhabitants. (802) 234-5720,

PAUL ROBERT ROUSSELLE, ARCHITECT AIA Architectural services offering creative design approach for environmentally responsible homes true to their surroundings. We create spaces that move clients functionally, aesthetically, and emotionally with exquisitely detailed, beautifully built, inspiring designs. (802) 253-2110.

SAM SCOFIELD, ARCHITECT, AIA Professional architectural services for all phases of design and construction. Residential and commercial. Carlson Building, Main Street, Stowe. (802) 253-9948.

SHOPE RENO WHARTON Shope Reno Wharton (SRW) is a nationally acclaimed architectural firm, known for designing beautiful, functional, and enduring homes that enrich the lives of their residents. Each design is guided by unique sensibilities derived from a true love of building and craft.

TRUEXCULLINS ARCHITECTURE & INTERIOR DESIGN Designing luxury-custom homes that connect with their natural setting and meet the desires of our clients. View our homes at (802) 658-2775.

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN ALAN GUAZZONI DESIGN I look forward to working with you in designing your home or light commercial building, to create a comfortable, healthy, and inspiring space, while respecting your budget. Stowe. Please call (802) 253-6664.


CUSHMAN DESIGN GROUP Architectural, interior, and landscape design featuring beauty, craftsmanship, and excellent energy efficiency. Creative, intuitive, functional, efficient. (802) 253-2169.

ART GALLERIES THE ARTISANS’ GALLERY An inspired collection of fine art and craft from Vermont’s established and emerging artists. A must-see destination. Gifts and cards for every occasion. 11-6 daily. Historic Bridge Street, Waitsfield 05674. (802) 496-6256.

THE CURRENT A center for contemporary art and art education, established in 1981. Exhibitions of acclaimed artists. Art classes. Cultural events. Schedule: Tuesday-Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-3. 90 Pond St., Stowe. (802) 253-8358,

NORTHWOOD GALLERY Gallery exclusively featuring Vermont artisans. Jewelry, pottery, prints, and more. We host artist workshops, live demonstrations, and provide custom woodwork. 151 Main St., Stowe. (802) 760-6513.

ROBERT PAUL GALLERIES An outstanding selection of original paintings, sculpture, and fine art glass by locally, nationally, and internationally acclaimed artists. Celebrating 30 years. Open daily. 394 Mountain Road, Baggy Knees Shopping Center, Stowe. (802) 253-7282.

STUDIO STORE Vermont’s best assortment of fine art materials with knowledgeable staff and an attached contemporary gallery. Come get inspired. Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., 2 Lower Main St., Johnson. (802) 635-2203,

VISIONS OF VERMONT We feature Eric Tobin, Aldro Hibbard, Thomas Curtin, Emile Gruppe, Alden Bryan, and many more. A century of painting history is made on the Jeffersonville side of Smugglers Notch. (802) 644-8183.

ART SOURCING AXEL’S FRAME SHOP & GALLERY Inspiration to installation—comprehensive consulting and sourcing services to help you shape your space. Let us help you in your search. Discover the hundreds of artists we’ve worked with. 5 Stowe St., Waterbury. (802) 244-7801.

BAKERIES BLACK CAP COFFEE & BAKERY OF VERMONT Croissants, danishes, muffins, scones, tarts, cakes. Everything fresh and made in house. Gluten-free/vegan options. A fun place to work, meet or hang out. Open daily. Stowe village and downtown Morrisville.

BIKE SHOPS HITCHHIKER BIKE SHOP We are Stowe’s premier mountain and gravel bike shop offering service, new bikes, parts, clothing, and accessories. We can get you back out on the trails in no time. 394 Mountain Road. (802) 585-3344.

BOOKSTORES BEAR POND BOOKS Complete family bookstore. NY Times bestsellers and new releases. Children and adult hardcovers, paperbacks, Vermont authors, daily papers, puzzles, greeting cards. Open daily. Depot Building, Main Street, Stowe. (802) 253-8236.

BREWERIES THE ALCHEMIST A family owned and operated craft brewery specializing in fresh, unfiltered IPA. Open for curbside sales 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., 7 days a week. Order online at 100 Cottage Club Road, Stowe.

LAWSON’S FINEST LIQUIDS Award-winning brewery, stunning timberframe taproom and retail store featuring world-class beers and light fare of the highest quality. Open daily. 155 Carroll Rd., Waitsfield. (802) 496-HOPS.

ROCK ART BREWERY Brewing beers we love for you to enjoy. Visit our brewery tasting room and Vermont artisan gallery. Relax on the porch with your samples and grab cans to go. (802) 888-9400.

VON TRAPP BREWING & BIERHALL Located at Trapp Family Lodge, the von Trapp Brewing Bierhall is situated on the lodge’s cross country and mountain bike trails. Fresh lagers and a selection of freshly prepared Austrian lunch and dinner selections. (802) 253-5750.

BUILDERS & CONTRACTORS BEACON HILL BUILDERS A family owned and operated custom-home building company. Over 30+ years of experience building and managing fine custom homes, additions, remodels, and energy efficient upgrades in Stowe and beyond. (802) 244-6767.

DONALD P. BLAKE JR INC. Handcrafted quality in building, offering experienced and reliable contracting services since 1985. Specializing in custom home new construction, renovations, commercial construction, construction management, property services. (802) 888-3629,

GORDON DIXON CONSTRUCTION, INC. Fine craftsmanship, attention to detail, integrity, and dependable workmanship. 30 years of award-winning experience. Custom homes, additions, renovations, design/build, project management. Stop in at 626 Mountain Rd., Stowe. (802) 253-9367 or visit

GYLLENBORG CONSTRUCTION Recognized for high-quality craftsmanship. Our priority is to encourage and promote environmentally friendly living. Individualized customer service and attention to detail for custom homebuilding, renovations, and additions. Established 1995. (802) 888-9288.

MOUNTAIN LOGWORKS, LLC Handcrafted log homes. Specializing in Scandinavian Full Scribe and Adirondack-style log structures with log diameters up to 30 inches. In-house design service available. (802) 748-5929.

PATTERSON & SMITH CONSTRUCTION, INC. Custom builder, remodeling firm, and general contractor in Stowe. Our mission is to provide each customer and their designer/architect with the highest degree of customer service, management, and craftsmanship. (802) 253-3757.

RED HOUSE BUILDING Full-service, employee-owned building company. Emphasis on timeless craftsmanship. Meeting the challenges of unique and demanding building projects, from contemporary mountain retreats, meticulously restored historic buildings to high-efficiency homes. (802) 655-0043.

SISLER BUILDERS INC. Custom home building, remodeling, woodworking, home energy audits and retrofits, quality craftsmanship, resource efficient construction, modest additions to multi-million-dollar estates. 30 years in Stowe. References available. (802) 253-5672.

WINTERWOOD TIMBER FRAMES, LLC Hand-crafted, custom-designed timber-frame structures and woodwork, SIPs insulation, sourcing local timber and fine hardwoods, building in the Vermont vernacular. Cabinetry, flooring, butcher-block tops, and staircases. (802) 229-7770.

CBD PRODUCTS ELEVATED STATE VT A full-spectrum CBD shop. CBD for everyone with information to help you determine what is best for you, your pet, family, and friends. 407 Mountain Rd., Stowe.

BUILDING MATERIALS CAMARA SLATE National supplier of roofing slate, slate flooring, flagstone, countertops, and other structural components. Committed to delivering a standard beyond our competitors’ abilities with excellent service and quality-valued products. Fair Haven, Vt. (802) 265-3200,,

LOEWEN WINDOW CENTER OF VT & NH Beautifully crafted Douglas fir windows and doors for the discerning homeowner. Double- and triple-glazed options available in aluminum, copper, and bronze clad. Style Inspired by You., (802) 295-6555,

NORTHSHORE BARN DOORS We create and install functional artisan sliding barn doors that are beautiful statements inside your home or business. The “barndoorist” has come to Stowe every season for 30 years.

RK MILES Founded in 1940, rk Miles is a family-owned company providing services and materials for all types of building and design. Six locations serving Vermont and western Massachusetts, including Stowe and Morrisville.

BOUTIQUE AT STOWE MERCANTILE Fabulous contemporary fashion for women. From casual to professional, Boutique can make you feel beautiful any time. Lingerie, dresses, skirts, tops, jeans, sweaters, more. We’ll dress you for any occasion. Depot Building, Main Street, Stowe. (802) 253-3712.


CHIROPRACTORS STOWE CHIROPRACTIC 21st-century natural health care, utilizing functional neurology, upper cervical, full spine chiropractic, biohacking, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle. Our passion is your health. Creating healthy individuals and families for 40 years. 68 Central Dr., Stowe. (802) 253-6955.

CLOSETS INSPIRED CLOSETS Vermont largest and most experienced custom closet company. Our professionals will help you to transform any space in your home. Visit our showroom, 17 Echo Place, Williston. (802) 658-0000,

LAKE CHAMPLAIN CLOSETS Stay organized and save time with custom closets and storage spaces designed specifically for your needs. Discover your perfect storage solution with Lake Champlain Closets. 68 Randall St., South Burlington, (802) 999-8113,

CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES ARCHERY CLOSE Women’s clothing boutique with a curated collection of emerging designers, trend-setting styles, and cult brands. 25 S. Main St., Stowe., @archeryclose. (802) 242-0448.

An on-trend boutique curated with apparel, jewelry, shoes, and gifts inspired by the West Coast. Think California bungalow, bohemian lifestyle. 1799 Mountain Rd., Red Barn Shops, Stowe. (435) 640-1259.

FORGET-ME-NOT-SHOP Treasure hunt through our huge selection of famous label off price clothing for men, women, and teens at 60%-80% off. Route 15 Johnson, just 1.5 miles west of Johnson Village. Open 10-7.

GREEN ENVY Boutique for the discerning woman. Nili Lotan, Rag & Bone, Tata Harper, Golden Goose, Levi’s, Mother, Herno. On-trend luxe clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories, homegoods. Over 300 designers. Unparalleled selection of premium denim. 1800 Mountain Road, Stowe. 3 Main St., Burlington. (802) 253-2661

HELLY HANSEN BURLINGTON Making professional-grade gear to help people stay and feel alive for more than 140 years. Come in to shop our latest selection of hiking, sailing, ski, and mountain lifestyle apparel. 66 Church St., Burlington. (802) 651-7010.

IN COMPANY CLOTHING Celebrating 22 years. Specializing in personalized service and top designer labels. Come see what’s in. 10-5 daily, noon-5 Sunday. 344 Mountain Road, Stowe. (802) 253-4595., @incompanyclothing. More clothing l


STOWE GUIDE & MAGAZINE BUSINESS DIRECTORY JESS BOUTIQUE Jess Boutique pairs an extensive, uniquely curated collection with exceptional, personalized service for women seeking the perfect ensemble for any special occasion or event, including bridal parties, mothers, and guests.

JOHNSON WOOLEN MILLS Home of famous Johnson Woolen Outerwear and headquarters for Carhartt, Filson, Pendleton, Woolrich, woolen blankets, fine men’s and ladies sportswear, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, socks. Since 1842. Johnson, Vt. (802) 635-2271.

MOUNTAIN ROAD OUTFITTERS / MALOJA (MAH-LOW-YA) FLAGSHIP STORE Made for the mountains. A European outdoor sport, lifestyle, apparel, and accessories brand. Winter: Nordic and alpine ski. Summer: mountain and road bike. 409 Mountain Road, Stowe. (802) 760-6605. Facebook: Mountain Road Outfitters.

ROAM VERMONT Adventurous footwear and apparel for men and women. Explore in style with Patagonia, Kuhl, Birkenstock, Prana, Dansko, and Blundstone. Located on historic Langdon Street in downtown Montpelier. Open daily. (802) 613-3902.

SPORTIVE Largest Bogner selection in northern New England. Toni Sailer, Sportalm of Kitzbuhel, Kjus, Parajumpers, Kinross Cashmere, Repeat Cashmere, White + Warren, Hestra gloves, Eisbar hat, Pajar, Alpen Rock, more. (802) 496-3272. Route 100, Waitsfield.

WELL HEELED Sophisticated collection of shoes, boots, clothing, and accessories for an effortlessly chic lifestyle. Stylish interior combined with personalized service and by appointment shopping available—a #mustdoinstowe. Daily 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. (802) 253-6077.

YELLOW TURTLE Clothing, toys, baby rentals and gifts for your baby, kids, and teens. 1799 Mountain Road, Stowe.

COFFEE HOUSES BLACK CAP COFFEE & BAKERY OF VERMONT Locally roasted coffee. Lattes, smoothies, teas, chais. Fresh pastries, breakfast, lunch. Gluten-free/vegan options. A fun place to work, meet or hang out. Open daily. Stowe village and downtown Morrisville.

GIRAKOFI Coffee your way. Locally roasted espresso and drip coffees. Customizable breakfast sandwiches and freshly baked pastries. Lunch options. Heated indoor and patio seating. Wi-Fi, knowledgeable staff, and Vermont gifts. 1880 Mountain Road, Stowe., (802) 585-7710.

PK COFFEE Coffee, espresso, tea, lattes, fresh baked goods, and the bestgrilled cheese in town. Join us for the treats; stay for the conversation. 1880 Mountain Rd., Stowe. (802) 760-6151,

STOWE STREET CAFÉ Discover our community-oriented cafe featuring local coffee, food, and art, including breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch. Shop our unique collection of art and gifts made in Vermont and beyond. 29 Stowe St., Waterbury.

VERMONT ARTISAN COFFEE & TEA CO. Stop by our state-of-the-art coffee roastery and coffee bar. Delicious coffee espresso drinks, whole bean coffees, and premium teas. 11 Cabin Lane, Waterbury Center,






Bagels boiled and baked daily. Breakfast and lunch sandwiches, baked goods. Gluten-free options available. Seasonal specialties. 394 Mountain Rd, Stowe. (802) 253-9943. 6:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. daily.

EDELWEISS MOUNTAIN DELI Farm-to-table prepared foods. Delicious deli sandwiches, salads, soups, and baked goods, craft beer, wine and local spirits. Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m. 2251 Mountain Road, Stowe. (802) 253-4034. We are all about local.

DENTISTRY STOWE DENTAL ASSOCIATES Christopher P. Altadonna, DDS, and Jeffrey R. McKechnie, DMD. (802) 253-7932.

STOWE FAMILY DENTISTRY Creating beautiful smiles for over 40 years. Always welcoming new patients. 1593 Pucker St., Stowe. (802) 253-4157.

DISTILLERIES GREEN MOUNTAIN DISTILLERY Vermont’s No. 1 organic distillery. Vodkas, gin, maple liqueur, and small-batch whiskey. 171 Whiskey Run, (Route 100 between Stowe and Morrisville; turn on Goeltz Road). (802) 253-0064,

SMUGGLERS’ NOTCH DISTILLERY Come taste our award-winning vodkas, gins, rum, bourbon, maple bourbon, and rye whiskey. Tasting rooms in Jeffersonville, Waterbury Center, and Burlington for samples, sales and more. Daily. (802) 309-3077,

Vermont’s most experienced guide service. Guided fly fishing, ice fishing and family tours. Weekly taste of Vermont tours. Fly tackle, fly tying supplies, spin and ice fishing tackle. Route 100 South, Stowe., (802) 253-7346.

FITNESS EQUIPMENT TOTAL FITNESS EQUIPMENT Vermont’s premier specialty fitness equipment company. Visit our huge showrooms in South Burlington, Manchester and Brattleboro for the latest treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, indoor cycler gyms and more. (802) 860-1030.

FLOORING FLOORING AMERICA Customize your home with flooring that compliments your space while honoring your style. Choose from our leading collection of hardwood, carpet, tile, laminate, vinyl, and rug selections. Williston, (802) 862-5757,

FLORISTS BRAMBLE + BLOOM A floral, event, and holiday designer based in Stowe. Self-service kiosk open daily from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 1031 Mountain Road. For custom designs and deliveries, call us a (802 760-6785.

FURNITURE BURLINGTON FURNITURE From modern and contemporary to classic and Vermont traditional, we are passionate about bringing the perfect style to your home. Sofas, dining, lighting and rugs—our design team can help your pull your space together. Showroom: 747 Pine St., Burlington., (802) 862-5056.


EDUCATION & COLLEGES CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE Champlain College Online offers affordable, accredited, career-focused online degree programs and certificates designed for busy adult learners. Choose from 60-plus programs in business, cybersecurity, IT, and healthcare. Learn more:

NORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY One university, two unique campuses. With our Lyndon and Johnson campuses, NVU combines the best of our nationally recognized liberal arts and professional programs.

SAINT MICHAEL’S COLLEGE Ranked a Best Northeastern College by the Princeton Review, St. Mike’s is home to 40-plus majors, 21 varsity teams, an adventure sports center, Center for the Environment, and more.

ENGINEERS MUMLEY ENGINEERING INC. Civil engineering services for residential and commercial land development, including subdivisions, site plans, wastewater and water systems, and stormwater management. Permitting for local zoning, state, and Act 250. Contact, (802) 881-6314.

EXCAVATING DALE E. PERCY, INC. Excavating contractors, commercial and residential. Earth-moving equipment. Site work, trucking, sand, gravel, soil, sewer, water, drainage systems, and supplies. Snow removal, salting, sanding. Weeks Hill Road. (802) 253-8503.

The area’s largest selection of beautiful furniture and mattresses, combined with professional home design and decorating services to give your home that special touch. 1021 Route 302, Berlin. (802) 476-7900.

GIFT & SPECIALTY SHOPS BLACK CAP COFFEE & BAKERY OF VERMONT Fun selection of gifts and cards within Stowe’s favorite coffee shop and bakery. A fun place to work, meet or hang out. Open daily. Stowe village and downtown Morrisville.

THE BODY LOUNGE A natural body and bath shop with an additionally large selection of whimsical gifts, cards, beautiful artisan jewelry and local art. Red Barn Shops, 1799 Mountain Road, Stowe. (802) 253-7333.

BUTTERNUT MOUNTAIN FARM & MARVIN’S COUNTRY STORE Country store focused on all things maple—a carefully curated selection of our favorite products. Specialty cheeses, honey, jams, Vermont-made products, crafts, and gifts. (800) 899-6349,

THE COUNTRY STORE ON MAIN Luxury bedding, dreamy candles, kitchen gadgets, children’s items, pet goods, rugs, frames, clocks, greeting cards, and more. Located in the former Lackey Building next to Stowe Community Church. 109 Main Street, (802) 253-7653,

GREEN MOUNTAIN DRY GOODS / EURO DECALS A well-curated collection of Vermont-designed, Vermont-made, Vermont-inspired gifts for all ages. We’re the gateway to your Waterbury-Stowe Road shopping experience. 132 WaterburyStowe Road, Waterbury.

MOSS BOUTIQUE Artist-owned boutique featuring contemporary Vermont oil paintings by Jennifer Hubbard alongside crafts by other independent designers, as well as beautiful and unique home furnishings, decor, gifts, and jewelry. Portland Street, downtown Morrisville. (802) 851-8461,

REMARKABLE THINGS & HOME Remarkable Things is a locals’ favorite place to shop for handmade art, jewelry, gifts, and home décor. 300-plus small studio artists are lovingly represented by our family-owned gallery and sister store, Remarkable Home. Shop

STOWE KITCHEN BATH & LINENS Welcome to your new favorite store. Two floors of unique home décor and furniture for the entire home. Gourmet kitchenware, gadgets, specialty foods, bedding, bath, candles, clothing, jewelry, more. 1813 Mountain Rd. (802) 253-8050. Shop online at

STOWE MERCANTILE Fabulous old country store, Vermont specialty foods, penny candy, clothing, bath and body, wine, craft beer and cider, and toys. Play a game of checkers or a tune on our piano. Depot Building, Main Street. (802) 253-4554.

STOWE STREET CAFÉ Discover our community-oriented cafe featuring local coffee, food, and art, including breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch. Shop our unique collection of art and gifts made in Vermont and beyond. 29 Stowe St., Waterbury.

HEALTH & FITNESS CLUBS RIDE Gorgeous state-of-the-art studio with indoor cycling and fitness classes that leave you feeling empowered and exhilarated. Enjoy the smooth bikes with live time data, incredible instructors and music, and welcoming community Memberships, packages, and drop-in rates. (802) 279-0845.

SWIMMING HOLE A nonprofit community pool and fitness center. Olympic-sized lap pool, toddler pool, waterslide. Learn to swim classes, masters swimming, aqua-aerobics, personal training, group fitness classes, yoga. Memberships, day guests, and drop-in. (802) 253-9229,

HEATING/AC & PLUMBING FRED’S ENERGY Experienced, licensed professionals. Plumbing, heating, AC installation/service; water heaters/softeners; sewer pumps; generators; bathroom remodels; 24/7 emergency service. Morrisville: (802) 888-3827, Derby: (802) 766-4949, Lyndonville: (802) 626-4588, Richford: (802) 848-3164.

HOME ENTERTAINMENT & SMART HOMES VERMONT ELECTRONICS Providing local support for custom design and installation of home theater, whole house audio, lighting control, shade control, thermostat control, home automation, and your security needs. (802) 253-6509.

TANGERINE AND OLIVE Independent makers from across North America. Eco-friendly clothing, jewelry, vegan bath and body, letterpress cards and stationery, gifts, and more. Downer Farm Shops, 232 Mountain Rd. (802) 760-6692,

TRAPP FAMILY LODGE GIFT & SPORT SHOPS Trapp Family Lodge books, music, clothing, and food. Austrian specialty gifts, gourmet products, Vermont-made products, and maple syrup. Visit our two locations or shop online: (802) 253-8511.

ICE CREAM RED BARN ICE CREAM SHOP Ice cream, creemees, ice cream sandwiches, shakes, blizzards, sundaes, desserts, chocolates, candies, cookies, CBD, cotton candy, coffee, cold beverages, other Vermont products. Year round. Thursday to Sunday, noon-7 p.m. 1799 Mountain Road, Stowe. (802) 760-6425,


• • • • •

Housewares Cabot stains Painting supplies Electrical supplies Ice and snow removal • Cleaning supplies • Minwax stains • Best selection of fasteners


HARDWARE STOWE HARDWARE & DRY GOODS Unique hardware store providing North Country necessities and quality products. Craftsman tools, Cabot Stain, complete selection of fasteners, housewares, home-care products. Open 8-4 Mon.-Sat., Sundays 9-3:30. 430 Mountain Rd. Established since 1829. (802) 253-7205.


Stowe’s only slopeside lodging destination. Featuring over 250 newly renovated guestrooms and suites, luxury residences and penthouses. A stay at the lodge includes access to gourmet dining, world-class events, and year-round curated recreation. 7412 Mountain Road, Stowe.

TOPNOTCH RESORT & SPA Stowe’s only luxury boutique resort wows with contemporary rooms, suites, and 2-3 bedroom resort homes, airy bar and restaurant, top-ranked bistro, world-class spa and tennis center, indoor/outdoor pools. (802) 253-8585.

COPLEY HOSPITAL Exceptional care. Community focused. 24-hour emergency services, The Women’s Center, Mansfield Orthopaedics, general surgery, cardiology, neurology, diagnostic imaging, oncology, pulmonary and sleep disorders, tele-health services and rehabilitation. Morrisville. (802) 888-8888,

TRAPP FAMILY LODGE Mountain resort in the European tradition. 96 rooms and suites, panoramic mountain views and over 28 miles of biking/hiking trails. European-style cuisine, fitness center, shops, climbing wall, yoga, von Trapp family history tours. (800) 826-7000.

MANSFIELD ORTHOPAEDICS Orthopaedic surgeons and Podiatrist. Comprehensive orthopedic care, sports medicine and foot care. Nicholas Antell, MD; Brian Aros, MD; Ciara Hollister, DPM; John Macy, MD; Joseph McLaughlin, MD; and Bryan Monier, MD. Morrisville and Waterbury. (802) 888-8405,

LAMOILLE HEALTH FAMILY MEDICINE, STOWE Providing routine and urgent medical care for all ages. Walk-ins welcome and Saturday hours for your convenience. (802) 2534853.

INSURANCE HICKOK & BOARDMAN, INC. Celebrating 200 years of providing superior service and innovative solutions for all your insurance needs. Since 1821. Our history is protecting your future. 618 S. Main St., Stowe. (802) 253-9707.

STOWE INSURANCE AGENCY, INC. Stowe’s premier multi-line insurance agency since 1955. Our pricing and service is second to none. Glenn Mink, Teela Leach, Robert Mink, and Renee Davis. (802) 253-4855.

430 Mountain Road, Stowe

253-7205 Mon-Sat 8-4 • Sun 9-3:30 205

STOWE GUIDE & MAGAZINE BUSINESS DIRECTORY INTERIOR DESIGN AMBER HODGINS DESIGN Full-service interior architecture and design. Specializing in décor, renovations and new construction for residential and commercial projects. (802) 585-5544.

BRENNA B INTERIORS Our mission is to help transform your space into one you can’t wait to get home to. Bringing client inspirations into functional, comfortable, and beautiful interior design. Monday to Saturday, 10-5, Sunday, 12-5. 132 Mountain Road, Stowe. (802) 760-6499.

DESIGN STUDIO OF STOWE Creating beautiful interiors from classic to modern with respect to client’s taste, property, budget, deadline. New construction, renovations, and updates to existing spaces. Residential to light commercial projects. Allied Member ASID. 626 Mountain Road, Stowe. (802) 253-9600.

INTERIOR CREATIONS Full-service kitchen and bath showroom. Providing custom cabinetry, countertops, stone tile, plumbing accessories, and more for remodel and new construction projects. Open Monday through Friday 8-4 or by appointment. (802) 882-8050.

STOWE KITCHEN BATH AND LINENS Free interior decorating services bring unique, affordable, handcurated furniture and décor to your home. Specializing in bedding, rugs, furniture and lighting, kitchens. In-home consultations, local delivery. 1813 Mountain Rd., Stowe. Book a meeting at (802) 253-8050.

JEWELRY FERRO ESTATE & CUSTOM JEWELERS Stowe’s premier full-service jeweler since 2006. We specialize in estate jewelry, fine diamonds, custom design, jewelry repair, and appraisals. In-house repair studio. American Gem Society. 91 Main St. (802) 253-3033. @ferro_jewelers_stowe.

VON BARGEN’S JEWELRY A second-generation family business with five locations in Vermont and New Hampshire, including a jewelry making studio. Specializing in ideal cut diamonds, fine handmade artisan jewelry, and custom jewelry creation. (802) 253-2942.

KITCHENS & BATHS CLOSE TO HOME Locally owned and operated since 1999, we have the finest selection of bath fixtures and vanities, kitchen sinks and faucets, door/cabinet hardware, and more. A culture of customer service. 257 Pine St., Burlington. (802) 861-3200.

COUNTRY HOME CENTER Our kitchen and bath department offers cabinet lines from midrange to custom. Quartz, granite, and solid surface countertops. Tile showers. Tile, solid wood, engineered, LVT and laminate flooring for today’s Vermont lifestyle. 85 Center Road, Morrisville. (802) 888-3177.

KNAUF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE We transform landscapes into beautiful outdoor living spaces that ignite the senses and seamlessly connect inside and outside with balance and harmony. Member ASLA. (802) 522-0676.

LANDSHAPES Serving Vermont’s residential and commercial landscapes with design, installations, and property maintenance. Projects include unlimited varieties of stonework, gardens, water features, and installation of San Juan pools and spas. (802) 434-3500.


WAGNER HODGSON LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE The process of uniting program, context, form and materials provides the basis for our work, crafting modern sculptural landscapes expressing the essential inherent beauty of natural materials. (802) 864-0010.

COMMODITIES NATURAL MARKET Best market 2015-2019. One-stop grocery shopping featuring organic produce, groceries, artisanal cheeses, bread, local meats, craft beer and wine, bulk, gluten-free, wellness, CBD products. Open daily. (802) 253-4464.


LAWYERS ANDERSON & ASSOCIATES A general practice of law: civil, family, child custody, probate, business law, and transactions. 954 South Main St., Stowe. (802) 253-4011.

BARR LAW GROUP Complex litigation and commercial transactions, including class actions, securities litigation, EB-5 fraud, arbitrations, trials, appeals, criminal defense, corporate mergers/acquisitions, Native American/tribal matters, real estate, aviation, personal injury/wrongful death. Licensed in Vermont, New York, and Massachusetts. Offices at 125 Mountain Road, Stowe, (802) 253-6272; 100 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y., (212) 486-3910.

DARBY KOLTER & ROBERTS, LLP General civil practice: commercial and residential, real estate, environmental, estate planning/administration, personal injury & worker’s comp, mediation services, business formation, family law. Stowe: 996 Main St., Unit 1A, (802) 253-7165; Waterbury: 89 S. Main St., (802) 244-7352.

LAJOIE GOLDFINE, LLC General practice including family law, civil litigation, personal injury, real estate, corporate, estate planning/estate and trust administration. Located in Stowe’s lower village, 638 S. Main St. (802) 760-6480.

OLSON & SEABOLT, PLC General law practice: commercial and residential real estate, business representation (formation, maintenance, and asset purchases/sales), estate planning and LGBTQ matters. 188 S. Main St., Stowe. (802) 253-7810,

STACKPOLE AND FRENCH Litigation: plaintiff and defendant representation, real estate, timeshares, corporate, utility, trust and estate planning and administration, probate, and general counsel services. Offices in Stowe, Jeffersonville, and Waterbury. (802) 253-7339.

STEVENS LAW OFFICE Full service: We provide over 30-plus years of experience and in-depth representation in real estate, estate planning, family and criminal law, and business formation. Stowe, Derby offices. (802) 253-8547 or (866) 786-9530.

LIGHTING BARRE ELECTRIC & LIGHTING SUPPLY, INC. Indoor and outdoor lighting, fans and home accents. The supplier of choice for area electricians and builders. Come visit our 3,000-square foot showroom featuring working displays for kitchen and bath lighting. Route 302, Barre. (802) 476-0280.

MAD RIVER ANTLER Handcrafted one-of-a-kind antler creations in the form of chandeliers, sconces, table lamps, floor lamps, and custom creations using naturally shed antler from moose, deer, and elk. (802) 496-9290,

MARKETS THE BUTCHERY Butcher shop, fishmonger, fromagerie, sourcing prime beef, allnatural pork, free-range chicken and game, domestic and international sauces and spices. Artisan sandwiches, housemade soups, prepared foods. Catering, concierge services. 504 Mountain Rd., Stowe. (802) 253-1444.

Eat fresh, be healthy, support local at our market and café. Local organic produce, meats, breads, and groceries. Housemade soups, salads, sandwiches, and wraps to go. Open daily. (802) 888-2255.

MASSAGE & BODYWORK BRAD HIGHBERGER, LMT, RCST Specializing in chronic pain and injuries. Twenty-five plus years of experience working with neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, and biodynamic cranio-sacral therapy in Stowe. (802) 730-4955.

KATE GRAVES, CMT, BHS Relaxation, deep tissue, moist heat, facilitated stretching, IASTM, crystal singing bowls, Thai, energy work (Brennan Healing Science graduate 2000). In practice over 35 years. Competitive rates. Stowe Yoga Center, 515 Moscow Rd., (802) 253-8427.

TRAPP FAMILY LODGE FITNESS CENTER Massage therapists use a blend of techniques including Swedish, deep tissue, acupressure, and Shiatsu. Other treatments include reflexology, salt glows, and hot stone therapy. Appointments available daily.

MATTRESSES BURLINGTON MATTRESS Restorative sleep is crucial for your health and well-being. Visit our store and talk to our sleep experts for guidance to a more restful night of sleep. Your wellness journey starts here. Visit us at 747 Pine St., Burlington,, (802) 862-5056.

MULTI-SPECIALTY CLINIC ADAM KUNIN, MD, CARDIOLOGIST Personalized cardiac care. Board-certified in cardiology, nuclear cardiology and internal medicine. Providing general cardiology, advanced cardiac tests, and imaging. Morrisville, (802) 888-8372.

DONALD DUPUIS, COURTNEY OLMSTEAD, MARTY SISSON, MD, GENERAL SURGEONS Board-certified general surgeons. Specializing in advanced laparoscopic procedures. Providing a wide spectrum of inpatient and outpatient surgical care. Morrisville, (802) 888-8372.

JEANMARIE PRUNTY, MD, NEUROLOGY Board certified through the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Prunty offers comprehensive, compassionate care for patients with neurological disorders and diseases. Morrisville., (802) 888-8260.

THE WOMEN’S CENTER (OB/GYN) Board-certified specialist William Ellis, MD, and certified nurse midwives Kipp Bovey, Rebecca Gloss, Erinn Mandeville and April Vanderveer. Specialists in women’s health. Comprehensive gynecological care and obstetrics. Morrisville, (802) 888-8100,

PERSONAL CHEF SWEET & SAVORY PERSONAL CHEF SERVICES Sweet & Savory’s goal is to prepare and deliver high-quality, healthy, and delicious meals to locals and visiting out-of-towners. Personal chef services, weekly meals, catering for all occasions. Easier than takeout. (802) 730-2792,

PHYSICAL THERAPY COPLEY REHABILITATION SERVICES Therapies include physical, occupational, hand, speech, aquatic, pediatric, cardiac, and pulmonary, work conditioning, brain injury program and other comprehensive rehab services. Clinics in Hardwick and Morrisville (Mansfield Orthopaedics, Tamarack Family Medicine and Copley Hospital). (802) 888-8303,

PINNACLE PHYSICAL THERAPY Skilled physical therapy for orthopedic and neuromuscular conditions, sports, family wellness, pre- and post-surgery. Personal, professional care: 1878 Mountain Rd., Stowe. Appointment within 24 hours, M-F. (802) 253-2273. or

PHYSICIANS VERMONT REGENERATIVE MEDICINE Only Regenexx clinic in New England, offering non-surgical procedures using a patient’s own cells for treatment of joint, tendon, and ligament problems, instead of surgery. Jonathan E. Fenton DO. Winooski, Vt. (802) 859-0000,

PICTURE FRAMING AXEL’S FRAME SHOP & GALLERY Providing quality picture framing to the Central Vermont community for nearly 40 years. Affordable framing is just as important to us as providing incredible customer and design service. 5 Stowe St., Waterbury. (802) 244-7801.

PRINTING THE X PRESS Custom business and personal print, copy, and design services. Brochures, letterhead, business cards, forms, labels, invitations, banners, specialty products for over 30 years. Office supplies, shipping, scanning/fax. (802) 253-7883 (fax). Stowe Village, M-F, 8-4:30. (802) 253-9788.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT RURAL RESOURCES Comprehensive property and household management services. Full-service professional management team specializing in the details of preserving your investment. Concierge/housekeeping, vendor management, design/remodels, much more. (802) 253-9496,

STOWE COUNTRY HOMES Property management, maintenance, repair, and renovations specialists. Lawn and garden care, landscaping, trash removal, etc. Renovations large and small. Quality work guaranteed—on budget and schedule. (802) 253-8132, ext. 102, or

STOWE RESORT HOMES Personalized management for Stowe’s vacation homes. Home checks, personal shopping, remodeling project management, maintenance coordination, more. We also offer marketing and rental agent services for select vacation homes. (802) 760-1157.

ELEMENT REAL ESTATE Element Real Estate is a boutique firm out to transform the real estate experience from one of sales to one of service, one transaction at a time. Please visit us on Stowe’s Mountain Road, at, or call us at (802) 253-1553.

FOUNTAINS LAND Are you looking for Vermont land for sale? Check out our website, Or call Michael Tragner at (802) 233-9040.

FOUR SEASONS SOTHEBY’S INT’L REALTY Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty strives every day to exceed our clients’ expectations. To learn how we can put the power of our brand to work for you, visit us at or (802) 253-7267.

LANDVEST LandVest, an exclusive Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate, is a leading provider of real estate services to clients in Vermont and beyond. Discover the LandVest difference: (802) 318-6034,

RED BARN REALTY OF VERMONT An office of dynamic professionals, each with a unique love of Vermont. We look forward to helping you fulfill your real estate sales and rental needs. 1878 Mountain Road, Stowe. (802) 253-4994.

STOWE AREA REALTY GROUP AT KW VERMONT–STOWE Our dedicated team can help you with residential, vacation, investment, and commercial real estate sales and marketing. KW Vermont’s extensive resources and innovative technology will give you a distinctive advantage. 1056 Mountain Road, Suite 1, Stowe. (802) 760-3100.

STOWE COUNTRY HOMES Vacation homes and condos for short- or long-term rental. Professionally and locally managed. Luxury slopeside properties, secluded private homes, affordable condos—we have what you want, meeting all budgets. (802) 253-8132.

STOWE RESORT HOMES Luxury vacation homes for the savvy traveler. Book some of Stowe’s best resort homes—online. Well-appointed, tastefully decorated homes at Topnotch, Spruce Peak, and throughout Stowe. (802) 760-1157.

WILLIAM RAVEIS STOWE REALTY We combine the marketing and technology of one of the largest brokerages in the U.S. with the local knowledge and community focus of a Vermont family business. You can count on our family to be there for yours. (802) 253-8484,

RESTAURANTS ALFIE’S WILD RIDE Full bar. 24 taps. Authentic Mexican street food. Live music. 150-foot projection screen. 22-foot shuffle puck. Darts. Cornhole. Arcade. Indoor-outdoor. 8,200 square feet. Après every day. 942 Mountain Road, Stowe.


PUBS BURT’S IRISH PUB Stowe’s local Irish pub for over 45 years. Come enjoy our popular brunch specials out on the lawn every Sunday or stop in any time for a cold drink and a quick bite to eat. Luce Hill Road, Stowe. (802) 253-6071.

REAL ESTATE & RENTALS COLDWELL BANKER CARLSON REAL ESTATE Real estate services representing Stowe and surrounding communities. Our talented team leads the industry in technology, innovation, and expertise. Located at 91 Main St., Stowe (802) 253-7358, and 74 Portland St., Morrisville, (802) 521-7962.

Unique to Stowe, wood-fired comfort food including pizza. Local ingredients in a relaxed, rustic modern Vermont atmosphere. Enjoy après ski or dinner with family and friends. 28 taps, craft beer, cocktails, and extensive wine list. Daily. 492 Mountain Rd., Stowe. or (802) 253-5100.

BLACK CAP COFFEE & BAKERY OF VERMONT Serving breakfast and lunch. Breakfast burritos and sandwiches, quiches, lunch sandwiches. Gluten-free/vegan options. A fun place to work, meet or hang out. Open daily. Stowe village and downtown Morrisville.

BLACK DIAMOND BARBEQUE Black Diamond Barbeque is located just five miles from Stowe, and offers private dining, craft beer and cocktails, and full-service catering. (802) 888-2275.

HARRISON’S RESTAURANT & BAR Located in historic Stowe Village serving elevated takes on American dishes with wine, craft beers and cocktails in a unique, parlor-like space. Reservations accepted. (802) 253-7773,

IDLETYME BREWING COMPANY Small-batch craft lagers and ales. Lunch and dinner daily from 11:30 a.m. Innovative cocktails, extensive wine list, family friendly, fireplace dining. Outdoor patio. Perfect for special events. Beer to go. 1859 Mountain Road, Stowe. (802) 253-4765,

MICHAEL’S ON THE HILL Enjoy the ultimate Vermont dining experience in a relaxed, warm atmosphere with spectacular views from our 1820 farmhouse. Award-winning, Swiss chef-owned, events. Wine spectator award. Dinner from 5-9 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. 5 minutes from Stowe. Route 100, Waterbury Center. (802) 244-7476.

PIECASSO PIZZERIA & LOUNGE Traditional, hand-tossed New York style pizza with modern style, eclectic music, and great vibes. A local favorite, voted a “Top 11 Slice in the Country” by Creative entrees, craft beer, gluten-free menu, online ordering, takeout, delivery. (802) 253-4411,

THE RESERVOIR RESTAURANT In the heart of downtown Waterbury. We specialize in local Vermont based comfort food and some of the best beers available. Private second floor events space for up to 50 people. Dinner daily, lunch Saturday and Sunday. ( 802) 244-7827,

SALUTE STOWE Chef owned and operated. Authentic Italian cuisine. Homemade pasta and mozzarella, prime wood-fired steaks, fresh seafood, lasagna and veal parmigiana, fresh baked bread, desserts, daily specials. Outdoor sitting. Catering. 18 Edson Hill Rd., Stowe. (802) 253-5677,

THE SKINNY PANCAKE Locally sourced sweet and savory crepes, coffee and espresso, burgers, beer and wine. Takeout and dine-in. 454 Mountain Road, Stowe.

STOWE SANDWICH COMPANY Open for breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Soups, salads, sandwiches and sides for lunch, including grab-and-go. Plenty of parking, online ordering available. Check us out, including catering, at 1669 Mountain Road, (802) 253-7300.

TIPSY TROUT New this winter: A cheeky take on New England seafood. This chic but chill experience features raw bar, refined regional delicacies, and a cocktail-forward dinner menu. At Spruce Peak.

TRAPP FAMILY LODGE KAFFEEHAUS Offering a variety of European pastries, soups, salads, sandwiches, wine, and our von Trapp lagers. Open daily. For hours call (800) 826-7000.

TRAPP FAMILY LODGE—LOUNGE & DINING ROOM Our dining room offers seasonal menus for breakfast and dinner reflecting both Austrian and Vermont traditions, featuring farm-to-table cuisine. Lounge has great seasonal lunch offerings. Daily. Reservations: (802) 253-5733.

WHISTLEPIG PAVILION Treat yourself to some authentic Vermont après-ski dining. WhistlePig Pavilion brings all the old favorites again this year, including fire-baked raclette cheese and inspired WhistlePig rye whiskey cocktails. 7412 Mountain Road, Stowe.


STOWE GUIDE & MAGAZINE BUSINESS DIRECTORY RETIREMENT COMMUNITY COPLEY WOODLANDS Come home to Stowe, where retirement living is easy. Spacious condos, fine dining, activities. Available for adults 55+. Copley Woodlands, 125 Thomas Lane, Stowe. (802) 253-7200,

WAKE ROBIN A vibrant non-profit life-care community located on 136 acres just south of Burlington in Shelburne, Vt. Residents enjoy independent living in cottages and apartments and comprehensive, on-site health care for life., (802) 264-5100.

SHOE STORES WELL HEELED Unique collection of shoes, boots, handbags, belts, clothing, and jewelry in a chicly updated Vermont farmhouse halfway up Stowe’s Mountain Road. Shoes are our specialty and effortlessly chic our motto. Insta: wellheeledstowe. (802) 253-6077, Daily 11 to 5.

SKI RESORTS SMUGGLERS’ NOTCH RESORT, VERMONT America’s Family Resort. Mountainside lodging. Award-winning kids’ programs. Zipline canopy tours. Winter: Three interconnected mountains, 2,610 vertical. FunZone 2.0 entertainment complex. Summer: 8 pools, 4 waterslides, disc golf, mountain bike park. (888) 256-7623,

SKI & SNOWBOARD SHOPS MOUNTAINOPS Mountainops is a full-service ski shop specializing in sales and rental of Alpine, AT, telemark, backcountry and Nordic gear. Best clothing in town tucked in a cozy 1895 barn. 4081 Mountain Rd., Stowe. (802) 253-4531.

ONION RIVER OUTDOORS Gear, clothing, and expert advice for all your outdoor adventures. Friendly, knowledgeable sales and service of bikes, skis, and car racks. Visit for our fun events and clinics. Langdon Street, Montpelier. Open daily.

PINNACLE SKI & SPORTS Voted No. 1 rental demo shop five years running. All new rental and demo skis and snowboards. Atomic, Blizzard, Burton, Dynastar, Fischer, Head, K2, Kastle, Nordica, Rossignol, Salomon, Volkl. Open nightly till 8 p.m., 10 p.m. Fri., Sat. and holidays. (802) 253-7222.

SKIING–Cross Country TRAPP FAMILY LODGE OUTDOOR CENTER Over 37 miles of groomed and 62 miles of backcountry trails in woodlands and meadows with spectacular mountain views. Private, group instruction, rentals, retail shop. Lunch at the Slayton Pasture Cabin. (800) 253-8511. Snow reports: (802) 253-5720.

SPA SPA AT SPRUCE PEAK By nature, we all aspire to be healthy. Experience a complete wellness journey included with every spa treatment—including access to our outdoor pool, healing lodges, and more. 7412 Mountain Road, Stowe.

SPECIAL ATTRACTIONS LITTLE RIVER HOTGLASS STUDIO Walk into the studio and experience the art of glassblowing up close. Adjacent gallery features work of resident artist Michael Trimpol. Thursday to Monday 10-5. (802) 253-0889.


MONTSHIRE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE Award-winning hands-on science center on 110 acres near Connecticut River, with 150-plus interactive exhibits, family programming, seasonal outdoor and water experiences. Miles of nature trails. Norwich. (802) 649-2200.

SPRUCE PEAK PERFORMING ARTS CENTER The Stowe region’s premier, year-round presenter of music, theater, dance, film, education, and family programs on stage, on screen, and across the community. (802) 760-4634. Visit for more information.

SPRUCE PEAK VILLAGE ICE RINK A classic winter activity, right at the heart of the Spruce Peak village. This beautiful, outdoor skating rink sits surrounded by magical views of the ski slopes. 7412 Mountain Road, Stowe.

STOWE HISTORICAL SOCIETY & MUSEUM Preserving Stowe’s rich history. Museum at the West Branch and Bloody Brook Schoolhouses, next to Stowe Library. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 1-4 p.m., and when the flags are out. (802) 253-1518.,

VERMONT TEDDY BEAR RETAIL STORE & FACTORY TOURS Go behind the scenes, create your own bear and find the perfect gift for any occasion during this interactive experience the family will treasure forever. 6655 Shelburne Rd., 7 miles south of Burlington. (802) 985-1319,

SPECIALTY FOODS ALLA VITA Olive oil taproom and trattoria offering fresh extra virgin olive oils and aged balsamics, unique wines, wine club, prepared foods, sea salts, and much more. Serving breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday. 27 State St., Montpelier,

LAKE CHAMPLAIN CHOCOLATES What the New York Times calls “some of the best chocolate in the country.” Made from fair-trade certified chocolate, Vermont cream, other natural ingredients. Caramels, truffles, creamy fudge, hot chocolate, factory seconds. (802) 241-4150.

SPORTING GOODS OUTDOOR GEAR EXCHANGE Locally owned since 1995, offering the area’s best prices, service, and selection of gear and clothing for camping, hiking, climbing, paddling, and a life lived outdoors. Open 7 days. Burlington. (802) 860-0190.

SURVEYORS LITTLE RIVER SURVEY CO / HOLT GILMOUR SURVEY ASSOCIATES Surveying: Boundary, subdivision and topographic surveys, site plans, view analysis, FEMA elevation certificates and LOMAs, and mapping. Forestry services available. Large document plotting. (802) 253-8214,

TRAVEL & TOURS 4 POINTS TOURS Let 4 Points help you enjoy our local attractions. Brewery, artisan, scenic or custom tours. Perfect for bachelor or bachelorette parties, reunions, corporate outings. Call Rick at (802) 793-9246,

WEDDING FACILITIES EDSON HILL Edson Hill offers you an exclusive, quintessential Vermont country estate with picturesque views, 22 luxurious guestrooms, and a talented culinary team to help create the wedding of your dreams., (802) 253-7371.

TRAPP FAMILY LODGE From intimate ceremonies in our lodge to grand receptions under a tent with spectacular mountain views, we tailor to individual tastes and budgets. European-style cuisine and accommodations. (800) 826-7000.

WINE, BEER, & SPIRITS BLACK CAP COFFEE & BAKERY OF VERMONT Craft beer store and selection of wines, within Stowe’s favorite coffee shop and bakery. A fun place to work, meet or hang out. Open daily. Stowe village and downtown Morrisville.

DEDALUS Dedalus is an intimate collection of perspectives and stories we can’t wait to pour into your glass. We’re here to inspire great drinking and bring communities together around the table. 1031 Mountain Road, Stowe.

FINE WINE CELLARS Fantastic wine selections from around the world. Great prices. From the rare to the exceptional value. Under $10-$100-plus. We’re nuts about wine. Please see our ad on page 2. (802) 253-2630.

MOUNTAIN MAC CIDER CO. Our hard cider is unfiltered, unprocessed, and all natural with locally grown fruits and wild yeasts. Every cider is small-batch and you can expect delightfully unique ciders in each batch.

STOWE BEVERAGE Full-service wine, beer, liquor, mixers, snacks. Stowe’s best wine and beer selection. Best price in town on Vermont maple syrup. Cigars. Free local paper with wine purchases. Monday through Saturday 10-7; Sunday 11-6. (802) 253-4525.

STOWE PUBLIC HOUSE Over 700 craft beers, cider, mead and wine. Mix and match in any quantity. Curated selection of Vermont cheeses and specialty foods. Bar open daily. 109 Main St., Stowe. (802) 585-5785,





Make every day a play day with our amazing Airfort®. Test your agility on a ninjaline. Traditional toys like Lego® to eclectic ones like Russian nesting dolls. Vermont’s most exciting store for 43 years. Birthday? Get a free balloon. (802) 253-8319,,

TRANSPORTATION & TAXIS GREEN MOUNTAIN TRANSIT MOUNTAIN ROAD SHUTTLE GMT offers year-round service in Lamoille County and free seasonal service between Stowe Village and Stowe Mountain Resort and many points in between. For schedule information, or (802) 223-7287.

Yarn offers a wide selection of yarns from near and far as well as needles, accessories, gifts, inspiration, classes, and a friendly fiber community. 80 S. Main St., Suite 3, Waterbury. (802) 241-2244.

YOGA STOWE YOGA CENTER Practice yoga in a beautiful space. Carpeted studio with windows and high ceilings. Beginner friendly, weekly schedule online. Special series: chakra yoga, prenatal, chair yoga, meditation. Privates available. Kate Graves, 515 Moscow Rd., (802) 253-8427,

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