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Jan 2, 2015

Living in the Green Mountain State AKA Vermont

Learning About Vermont

I've been in Vermont for 12 years now.  I've seen so many amazingly gorgeous places.  You'd think for such a small state, I could have seen it all by now.  There are tons of places I'd love to see or think the boys would enjoy.  I hope you'll enjoy learning about these few events, locations, and people of Vermont and feel inspired to find out more about some of them. 

Interesting Events

In 1777, Vermont declared itself an independent republic named New Connecticut.  In 1791, Vermont became the 14th state.

St. Albans Raid - The Northernmost Land Action of the Civil War
This year was the 150th anniversary of many Civil War battles.  The St. Albans Raid happened on October 19, 1864, when Confederate soldiers attacked from Canada with the intention of robbing banks and forcing the Union to divert troops to the northern border.  Bennett H Young led the Confederate raiders.  They stole $208,000, and attempted to burn down the city.  This is a terrifically detailed account with a humorous moment or two.

Famous Vermonters

"Snowflake" Bentley - We first learned about William Bentley from a Download N Go unit study by Amanda Bennett.  Then we had to follow up here in Vermont because he is actually local to us.  Snowflake Bentley was a photographer of snowflakes.  He perfected the means of capturing snowflake images before they could melt.  Using equipment available at the turn of the 20th century, he was able to photograph over 5,000 unique snowflakes. 

Chester Arthur - Lawyer, VP under Garfield and, later, president after James Garfield's assassination.

Calvin Coolidge - 30th president of the United States.  His homestead is a state historical site.

John Deere - Founded the John Deere company which has created commercial farm equipment since 1837.

Ethan Allen - Founder of the Green Mountain Boys of the American Revolutionary War. Captured Fort Ti (Ticonderoga) from the British.

Other famous Vermonters include Joseph Smith (founder of Mormonism), Elisha Graves Otis (invented a safety device for elevators and founded the Otis Elevator Company), and John LeClair (first VT born NHL player).

Sights to See

Rock of Ages Vermont Granite Quarry - This quarry is amazing.  We learned how the granite is removed and formed into all kinds of art.  And it was featured briefly in the movie Star Trek (2009).

"The Notch" - This is a seasonal road between Jeffersonville and Stowe, a section of VT108 which goes over Mt. Mansfield (the highest mountain in Vermont).  Despite signage prohibiting tractor trailers and other large vehicles, someone(s) gets stuck every year.  When you no longer see a center line, the road is not two lanes.  There are several hairpin turns, which also happen to be narrow and blind.  It's a gorgeous ride for the seven or so months of the year that it's open.  It's also about as knuckle whitening as I care to get in my old age.

Tourists Traps that are Awesome!

Ben & Jerry's - Ice cream.  'Nuff said.

Vermont Teddy Bear Factory - I have assorted cuddlies, including the controversial Crazy About You bear.  We like to tour the factory every year or two.

Cold Hollow Cider - Fresh, cold cider samples, cider donuts, apple butter...  Oh, my happy tummy.

Cabot Cheese - We actually haven't been to the creamery yet, but it's on the list.  We like to stop at the outlet in Waterbury for samples when we head to Ben & Jerry's or Cold Hollow Cider Mill.

Here are some of the places we've been and I've blogged about.  I'll be adding to this list as I add more field trip posts.

Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium
The Great Vermont Corn Maze
Cold Hollow Cider Mill
ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center

I've linked up on AdenaF's Learning Through the 50 States.  Go see some of the other states represented there.

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