The land claimed by the French in 1609 as New France included modern day Vermont. However, the British were also in the area and in 1724 they built Fort Dummer to protect their interests. The French responded by building Fort St. Frédéric, which held out against the British until 1759 when it finally fell during the French & Indian War. Under the 1763 Treaty of Paris that ended the war, France gave up its claim to the area and Britan took full control albeit for only a few years. In January 1777 the area declared itself independent as the State of New Connecticut, changing its name to Vermont six months later. Our first visit to Vermont, in the fall of 1985, was a bit of a disaster. The sun refused to come out and lunch in a small town left us both suffering from food poisoning. Even so, we do remember some spectacular fall colours. We returned in 2007 and were rewarded with good food and plenty of sunshine.
Peacham Congregational Church & fall foliage
Think of New England and you think of white churches with tall spires and in the autumn the striking reds and yellows of the trees. At autumn time each church seems to have a brilliant red tree nearby. On this front Peacham certainly does not disappoint. The congregational church was founded in 1796 as the village Meeting House
The name Vermont is derived from the French ‘Monts Verts’, meaning green mountains. Many visitors don’t get to see why the state has this name as they visit in the autumn to see the vibrant colours of the fall foliage. This picture of Smuggler’s Notch was taken in May when the state was truly living up to its name. Notch is a name used in New England for a mountain pass. Smuggler’s Notch is known for hiking in summer and skiing in winter.
Shaw's General Store, Stowe
Stowe is a typical Vermont mountain village. Founded back in 1763, walking around the town you get the feeling that it hasn’t changed a great deal in the meantime. Shaw’s General Store was founded in 1895 and today it still has the air of an old fashioned shop.
Fall foliage near Peacham
Another dose of fall foliage! While the big crowds head for New England on bright and sunny autumn days, the fall foliage often stands out well on cloudy days. It was cloudy throughout our 1985 visit and while it would have been nice to have seen the colours against a blue sky, they were still spectacular! In the background, the mountains that in summer give the state its name have turned a patchwork of reds and yellows.
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Old Mill Museum, Weston
Apart from scenery and fall foliage, another reason to visit Vermont is for its history. In many towns and villages the history is preserved in the form of old buildings, but Weston also has museums. The Old Mill Museum stands on the site of an 18th century mill that burned down in 1900. It has been reconstructed and features exhibits of early mill technology, a grist mill, tinsmithy, and water-powered and horse-drawn saws. There aren’t many museums where you are greeted by a dog!
The common at Newfane is renowned for its old buildings. The building on the left was originally Union Church built in 1832 as a meeting house shared by the Congregationalist Restoration Order, Calvinistic Order, Methodist, Unitarian and Baptist sects. It ceased to be a church in 1854 and in 1872 it became Union Hall, used by the village for meetings, concerts and theatre productions. On the right is the Meeting House of the First Congregational Church which was built in 1838 when the Congregationalists withdrew from the Union Church. Also on Nefane Common is Windham County Court House built in 1825. modified in 1907 and still in use today. Click Tab 2 to see the Court House.
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