Farewell Vermont


We made it home last night from Vermont after having a glorious time. I have always said that, if I ever left Virginia, I would go to Vermont. No state has worked so hard to protect the environment and preserve the natural beauty of the land. Vermont legislators basically work for free (with a small stipend for travel) and every citizen seems connected to the local and state political system.

All of the kids have their favorite moments, though the kids particularly would go back and live at the Auberge San Antoine. From the first to the last day, the staff made us all feel like royalty or, even better, family. I loved Morgan’s Pub at the Three Stallion Inn. We spent every night at the pub and the last night was a local trio playing a collection of songs old and new. Jack loved the fondue and has decided to become a fondue mogul after “discovering” the dish in Canada. Benjamin loved the Biosphere, particularly the sea otters. For Madie, the Ben and Jerrys trip was a trip to Nirvana. I loved Vermont Law School and seeing how the school instills such public interest passion in its students and such a deep love for the environment.

Other highlights included the kids praying at the cemetery of discontinued flavors and his work as a coin collector in Quebec. (While walking around the city, a coin collector asked Aidan if he would like to empty the parking meters for him. Aidan proved a natural). One picture shows Aidan overwhelmed after finding the remains of Cool Britannia. Madie was overcome after spotting Bovinity Divinity.

We took a wonderful hike to the top of a Vermont mountain and sat on a cliff with a view that was breathtaking. It was something out of a masterpiece painting with a panoramic view of the Vermont mountains and valleys. Even the kids were overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of it.

I was able to get my military historical fix on the last day. We were staying in Randolph, a town that still preserves its New England charm. (The only exception was a tragic and rather ugly modern building housing the engineering firm of Dubois and King. I am not sure why a town with such an eye to historical preservation let that building pass muster but it appeared to be an example of 1980s yuk architecture). Randolph is the location of the infamous Royalton Raid in 1780 where Lieutenant Houghton of the British Army’s 53rd Regiment of Foot and a single Grenadier, led 300 Mohawk warriors from the Kahnawake Reserve in the British province of Quebec in a deadly raid. This was an effort to prevent the town from being used by the famous Green Mountain Boys. Houghton, however, lead a disgraceful attack in which four persons were killed and twenty six people taken captive. Local militia men caught up to the raiders in Randolph, but Houghton then turned to using the women and children as human shields — threatening to kill them all if the fighting continued. The militia withdrew and the captives were reportedly taken to Canada and sold for slaves at $8 a head — at least according to the historical marker. One positive story is memorialized in the The Hannah Handy monument, on the South Royalton town green — a granite arch honoring a young mother who pursued the raiders across the river after they took her young son. She successfully begged for the return of several children.

The raid was particularly interesting because it was part of the infamous attacks led by Major Christopher Carleton of the 29th Regiment of Foot along the shores of Lake Champlain — Charleton had spent time with the Mohawks in his youth.

We loved our time in Vermont. Thanks to everyone at the law school, particularly Professor Hanna, and in Randolph. We know something about Southern hospitality, but Vermont shows that hospitality really has no regional limits. We cannot wait to return . . . after all, we are still looking for a moose. (Frankly, the moose would have had to be deaf not to hear the Turley clan careening through the woods).

9 thoughts on “Farewell Vermont

  1. I’ve enjoyed your postings about your time in Vermont, but couldn’t help but wonder about the presence of “hate” and other extremist groups. The SPLC’s updated “hate map” was recently released and, seeing a rather tight cluster on the east coast, I was curious about VT. Vermont has 1, D.C. 13… (Wyoming has 2, and Alaska 1…, looking at other areas of low population)

    Anyway, Vermont seems lovely…

    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/hate-map (the whole map)

    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/hate-map#s=VT (Vermont)

    (The SPLC’s Mark Potok grew up in Plainfield, Vermont.)

  2. For moose, try Isle Royale National Park. 😉 (It’s been years, but I don’t think you’ll find much ice cream.)

  3. Hey Johathan, Just so happens that my seventh great grandfather and his sons are some of the founding members of the Green Mountain Boys and he, Capt. Samual Robinson is considered by many to be the father of Vermont. My brother Doug Robinson was invited to last years 250 anniversary in Bennington and he said it was amazing place as well. We just found all this out in the last couple of years. We have one gap in 1640 – 1667 that has not been verified but we are by other historians, desendents of William Robinson, who is a direct relation (possibly a brother to Pastor John Robinson whose stayed behind in Holland after escaping religious percecuting for being seperatists, with the older folks, as his youngers compatriates lead by William Brewster sailed to America under the Mayfower Compact. Moses Robinson, one of Capt. Samuals sons, was the 2nd Governor of Vermont. All his sons fought in the Battle of Bennington and other major battles in that area. Their barn was the armory for the militias and Continental Army being fought over and as we all know, we won.

  4. My ancestor Solomon Peirce fought at the Battle of Bennington, as a MA militiaman (from Lexington, MA).. Vermont didn’t exist as a state then, it was called the “Northern District.” The only reason we can verify this fact is that he got reimbursed for his expenses for his long trip up to the Northern District and the receipt is in the MMA.

  5. Every state has its own beauty. Vermont is on my personal top ten list. For moose, you might plan a trip to Alaska. I saw three up close and personal. The first was a bull who had a huge gorgeous rack. He caused a traffic jam close to the airport mid day. The other two were a mother and her young. They were in the median after dark. So glad they didn’t decide to cross while I was next to them.

  6. We are missing the voice of a protective mother…..

    Don’t go petting the moose! They are very dangerous. (And none more so than a mom and her calf.)

  7. As a Vermonter living in exile here in NH I am very familiar with that of which you speak. I know Randolph well. Next time you are there, try The Hartness House in Springfield. Was the mansion of Governor James Hartness. Lot’s of history there. Lindbergh stayed there on his post Atlantic tour of the US. Vermont is, indeed a very unique place

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