VERMONT, the Green Mountain State

What to see

Rutland the region - Wilson's Castle
South Royalton Joseph Smith memorial
Shelburne Teddy Bear Company
Burlington Ethan Allen Homestead - Lake Champlain Chocolates
Grand Isles Islands tour
Vergennes Lake Champlain Maritime museum
   
Article Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold and politics...
Other pages other states | articles

 

cover new england

This is an extract of the main sights in this state, with small photos. You will find the full description and full-sized photos in my e-book View America: New England

In the travel series View America, this book describes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Each state is described with its own brief historical background and its main sights, points of interest and tourist attractions.

It is not a traditional travel story, but a non-commercial and more or less objective chronicle of an in-depth exploration of these states. My book does not describe lodgings, restaurants or entertainment, except where these may interact with the narrative. It is illustrated with more than 100 full-sized photos.

 

OVERVIEW

VERMONT is also known as the Green Mountain State. Its name comes from the French words "vert" and "mont", which mean "green" and "mountain". Vermont joined the US as the 14th state in 1791, the first new state after the formation of the union by the thirteen original colonies. The capital is Montpelier, and the largest city is Burlington.

Vermont has a surface of about 24,900 km2, and it is forested for 78%. It has about 613,000 inhabitants, with a density of 26 per km2. Vermont is the most rural state of the US, with only 32% of the population living in the cities.

The main economic activity until well into the 20th century was agriculture, after which the industry took over. Today, tourism is the most important industry. The national tree is the sugar maple tree, which produces the famous maple syrup! Its beautiful scenery ensures that Vermont attracts tourists throughout the whole year. Autumn offers its extraordinary color pallet in the woods, and during the winter, the many ski resorts are very much in demand.

 

THINGS TO SEE

Shelburne : Vermont Teddy Bear

The Vermont Teddy Bear Co. offers guided tours of its workshop, where different models of Teddy Bears are made. After the tour, the visitors usually flock to the inevitable gift shop. And just as inevitably, the ladies usually emerge with a big smile and one or more Teddy bears under the arm, supposedly for the children or grandchildren...

But where does the name Teddy Bear actually come from? It is known all over the world as a hugging bear, but its name is far more recent than you might think! In 1902, President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt presided a conference, that was to solve a dispute over the state line between Vermont and Massachusetts. After the conference Roosevelt was offered a hunting party, as everyone knew that he was an avid hunter. On that particular day however no game at all showed up and after several hours of hunting no one in the party had fired even a single shot. Roosevelt was visibly disappointed.

To console him, a few hunters tied a young bear cub to a tree so that he could kill the animal with one shot and take home a trophy. However, Roosevelt was deeply outraged and ordered the immediate release of the young animal. One of the journalists wrote about the incident as part of his article about the border discussion. He added a cartoon in which he called the animal Teddy Bear. In true folk spirit this cartoon caused more response among the people than all the boring news about the convention, and the name Teddy Bear instantly became legendary!

A clever Vermont toy maker wanted to manufacture the bear as a toy, and he asked Roosevelt's permission call it a Teddy Bear. Roosevelt immediately agreed, et voilà, there's your Teddy Bear!

Shelburne : Vermont Teddy Bear 1 Shelburne : Vermont Teddy Bear 2
   
Shelburne : Vermont Teddy Bear 3
Shelburne : Vermont Teddy Bear 4

Burlington

Ethan Allen Homestead

In Burlington you'll find the Ethan Allen Homestead, which was the home of a Vermont folk hero, a frontiersman and a Revolutionary leader. However, you won't find any directions to the Ethan Allen Park anywhere, nor is there any reference to Ethan Allen at the entrance to the park, except for two simple plaques. The first one states that his farm was built here in 1778, and the second one simply states that he died here in 1789! Could it be that he was a just a hero of the people, but not an "official" one?... Read more about Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold and politics...

Burlington : Ethan Allen Homestead 1 Burlington : Ethan Allen Homestead 2