Weekend travel to Southern Vermont
September 20, 2007
I visited Southern Vermont few weeks ago. There are several historic attractions.
1. New England Maple Museum
Maple syrup bucket
- The Museum is a niche along Vermont Route 7 in Pitford, past Middlebury area. It exhibits a whole range of maple products, documentary, history and educational games about the maple story.
- “Maple on snow” (maple syrup) has always been so well told as long as Vermont is mentioned. I heard the term “sugar snow” the first time in a Vermont fireplace table last winter.
- The Tasting Room in the museum exhibits some unusual Maple products for example the “Maple and hot pepper”
- Unlike honey, which is taken from the bee, maple is the “sugar matter” extracted from the sap of a maple tree.
2. Hildene, the Lincoln family home
- Robert Todd Lincoln built Hildene at the turn of the 20th century in Manchester, Vermont. He was the only son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln that survived to adulthood.
- The last descendant of Lincoln lineage passed away in 1985. Over the time, Hildene has become the longest residence of the Lincoln family and now a legacy of the Lincoln’s.
Hildene home 1
Hildene home 2
- The non-profit group Friends of Hildene raised they money to purchase the home in 1978 and began a long process of restoring the home and the garden. Hildene becomes the place for many programs and events for example children programs, weddings and family days.
- In 2004, Hildene exhibits permanent collection of President Abraham Lincoln, titled “The Personal Abraham Lincoln”
- Hildene is very beautiful in design, located in a magnificent position. It overlooks a vast beautiful valley in an ancient town of Vermont. The town is almost the same for a century. The houses are lined up and sparse.
- A beautiful skyview outpost outside the Hildene residence. There is a telescope to see the night sky.
- It is moving to look at memorabilia of Abraham Lincoln, a man of almost no formal education. He mostly educated himself by reading poetry, autobiography, the Bible and law. The painting “Abraham Lincoln by his death bed” was very moving.
- Abraham Lincoln’s “whisker story”: on a campaign trip, a woman in New York told him if he grew a whisker (a beard), he would be elected because women liked men who have a beard. He first did not believe that but then grew a beard by the woman’s suggestion. When he got elected, he actually visited the woman to say thanks.
- Close to Hildene Home is the Civil War Cemetery.
3. Norman Rockwell exhibit
- 20 minutes drive south from Hildene is the Norman Rockwell exhibit in a more-than a century-year-old church. It was beautiful. I love Norman Rockwell’s paintings. They are so real and full of life.
- Norman was born in NYC and later resided in Arlington, Vermont in the rest of his life.