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May 13, 2008
Contact: John Dumville, Historic Sites Operations Chief,
[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
VERMONT STATE HISTORIC SITES OPEN FOR SEASON
Montpelier, VT - Many of the Vermont-State owned Historic Sites open for
the 2008 season on Saturday, May 24. "These beautifully preserved gems
allow us to experience history where it happened," says John Dumville,
historic sites operations chief at the Vermont Division for Historic
Preservation. "They tell us the exciting story of Vermont and our
nation--from the first inhabitants to the Vermonter who became our 30th
president." In addition many special exhibits and events are scheduled
throughout the season.
Vermont's history goes back to the first inhabitants over 10,000 years
ago. Exhibits in Addison's c.1780 Chimney Point Tavern on Lake
Champlain recount the history through artifacts of the Native Americans.
The popular annual Northeast Open Atlatl Championship weekend will be
held on September 12 to 14.
Vermont played an important role in the American Revolution. Mount
Independence in Orwell is one of the nation's best-preserved
Revolutionary War sites. This year the new interpretive signage will be
unveiled on the Baldwin Trail, which meets outdoor standards for
handicapped accessibility. The annual Soldiers Atop the Mount weekend
is July 19 and 20. The Hubbardton Battlefield is hallowed ground, the
location of the July 7, 1777, battle where Green Mountain Boys fought
the English to enable the main American forces withdrawing from Mount
Independence and Fort Ticonderoga to head southward in safety. Hundreds
of reenactors will gather on July 5th and 6th for the popular battle
weekend to commemorate the 231st anniversary of the battle.
On August 16, 1777, Americans successfully fought British troops trying
to capture desperately needed supplies in Bennington. These battles led
to victory that October at Saratoga and to American independence. The
306-foot Bennington Battle Monument, the state's tallest structure, was
completed in 1891 and offers glorious views from the top.
Vermont's Constitution, signed on July 8, 1777, at a Windsor tavern (the
Old Constitution House), was the first in the nation to prohibit
slavery, authorize a public school system, and establish universal
manhood suffrage. On July 6 a symbolic Revolutionary relay from
Hubbardton to Windsor will convey the news to the constitutional
convention about the fall of Mount Independence and the battle at
Millions of Americans owe their higher education to Strafford's Justin
Smith Morrill, whose acts in the U.S. House and Senate established the
land grant colleges. The outstanding 1840s Gothic Revival style Morrill
Homestead and gardens he designed look much as he left it.
Two U.S. presidents were native Vermonters. Fairfield's Chester Alan
Arthur (b.1829) became president upon the fatal shooting of James
Garfield and was a champion of civil rights and civil service reform.
The Arthur site commemorates his life and career. America's
best-preserved presidential site is the rural village of Plymouth Notch.
Calvin Coolidge, born here in 1872, also became president here in a
dramatic early morning inauguration on August 3, 1923, after President
For more information about hours of operation or for a calendar of
events, visit www.HistoricVermont.org/sites or contact John Dumville at
802-828-3051 or [log in to unmask].
Digital images of many of the sites are available upon request to:
[log in to unmask]
John P. Dumville
Historic Sites Operations Chief
Vermont Division for Historic Preservation
National Life Building, 2nd Floor
Montpelier, Vermont 05620-1201
Telephone: (802) 828-3051
Fax: (802) 828-3206
Email: [log in to unmask]
The Vermont State Historic Sites: History Where It Happened
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