VERMONT STATE HISTORIC SITES HOST A SUMMER OF EDUCATIONAL EVENTS
Contact: John Dumville, Historic Sites Operations Chief
Montpelier, Vt. – Memorial Day marks the summer opening of six Vermont’s State-owned historic sites, host to a full schedule of exhibits and events for the public’s enjoyment.
“These beautifully preserved gems allow us to experience history where it happened,” said John Dumville, historic sites operations chief at the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. “They tell us the story of Vermont and our nation--from the first inhabitants to the Vermonter who became our 30th president.”
The Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison reopens after two years of closure due to the Lake Champlain Bridge project. The museum, in a c.1785 tavern, reveals the Native American, French Colonial and early American history of this area of Lake Champlain. Visitors can view a special archeological exhibit with over 9,000 years of history, uncovered during the bridge construction project.
In 1777, the American Revolution was in full swing in Vermont. At Mount Independence in Orwell, one of the nation’s best-preserved Revolutionary War sites, American soldiers retreated in the face of British General John Burgoyne. The annual Soldiers Atop the Mount weekend, September 8-9, commemorates the American raid that attempted to take Mount Independence back from the British. The Hubbardton Battlefield is hallowed ground, the location of the July 7, 1777, battle where Green Mountain Boys and the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Continental troops fought the British and German Brunswick troops 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 7- 8 to commemorate the battle’s 235th anniversary.
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. The big event commemorating the battle will take place on August 18-19.
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.
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—150 years ago. The outstanding 1840s Gothic Revival style Morrill Homestead and gardens he designed look much as he left it. A symposium honoring Senator Morrill and the Sesquicentennial of the Land-Grant College Act will be held September 11-12 Nationally known educators, politicians and correspondents will search for new directions in higher education in America and the importance of the Land Grant College system and the Morrill Land Grant College Act signed into law by Abraham Lincoln.
The President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in rural Plymouth Notch is America’s best-preserved presidential site. Calvin Coolidge, born here in 1872, also became president here in a dramatic early morning inauguration on August 3, 1923, after President Harding’s death. The new interactive exhibit, “More than Two Words: The Life and Legacy of Calvin Coolidge,” opens June 9.
For more information about hours of operation or for a calendar of events, visit http://www.historicsites.vermont.gov. Join the conversation at Vermont State Historic Sites on Facebook.