Vermont, nestled in the North East of the USA, is a nature’s playground with open-minded locals and tons of history. Before going to any place, I love to immerse myself in the history and traditions of each town, city, park, and more. That’s why I have gathered here facts about Vermont, its history, places and more.
Vermont History Facts
- The Abenaki, Mahican and Penacook groups were among the first Native Americans in the Vermont region.
- In 1609, explorer Samuel de Champlain claimed the Vermont region for France. The first French settlement was established at Fort Ste. Anne in 1666.
- In 1775 Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys won one of the first important American victories of the Revolutionary War by capturing Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point.
- In 1777 Vermont adopted its first constitution, abolishing slavery and providing for universal male suffrage without property qualifications.
- Vermont was the first state admitted to the union after the first 13 colonies.
- The first Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream store opened in Burlington in 1978.
- Milk is Vermont’s #1 farm product.
- The Von Trapp family, whose escape from Austria during World War II made famous in the Disney musical “The Sound of Music,” moved to Stowe, about 40 miles west of Burlington.
- Vermont has the least amount of violent crimes out of all 50 states.
Read our full Vermont Adventure here
Vermont Fun Facts
- Vermont was the first state admitted to the Union after the ratification of the Constitution.
- Until 1996, Vermont was the only state without a Wal-Mart.
- Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the U.S.
- It was the first state to outlaw slavery.
- Lake Champlain is rumored to be home to a shy and friendly creature named Champ.
- Lake Champlain, which runs almost the entire length of the border between New York and Vermont, is the sixth largest interior body of water in the United States—only the Great Lakes are bigger.
- Vermont lays claim to being a key location in the history of snowboarding. Snowboarding was initially inspired by surfing.
Cool Facts About the Places in Vermont
- The city dates back to 1798 when Joseph Brant received a grant of 3,450 acres from the Crown.
- It became a city in January 1974.
- The city of Burlington is Vermont’s largest city.
- In 1978 the ice cream enterprise Ben & Jerry’s was founded in Burlington in a renovated gas station.
- In the late Seventies, several blocks of the main business district were converted to a pedestrian mall it is now called Church Street Marketplace.
- In 2007, the city was named one of the top four “places to watch” in the United States by the American Association of Retired Persons.
- It is located between mountains and next to Lake Champlain.
- Spring and summer are the best time to visit due to the amount of festivals and outdoor activities available.
- More than 200 housing units in the King Street Neighborhood Historic District have been rehabilitated in recent years.
- At the top of the hill is the University Green Historic District, the home of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. It was founded in 1791 and was the nation’s first state AC and one of its oldest medical schools.
Recommended Read: Things to do in Burlington
- Lake Champlain is a freshwater lake between Vermont and New York.
- The lake was named after the French explorer Samuel de Champlain.
- In colonial times, Lake Champlain was used as a water passage between the Saint Lawrence and the Hudson valleys.
- During the Revolutionary War, the British and Americans had a shipbuilding race through the Spring and Summer of 1776 at opposite ends of the lake.
- The battle was known as Battle of Valcour Island and took place in October 11, 1776.
- In 1909, 65,000 people celebrated the 300th anniversary of the French discovery of the lake.
- Lake Champlain briefly became the nation’s sixth Great Lake on March 6, 1998.
- In 1609 Samuel de Champlain wrote that he saw a lake monster five feet long, with silver-gray scales plus 0.76 m jaws with sharp and dangerous teeth.
- Native Americans claimed to have seen similar monsters 8 to 10 feet (2.4 to 3.0 m).
Related Read: Lake champlain resort, Basin Harbor Review
- Stowe was chartered June 8, 1763 by Royal Governor Benning Wentworth of the New Hampshire colony.
- At one time there were 10 covered bridges in Stowe built in the 1840s and 1850s; now there are but two – one bridge left over Gold Brook in Stowe Hollow and one over the West Branch at Brook Road.
- Skiing was first introduced in 1914 by Swedish families living in Stowe.
- The First ski trails were created in 1933.
- Lumber and agriculture have been the essential industries of Stowe over most of its history.
- It is the second-largest town in the state of Vermont.
- The weekend-long British Invasion event is held annually in Stowe during the third week of September.
- The Stowe Theater Guild, along with Hyde Park Opera House, and the Waterbury Festival Players, combine to offer theatrical productions each summer.
- Mount Mansfield is Vermont’s highest mountain and next to Stowe. It is a ski area with terrain suitable for intermediate to expert skiers.
- In 2012, Stowe Land Trust conserved the Cady Hill Forest property in the heart of Stowe Village, and transferred ownership to the Town of Stowe.
Recommended Post: Things to do in Stowe
Smugglers Notch National Park
- Smugglers’ Notch State Park is situated in the Green Mountains which are part of the Appalachian Mountains
- Smugglers Notch is named for the smuggling that was prompted by a request of President Thomas Jefferson to prevent American involvement in the Napoleonic Wars.
- The caves were used as hideaways by the smugglers.
- It was later used on the Underground Railroad when fugitive slaves used the notch as an escape route to Canada.
- Then it became a route for liquor to be brought in from Canada during the Prohibition years.
- The park offers fourteen lean-to shelters and twenty campsites at the campgrounds that are located just off Route 108.
- The park serves as a trailhead for several hiking trails that stretch into Mount Mansfield State Forest.
- The park is lined with 1,000-foot cliffs.
- Smugglers’ Notch State Park was relocated in 2003.
- All of the historic structures originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps were carefully relocated and restored.
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