Vermont and New York - Fall 2010
After Bobbie and I left Montreal, we first went to Vermont's Northern Kingdom and stayed in St. Johnsbury.
St. Johnsbury is located approximately 10 miles northwest of the Connecticut River and 40 miles south of the Canadian border.
St. Johnsbury is the largest town by population in the Northeast Kingdom and serves as a commercial center for the area. In 2006, the town was named "Best Small Town" in National Geographic Adventure's "Where to live and play" feature. The more densely-settled southern half of the town is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP), where over 83% of the population resides.
The town was originally granted in 1760 as part of the New Hampshire Grants and named Bessborough. It was re-granted by Vermont in 1786 as Dunmore, and settled the same year. An early settler was Dr. Jonathan Arnold, a member of the Continental Congress and author of Rhode Island's act of secession from the United Kingdom in May of 1776. Arnold left Rhode Island in 1787 and, with six other families, built homes at what is now the town center.
By 1790, the village had grown to 143 inhabitants, and the first town meeting took place in Arnold's home that year, where the name St. Johnsbury was adopted. According to local lore, Vermont founder Ethan Allen himself proposed naming the town St. John in honor of his friend Jean de Crèvecœur, a French-born author and agriculturist and a friend of Benjamin Franklin (he was known in the United States as J. Hector St. John). According to this account, de Crèvecœur suggested instead the unusual St. Johnsbury to differentiate it from Saint John, New Brunswick.
In the mid-19th century, St. Johnsbury became a minor manufacturing center, with the main products being scales - the platform scale was invented there by Thaddeus Fairbanks in 1830 - and maple syrup and related products. With the coming of the railroad line from Boston to Montreal in the 1850's, St. Johnsbury grew quickly and was named the shire town (county seat) in 1856, replacing Danville. The oldest occupied residence in St. Johnsbury was built in 1801 and is located on Clarks Avenue.
In the 1940's the city contained three major industries. Each was the largest in the world. One was Fairbanks Scales, another was a maple sugar candy company, a third made those old candlestick bowling [sic] pins. The rest of the economy was mostly rural.
Quoted From: St. Johnsbury, Vermont - Wikipedia
The Northern Kingdom
This was our hotel in St. Johnsbury. When we arrived, we added to the minority. That Minority was people since there weren't many even when you took the time to search. I think that was part of the charm of the area.
Throughout Vermont, we saw various 'Covered Bridges' like these and others whose
style could vary with the diversity of the bridges.
Here in Island Pond which was a small village, Bobbie was taking pictures and
asked one of the local residents if there was some picturesque route/road that he
would suggest. I think we followed his direction because we ended up on
practically dirt road.
This is where our unknown route began from our friendly local tour guide.
The 'Colors' were so rich and beautiful.
From St. Johnsbury we traveled to Bennington in the southern part of the state.
The following pictures were road pictures that we took on the way to Bennington.
Bennington is a town in Bennington County, Vermont, United States. It is one of two shire towns (county seats) of the county, the other being Manchester. The population was 15,829 at the 2000 census. By population, Bennington is the largest town in southern Vermont, the third-largest town in Vermont (after Essex and Colchester), and the sixth-largest municipality in the state (after Burlington, Essex, Rutland, Colchester, and South Burlington). Bennington is home to the Bennington Battle Monument, which is the tallest structure in the state of Vermont.
First of the New Hampshire grants, Bennington was chartered on January 3, 1749 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth and named in his honor. It was granted to William Williams and 61 others, mostly from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The town was first settled in 1761 by four families from Hardwick and two from Amherst, Massachusetts. They were led by Capt. Samuel Robinson, who camped in the river valley on his return from the French and Indian War.
The town is known primarily for the Battle of Bennington, fought during the Revolutionary War (the battle was actually fought a few miles to the west in New York). On August 16, 1777, General John Stark's 1,500 New Hampshire Militia defeated 800 troops of German mercenaries, local Loyalists, Canadians and Indians under German Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum. German reinforcements under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Heinrich von Breymann looked set to reverse the outcome, but were prevented by the arrival of Seth Warner's Green Mountain Boys; the Vermont militia founded by Ethan Allen.
There are three historic districts within the town today: Old Bennington, Downtown Bennington and North Bennington. Of these, Old Bennington is the original settlement, dating back to 1761 when Congregational Separatists arrived from Connecticut and Massachusetts. In the early 1800's, Downtown Bennington started developing, and by 1854 the county's population had reached 18,589.
In 1891, the Bennington Battle Monument was opened. The monument is a 306-foot high stone obelisk that is the tallest structure in Vermont. It is a popular tourist attraction.
Bennington has ready access to natural resources and waterpower, and a long history of manufacture, primarily within wood processing. The town is also recognized nationally for its pottery, iron, and textiles.
Bennington is the home of the Chamber Music Conference and Composers' Forum of the East, a summer institute for amateur musicians. The Conference is held on the campus of Bennington College, and has been located in Bennington for nearly all of its seasons since it was founded in 1946. The Conference also includes a chamber music festival each summer, performed by faculty members at Greenwall Auditorium on the Bennington College campus, with six concerts held between mid-July and mid-August.
Quoted From: Bennington, Vermont - Wikipedia
Bennington Battle Monument
Old First Church
Frost Family Burial Site
More Covered Bridges
The Frost Family Farm
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it
And spills the upper boulder in the sun,
And make gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there,
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there,
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."
North Of Boston
The Molly Stark Trail
Molly Stark, née Elizabeth Page, (February 16, 1737-1814) was the wife of American Revolutionary War General John Stark.
She was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, moved with her family to Dunbarton, New Hampshire, around 1755, and was the daughter of the first postmaster of New Hampshire, Caleb Page, and his wife Ruth. She married General Stark on August 20, 1758. Together they had 11 children, including their eldest son Caleb Stark. The Molly Stark house still stands in Dunbarton at Page's Corner.
Stark gained historical notoriety due to her husband's battle call of "There are your enemies, the Red Coats and the Tories. They are ours, or this night Molly Stark sleeps a widow!" before engaging with the British and Hessian army in the Battle of Bennington. Stark is also known for her success as a nurse to her husband's troops during a smallpox epidemic and for opening their home as a hospital during the war.
Stark is honored throughout New Hampshire and Vermont with many businesses, streets and schools that bear her name, as well as the Molly Stark State Park in Wilmington, Vermont and a statue of a gun-toting Molly which overlooks the Deerfield River. Also named for her is the Molly Stark Trail, a byway otherwise known as Route 9, which crosses southern Vermont and is thought to be the route used by General Stark on his victory march home from the Battle of Bennington. Molly Stark Mountain is one of the Green Mountain peaks on the Long Trail, just south of Camel's Hump and north of Route 17, and the adjacent peak is Baby Stark.
There is a Molly Stark Hospital in northeastern Ohio. Closed in 1995, it served as a tuberculosis sanatorium in the 1930's, later becoming a state hospital for the mentally ill and the aged. In 2009 the Stark County, Ohio Commissioners were scheduled to turn the grounds and former hospital over to the Stark County Park District. The old hospital was to be demolished and the area turned into a park with hiking and bicycling trails, and picnic grounds.
The Molly Stark cannon, or "Old Molly", bears her name, and is kept by the New Boston Artillery Company in New Boston, New Hampshire.
Quoted From: Molly Stark - Wikipedia
Back in Bennington
Our trip was almost at end. As much as we enjoyed the Rich Fall Colors of Vermont, it was time to move on to New York City to visit with Roger and Calvin before going home.
When we arrived Calvin had prepared a wonderful meal and an enjoyable time was had by all. Bobbie had made arrangements for us to go to the Nederlander Theater to see the Million Dollar Quartet but Calvin begged off and missed a great show with nostalgic music as well as a delicious dinner out after the show.
The Original Million Dollar Quartet
"Million Dollar Quartet" is the name given to recordings made on Tuesday December 4, 1956 in the Sun Record Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. The recordings were of an impromptu jam session among Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash. It was arguably the first super group.
The jam session seems to have happened by pure chance. Perkins, who by this time had already met success with "Blue Suede Shoes", had come into the studios that day, accompanied by his brothers Clayton and Jay and by drummer W.S. Holland, their aim being to cut some new material, including a revamped version of an old blues song, "Matchbox". Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records, who wished to try to fatten this sparse rockabilly instrumentation, had brought in his latest acquisition, singer and piano man extraordinaire Jerry Lee Lewis, still unknown outside Memphis, to play piano on the Perkins session.
Sometime in the early afternoon, Elvis Presley, a former Sun artist himself but now at RCA, dropped in to pay a casual visit accompanied by a girlfriend, Marilyn Evans. He was, at the time, the biggest name in show business, having hit the top of the singles charts five times, and topping the album charts twice in the preceding 12-month period. Less than four months earlier, he had appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, pulling an unheard-of 83% of the television audience, which was estimated at 55 million, the largest in history up to that time.
After chatting with Philips in the control room, Presley listened to the playback of Perkins' session, which he pronounced to be good. Then he went out into the studio and sometime later the jam session began. At some point during the session, Sun artist Johnny Cash, who had recently enjoyed a few hits on the country charts, popped in. (Cash wrote in his autobiography Cash that it was he who was first to arrive at Sun Studio that day.) Cowboy Jack Clement was engineering that day and remembers saying to himself "I think I'd be remiss not to record this" and so he did and the rest is history. As Jerry Lee pounded away on the piano, Elvis and girlfriend Evans slipped out at some point. Cash claims in Cash that "no one wanted to follow Jerry Lee, not even Elvis."
As the session continued, Phillips spotted an opportunity for some publicity and called a local newspaper, the Memphis Press-Scimitar. Bob Johnson, the newspaper's entertainment editor, came over to the studios accompanied by a UPI representative named Leo Soroca and a photographer.
The following day, an article, written by Johnson about the session, was published in the Memphis Press-Scimitar under the title "Million Dollar Quartet". The article contained the now-famous photograph of Presley seated at the piano surrounded by Lewis, Perkins and Cash.
(The original, un-cropped version of the photo also includes Evans, shown seated atop the piano.)
The stage musical Million Dollar Quartet, written by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott, dramatizes the Million Dollar Quartet session. It premiered at Florida's Seaside Music Theatre and was then staged at the Village Theatre in the Seattle, Washington area in 2007, breaking box office records. The musical opened for a limited run at Chicago's Goodman Theatre on September 27, 2008. Mutrux co-directed the Chicago production with Eric Schaeffer, of Virginia's Signature Theatre. The show transferred to Chicago's Apollo Theater where it opened on October 31, 2008.
The Broadway production opened at the Nederlander Theatre on April 11, 2010. Million Dollar Quartet then opened in the West End at the Noël Coward Theatre on February 28, 2011, with previews from February 8.
Quoted From: Million Dollar Quartet - Wikipedia
Million Dollar Quartet - Official Site
Dinner on the Hudson for Bruce, Bobbie, and Roger
Roger and Bruce
Roger Looking Perplexed
Bobbie and Bruce
Bobbie, Roger, and Bruce
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