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Historic Sites

Old Constitution House
Elijah West was accustomed to having his tavern, conveniently situated in the middle of Windsor, used as a meeting place where townsmen argued town politics. Windsor's location was important, too: it was right in the middle of the "New Hampshire Grants", and residents living in the Grants were more certain every day that they no longer wanted to be a part of New Hampshire or New York! They wanted control of their own state. So Elijah wasn't surprised when on July 2, 1777, delegates from the length and breadth of the newly independent Republic of Vermont met at his tavern. They came to write a constitution! Delegates had almost finished their task when on July 8 dreadful news arrived from the war front. Burgoyne had captured Fort Ticonderoga and Mt. Independence. In an uproar, anxious to get home, they decided to disband, but tradition has it that a timely and violent thunderstorm intervened, delaying them long enough to vote and sign the constitution amid "a baptism of thunder, lightening and rain." The delegates created an instrument that was unique at the time of its adoption. Using Benjamin Franklin's constitution for Pennsylvania as a model, they went further: Vermont's Constitution was the first in America to prohibit slavery, to establish universal voting rights for all males and to authorize a public school system. Vermont became a Republic and remained so until 11791 when it was admitted to the Union as the fourteenth state, the first after the original thirteen. Today, the delegates who voted on that stormy day of July 8, 1777 would easily recognize The Old Constitution House as hospitable Elijah West's tavern. Often called the "Birthplace of Vermont," The Old Constitution House has been restored and has an exhibit on the writing and meaning of Vermont's constitution. The site is open late May through mid-October, Wednesday through Sunday. For information call: (802)828-3051
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The Hubbardton Battlefield
Stand quietly for a moment on a summer's day atop Hubbardton's bare, grassy hill. Close you eyes-above the sound of the wind you may hear the shouts of British soldiers as they charge up the hill towards Seth Warner's Green Mountain Boys on a hot July day in 1777. The crackle of muskets swells as the ragged New Englanders, fighting Indian fashion, using every available cover, make a grim, stubborn stand against the Redcoats. When General Burgoyne captured Mount Independence and Ticonderoga, the Americans had beaten a hasty retreat, fleeing through Hubbardton. There, Warner's troops stayed behind to fight, hoping to give the main force time to escape. The enemy's advance was checked, causing them to limp back to Mount Independence and Ticonderoga. Warner and his men then marched to Manchester, for the coming Battle of Bennington. Though a short action involving on 2,000 men, the Battle of Hubbardton was the beginning of a series of events leading two months later to General Burgoyne's defeat at the Battle of Saratoga. A visitors reception center houses a museum with an exhibit that places this battle into its Revolutionary War context. Strategic points along the Battlefield are marked. The site is open late May through mid-October, Wednesday through Sunday. For information call: (802)828-3051
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President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site
The only President to have been born on the Fourth of July, Calvin Coolidge first saw the light of day in a small bedroom at the back of his father's store. The modest house where he grew up is across the road. Coolidge returned there every year. History singled out this homestead when early on an August morning, 1923, by the light of a kerosene lamp, Vice President Coolidge was sworn in by his father as 30th President of the United States following the death of President Warren Harding. This event, with its unique and moving simplicity, will always hold an appeal for Americans. The homestead remains exactly as it was on that historic night. The general store, which was the President's 1924 "Summer White House" office, and the nearby cheese factory, owned by the President's father, as well as the church where generations of Coolidges worshipped, are also open to the public. A barn displays agriculture tools of the Coolidge era, and a visitor's center provided an introduction to the life and times of Calvin Coolidge. A short distance sway is the steep hillside cemetery where the President and six generations of his family are buried. The President Coolidge Historic Site is open daily from late May through mid-October. For information call: (802)828-3051
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Mount Independence Historic Site
On a bold peninsula jutting into Lake Champlain, Mount Independence is the site of an extensive Revolutionary War military complex. A floating bridge linked it with Fort Ticonderoga. Designed in 1776 for 12,000 soldiers, Mount Independence was one of the largest communities in North America. Because it was difficult to supply such a large number over the winter, the garrison was reduced in the fall to 2,500 men who suffered greatly in the ensuing bad weather. In July of 1777 the understaffed complex was captured by the British as the Continental Army escaped to prepare for a successful rear guard battle at Hubbardton. The unique Visitors Center is designated to dramatically remind a visitor of the important interaction of land and lake based action during the Revolutionary War. The exhibit, displaying many of the artifacts found on the site, focuses on the purpose of Mount Independence and the life of a soldier on the Mount during the 1776-1777 period. A privately operated cruise boat, the M?V Carillon, operates from Larrabee's Point and docks at Mount Independence and Fort Ticonderoga offering visitors a tour of scenic beauty with a taste of American history. The 1.5 hour cruise is an inviting way to easily understand the geographic and military significance of Mount Independence. Mount Independence, a National Historic Lankmark, is jointly owned and administrated by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation and the Fort Ticonderoga Association. The site is a historic park with trails. Visitors should wear sturdy walking shoes. The site is open daily, late May through mid-October. For information call: (802)828-3051
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Chimney Point State Historic Site
The narrows of Lake Champlain have been continuously occupied for over 12,000 years. Lake Champlain was a major transportation route along which people settled. Native Americans camped and seasonally settled here. The French began settlement in the 1730's, and the area became an important part of New France. In the disturbed days of the French and Indian Wars, the settlers threatened by the British, burned their homes and fled. The dismal sight of blackened chimneys rising from empty cellar holes have Chimney Point its name. Today the large 18th century tavern at Chimney Point houses an interpretive exhibit. "People of the Dawn and the People of New France" uses artifacts and an audio-visual component to provide an overview of the Native American and French settlement of the Champlain Valley. The exhibit begins with the earliest archaeological evidence and concludes with a look at contemporary issues and cultural traditions. Special exhibits are changed yearly. The site is open late May through mid-October, Wednesday through Sunday. For information call: (802)828-3051
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Tourist Attractions

Bromley Alpine Slide and Devalkart
The best family adventures in Southern Vermont! A whole new dimension in the art of descent is yours on a Bromley Thrill Sled or DevalKart ride down Bromley's trails. Ride the world's longest Alpine Slide down three twisting mountain tracks! Open weekends, late May to mid-June; open daily thereafter to mid-Oct., weather permitting." For information call: (802)824-5522
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The Killington Adventure Zone
You'll find everything you need to make your summer adventure complete - a new 3-track waterslide, a BMX track, a skateboard and in-line skate park, and alpine slide, a climbing wall, over 40 miles of hiking and biking trails, scenic chairlift rides and a championship 18-hole golf course. Call for summer concert and event information. For information call: (802)422-6200
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Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
Come see why Lake Champlain is perhaps the most historic body of water in North America. Historical exhibits, maritime collections, nautical archaeology, a working forge and boat building on a beautiful lakeside location. Climb aboard the Revolutionary War gunboat replica PHILADELPHIA II. For information call: (802) 475-2022
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Vermont Teddy Bear Company
Delight in the fun-filled tour where teddy bears come to life in the Bear Shop or create your own teddy in the "Make a Friend For Life" fun factory. This is a magical place where teddy bears and memories are crafted for a lifetime. Open daily. For information call: (802)985-3001
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Hermann's Royal Lipizzan Stallions of Austria
Visit the Royal Lipizzan Stallions of Austria at their lakeside summer home in the Champlain Islands. The "flying white stallions" are called the ballet dancers of the horse world. Performances: Thurs. & Fri. 6pm; Sat. & Sun. 2:30pm from July 9 through August 30. For information call: (802)372-5683
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