Vermont state historic sites transport you to the past
Vermont is a history buff’s paradise. A couple great repositories of American history have now reopened for the summer. Three State Historic Sites — Chimney Point in Addison, Mount Independence in Orwell, and Hubbardton Battlefield — opened for the 2018 season on Saturday. Plan an outing this summer to explore Vermont’s interesting history and beauty spots. These sites also host a variety of engaging programs.
Chimney Point is right at the foot of the Lake Champlain Bridge. Opening this year are two new permanent exhibits. “Crossing Paths” and “Point of Contact” focus on the Native American, French Colonial, English and early American history of the area, incorporating archaeological findings from the building of the bridge. The special seasonal exhibit in the ballroom is “A Brush with Nature: The Art of Lillian Kennedy.” Grounds include picnic tables and a short trail with interpretive signs and a historic pier from the 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge. Events include the first ever astronomy program on Aug. 18, 7:30 to 11 p.m., night skies permitting, and the annual Northeast Open Atlatl Championship on Sept. 23.
Orwell’s Mount Independence, a National Historic Landmark, is named after the Declaration of Independence. It is one of the largest Revolutionary War defenses built by the Americans. Visit the museum and then choose one or more of our trails — six miles in all — to walk. This Saturday features the annual spring bird walk led by Sue Wetmore; meet outside the museum at 8 a.m. The year’s highlight is Soldiers Atop the Mount living history weekend, Sept. 8 and 9, with a 5K walk on the 9th.
The Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site is the location of the only Revolutionary War battle fought in what would become Vermont. It is one of the best-preserved battlefields in America, retaining most of its original setting. On Monday, May 28, at noon is a short Memorial Day ceremony at the battle monument. The annual battle weekend is July 7 and 8. Scores of re-enactors and lively new offerings are expected. This year the site is open an extra day — Wednesday.
The Chimney Point and Hubbardton sites are open Wednesdays through Sundays and Monday holidays; Mount Independence is open daily. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for adults is $5 at Addison and Orwell and $3 at Hubbardton; children under 15 are free.
For special events information is online at historicsites.vermont.gov/events. The last day of the season will be Sunday, Oct. 14 — make sure you plan a visit before then.
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