Posts Tagged ‘Vermont’

Stone House Museum – Home of Robert Frost, Bennington, VT

Extensive exhibit on Frost family history, and wonderful room dedicated to the poem, “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”.  Robert Frost wrote it on the dining room table here, on a hot June morning in 1922!  Interesting analysis and fun parodies line the walls.

And we never did make any decisions about what road/path to take on the hiking trail, since we were warned by the woman who sold us our tickets that there were too many Lyme disease-spreading ticks out there.

So, on to the highly acclaimed art museum, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (The Clark) in Williamstown. Our favorite part was a result of their limited exhibition space due to current renovation – a room chock-full of amazing paintings, practically floor-to-ceiling, salon-style, so that when you first walk in, it’s hard to focus. And then to get your breath! There’s George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, and oh, my goodness,  a Remington, Renoir, Degas, Homer, the list goes on and on – all hanging in close proximity, so many different periods and styles – it’s a delicious painting smorgasbord!  To add to the fun, there are free iPads with earbuds available, so that you can choose any painting and get more description, in text, audio, or video.

For dessert we went to the Williams College Museum of Art  (free) – a fine collection, with an innovative and interesting presentation, on a beautiful campus.

Williams College Museum of Art

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Lunch at Mrs. Coolidge’s Family Home, Wilder House

He was born here.  As VP, he was sworn in as President of the United States here , (in the middle of the night, by his father, a notary public, when President Harding died) he had his summer White House here, above the general store, he attended church here – all of these places still exist in one of the most beautiful settings, and amazingly preserved “presidential sites” we’ve ever seen. True to form, we start with lunch, in his wife’s family home.  The cheese in my grilled Vermont cheddar sandwich was made,  a few feet up the road at the family- owned cheese Factory , recently brought up to our current factory standards, where you can both tour it as a museum and see cheese being made. In addition to all of the amazingly preserved village, there’s an excellent small museum. I enjoyed stepping up to a podium, and asking a virtual Calvin Coolidge about all kinds of things. Dick shied away, thinking he had to make up his own questions.  There was a teleprompter!  For visitors to the museum, though, not President Coolidge.  Times change, in so many ways.

Calvin Coolidge was born in this bed, in this room

Coolidge Home – across street from birthplace, where he lived as a boy, and was sworn in as President of the United States

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Franklin Pierce Homestead

We had a fabulous tour guide, with a great sense of humor and wonderful, historical anecdotes.  We learn that this place was built by Franklin’s father, as both a Tavern and an Inn, and a home for the Pierce family.  Young Franklin evidently grew up with a lot of drinking, wild behavior, and lots of  discussions, political and otherwise, with many interesting literary and political figures of the times.  We started in the middle of her tour, and ended up with another docent, who was also very knowledgable, answering our questions about a few of the more political aspects of Pierce’s presidency.  NOT the way to do it, if you want continuity, though. We go back to our campsite and discuss it all, over a campfire.

Campsite 22, Mile Away Camp

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