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Vermont (VT): State Guide and Fun Facts

When was Vermont Founded? 1791

Who Founded Vermont? Samuel de Champlain, French Explorer

First settlers located at: Fort Ste, Vermont (1609)

Square Miles: 9,620 Miles

US Rank: 45th Largest State

State Flower: Red Clover

State Bird: Hermit Thrush

State Motto: Freedom and Unity

Capital City

Montpelier is the capital of Vermont. The city is also the county seat of Washington County. It is not Vermont’s largest city, and its residents numbered just over 8,000 in 2000. According to that census, Montpelier was the smallest state capital in the nation. The city was named by French settler Colonel Davis, who named it after a city in France. Voters declared the city the capital of the state of Vermont in 1805 and it has remained as such since that time. In addition to its governmental responsibilities, the city established itself early on as a location for manufacturing of lumber, flour, windows, shutters, hats, furniture and iron.


What is Vermont famous for?

1. Maple Syrup – Vermont, although a trailer in population, land area and overall industry output, is the nation’s largest producer of maple syrup. It takes very specific conditions to be able to harvest the sap of maple trees. After harvesting, the sap is boiled to specific temperatures for a set amount of time to turn it into maple syrup. The maple syrup in Vermont is by default organically harvested, produced and classified as of four maple syrup grades; Vermont Fancy, Vermont Grade A Medium Amber, Vermont Grade A Dark Amber and Vermont Grade B. Check out the Vermont Maple Syrup Association’s listings of sugar houses that are open for tours and maple syrup purchases.

2. Skiing – Home to some of the best skiing in the Northeast, Vermont is a must visit during the winter season. Resorts such as Killington, Stowe, Jay Peak, Mad River Glen, Sugarbush and Okemo are just a handful of the ski areas located in the state, which offer mainly skiing in the winter, but are also open to a limited extent in the summer for hikers and cyclists looking to do a bit of mountain biking. Ski Vermont

3. Ben & Jerry’s – Perhaps the most well-known all-American ice cream, Ben and Jerry’s, opened their humble doors in 1978 in a former gas station in Burlington, Vermont. With imaginations that went on to create flavors such as New York Super Fudge Chunk and Bovinity Divinity, the company was destined for success. In 1980, Ben and Jerry rented a mill in Burlington and began to package their ice cream in pint-sized containers to sell in small local grocers. The company went on to expand and become franchised in states across the US, and the rest, is delicious creamy history.

What is Vermont’s economy?

1. Tourism – With attractions such as hiking, skiing, camping, syrup making, covered bridges, historical sites and antiquing, Vermont’s tourism contributes to the state’s economic production. The Vermont Vacation website allows visitors to plan their trip based on season, attraction type (wine, cider, syrup, cheese, hiking etc.), region or a handful of other categories. The state is small but within its small towns and untouched landscape are a wealth of activities to discover.

2. Insurance – Vermont’s insurance industry is one of the state’s most prominent businesses. Because of certain laws, Vermont is able to offer a number of tax breaks that are similar to those offered by other insurance-heavy economies such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

3. Agriculture – Agriculture initially played an extremely important role in forming Vermont’s economy. Over the years since it was founded, however, the importance of agriculture diminished as industry and manufacturing increased. Today, the majority of Vermont’s agriculture is comprised of dairy farmers.


Vermont Historical Landmarks

1. Calvin Coolidge Homestead – The house where Calvin Coolidge grew up is also the place where the vice president was sworn into office after he was informed of President Warren Harding’s death. His home remains as it did that night, and the village of Plymouth Notch is largely the same as well. In addition to tours of the house, visitors can explore the Cilley General Store, the Post Office, the Wilder Restaurant, the church, barns and a dance hall.

2. Chimney Point – The name Chimney Point refers to an area along Lake Champlain and the Champlain Valley. The location has been home to Native Americans, French colonial explorers and early American settlers. Chimney Point has a visitor’s center and gift shop which both include exhibits and special events that tell the story of the history of the land. It is best to visit in the summer when the beauty of the area and Lake Champlain can truly be appreciated.

3. Justin Smith Morrill Homestead – Justin Smith Morrill was one of the most important men in the early development of higher education. Despite having to leave school when he was only 15 to work, he was a forerunner in promoting the importance of school for farming, mechanics, artisans and laborers. He designed his own home, despite a lack of formal training. The house is designed in a Gothic Revival style. The landscaping around the house was designed by Mr. Morrill as well, and reflects his passion for the landscape arts.