Here is an instance where size doesn’t matter. Vermont is full of small towns, and even the big ones aren’t really too big when compared to other states. But these 14 things that happened in Vermont are huge! Let us know what other big events happened in our tiny towns.
Ocean explorer and SCUBA inventor Jacques Cousteau had influential experiences on Harvey's Lake as a young boy in the early 1920s. While attending a summer camp he experimented with staying underwater by breathing through hollow reeds found in the lake shallows. Though he could not yet swim well, this allowed him to stay underwater for extended periods.
Alexander Twilight was the first African American to earn a college degree in the US at Middlebury College.
John Deere was born in Rutland in 1804. He went to Middlebury and began a career as a blacksmith and eventually moved to Illinois. While there, Deere found that cast-iron plows were not working very well in the tough soil of Illinois and remembered the needles he had previously polished by running them through sand as he grew up in his father's tailor shop in Rutland, Vermont. Deere went on to patent the first steel plow, and John Deere Tractors are still popular in Vermont today.
4. St. Albans.
The St. Albans Raid was the northernmost land action of the American Civil War. It was a controversial raid from Canada by Confederate soldiers meant to rob banks to raise money and to trick the Union Army to divert troops to defend their northern border against further raids. There were no more raids. It took place in St. Albans on October 19, 1864.
Ben & Jerry's ice cream started in Burlington in 1980, when they rented space in an old spool and bobbin mill on South Champlain Street in Burlington and started packing their ice cream in pints. Its factory and tours are now in small town Waterbury. The first Ben & Jerry's franchise opened on Route 7 in Shelburne (where Marco's Pizza is now). In 1983, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was used to build “the world’s largest ice cream sundae” in St. Albans weighing 27,102 pounds (12,293 kg). That same year, the cows on their cartons were redesigned by local artist Woody Jackson.
The Robert Frost Farm, also known as the Homer Noble Farm, is a National Historic Landmark in Ripton, Vermont. It is a 150-acre farm property off Vermont Route 125 in the Green Mountains where American poet Robert Frost (1874-1963) lived and wrote in the summer and fall months from 1939 until his death in 1963. Frost lived in Ripton when he wrote “Stopping By The Wood On A A Snowy Evening” and “Mending Wall” and was one of the United States' most celebrated poets, publishing eleven volumes of poetry and winning four Pulitzer Prizes.
The small town of Waterbury cashed in big when it was announced on December 7, 2015 that a group of investors led by JAB Holding Company would acquire Keurig Green Mountain for $13.9 billion in cash. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016. Keurig Green Mountain will be a privately held company, and will remain an independent entity run by its existing management team.
Burton Boards was started by Jake Burton in 1977, and he went on to build the world's first snowboard factory. Burton products are marketed worldwide in over 4,348 stores; 1,536 of those stores are located in the United States.
Wilson Alwyn "Snowflake" Bentley (February 7, 1865 – December 23, 1931) is one of the first known photographers of snowflakes. He perfected a process of catching flakes on black velvet in such a way that their images could be captured before they either melted or sublimated.
The 1777 constitution entitles Vermont to claim to be the first U.S. state to have abolished slavery. After declaring its independence, Vermont existed as a free republic known as the Commonwealth of Vermont. It was admitted to the union in 1791, with a state constitution that also contained the slavery ban. Pictured is the Hyde Log Cabin in Grand Isle.
World famous cabot cheese started in Cabot, Vermont in 1919 with a creamery co-op and they sarted making cheese in 1939. Cabot continues to produce world famous and mouth watering cheese.
Norman Rockwell had a studio in Arlington, where he used a number of neighbors in his work. Rockwell moved to Vermont, in 1939, and his work began to reflect small-town American life, which he is best know for today.
13. Plymouth Notch.
President Calvin Coolidge was born on a farm in Plymouth Notch. It was here, in the very late hours of August 2, 1923, that Calvin Coolidge received word of the death of President Warren G. Harding. A few hours later, at 2:47 a.m. on August 3, a unique presidential inauguration occurred. Calvin Coolidge was administered the presidential oath by his father, a notary public, in the family parlor by the light of a kerosene lamp. The inauguration scene, so simple and democratic, captured the hearts of the American public.
Ok, Burlington may not be small, but neither is Phish, the world famous band which started at UVM. The band first came together in drummer John Fishman's dorm room at the University of Vermont. Fellow students Trey Anastasio and Jeff Holdsworth brought their guitars by to jam, and they were later joined by bassist Mike Gordon, who answered a bulletin-board ad posted by Anastasio.
Skiing history buffs credit Sun Valley with installing the first chairlift in the United States, but did you know that lift-served skiing got its true start in Vermont? The first ski lift in the US was a rope tow built by Wallace “Bunny” Bertram, and it changed Vermont skiing forever.