Fleeton Year of Adventure travel blog

Maple Sugar Shack - open for tours (and purchases, of course)

Montpelier - the state capital of Vermont

Inside the capital building

At Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory - their goodwill bus

Our factory tour guide (and flavour explainer)

One of Vermont's many covered bridges

A typical New England church

And a typical, larger home - so many that I craved!

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion at Woodstock, Vermont

The view from the front porch, over the Vermont landscape

Yet another covered bridge

We spent a busy day driving all over Vermont. We started off the morning at a maple sugar farm right near our campsite. We had the usual tour and video of how things are done, and then spent a while (and money) doing free sampling and making purchases - hard! Then we went back into the very small capital city of Montpelier (only 8500 or so) and found a place to park the motor home so we could tour the capital building. The main area of town was made up of many beautiful old houses, and most of the state's departments are in these right near the capital. We then drove a bit north to the Bed & Jerry's Ice Cream factory for a tour, sampling, and of course the gift shop. The tour was interesting, but it was also interesting how devoted the company is to helping many non-profit programs - nice to see. We didn't bother with one of the the parts of the tour - they have a graveyard behind the factory where the discontinued flavours are "buried" - they change flavours so often they can only keep a few dozen going at one time. After Ben and Jerry's we drive back across the state (it's not very big!) to the town of Woodstock, back near the New Hampshire border. There we visited the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion. It was first owned by two prominent Vermont businessmen and conservationists, the second one being the Billings who started out as a real-estate lawyer during the California gold rush, made a fortune, and later became an executive with the more northern railway line running across the UBillingslins, Montana is named for him. When he came home to settle down he bought Marsh's house and enlarged it, and also created a farm using fundamental and organic procedures. His granddaughter, also a conservationist, married John D. Rockefeller's younger son Laurence, who was also into creating parks etc., and they lived in the house for many years, also doing a few enlargements and remodelings, but it is basically the way Billings made it, and very beautiful inside. When we left there we drove back westward in Vermont, through some of the ski-hill areas, to an area called Manchester, and spent the night there.

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