Stories from those who founded, hiked, and loved Vermont’s Long Trail, including the first women to through-hike the “footpath in the wilderness” in 1927.
We talk with Ben Rose, former Executive Director of the Green Mountain Club, about James P. Taylor, an early visionary and promoter for the Long Trail. We listen to a 1987 interview with Catherine Robbins, one of the "Three Musketeers," the first women to hike the trail in 1927. And we speak with Wendy Turner, one of the first women to serve as a caretaker at a Long Trail lodge.
It’s well-known that Vermont is one of the whitest states in the Union. And so the stories of African American Vermonters can sometimes get forgotten, no matter how important they have been to our state’s and our nation’s history.
In this episode we examine the lives of several influential African American Vermonters who lived in our state before the Civil War. In two cases, before Vermont was even a state.
We learn about Lucy Terry Prince, who created the oldest known work of literature written by an African American; Alexander Twilight, the first person of African descent to receive a college degree in the United States, who educated almost 2500 students during his tenure at the Orleans County Grammar School; and Martin Freeman, an educator from Rutland who moved to Liberia because he couldn't achieve the same rights and privileges as his white peers.
Many different groups of people, from many different continents, have helped build our state. But from the 19th century through 2019, the stories of immigrants have largely been excluded from the popular image of Vermont. In this episode, we learn about Burlington's immigrant groups through their food, explore a comic book series made about the experiences of undocumented farm laborers in Vermont, review how Swedes were recruited to come to our state in the 1880s, and hear about Burlington's "Little Jerusalem" neighborhood.
Queer lives and queer histories in Vermont were often kept private for good reason: the fear of losing one’s job, home, or family. The fear of violence. But it’s important to know that LGBTQ people are here, have always been here, and are part of the state’s history.
It can seem like every town in Vermont once had a pharmacist brewing their own special blend of medicine. Some of these cures were derived from herbal folk remedies. Others were created from a lot of alcohol, some food coloring, and a pinch of carefully honed hokum.
A massive wooden printing press made in the mid-17th century has a place of pride in the Vermont History Museum, and not just because it’s old. It represents both the history of written law in the state, and the crucial role that journalism – the press – plays in a democracy.
Plenty of Vermont’s historic buildings are exactly the traditional homes, churches, and meeting houses commonly associated with small New England towns. But as the state changed in the 20th century, its architecture did too. Now, experts are looking more closely at buildings that look nothing like what came before — and in some cases, look nothing like buildings anywhere else.
People have raced cars in the Green Mountains since 1903. There were racetracks in every corner of the state: at fairgrounds, in farmers’ back fields, and finally at dozens of dedicated racetracks. Thousands of Vermonters have been drivers, mechanics, track officials, and spectators at those tracks over the past 115 years. The Vermont Historical Society recorded their stories for a new oral history collection as part of their latest exhibit, Anything for Speed: Automobile Racing in Vermont. On our latest history podcast, learn about the state's racing scene from the people who created it.