Wandering over to Vermont

On Wednesday, Sept. 26 we left Portland heading to Rutland, VT.  Our research showed few campgrounds in that part of Vermont so we made the decision to stop in White River Junction/Quechee, VT at the Pine Valley KOA.  This campground is owned by a former CEO of Baja Boats and his wife and they run a nice efficient park.  A clean, well maintained and quiet place to stay next few days!  We set up then drove 4 miles to one of our favorite places for a late lunch.  The place is called Firestones and serves the best flatbread pizza using fresh, local ingredients.  It is baked in a large old brick oven and has a great flavor.  After lunch we drove 10 miles into Woodstock which is touted as one of the prettiest small towns in America.  It was first settled in 1768.  Although the Revolution slowed settlement, Woodstock developed rapidly once the war ended in 1783.  Waterfalls in the Ottauquechee River which runs through the town, provided water power to operate mills.  Factories made scythes and axes, carding machines, and woolens.  There was a machine shop and gunsmith shop.  Manufacturers also produced furniture, wooden wares, window sashes and blinds.  Carriages, horse harnesses, saddles, luggage trunks and leather goods were also manufactured.  By 1859, the population was 3,041.  (Interestingly enough the pop. in 2010 was 3,048)  The Woodstock Railroad opened to White River Junction on September 29, 1875, carrying freight and tourists.  Laurance and Mary French Rockefeller built the Woodstock Inn in 1892 and also had the village’s power lines buried underground.  The economy is now largely driven by tourism. Woodstock has the 20th highest per-capita income of Vermont towns as reported by the United States Census, and a high percentage of homes owned by non-residents.  The town’s central square, called the Green, is bordered by restored late Georgian, Federal Style, and Greek Revival houses.  The cost of real estate in the district adjoining the Green is among the highest in the state.  The seasonal presence of wealthy second-home owners from cities such as Boston (less than 3 hours away) and New York has contributed to the town’s economic vitality and livelihood, while at the same time diminished its accessibility to native Vermonters.  To protect their beautiful ridgeline views, the town adopted an ordinance creating a Scenic Ridgeline District in order to protect the aesthetics and the views of the town. It was updated in 2007.  In 2011, North and South Park Street and one block of Elm Street won an award for great streetscape by the American Planning Association’s Great Places in America program.  It is really neat to see.  While there we went to the local grocery and picked up ice and few items and they carry Shurfine products just like stores back home!

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