One of the smallest states in the USA, the sixth-smallest to be precise, New England’s Vermont is also the country’s second least-populous state. Having fewer people does have its benefits, though, and Vermont has been ranked as the safest state in the entire country.
Vermont shares land borders with Massachusetts, New York, and New Hampshire, as well as with Canada’s French-speaking Quebec. The state’s varied terrain includes the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain.
Formerly occupied by indigenous groups, the area was part of New France before coming under British control. Settlers then established an independent state. Once a sovereign area, Vermont was quick off the mark to join the United States of America; it was the first state to join the new union after the original founding thirteen states.
It is widely thought that the name Vermont comes from a French phrase that means “green mountains”.
A top place for outdoor adventures and enjoying nature, each season brings new delights in rural Vermont. The verdant landscapes are ideal for scenic hiking, while the winter brings snow and the perfect conditions for skiing. In autumn, the trees take on hues of rust, gold, red, orange, and yellow.
Although a natural haven, Vermont is not without its cultural sites too. Step away from the tried-and-trodden track and discover these 28 splendid, and often eclectic, hidden gems in Vermont:
1. Dummerston Center Cemetery, Putney
A cemetery might not seem like the coolest place to visit on vacation, but Dummerston Center Cemetery in Putney is of special interest for fans of urban legends and spooky occurrences. Look for the hillside graves of the Spaulding family and ponder a strange local legend that has endured for more than two centuries.
Several family members were struck down with a debilitating illness that gradually and painfully led to their demise. No reason could be found for these deaths, and younger family members, who were previously in good health and spirits, were regularly wiped out by some strange force.
The family, looking for answers, blamed a vine that ran through the family plot in the local graveyard, believing the creeping plant to be cursed. It was said that each time the tendrils brushed against an existing coffin, another member of the family bit the proverbial dust.
To try and break the curse, and prevent the family from dying out completely, the vine was dug up. It wasn’t only the vine that was exhumed, however; a corpse already believed to be cursed was also dug from the ground and burnt.
Today, the gravestones of the young family members show signs of age. Ponder the untimely deaths of the children, nowadays thought to have been caused by tuberculosis, and the strange effects that death can have on those who are left behind.
2. FH Gillingham & Son General Store, Woodstock
Woodstock is a medium-sized town in Windsor County. While the majority of the town’s tourists are here to visit The Billings Farm and Museum, there is a smaller and more hidden gem to experience too: FH Gillingham & Son General Store.
You are probably wondering what makes a family-run store worthy of being listed as a town attraction. For starters, it’s one of the oldest general stores in the state. Established in the late 1800s, what’s perhaps even more impressive is that the shop still operates out of its original premises and the business is still run by descendents of the founder.
Entering the large store is like taking a step back in time. The vibe is very much as it would have been at the turn of the 20th century, with the wooden floorboards creaking underfoot and old archives that store manuscripts from times gone by and interesting artefacts.
Even without its historic background, the store is a great place to browse and pick up some useful items. From clothing and toys, to tools and household goods, visitors can find almost anything they need here. There’s a selection of fresh produce and food items too, with a large array of locally sourced items straight from the farms.
3. Nature Museum, Grafton
The small Nature Museum in Grafton is home to various oddities, including a human skull, a replica of a subterranean bear den, fossils, and preserved animal corpses. The museum also has a selection of more “normal” exhibits and displays too, such as bee hives and a wildlife garden. Kids can dress up in an assortment of outfits, their parents snapping away to fill up their Instagram feeds.
While the museum itself is a bit off the radar for many people from out of town, the real hidden gem is located in the museum’s basement. Below the museum lies a bizarre sight: a Feejee Mermaid. With a face like a human, the body of a monkey, and the tail of a fish, the unusual creatures are the stuff that nightmares are made from. But there’s no need to fret too much about these gruesome sea creatures snapping you up—they don’t really exist!
The stuffed Feejee Mermaids were created around islands in the Far East, often brought back by sailors as unusual and grotesque trinkets. Resembling something that could once have been alive, they cannot fail to amuse, repulse, horrify, or entertain those who see them.
4. The Backroom, Pittsfield
A tucked-away restaurant in Pittsfield, The Backroom can be found at the back of Pittsfield General Store. Pop in for groceries and leave after a feed! The hidden eatery only opens on a couple of nights during the week, so if you’re keen to step behind the shelves for a meal do check in advance with the store owners and make a reservation.
Don’t plan on coming here for an intimate tete-a-tete, though, as the seating is communal. It’s definitely a great way to meet new people!
The menu changes regularly. Don’t expect to know what you want to order before perusing the options as the menu is as much of a mystery as the restaurant. Meals make use of locally sourced ingredients as much as possible, with meats and seasonal veggies used to create delicious plates.
Combinations of ingredients aren’t what you would usually expect to find, and you’ll likely end up trying something inventive and imaginative.
5. A Novel Idea, South Burlington
This hidden gem will be particularly appealing for bookworms and literary enthusiasts. Managed by the Friends of the South Burlington Community Library, the small establishment serves as both a library and a second-hand book store.
Not really into reading? There’s also a good stash of audio books. Regular fun events are held at the cute shop too, catering to young and old alike.
Head into the pleasant garden area and enjoy the sound of birdsong and the views of the Green Mountains as you lose yourself in the pages of your favourite book. Such peaceful and beautiful surroundings really seem to help to bring the characters and their plots to life. Don’t worry if you find somebody already sitting in the garden—there are six to choose from!
The red-brick building has plenty of history too, having been constructed at the start of the 20th century. The quaint library and bookshop certainly is, as the name says, a novel idea!
6. Wilson Castle, Rutland
Who knew that Vermont had castles? Well, there may only be one, but it still makes the state stand out, as authentic castles are pretty hard to come by in the USA.
Wilson Castle is a stately red building close to the village of Proctor and the city of Rutland. The magnificent building was constructed in the middle of the 20th century and is surrounded by a huge estate.
Turrets and towers rise from the imposing walls, and visitors can explore the mighty battlements and grand interiors, complete with ornate fireplaces, colourful stained-glass windows, antiques, and decadent furnishings from exotic places.
A labour of love, it was built on the orders of a local doctor who wanted to impress his aristocratic English wife and, presumably, make her feel a bit more at home in the Vermont countryside. It certainly beats buying a bunch of flowers! A fragrant bouquet may have been better, however, as the doctor’s wife only lived in the castle for three years before going back home to England.
7. Nepali Dumpling House, Burlington
If you’re ever looking for authentic Nepalese clothing and accessories in Vermont’s largest city of Burlington, head to the Nepali Dumpling House. The colourful selection of garments, bags, and costume jewellery, as well as the trinkets, art, and handicrafts, is sure to entice.
Brought to Vermont all the way from the Himalayan country, it’s a great way to experience Nepalese culture in New England.
The store offers another taste—literally—of Nepal as well. Follow your nose and go past the shelves and clothing racks to the rear of the family-run store and you’ll find a small kitchen.
Orders are only available to go, but you can grab some tasty meat- or veggie-filled dumplings to devour outside. The steamed dumplings are spicy and delicious, and they can be enjoyed in a clear soup or alone with a dipping sauce. Mild, medium, or fiery hot—the choice is yours.
8. Sunset Drive-In, Colchester
Somewhat antiquated and old fashioned with a nostalgic air, this family-run drive-in cinema has been in operation since the late 1940s. While your vehicle is likely to look a lot different to the popular rides back then, the ambience is just as romantic and novel. Great for kids, couples, and friends, the cinema might have an olde-worlde feel about it, but it shows all the latest releases.
There are several screens showing different movies and a children’s play area to help younger visitors to burn off excess energy before settling down to watch a film. Treat yourself to drinks, popcorn, chips, and other snacks from the concession stand. Prices are reasonable—why not try a movie marathon one evening?
Don’t forget to take along bug spray in the warmer months to keep mosquitoes at bay. A seasonal attraction, Sunset Drive-In closes over the winter months. After all, who wants to sit in the car in the cold?
9. Dog Mountain, St. Johnsbury
The large Dog Mountain is a haven for any canine-lover as well as their beloved pets. Yes, dogs are more than welcome to visit too. Your animal friends can have heaps of fun running through the sprawling estate, swimming in the ponds, and playing with other pooches. There are hiking trails with great views as well.
A joy for anyone who loves dogs, a highlight is the small Dog Chapel. Although it has the charms and appearance of a much older chapel, it was actually only constructed in the late 1990s. A testament to the bond between man and dog, the chapel was the brainchild of artist Stephen Huneck.
The canine spirit is everywhere in the church, with different breeds immortalized in the stained-glass patterns, pictures of beloved furry friends on the walls, and hand-written tributes to deceased pets.
The grounds have numerous dog statues and you’ll also find an art gallery on the mountain.
10. Ithiel Falls, Johnson
One of Vermont’s hidden natural jewels, the under-visited Ithiel Falls is located in the town of Johnson. Although there’s no longer a waterfall here—it was blown up by dynamite to try and reduce flooding in the area—a series of rapids remains along this scenic stretch of river.
There are two ways to reach the falls. Visitors who like to take the easy way can wander along a sandy track. Alternatively, for a more challenging arrival, take the Long Trail, which crosses a suspension bridge that spans the class-two falls.
Visitors can enjoy the tranquil atmosphere, pack a picnic for an al fresco meal in delightful surroundings, or take to the waters for a thrill. Rafting and kayaking along the river is a good way to get the blood pumping! While the rivers are calmer in the summer months, the spring and autumn sees the water flowing quicker and with more force.
11. Emerson Falls, St. Johnsbury
Another water-based attraction in Vermont that sees relatively few crowds, Emerson Falls is situated just outside the town of St. Johnsbury in Caledonia County. Part of the Sleepers River, the large series of falls is on private property, though visitors are welcomed.
Pretty and peaceful, water flows over large rocks in the river, having already fallen over the edge of a small dam. Walk farther back along the waterway and you’ll find a gently flowing river with tall trees either side.
There are sections along the river that are suitable for swimming, and rocky landscapes that make for striking photographs. It’s an especially nice spot in the warmer summer months. If you do pay a visit it’s highly likely that you won’t find many other people there. Sometimes, visitors can enjoy the entire area all to themselves.
12. Ben & Jerry Flavor Graveyard, Waterbury
While Waterbury’s Ben & Jerry Factory is definitely not a secret, visitors might not be aware of the quirky gem located on the factory grounds: a Flavor Graveyard!
Sassy, witty, tongue-in-cheek, and poignant only for those who are incredibly sensitive, the shaded graveyard is the final (?) place of rest for ice cream flavours that are no more.
Behind the factory, solemn gravestones sit on a hill, stark and sorrowful reminders of ice-cream flavours from times gone by. Cleverly worded commemorations are inscribed on the stones, paying homage to the flavours’ lives and mourning their passing. With more than 30 flavours represented in the graveyard, it’s a stark reminder of what unpopularity can lead to!
There’s no need to book a factory tour to honour the flavours that have departed; people can access the hill and see the gravestones independently of the factory. However, we can’t promise that your friends won’t mock you for taking a trip to an ice cream cemetery.
13. Lord’s Prayer Rock, Bristol
From graves to prayers, would you believe your eyes if you saw the Lord’s Prayer, in all its God-praising glory, engraved in a giant rock at the side of the road? That’s exactly what you can see with a drive along Vermont 17 near the village of Bristol.
The rock didn’t fall from the skies, sent down with the angels or from divine powers above. Rather, it was the work of a devout local called Dr. Joseph C. Greene. The devoted doctor apparently formed the idea when he was still a youngster.
Various tales exist as to why he chose that spot for the prayer. One account says that Dr. Greene, when young, had to regularly drive along the previous road, crossing all the bridges, with a cargo of logs. The boulder marked the end of the most dangerous part of his journey, and so at this point he sent up a prayer of thanks for keeping him safe.
Another version says that the God-fearing doctor wanted the words to act as a reminder to other folks on the road to watch their language.
14. Robert Frost Wayside Area & Trail, Ripton
A fairly easy trail that covers two miles between Shaftsbury and Lake Paran, the Robert Frost Trail can be enjoyed at any time of the year. There’s a small museum dedicated to the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet at the Lake Paran end of the trail, and a short diversion leads to Homer Noble Farm, where Frost once lived in a humble log cabin.
The trail passes through wooded areas and past pastures filled with wildflowers, crosses Paran Creek, and provides terrific views of the shimmering lake. As well as being able to enjoy nature, visitors can pause to read several of Frost’s evocative poems on signboards.
It’s easy to connect the rural themes with the surrounding terrain and, though the poet’s words, visitors can feel a greater affinity with, and respect for, the land.
When you’ve finished the trail, if the weather is warm enough, take a dip in the lake. There’s a nice picnic area too, and the air is one of peacefulness and serenity.
15. Greenbank’s Hollow, Danville
A village where time seems to have stood still, and a place that is largely ignored by the outside world, Greenbank’s Hollow is a charming destination that is steeped in history. You can almost hear whispers from the past as you explore.
The village was founded by just one man—Mr. Benjamin Greenbank. In a time when local farms were interspersed with mills and factories, Mr. Greenbank created a village with a large woolen mill, a saw mill, a post office, a general store, a school, and private homes. The village wasn’t dissimilar to many other small villages that grew up around New England at that time.
What made the village stand out, however, was the way it met its end. A fire ravaged parts of the village, destroying the main mill, several homes, and the shop. Instead of trying to rebuild and recover, Greenbank decided to simply relocate, leaving the village to fall into further disrepair, citizens to move away, and the area to come to resemble more of a ghost town than the thriving industrial area it had once been.
Now a historical park, visitors can wander the foundations and imagine what the area must have been like in its heyday. The river falls and covered bridge are of particular interest today.
16. Seyon Lodge, Groton
Within the boundaries of Groton State Forest, Seyon Lodge is a delightful hidden accommodation. Spend a few days here to soothe your senses and enjoy the picturesque views and feelings of oneness with Mother Earth.
Members of staff extend a warm welcome to guests, and the cosy ambience is rather like you are visiting friends or family. There’s a real home-from-home vibe. Meals are homemade using fresh local produce.
Diverse activities are available in the heart of nature, including fishing, rowing on the pond, wildlife spotting, bird watching, and hiking. Soak up the scenic mountain vistas and enjoy the sunrise and sunset views.
Despite calling itself a rustic abode, rooms are comfortable, modern, and well-equipped. There’s an inviting communal lounge too where you can relax in front of a roaring fire if the weather is chilly. It’s a terrific hidden gem for experiencing Vermont’s beautiful nature and tranquil vibe.
17. Chapel and Graveyard at Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe
Trapp Family Lodge is an Austrian-themed accommodation in the Vermont mountains. Located in Stowe, the expansive estate covers 2,500 acres. Picturesque and with plentiful activities to get out and discover the surroundings, the mountain resort offers a little taste of alpine Europe right in the USA.
Run by the Trapp family, made famous in the movie “The Sound of Music”, the property offers comfortable rooms and facilities like a restaurant, tennis courts, a fitness centre, onsite brewery and a wine cellar. Activities in the locale include seasonal hiking and skiing and mountain biking.
The family fled Austria during Nazi occupation, arriving in Vermont in the late 1930s. After Baron Georg Von Trapp died, his wife, Maria, and other family members subsequently turned their home into a ski lodge. Destroyed by fire in 1980, it opened again in 1983.
While there’s certainly very little that could be called secret about the charming resort itself, the grounds reveal a couple of hidden gems. Visit the grave of Maria Von Trapp and pay your respects at the family cemetery located in the mountains.
The best hidden jewel, however, is a tiny but stunning chapel buried in the woods. Built from stone and surrounded by nature, the small place of worship has a spiritual and tranquil aura.
18. Emerald Lake, Dorset
Vermont has many lakes and places to swim, and there’s a reason why so many people flock to the big-name spots. There are equally has beautiful treasures to be found away from the beaten track too, with Emerald Lake in Dorset boasting some of the state’s most attractive lakeside beaches.
Taking its name from the dazzling colours of the water, the lake is a great place for a range of water-based activities. Paddling, swimming, paddleboarding, canoeing, and kayaking can all be enjoyed, and there aren’t any jet skis, speedboats, or other motorised vessels to spoil to the quietness.
Other activities around the large lake include sunbathing, wildlife watching, fishing, camping, picnicking, and hiking along surrounding trails. Pop into the nature centre to learn more about the local flora and fauna.
While the lake certainly won’t be deserted, it won’t be packed with numerous tourists either. More of a local hangout, it’s a nice place to enjoy Vermont’s natural bounties away from the masses.
19. Barn Over Bridge, Woodbury
An unusual sight along a country road, Barn Over Bridge is worth a visit for the novelty factor. You’ll need your own transport to see the quirky old barn in Woodbury, but driving is all part of the fun. Do note that the track can only be accessed by vehicles that are lower than eight feet tall.
A local farmer looking for ways to make work easier constructed a ramp for loading and offloading hay. Part of his imaginative design involved building a storage area that could be driven right under, with a traditional wooden barn attached. The result was a kind of weird-looking overpass, built from wood, in the middle of fields.
You’ve driven under bridges and probably under railways and maybe aqueducts. Natural tree arches are fairly commonplace around Vermont. But have you ever driven under a barn? Here’s your chance!
20. Museum of Everyday Life, Glover
Keeping with the barn theme, the Museum of Everyday Life in Glover is pretty unassuming and not ostentatious in the slightest. Housed alongside the road in an old shabbily painted barn, the museum offers exactly what it says—the chance to glimpse into the regular daily life of people.
Covering the past and the present, it may seem rather mundane at first inspection, but you’ll quickly discover that even run-of-the-mill things can be charmingly delightful. Even if you don’t find the museum quaint, it’s certainly quite quirky.
Exhibits are refreshingly down to earth. Normalcy is celebrated. There’s no intrigue, no curiosity, and no light-bulb moments. Instead, the everyday items are presented almost like pieces of art, offering a window into the life of an average person, a life that could be lived by you or me.
The museum takes delight in presenting things that most people would simply toss in the trash. It pays homage, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, to the small things that we don’t normally notice. Displays evolve and change regularly, but you can expect to find things like planks of wood, match boxes, toothbrushes, razors, scrap metal, farming tools, safety pins, combs, screws, and pencils.
There are no roped off areas, no watchful wardens, and no admission fees, and people are responsible for turning the lights on and off when visiting.
21. Poorhouse Pies, Underhill
Blink and you’ll miss it, a small roadside shad that dishes up delicious pies. Drive slowly, however, and stop to discover the taste sensations and you surely won’t be disappointed.
Apple pies, pumpkin pies, cherry pies, peach pies, blueberry pies, maple-pecan pies, key lime pies, coconut cream pies, and chocolate cream pies are just a few items to choose from at Poorhouse Pies.
With interesting combination pies too, such as cherry-peach, blueberry-peach, and maple-cranberry-nut, it’s a veritable pie heaven! Doughnuts may also be available on rare special occasions.
Service is totally DIY and based on trust. Go in, choose from the pile of pies, and leave payment in a wall bank. Be sure to get there early to avoid disappointment though; only small batches of each type of pie are baked to avoid wastage and once they’re gone, well, they’re gone.
22. Zipper Sculpture, Barre
This is another Vermont hidden gem on the list for fans of the obscure, odd, and artsy focused. Barre is home to a curious superlative: the biggest zipper in the USA.
Stretching along the ground for more than 70 feet and reaching widths of up to six feet, the installation is built from large granite blocks sourced from surrounding areas.
Created by an artist called Chris Miller, the giant zipper is part fastened, the teeth placed with perfect precision, and part undone. Plants and flowers grow in the gap where the zipper isn’t “fastened”.
An unusual sight to see along the ground, the huge zipper was created in 1993. Called “Unzipping the Earth”, its position between buildings means that it may not be as easy to spot as you would imagine. The narrow alleyway can be found on Barre’s Main Street, between buildings 219 and 201.
23. Old Tavern, Grafton
For a quintessential Vermont stay, check in to Grafton’s quaint Old Tavern. The inn can trace its roots back to the early 1880s, and the atmosphere is as it would have been in times gone by.
A diamond of a find for people who love spending time in a refined countryside setting, the accommodation effortlessly blends a sense of timeless history and rustic charms with modern comforts and conveniences.
Each room is uniquely decorated and furnished, offering plenty of character and heritage. There is an onsite restaurant that serves traditional meals made from fresh ingredients from nearby farms. It’s home-cooked dining at its best. There’s also a cosy pub, perfect for unwinding and mingling.
The Old Tavern is an ideal base for exploring the surrounding countryside. The Grafton Trails are within close proximity. Summers offer excellent hiking, biking, and swimming, while the winter months are terrific for lovers of snow sports and winter-wonderland vistas.
24. Ricker Basin, Waterbury
If you enjoy exploring ghost towns and treading deserted lands with a strong sense of history, the offbeat Ricker Basin is sure to capture your interest.
Located close to Waterbury, and today part of Little River State Park, the area was once a busy farming community with a flourishing timber industry. Mills, farms, homes, a school, and a store were among the buildings that once occupied the area, with a hard-working community that breathed life into the landscapes.
Several reasons led to the area being abandoned in the late 19th century. Buildings fell to rack and ruin, with nature reclaiming what was once hers. Although little evidence remains today of the busy lives that once played out in the area, it’s a fascinating spot for people who like to stumble across forgotten areas and see how man-made structures quickly yield when faced with natural forces.
Sorrowful gravestones stand neglected in the dilapidated cemetery, one of just a few signs that people once called the area home. Apart from a few foundations and piles of rubble, one solitary house is still standing, a defiant act in an otherwise overtaken area.
Known as Almeron Goodell Farm, the abandoned building is eerie and hauntingly appealing when viewed through the undergrowth, tendrils, and overhanging branches. Stories of ghosts abound, and it’s spine-chillingly easy to see why.
25. Hemmings Motor News Filling Station, Bennington
Especially appealing for car and motoring enthusiasts, Hemmings Motor News Filling Station is located in Bennington. It is where Hemmings Motor News is published, a well-known name among fans of classical and vintage vehicles.
The filling station provides a sense of nostalgia, with full service offered as it was in the olden days. Prices are no more than at a regular gas station and, in addition to topping up fuel, you’ll have your windscreen cleaned and your oil level checked along with friendly banter.
A chock-a-block gift shop sells an array of memorabilia related to the car industry, with signs, logo clothing, model vehicles, novelty license plates, and more.
This might not sound too interesting in itself—a gas station with a gift shop—but the real joy lies to the rear of the pumps. Here you’ll find a free-to-enter car museum with diverse old and vintage makes and models.
You can admire the well-kept cars at your leisure, though members of staff are generally happy to add nuggets of information if desired. The gleaming classic cars are enough to make any car fan drool.
26. Crow Bookshop, Burlington
Located on Church Street in the large city of Burlington, Crow Bookshop is a lovely literary hideaway in the heart of the city’s hustle and bustle. With a slight hipster vibe, the independent shop sells a wide assortment of new and second-hand books. Titles are arranged in orderly sections, making browsing easy. There are often discounts and special promotions available too.
Diverse genres are covered, with both fiction and non-fiction, and there are books for people of all ages.
There’s nothing quite like feeling the crisp pages of a newly printed novel, the words weaving magic on the pages and bringing situations to life. Favourite recipe books can become a trusted staple in the home. Good old reference books can encourage learning and wisdom.
Do you ever wonder about the previous reader of a used book, about the person who gently thumbed through the pages and soaked up the written word? Do you create your own stories about these unknown folk, using your imagination to weave interesting tales? There are almost certainly lots of stories behind the used books at Crow Bookshop.
27. Hyde Manor, Sudbury
See first-hand how establishments can rapidly fall from grace at Sudbury’s Hyde Manor. Once a prominent accommodation, the place now reeks of isolation, abandonment, neglect, and woe. It’s a stark reminder of urban decay in the modern world, a lesson that all things end sooner or later.
Beyond repair, with collapsing floors, ceilings, walls, and staircases, only the brave or foolish should even think about entering the decrepit property. Entry is forbidden for safety reasons, but that hasn’t stopped curious souls from sneaking a peek. It is haunting from the outside, with a rather ghostly and ethereal quality.
The brief story behind the resort is that it first opened in 1865, becoming one of the most prestigious country retreats in all of New England. Replacing an even older, and much more basic, coaching inn, the hotel developed a loyal clientele and was held in high esteem. The Italian-style building attracted wealthy tourists, keen to experience luxury (for the times) in a natural setting.
Rocking chairs once decorated the lawns, giving people awesome mountain views over well-manicured lawns. There was a casino, a boathouse, a private lake, a bowling alley, a billiards room, tennis courts, a music hall, a winter ski slope, and a host of other fine trappings and top-class amenities for any discerning traveller.
As local transportation options and competing hotel chains increased, people started to vacation elsewhere. The once sought-after hotel became seen as antiquated and stuffy. It eventually closed in 1970, a ghost of its former self, with the owners unable to either renovate or demolish.
The offbeat, once-grand resort isn’t your typical hidden gem. It’s not a stunning place of natural beauty. It’s not a glorious piece of architecture. It’s not a whimsical museum, a local eatery, or a remote hotel treasure. It does, however, have its own enchanting appeal and elegance for visitors who love old buildings in a state of not-so-graceful abandon and those who enjoy using their imaginations.
28. Evergreen Cemetery, New Haven
Rounding off this collection of hidden gems in Vermont is, as the list opened, another cemetery. New Haven’s Evergreen Cemetery is, in most respects, a rather run-of-the-mill and ordinary cemetery, the final resting place for local departed souls and a place for those left behind to mourn and remember.
It is well worth straying away from the beaten track for a visit, though, because of one solo grave. Question your own life, fears, ambitions, and mortality as you stand over the grave of Dr. Timothy Clark Smith.
Dr. Smith had a morbid phobia of being buried alive. Gripped in his fear, he designed his own burial site, complete with a staircase in case the unthinkable should happen. It is rumoured that the Dr. was interred with breathing equipment and a bell to attract attention.
What really makes the tomb stand out from the rest, though, is a small pane of thick glass in the earth. Positioned over the dead man’s face, it was yet another safety net to make sure that he wasn’t still alive when buried. The window allowed people to look down and see that the corpse was, in fact, a corpse.
Dr. Smith was buried in 1893. Presumably, his body has now decayed and rotted with time. There’s no need to be grossed out, though—it’s no longer possible to see all the way down to the bottom of the grave. Try if you want to though!
From the macabre to the natural, and from the urban to the abandoned, Vermont has plenty of hidden gems that are well worth talking about.