The Milton Historical Society, General Stannard House Committees and Saint Albans Museum are pleased to announce the launch of the Vermont in the Civil War Heritage Trail.
The Vermont in the Civil War Heritage Trail was born out of a desire to link key American Civil War sites in the Green Mountain State – museums, historic sites, exhibits and more – and educate by making this important history more unified and accessible. Special thanks are due to Howard Coffin, whose 2013 book “Something Abides: Discovering the Civil War in Today’s Vermont” is a reference and inspiration for this Trail. Three organizational meetings were held at Trail sites in Ferrisburgh, Bennington and Rutland this year, and in late July, brochures were printed and are currently being distributed. A web site (which contains the the brochure), www.vtcivilwarheritage.net, has been established and will continue to be enhanced. A Facebook page, www.facebook.com/vtcivilwartrail
The Trail follows US Route 7, South to North. Each site is a link to the crucial contributions Vermont made to the preservation of these United States in the American “War Between the States.” There are also many little-known connections critical to that War, and it is our Mission to better illustrate and explain those connections. From Abolitionist John Brown to Stephen Douglas to William Lloyd Garrison to Frederick Douglass to the Northernmost land battle of the Civil War, to the General who made the decision to flank Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, Vermont has a significant story to tell.
The contributions and influences Vermont had on the Civil War are not widely known or appreciated, even within the state. We are here to fix that. There are other important sites and connections to the Civil War in Vermont, but the majority of our sites are found along the ‘western coast’ of Vermont, along the Route 7 corridor. Future expansion of our Trail may include Eastern sites such as the rifle, machinery and clothing factories of the Connecticut River Valley, and more.
The current list of site locations and descriptions, and the Trail brochure, are available at http://www.vtcivilwarheritage.
“Vermont is known for our rich history, as well as a tradition of neighbors and communities working together,” said Alex Lehning, Director of the Saint Albans Museum and member of the Trail Committee. “Our shared regional heritage is part of larger story of America itself. The creation of the Vermont in the Civil War Heritage Trail – by volunteers from across the state – provides a comprehensive link to that important piece of our past, and to the people, places and ideas that defined Vermont’s critical role in the Civil War. This Trail will benefit residents, visitors, and students alike who have an interest in exploring and discovering that story.”
We are looking at a lot of improvements ahead for our Trail. They include plans for individual and joint collaborative site events, a geo-locating application, identity signage at sites with QR code-accessed content, virtual reality tours, and local/statewide Public Broadcasting videos and presentations. Our current brochures are only the beginning! “History is where we’ve been and where we are going,” said Terry Richards, Trail Committee Chair. “Please, do not miss out on your Discovery.”
Individual sites may be contacted directly for hours and site-specific information, and please be advised that some sites may charge admission.