Vermont's Sacred Acre

Paraphrasing Stephen Seitz' 2006 article in the Rutland Herald: The history of the town, the state and the nation is written out on the stones in the Old First Church Cemetery in Bennington. The sign on the Old First Church reads: First church in Vermont dedicated to separation of church and state. Congregation founded by those seeking religious freedom. Vermont's legislature designated this church "Vermont's Colonial Shrine"; adjacent cemetery "Vermont's Sacred Acre". Bridget Harwood, born in Concord, Massachusetts in 1715, mother of 10 children, was the first burial in 1762. Over the years she has been joined by several Vermont governors, a U.S. Congressman and Senator. Robert Frost is here. His poem, In A Disused Graveyard, captures the essence of our organization: The living come with grassy tread, To read the gravestones on the hill; The graveyard draws the living still, But never anymore the dead.

Feature Story

A Headstone in Arlington

In the self-guided tour1 of St. James Cemetery in Arlington, Vermont we discover:

The founders of the town of Arlington were members of the King’s army, which came from Connecticut to fight against the French in the north in what was known as the French and Indian War. On their return they camped along the Battenkill (River) in the vicinity of what was to become Arlington.

In 1749 the King of England authorized Benning Wentworth to sell land in what was named the New Hampshire grants in order to populate the area to keep the French out. Israel Canfield and some of the men... Read on...

2016 Fund Campaign

To quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “I have a dream”. For many years now I have dreamed about VOCA’s permanent fund being at a level that would enable VOCA to award substantial grants to all of Vermont’s... Read on...


Brattleboro Historical Society

The Brattleboro Historical Society has opened a new downtown Brattleboro History Center to showcase items from BHS and community collections and involve the public in our shared past. The History Center is on the first floor of the Masonic building at 196 Main St. (with a separate south-side entrance and rear-door wheelchair ramp) and features a series of changing exhibits. Current exhibits included a look at local agricultural history, farm life and the former Valley Fair. There are miniatures and model railroads and bridges, a replica of Ft. Dummer, historic business signs, newspapers, pharmacy prescriptions and bottles, toys, paintings, and a gown worn by Mrs. Levi Fuller at her husbands inauguration.

The History Center is open for regular hours on Thursdays and Fridays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 to 3 p.m. The Center is also open each Gallery Walk from 5-8 p.m. People seeking more information about the society, its Municipal Center collections and the new History Center can call (802) 258-4957 or email histsoc@sover.net. Visit their website!