In 1791, the Republic of Vermont became the first of the non-13 colonies to join the Union. As the 14th state, that gives it a unique part in our nations history. The territory that eventually became Vermont was originally settled in the 1600s by French and English settlers, and was a part of New York and New Hampshire.
During the French and Indian, Revolutionary and 1812 wars, Vermont was very active in the conflicts. A large number of forts and other military posts were established in Vermont, and after the various conflicts ended, were not longer needed.
Agriculture, iron furnaces, railroad expansion and logging also became big industries, and a number of communities based on those economies popped up around the state. Mining was not a major industry, but enough mines did develop that a few mining camps and mining towns grew up and faded away as the mines pinched out.
Then there are the resorts and spas, which grew up around mineral springs. Vermont had well over 100 such locations, with nearly a third of them with hotels or bathhouses where folks could stay for a time while they partook of the waters. Most of these locations are now abandoned, and mostly forgotten.
During Vermonts three centuries of settlement, many other towns grew up and died, adding many interesting and unique locations to the growing roster of ghosts that were out to discover and share
This community was in the northeast part of state, near Island Pond. It was disenfranchised in 1963. Look for a few cellar holes and the rusting remains of a Ford Model T.
CALEDONIA SPRING HOUSE
This is a real treasure hunt. The exact location of this old Caledonia County resort is not determined. Start with the county clerks office for a map and clues to its whereabouts. A legend of buried Civil War-era silver coins worth $40,000 at the resort may provide some payback for searchers.
CHIMNEY POINT TAVERN
Jacobus de Warm of Albany, New York, established a short-lived outpost here in 1690. In 1730 the French rebuilt it, renaming it Fort de Pieux. By 1759 it was deserted. 250 years later, only cellar holes and rubble are said to remain. Also located here is the Chimney Point Tavern, an 18th Century tavern that today acts as the interpretive center for the site. It is located just off Route 17, eight miles southwest of Addison, at the south end of Lake Champlain, where the Champlain Bridge crosses to New York
FORT STE. ANNE
This old French fort was located on West Shore Road, three miles north of the village of Isle la Motte, on Isle La Motte (island), in the northwest corner of Lake Champlain. It was built in 1666 for protection against the Mohawk Indians. A small settlement grew up around the fort, and in 1670 the fort and town were burned by the Mohawks.
All that remains of this old agricultural/charcoal town on the Appalachian Trail, ten miles northeast of Bennington, are cellar holes and rubble. At one time there was a hotel, charcoal kilns and a railroad line (1872-1898). Glastenbury was established in 1761, but growth was slow. In 1840 only 53 people were counted in the census, and by 1880 it peaked at 241. By the early 1930s it was abandoned. In 1937 the town was officially declared unorganized.
All traces of this Vermont town have apparently been lost. Historians have attempted to locate records about the town with no luck.
This old farming community is located in a marshy area south of Harvey Lake, two miles south of West Barnet, about 15 miles southwest of St. Johnsbury, east of Montpelier. All that remains is overgrown cellar holes and rubble.
In 1990, 50 people lived in this small town located west of Interstate-89, about ten miles northwest of the junction I-89/91.
PLYMOUTH FIVE CORNERS
Located near Plymouth, this little agricultural village was the focus of Vermont's 1850s era gold rush. In 1855, a returning California gold miner panned for and found gold in Reading Pound Brook. It wasn't a lot, and despite his secrecy, Reading Pound, Broad and Buffalo brooks were overrun with people looking for quick riches. Little remains to mark the area where the village with two hotels once flourished.
In 1884, this was considered a post village, and consisted of two furniture factories (George M. Whitney owned one, Sanderson & Sumner owned the other), a Methodist church, two hotels, mechanic shops, three stores, the Vermont Liberal Institute and about 100 people. It is now a rural community located along the Black River in the western part of the Town of Plymouth.
About seven miles north of Woodstock. In 1990 the population was 50; it continues to decline. Pomfret is a ghost-town in the making.
This old milling community was first established in 1783. All that remains are the foundations and cellar holes of a town that once had several homes, a church, school and three gristmills. Most of the buildings survived into the 1960s. The former site is located in a high basin near Waterbury Reservoir in Little River State Park.
Roxbury in the early 1800s was located on top of Cram Hill Road. The only way to get there is on an old mail route. There are many old buildings and graveyards in the woods. Also on the other side of town, behind the town office and about a half-mile down the railroad tracks, there is a pathway built through the middle of a large pond leading over the mountain to the Roxbury Marble Quarries.
In 1890, 125 people lived in Somerset. Two folks were living there in 1990. By 2006, not a soul was left in town. This old, abandoned farming community is now nothing but memories and overgrown cellar holes. It is located south of Somerset Reservoir, 12 miles northwest of Wilmington.
R.I.P. 1805-1855: The Town of Sterling is one of the spookier Vermont ghost towns. Lok for the remains of this town near Jeffersonville.
Also known as Tyson Furnace, this rural community is located on Route 100, at the south end of Echo Lake, five miles south-southeast of Plymouth, six miles north of Ludlow, at the southern end of the Town of Plymouth.
Printed with permission.