We got so carried away in Maine that Vermont got squeezed out. The plan was to end our day at a maple syrup sugar house. There is a cute little farm outside of Brattlebro that offers tours of their sugar house and dairy farm. Unfortunately they were closed by the time we arrived.
After the sugar house we were going to head to the town fromagerie and see Vermont cheese being made. But they were closed too. What? Katie trying to pack too much into one day!? Although, I wouldn't trade our extended lobster dining and relaxing time by the lighthouse to see Vermont's two major industries; maple syrup and dairy production.
We had to settle for stopping by the local market and finding some Vermont made cheese and maple syrup. Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the nation and makes 42% of our supply. The girls did get to taste some Vermont maple syrup on their waffles and we brought home lots of maple syrup goodies as souvenirs.
We learned some interesting trivia about Vermont. Montpelier is the only capital in the U.S. that does not have a McDonald's. Vermont had quite a beef with McDonald's when they found out they do not use real maple syrup when they claim to with their Maple Oatmeal. In Vermont they must now offer real Vermont Maple Sugar.
Along with their maple syrup pride, Vermont is proud of their dairy heritage. At one time there were more cows than people. Today there is 1 cow for every 3.8 people in Vermont.
Ben and Jerry's ice cream is produced in Vermont and they give the waste to the farmers to feed their pigs. We tried to find Ben and Jerry's along our drive but could only find Nestle's Ice Cream! Seems their gas stations should support their local producers. :)
On our way out of town the next morning we stopped by the Bennington Battle Monument. It commemorates the only Revolutionary War battle fought on Vermont soil. Vermont has a holiday on August 16th to honor the day the untrained Yankees beat one of England's best trained and equipped armies. The victory had the downstream effect of preventing the Redcoats from cutting off New England from the other colonies and depleting the British forces to the point that they would later that year they would surrender in New York. That defeat was the tipping point for the American Revolution victory.
You can take an elevator to the top of the 306 foot monument to see the three states that joined together to build the monument; Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
General John Stark is believed to have rallied his troops by saying, "There they are boys! We beat them today or Molly Stark sleeps a widow tonight!" This visit concluded our education about the Colonial history and the Revolutionary War. It was time to rally my troops for a long 7 hour day in the car.