Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Champlain region State Historic Sites open for the season, Memorial Day weekend

Saturday, May 23 — ADDISON — The Memorial Day weekend brings the start of the 2015 season at the Chimney Point, Mount Independence, and Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Sites. They open on Saturday, May 23, at 9:30 a.m. Enjoy visiting the museums, walking the grounds, bring a picnic, activities for children, and specialty museum shops with many books and other items.  The annual Early Bird Nature Walk at Mount Independence on May 23, starting at 8 a.m., is one of many special events.

The Chimney Point State Historic Site on Lake Champlain in Addison commands one of the most strategic points on the Lake, important to human beings for over 8,000 years. The site presents the Native American, early French, and early American settlement of the area. The grounds include a short walking trail with interpretive signs and a historic pier from the 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge. The special exhibit is “Tick Tick: The Barnes Clocks of Chimney Point,” exploring the clocks made by the Barnes family and the 19th century evolution of affordable clocks. Take a walk across the Lake Champlain Bridge, with sidewalks on each side.  The site is open Wednesdays through Sundays and Monday holidays, 9:30-5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under 15. 

Orwell’s Mount Independence, a National Historic Landmark named after the Declaration of Independence, was built on Lake Champlain in 1776-77 to protect the American colonies against British invasion from the north. The museum has state of the art exhibits and Revolutionary War artifacts, ranging from such large artifacts as logs from the Great Bridge across the lake and a cannon recovered from the lake to fish hooks and fish bones from the Revolution. The special exhibit is “Mount Independence Depicted,” how the Mount has been portrayed in art, mapping, and photography over time. Winding past archaeological sites are six miles of scenic walking and hiking trails. The Baldwin Trail, with colorful interpretive signage, is suitable for outdoor wheelchairs and strollers. The annual Soldiers Atop the Mount encampment is September 5 and 6, and includes a Baldwin Trail Walkabout with special activity stations. The site is open daily, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under 15.

The Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site is the location of Vermont’s only Revolutionary War battle. It is considered one of the best preserved battlefields in America, retaining most of its original setting. The July 7, 1777, battle weekend, July 11 and 12, is always a crowd-pleaser. The site is open Thursdays through Sundays and Monday holidays, from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and free for children under 15.  

Other Vermont State-owned Historic Sites opening on May 23 are the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth, Justin Smith Morrill Homestead in Strafford, and Old Constitution House in Windsor.

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