Category Archives: Events

Silver Lake History Hike – Sept. 10

Vermont Archaeology Month Event, 2017


Silver Lake History Hike

Sunday, September 10th, 10:00am – 1:00pm

Silver Lake

Meet at the public parking lot (Silver Lake trailhead) on Rt 53, south of Branbury State Park

Free: Children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult.

Researcher & author Bill Powers and retired National Forest archaeologist Dave Lacy will lead a hike to Silver Lake where they will highlight the history & archaeology of the area, from evidence of Native American use and the story of the 19th century settlement, to the development of a popular hotel/retreat on the lake shore, the 100th anniversary of a power generation dam & network, and several decades of National Forest management. Bill will be armed with a collection of historic photographs. PLEASE BRING water, lunch, appropriate walking shoes, & bug repellent and sunscreen if desired. Well-behaved (voice command or leashed) dogs welcome to join us.


I am participating in a panel discussion this Sunday

I’ll be joining three other panelists discussing some recent research about Mount Independence State Historic Site this Sunday, July 23. The event starts at 2:00 and takes place at the Visitor Center auditorium at the Mount. You can learn more about the event here.

Lake Dunmore by Steamboat — a talk by Bill Powers, July 12

Middlebury Festival on the Green

One of the summer’s best events is the Festival on the Green in Middlebury. It’s a free, week-long music and arts festival taking place each year, and this year’s festival starts today. Here’s the lineup:

Click here for a PDF: FOG-SmallPoster-2017

Drive into town. You can’t miss it.

Rediscovering a crashed Army plane that went down 60 years ago

I’ve attended Bill Power’s talk about the Army plane that crashed into the Green Mountains in the 1950s. It includes his first-hand account of relocating the crash site and the poignant closure for the family of one of the pilots.

He’s giving it again at the Brandon Library on Tuesday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m. It will be worth your time.

Bill Powers presents a talk about the Forest Dale banjo factory – May 20

Banjo presentation 20 May 2017.JPG

A hike into history at Mount Independence this Saturday, May 6

Southern Battery

The central of three southern batteries started by the Americans in the late spring of 1777 and completed by German forces fighting for the British occupying the Mount after the American evacuation.

I’ll be one of three co-leaders of a hike along the rocky slopes of Mount Independence this Saturday, May 6. The hike will start at 1:00 p.m. with some show and tell at the museum, visitor center of artifacts found on site by archaeologists over the years. Then, we’ll venture out onto the trails, and even off trail, to explore the defenses built by American and British forces in 1776 and 1777. Learn more about the hike here.

Mount Independence Spring Wildflower Walk – April 30

My wife, Amy Olmsted, is the chief horticulturist with Rocky Dale Gardens in Bristol, Vermont. Each spring in recent years she has led a walk on Mount Independence to view and share knowledge about early wildflowers.

A cluster of bloodroot.

This year’s hike is on Sunday, April 30. We’ll meet at the Mount Independence State Historic Site visitor center by 1:00 p.m. The site is not open officially yet (that’s Memorial Day weekend). However, regular admission fees do apply — namely Mount Independence Coalition Members and children under 15 get in free, everyone else is $5.

Learn more here.

Lovely trout lily.

Military Road Car Tour, August 24

Here’s some news for local history buffs from the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation:

HUBBARDTON, Vt.—For the second annual guided driving tour of sections of the Mount Independence-Hubbardton Military Road of 1776-77, join leader Jim Rowe at the Hubbardton Battlefield on Saturday, August 24, starting at 9:30 a.m.  The trip will go from the Hubbardton Battlefield down to the Otter Creek, with stops along the way.  Drive in the path of history!

Meet at the Hubbardton Battlefield at 9:30 a.m. for your orientation.  The tour is $2.00 for adults and free for children under 15, and includes admission to the Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site.

Rowe, president of the Crown Point Road Association, has a lifelong interest in this Revolutionary War military road and is an engaging presenter.  He will be assisted by several other knowledgeable members of the Association.

The road was built after the September 7, 1776, order of Gen. Horatio Gates to connect the American Revolutionary War fortification being constructed at Mount Independence on Lake Champlain to Hubbardton and Rutland, Vermont, and Fort No. 4 in New Hampshire.  Gates considered the road “so Essential to the Interest of the United States” and “the safety and protection of the inhabitants of all the Middle States of this Union.”  Soldiers, ammunition, and stores used the road to reach Mount Independence.  On the night of July 5 and 6, 1777, as the British invaded the lake, American forces withdrew from Mount Independence and Fort Ticonderoga along the road, engaging the British at the Battle of Hubbardton on July 7.

Last year’s tour started at Mount Independence in Orwell and ran to the Hubbardton Battlefield.  The Hubbardton Battlefield, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is the site of the only Revolutionary War battle fought in Vermont.  It is located at 5696 Monument Hill Road, Hubbardton.  Call (802) 273-2282 for more information.

Listen to the Fife & Drum Corps

As I wrote about in my previous post, I attending an event at the Hubbardton Battlefield this past weekend. Members of the Seth Warner Mount Independence Fife & Drum Corps were on hand to provide the proper period atmosphere. Click here for a video of one of the songs they performed (with a bagpiper filling in for the fifers).