Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

Part of the New England region, Vermont takes its name from the French for ‘green mountain’. By the 17th century, the area of modern Vermont was inhabited largely by Algonquian-speaking Abenaki groups and members of the Iroquois Confederacy. That century saw the arrival of French settlers in the area, followed by their Dutch and English counterparts in the 18th century. Tensions with other colonies in the region meant that, while Vermont enthusiastically took part in the American Revolution against British rule, it declared itself an independent republic in 1777. Only in 1791 did it join the United States, becoming the 14th state to do so. The 19th century saw the dairy industry become key to Vermont’s economy, with tourism assuming a central role in the 20th century.

Archaeology & History Sites in Vermont

Mount Independence Historic Site

Mount Independence in Orwell is an important site in the history of the American Revolutionary War. The fort was built between 1776 and 1777 to protect revolutionary forces from the British loyalist armies. In 1777, the revolutionary forces retreated and the British temporarily occupied the fort. Visitors can explore the six miles of trails traversing the original 18th century fortifications and examine artefacts recovered from the fort at the site museum.

Old First Church of Bennington

The Old First Congregational Church of Bennington was built in 1805 following the designs of the architect Lavius Fillmore. The church itself had previously operated in a building at Old Bennington from 1762, making it the oldest Protestant church in the state. In 1935, the Vermont legislature designated the church as ‘Vermont’s Colonial Shrine’. It remains an active site of worship and is open to visitors on select days throughout the year.

Rudyard Kipling's Naulakha

In the public imagination, the British writer Rudyard Kipling is rarely associated with the U.S. but he lived in Vermont for several years and where he wrote some of his best known work. He had this house, known as Naulakha, built in Dummerston in 1893 and remained here till 1896. From 1942 it remained abandoned until the Landmark Trust purchased and removed it. The house is now used as a vacation rental.

Vermont State House

Vermont State House in Montpelier is the seat of the Vermont General Assembly. Built during the 1850s in the Greek Revival architectural style, the present building was designed by Thomas Silloway. This makes it the oldest surviving state capitol in the U.S. A wide range of artworks, including paintings and sculptures, are currently on display inside the State House. Although actively used in state politics, the building is open to visitors.

Museums & Art Galleries in Vermont

Bennington Museum

At the Bennington Museum, visitors can learn more about the history of Vermont. The Bennington Historical Association first opened the museum in an old church in 1928 although it has expanded repeatedly since that time. The museum has a large collection of artworks by artists associated with the state, including Grandma Moses and Ralph Earl. Other collections comprise historical artefacts including the Bennington flag linked to the Battle of Bennington in 1777.