Posted by: jeannineatkins | September 23, 2010

Vermont Love

My husband and I took a few days off to enjoy Vermont, even though it’s early for the famous fall foliage. In Manchester, we visited Hildene http:/// where Robert Lincoln, the surviving son of the President and his wife, made his home after earning a fortune in law and business. The mansion, views, and gardens designed like stained glass windows are spectacular.

But I might remember this closet most. Above Robert’s shoes and suitcases is an open safe which held correspondence about the 1875 jury trial in which he testified against his mother, who was declared legally insane.

In Proctor, we stopped at the Vermont Marble Museum where mines were first quarried in 1836 by the Humphrey brothers and became the world’s largest, with Vermont stone being sent to many places, perhaps most notably the massive white buildings of Washington, D.C. Vermont marble makes up much of the Lincoln Memorial, the Supreme Court, and Arlington National Cemetery. The company sent people to Ellis Island to persuade immigrants to come for jobs and homes, and from 1890 to WWII, workers from twenty-three countries worked hard though rarely took home cash after deductions for rent, food, and supplies from the company store were taken out.

We saw displays of everything from angels to bathroom walls and kitchen countertops. Here’s a shot of how plaster casts may become marble statues using a pointing machine.

Taking a break from history, we were kindly given a tour of the wonderful Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction.

Part of the school is housed in a former Five and Dime, where there’s currently a display of some of Stephen R. Bissette’s work. Here’s a shot of a few shelves in the Schulz Library. What a cool place to write and draw comics of all sorts, or maybe a children’s book.



  1. You were 1 minute away from me in my school! Next time you have to visit!

  2. My family and I visited Hildene this summer, and loved it too! I was struck by the brick outline of the log cabin Lincoln was born in that is placed just outside the main mansion.
    (Oh, and the goats were very cool too!)

  3. Love your photos, Jeannine! My daughter and I visited Hildene this summer when Loree Griffin Burns did her book event for HIVE DETECTIVES there, and we just loved it. The gardens look so different now that it’s autumn!

  4. Boy, I must be tired. When I read Marble Museum, I pictured little round glass balls–LOTS of them. Well, the trip looks fun even without that. 🙂

  5. I enjoyed the photo tour, Jeannine. And I can’t believe I’ve been to White River Junction a zillion times and have never been inside the Center for Cartoon Studies. I will have to read about the 1875 trial. How does someone testify against one’s mother?

  6. Thanks for the photos! My parents live about a half-hour from Proctor, and one of their favorite historic sites is Hildene. But yes, that trial: How could he do it?

  7. It’s a date, Cindy!

  8. Of course goats are always cool! And it was good to see your book there representing the bees.

  9. I think the summer is when you get the stained glass window effect, but the garden was still gorgeous. I only wish I could have gotten there when Loree was talking about bees. We made our way up to Shelburne, where I showed my husband about where you live on the map, and waved across the stunning Lake Champlain.

  10. Probably somebody did a marble museum where you can roll little balls to your heart’s content, but now that I think about it, there wasn’t a little ball in sight — though maybe if I’d scoured the gift shop. You could find marble carved triceratops, which we managed not to buy.

  11. Where the triceratops on sale, since “they” decided there was no such actual animal? 🙂

  12. Well CCS must give White RIver Junction some of its charm whether or not you enter. Have you been to a very very eclectic museum there — it’s beside the Charles Schulz Library, a small but packed and fascinating room. And the Tip Top restaurant was excellent!
    That trial: so sad.

  13. I expect Hildene is more fun to walk around than the Marble Museum, but my husband was very happy about an unexpected triceratops remains sighting in the geology exhibit there.
    I’m glad they have that closet door opened in some very quiet recognition of the tragedy: one lost a husband and son, another a father and brother, and it’s hard not to wish they could have found some consolation with each other.

  14. No sales!
    As a long time devotee of the triceratops (since The Enormous Egg) my husband flipped out a bit at those first headlines, but, if my understanding is correct, and I’m no paleontologist, the triceratops are going to get to keep their name: as perhaps a different age group than the also three-horned torosaurus?

  15. I’m with your husband, although my affection comes from Cera and her dad in The Land Before Time movies. 🙂 I felt this way about Pluto, too, so maybe I’m just not so good with change.

  16. Enormous Egg
    I’m curious — have you ever read “The Enormous Egg” by Oliver Butterworth? It’s definitely one of the most memorable children’s books from my youth, though I am not sure which I loved more — the story of a boy with his own dinosaur, raised from a hatchling… or the gorgeous black and white illustrations by Louis Darling (who I believe also did some great work in the “Henry” books by Beverly Cleary). — PL

  17. Re: Enormous Egg
    I do sort of remember the book, but it’s mixed up in my mind with a book about a kid who got a fish that kept growing and growing until it was too big for the swimming pool, either. I think that book was for younger children. I think I read both when I was a kid, but only found the fish one for my son, so the egg is less recent in my memory. And so sorry about the triceratops, btw! 🙂

  18. Re: Enormous Egg
    That “growing fish” story seems vaguely familiar — I was about to say that it sounds like a Dr. Seuss story, but I’m probably mistaken.
    As for the Triceratops — I’ll admit, I freaked out a little bit when I saw the headline… but like many (most?) headlines, you don’t get the whole story. As I understand it, the plan is to “merge” the two species — Triceratops and Torosaurus — and just keep the Triceratops name. And I’m fine with that. — PL

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