White River Junction was named for its location as a
meeting place of rivers, railroads, and highways. Early travelers by water congregated
here at the confluence of the Connecticut River and the White River, where early
bridges over the Connecticut (1803) and the White (1815) created crossroads
communities. Between 1847 and 1863, five new railroad lines converged on the
banks of the two rivers. Today, the Vermont village continues to be the heart
of a region where past meets present and where science, the arts, and business
come together at the Junction.
White River Junction is a village within the town of Hartford, VT, and is the Waypoint community for the towns of Hartland and Norwich, VT, and Lebanon, Hanover, and Plainfield, NH. Its Waypoint Interpretive Center is located in an historic train station in downtown White River Junction, and also serves as a Vermont Welcome Center.
The designated Byway routes in the White River Junction area are Route 5 in Vermont and in New Hampshire, Route 10 from West Lebanon to points north and Route 12A from West Lebanon to points south.
At White River Junction, the flow of the Connecticut
is swelled by the White River, whose own watershed of tributaries reaches deep
into central Vermont. The Ottauquechee River enters the Connecticut to the south
after its course through Quechee
Gorge, one of the geologic wonders of the region. The gorge, cut down through
150 feet of bedrock, is visible from a bridge over Route 4. (See Recreation
The Montshire Museum in Norwich, VT, is a hands-on science museum with dozens of exhibits relating to the natural and physical sciences, technology, and ecology, including the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. The self-guiding museum is engaging for adults and children of all ages, and is located on a 110-acre site on the Connecticut River with a network of easy-to-moderate walking trails.
The Vermont Institute of Natural Science in Quechee, VT offers year-round educational programs, camps, workshops, events and tours designed to engage people and their communities in the active care of their environment. Its live raptor exhibits are a particular favorite of many return visitors. Together, VINS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offer programs and exhibits highlighting the array of wildlife and habitats found on the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge and their conservation efforts.
For more about birding and nature observation in the White River Junction area, visit the Connecticut River Birding Trail.
Hill farms keep alive the agricultural traditions begun more than two hundred years ago. The Billings Farm Museum in Woodstock, VT, dates back to 1871. It's a living museum and working dairy farm operated in partnership with the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park.
Sugar Bush Farm gives tours of its Woodstock property.
You can buy many agricultural products directly from the producers:
Farmers Markets | Farm Stands and Pick Your Own
For more about Farming on the Connecticut River Byway
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Briggs Opera House and the Coolidge Hotel are the cultural core of downtown White River Junction. Northern Stage presents live theater at the Opera House. The Tunbridge World's Fair, held in nearby Tunbridge in late summer, has been a regional tradition for a century.
Dartmouth College, across the river in Hanover, NH, is one of the premier cultural sites in northern New England. In addition to its libraries and bookstore, it boasts the Hood Museum of Art and the Hopkins Center, a leading center for the performing arts.
In Lebanon, visit the
Among the most illustrious artists of the Connecticut River Valley was the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907). The , Cornish, NH, preserves the home, gardens and studios where the sculptor summered from 1885-1897. Displayed here are reproductions of some of his most well-known works, including the Chicago sculpture depicting Abraham Lincoln, the Shaw Memorial in Boston, and the monument to General Sherman in front of New York's Plaza Hotel. Saint-Gaudens drew into his sphere many other artists and musicians who collectively became known as the Cornish Colony, here at "little New York," from about 1885-1935. The National Park Service manages the 150 acre site, including hiking trails that explore the park's natural areas.
Among those drawn to the Cornish Colony was the Parrish family, including popular artist Maxfield Parrish, who created luminous paintings of Connecticut River Valley scenes. Those who live here know that the remarkable lighting for which his work is so well known is a true reflection of the Connecticut River Valley skies. The Town Hall in Plainfield, NH, features recently restored stage scenery of Parrish's design. His work is shown at the Cornish Colony Museum, Windsor, Vermont.
For more about Culture on the Connecticut River Byway
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As the crossroads of several railroads and highways,
the Town of Hartford developed into several distinct communities, four of which
today include historic districts - White River Junction, Hartford Village, Wilder
Village, and the Quechee Historic mill district. To the North, Norwich Village
historic district is centered on a classic New England green. Across the river
Colburn Park historic district has a more urban feel. Webster Cottage Museum
(603-646-3371, 603-643-6529), in Hanover, is the home of the Hanover Historical
Society. To the east, an historic district encompasses the which preserves the history
and culture of a community founded in 1793 as the ninth of eighteen Shaker communities
established in the country. The Theron Boyd Homestead, a Vermont State Historic
Site in Quechee, is one of the best-preserved examples of Connecticut River
architecture of the late 18th century.
It's fitting that the only National Park in America celebrating conservation history is set in the Northern Connecticut River Valley. The in Woodstock, VT, honors George Perkins Marsh, one of the nation's first global environmental thinkers, who grew up here, and Frederick Billings, an early conservationist who established a progressive dairy farm and professionally managed forest on the former Marsh farm. Billings' granddaughter, Mary French Rockefeller, and her husband, conservationist Laurance S. Rockefeller, sustained Billings's practices in forestry and farming on the property over the latter half of the 20th century. The Billings Farm & Museum at the site continues the farm's working dairy and interprets rural Vermont life and agricultural history. The Park tells this many-layered story with tours of the mansion, farmhouse, and the surrounding 550-acre forest.
Among Vermont's historic covered bridges in the area are Martin's Mill Bridge over Lull's Brook and the Willard Bridge over the Ottauquechee River, both in Hartland, and three bridges in Woodstock over the Ottauquechee: Lincoln Bridge, Middle Bridge, and Taftsville Bridge. Covered bridges nearby in New Hampshire are the over Blood Brook in Plainfield, and the Packard Hill Bridge over the Mascoma River in Lebanon.
State historic markers in the area offer a glimpse into the past, where tangible reminders remain or where events may have passed without a trace.
If you want to get out on the river in the White River Junction area, you'll find it useful to check out the maps provided by the Connecticut River Joint Commissions identifying river access and other important aspects of boating on the river. In the White River Junction region, from north to south, see the maps covering and the Upper Valley.
A hiking trail through the Quechee Gorge runs through Quechee State Park.
Skiing history was made in Woodstock in 1934 when local residents rigged up a Model T Ford engine at the base of Gilbert's Hill to power America's first ski tow. Two years later, Bunny Bertram opened a commercial ski area just north of Gilbert's Hill which became known as Suicide Six operated today by the Woodstock Inn. More downhill skiing is across the river at the Dartmouth Skiway in Lyme, NH.
For more about Recreation on the Connecticut River Byway
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White River Junction was a crossroads for five railroads, all constructed between 1847 and 1863. Two lines survive the Boston and Maine, and the Central Vermont. The B&M built the present large brick passenger station in 1937 in the Colonial Revival style, and Amtrak stops at the station twice a day. Outside the station, which houses a welcome center operated by the state of Vermont and local chambers of commerce, stands a great iron horse, "Old 494," with its coalcar and caboose. This restored locomotive engine hauled passenger cars and light freight up and down the river valley from 1892 to 1938.
Early each fall, rail enthusiasts invite the public to celebrate Glory Days of the Railroad, a day-long festival offering excursion rides and exhibits, from the heart of the historic rail yard. The New England Transportation Museum, also within the White River Junction rail station, celebrates the heritage of railroading and other river-related transportation, and promotes the return of rail.The crafts tradition of hand production is kept alive at which offers glassblowing demonstrations and pottery at its site in picturesque Quechee village.For more about Products on the Connecticut River Byway
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Below, you'll find listings of farmers' markets in the White River Junction waypoint region, followed by individual farm stands and farms where you can pick your own farm-fresh products. For more, visit Valley Food and Farm's searchable site.
Rt 5, 1 mile south of Exit 13, I-95, Norwich, VT.
Saturdays, May -October, 9am- 2pm. Local agricultural products, prepared foods, baked goods, handcrafts of all kinds, cheeses, meats, soaps and lotions, woolens and sheepskins, furniture. Live music most days, weather permitting. 802-649-2724.
Lebanon Farmers' Market
Colburn Park, opposite City Hall in downtown Lebanon. (Take Route 120 south from Exit 18, I-89, into downtown Lebanon.
Left at stop sign onto Hanover Street. Proceed 3/4 mile to Colburn Park.)
Thursdays 11am-2pm, mid-June to mid-August. Local agricultural products, prepared foods, baked goods, handcrafts of all kinds. In conjunction with "Thursdays in the Park" free performance series sponsored by the City of Lebanon Receation and Parks Department. 802- 649-2724.
Cornish Farmers' Market
Cornish Flat, NH. Saturdays, May-October, 9am-noon. Local produce, baked goods, bread, woolens, gifts, goats milk soap. Special sales/exchanges once a month, book sale and marionette show. Rain or shine, 603-542-8635.
Below, you'll find listings of individual farm stands and farms where you can pick your own farm-fresh products in the greater White River Junction waypoint region. For more, visit Valley Food and Farm's searchable site.
Dan & Millie Bailey
294 Dartmouth College Highway (Route 10), Lyme, NH 03768
Fresh turkeys in season, and fresh-frozen turkey burger, parts & pieces, and turkey breast
Brigadoon Herb Farm
Route 10 & Grimes Hill Road, Orford NH
North of the village of Orford
Guided farm tours, weed walks, teas and talks, seasonal festivals, garden consultation
Cube Mountain Farm
Bill & Kathy Baker
Baker Road, Orford NH
East of the village of Orford, off Route 25A
Handmade wreaths and arrangements, garlands, custom orders
Arend and Paula Tensen
100 River Rd., Lyme, NH 03768
Open daily, May - October
Fresh eggs and produce; local cheese, fresh raw milk and grass-fed beef.
O'Brien Tree Farm
Route 10, Orford NH
South of the village of Orford
Cut your own Christmas trees
River Valley Farm
Sherre & Pat Tullar
Route 10, Orford NH
Located just south of the village of Orford, opposite Tullando Farm
9-5 daily Mother's Day to Christmas
Annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, baked goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pumpkins, ice cream, crafts, pygmy goats to observe; Christmas trees and decorations in season
Paul and Nancy Franklin
141 River Rd., Plainfield, NH 03781
10am-5pm, September-October, daily
Pick your own apples, pumpkins, raspberries; cider, jams, jellies & dried flowers.
722 River Road, Lyme NH
Located just south of the covered bridge, or 4 miles north of the Thetford/Lyme Bridge
8am-7pm daily during blueberry season (late July-early August)
Blueberries, (unsprayed) in 1,200 plant orchard near the Connecticut River and Clay Brook
Cedar Circle Farm
Kate Duesterberg and Will Allen
225 Pavillion Road (1/8 mi. south of Rtes. 5/113 jct.)
East Thetford, VT 05043
Fresh fruits and vegetables, PYO strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries; annual and perennial bedding plants
Tim & Janet Taylor
811 West Fairlee Road
(Crossroad between Lake Fairlee & Rte 113, Post Mills, VT)
Fairlee, VT 05045
May 1 - October 12
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, vegetables, farm stand
Route 5 North, Fairlee, VT 05045
Liz & Jake Guest
55 Butternut Road, Norwich, VT 05055
(Stand: Rt 5 south of Norwich)
Beginning of May - end of October
Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, organic vegetables.
208 Joshua Road, White River Jct., VT 05001
July 15 - August 15
Blueberries, farm stand
Hartford, VT THERON BOYD HOUSE
This Federal style house, built in 1786, has undergone little alteration and is one the finest houses from this period in Vermont. It was built by William Burtch, whose father came to Hartford, VT, from Stonington, CT about 1766. Burtch eventually owned some 500 acres. The brick ell, constructed circa 1830 for James Udall, was originally 2 stories; a lightning strike in 1936 burned most of the second story. Theron Boyd, who acquired title to the house and 30 acres from his grandmother, preserved the property and become a Vermont folk hero by resisting the mounting pressures of real estate development in Vermont.
Original architectural features of the 1786 main block include 12 light over 12 light sash; a Connecticut River Valley style double leaf frontispiece and multiple panel secondary doors; split pine clapboards, with feathered end joints, retain traces of original ochre paint and are affixed by wrought butterfly head nails; a double denticulated cornice with traces of original white paint; and a massive centrally located brick chimney for fireplaces.
The 1830 period brick ell is laid in a common bond pattern with a row of header bricks in the tenth course. The tall brick chimney is for the summer kitchen and the three arched bays for carriages.
Located near house on Hillside Road.
Hartford, VT VERMONT-NH GATEWAY: Gateway to Green Mt. State
White River Junction, a natural transportation center, is where highways, rivers and railways converge. In 1759 the rapids at the confluence of the White and Conn. Rivers nearly brought death to Robert Rogers and 3 Rangers. Vermonts first train ran from the Junction to Bethel in 1848.
Located on U.S. Route 4, west of White River Jct.
Norwich, VT ALDEN PARTRIDGE (1784-1854)
A native of Norwich, Vermont, Alden Partridge was a pioneer in American military education. Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from 1815 to 1817, he returned here in 1819 to found the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy, which, in 1834, became Norwich University, now located in Northfield, VT. Partridges innovative curriculum, called the American System of Education, combined military, practical, scientific and liberal instruction. The educational system established here served as a model for eighteen military academies and colleges founded throughout the United States. The Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862 and the 1916 legislation which created the Reserve Officers Training Corps are extension of Partridges theories of education.
Located on the Norwich Green in front of bandstand.
Norwich, VT EARLY SETTLERS & ALLEN R. FOLEY
Site of a log hut where the Hutchinson and Messenger Families were the first to winter in Norwich in 1765. Erected by the Norwich Historical Society in memory of Professor Allen Rich Foley, Vermont Legislator and Historian 1898-1978.
Located on U.S. Route 10A East, at Ledyard Bridge.
Norwich, VT FIRST PUBLIC GRAMMAR SCHOOL: Located on this site.
On June 17, 1785, the Vermont General Assembly enacted a law which designated "the place for keeping a County Grammar School in and for Windsor County, shall be at the house commonly known by the name the Red Schoolhouse in Norwich," thus initiating the provision of Vermonts First Constitution for schools of secondary learning.
Located on U.S. Route 5, in the village on the lawn near the Congregational Church.
Norwich, VT THETA CHI FRATERNITY
Near this spot stood the Old South Barracks of Norwich University where, at 9:00 pm on April 10, 1856, Theta Chi Fraternity was founded by Frederick Norton Freeman and Arthur Chase.
Located on U.S. Route 5 near St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.
Plymouth, VT CALVIN COOLIDGE (1872-1933)
Born July 4, 1872, in a house back of store, Calvin Coolidge from 4 years of age lived in the Homestead across the road, now owned by the State of Vermont. Here on Aug. 3, 1923, he was inaugurated President and here he spent many vacations. In the Notch Cemetery he rests beside his wife and son and 4 generations of forebears.
Located off Route 100-A, at Plymouth Notch.
Strafford, VT MORRILL HOMESTEAD
Justin Smith Morrill, father of the act establishing land grant colleges, constructed this house, 1848-1851. Maintained as a life-long residence. The Homestead is registered as a National Historic Landmark.
Located at the homestead.
Strafford, VT STRAFFORD-BIRTHPLACE OF JUSTIN SMITH MORRILL
Born April 14, 1810, Senator Morrill served 43 years in the Congress. He won unique fame as author of the Morrill Acts, signed Abraham Lincoln, 1862. These established our land-grant colleges and universities, securing and broadening higher education in the U.S.
Located on Justin Morrill Highway in Strafford Village on the town common.
Woodstock, VT HIRAM POWERS
Hiram Powers, one of the most famous nineteenth century sculptors, was born in 1805 in a farmhouse that stood on this hillside. Although he went west with his family at a young age, and took up residence in Florence, Italy, in 1837, Powers always referred to Woodstock as his home town. He said of his most famous work, "The Greek Slave" (the first nude female sculpture ever displayed in the U.S.), that he had dreamt of her rising from the mists of the Ottauquechee River. He died in Italy in 1837, leaving a body of work that included statues of such American heroes as: Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, John Quincy Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. Today, his works are in private collections and at such museums as the Louvre, the Metropolitan, and the Smithsonian.
Located on Church Hill Road.
Woodstock, VT JUSTIN MORGAN
On this site the progenitor of the famous Morgan breed of horses was owned by Sheriff William Rice about 1800. Justin Morgan took his name from that of the singing schoolmaster who originally brought him to Vermont, but who lost possession of the later famous horse to Sheriff Rice in payment of a debt.
New England Morgan Horse Association, Inc.
Located on Route 4, approximately opposite Lincoln St.
Woodstock, VT SITE OF FIRST SKI TOW IN THE UNITED STATES
In January, 1934, on this pasture hill of Clinton Gilbert's farm, an endless-rope tow, powered by a Model "T" Ford engine, hauled skiers uphill for the first time. This ingenious contraption launched a new era in winter sports.
Located on Route 12, two miles west of Woodstock Village.
Woodstock, VT WOODSTOCK
Shire Town of Windsor County, Chartered 1761 Settled 1768.
Famous for the architecture of its houses, Woodstock is one of New England's most beautiful villages. Only town in America with four Paul Revere church bells. Birthplace of Hiram Powers, sculptor, "Greek Slave." Home of Frederick Billings, railroad empire-builder. Site of first ski tow in the United States, 1934.
Located on village green.
Canaan, NH CANAAN STREET
First known as "Broad Street," this early venture in town planning was laid out in 1788. About a mile in length and beautifully situated, starting about two miles in on next northerly road, the plan provided for an orderly arrangement of attractive homesteads.
Located at the corner of Canaan Street and US Route 4 in Canaan Village.
Plainfield, NH KIMBALL UNION ACADEMY
This school, known first as Union Academy, was chartered June 16, 1813 "to train young men for leadership in the ministry." The original building, located about 1,000 feet west of here and dedicated January 9, 1815, was destroyed by fire in 1824. Now known as Kimball Union Academy to honor benefactor Daniel Kimball, traditionally it has afforded a broad education to all who have attended.
Located on the west side of NH 120, just south of its junction with Main Street in the village of Meriden.