Attractions ~ Exploring Hawk Country ~ Rutland, Vermont
Vermont's third largest city and home to many thriving industries, Rutland provides easy access to all of central and southern Vermont. This former manufacturing town stirs with activity, yet has miraculously maintained much of its small-town charisma. If you choose to reach Hawk via train, chances are that Rutland will provide your first taste of the Vermont landscape.
With a bustling downtown area dotted with cafés and historic buildings, it attracts visitors from nearby Okemo and Killington ski areas searching for crafts fairs, outdoor markets, or simply to take-in a movie. Having most of the city dominated by a business district however, explorers looking for more naturalistic surroundings tend to stray out into the neighboring towns of Pittsford and Proctor, where cultural attractions also abound. Don't miss the New England Maple Museum for a unique peek into the history and making of a product that, in the minds of many, epitomizes the State of Vermont.
Noteworthy Attractions in and Around Rutland
Norman Rockwell Museum of Vermont, Rutland
Commemorating the years that Rockwell spent in Vermont, as well as his entire 65-year career, this museum houses one of the world's largest collections of Norman Rockwell Art. Over 2,000 pieces, all 323 Saturday Evening Post covers, as well as very rare copies of long-gone magazines, are on display. (802) 773-6095
Chaffee Center for the Visual Arts, Rutland
Works by over 200 of Vermont's finest artists are housed in a century-old Victorian building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (802) 775-0356
Rutland Historical Society, Rutland
Located in the 1849 Nickwackett Firehouse, the society features collections focusing on the history of the Rutland, Proctor and West Rutland, including vintage costumes, manuscripts, documents, books and photographs. (802) 775-2006
New England Maple Museum, Pittsford
Illustrating the complete story of maple sugaring from sap to syrup, this museum contains the world's largest collection of sugaring artifacts. Open year-round except January and February. (802) 483-9414
Vermont Marble Museum, Proctor
The world's largest marble museum, this exhibit is dedicated to the history, art and science of marble and the lucrative marble industry in Vermont. The quarry supplied the marble for the pillars of the U.S. Supreme Court. Includes a Hall of Presidents, a sculptor-at-work and an open-air marble market. (802) 459-2300
Wilson Castle, Proctor
This mid-19th-century architectural masterpiece built on a 115-acre estate in the midst of the Green Mountains is most famous for its stained-glass windows, hand-painted ceilings, oriental rugs, and Far Eastern and European museum pieces. Open May through October. (802) 773-3284
A Brief History
Rutland was first settled in 1761. A few years later, by 1774, there were 35 families living in a miniature community that showed all the signs of growing to be a full-fledged town. The first grantee of the township charter was from Rutland, Massachusetts. The city of Rutland was then incorporated in 1882. With the arrival of the railroad and a boom in the marble industry, Rutland's population tripled between 1850 and 1880. With this growth came the development of the downtown district. Marble was used extensively in the construction or embellishment of many architecturally significant buildings.
By the early 1900s, Rutland had a population of 16,000. Rutland City had already become a prosperous community in the mid-to-late 1800s, with many fine Victorian homes of the era still standing behind the park between Route 7 and the downtown area. Beginning during the Bicentennial, a great deal of restoration has been accomplished in the historic district including, the Rutland Savings Bank, the Opera House and Merchants Row. Today, many buildings facing Merchants Row and Center Street are noted on the National Register of Historic Places.
Hawk's Guide to Vermont Shopping and check-out some of the wonderful shops in Rutland and the surrounding towns.
Plymouth / Calvin Coolidge Homestead (Our hometown...)
Ludlow / Okemo (10 minutes)
The Killington Region (10 minutes)
Woodstock (20 minutes)
Weston (25 minutes)
Quechee (35 minutes)
Manchester (45 minutes)
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