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Attractions ~ Exploring Hawk Country ~ Weston, Vermont

With sparkling white churches, charming shops and a picturesque village green, Weston is about as quaint a town as you will find in Vermont. Located 25 minutes south of Hawk on scenic Rt. 100, Weston is a village virtually untouched by time, thanks to the vision of its forefathers, who realized their location was truly special. Determined to preserve the unique nature of their town, and guided by Yankee spirit and common sense, they have been rewarded now that the entire village is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Weston Playhouse

The crown jewel of the village is, of course, The Weston Playhouse, Vermont's oldest professional theater. Located right on the village green in an elegant Greek Revival building overlooking the waterfall cascading over Mill Dam, the Playhouse hosts a theater series each summer that attracts visitors from around the country. At your behest, Hawk can secure tickets for you with advance notice.

Shopping in Weston is just like stepping back in time to when a premium was placed on quality and service. In the center of the village, you will find the most famous country store in Vermont. All of the village shops are within a short walk of each other; and if you need a break from shopping, local restaurants are ready to serve you. Although a delight year-round, October is usually the month for shoppers - both the annual Weston Antiques Show and the annual Weston Craft Show come to town.

Just three miles north of the village is the world-renowned Weston Priory, a small Benedictine monastery. The Brothers, most well known for their beautiful music, welcome the public to daily prayer. There are also two magnificent churches in town, the Old Parish Church and the Weston Community Church on the Hill - the most photographed church in all of Vermont.

All in all, you will find a trip to Weston a wonderful and relaxing step back in time.

Noteworthy Attractions in and Around Weston

The Vermont Country Store

The Vermont Country Store, Weston
The home of the famous Vermont Common Cracker, this "original" Vermont Country Store publishes The Voice of the Mountains mail order catalogue. Founded in 1946, it is the first restored rural country store in the United States, selling unusual, old-fashioned merchandise in the charming atmosphere of yesteryear. The Orton family business is nationally known for quality New England foods, housewares, natural fiber clothing and, of course, the ever-popular penny candy counter where thousands of little noses have pressed against the curved showcase in awe. (802) 824-3184

Weston Playhouse, Weston
In its 65th season, Vermont's oldest professional theater maintains a five-show season and has performances throughout the summer and early fall. Pre-theater dining is available in the theater restaurant. After final curtain, enjoy your favorite drink in the Act IV Cabaret, which features a hilarious musical revue. The box office is open Tuesday through Sunday as of June. (802) 824-5288

Todd Gallery, Weston
Located at the south end of the village, Todd Gallery features representational paintings, limited edition prints, photography, sculpture and fine handcrafts created by some of Vermont's most talented artists. The gallery is also the studio of artist Robert E. Todd, well-known for his watercolors of Vermont and Ireland. Todd also shows his work at Hawk's own Black River Gallery. (802) 824-5606

Weston Priory, Weston
This famous enclave of Benedictine brothers living in a community environment welcomes many visitors to their beautiful property three miles north of town. Daily prayer and masses, as well as retreats are conducted throughout the year. The monks' music has been recognized internationally and is widely available on CD and cassette. (802) 824-5409

Weston Village Store, Weston
Weston's original General Store, established in 1891, carries unique gifts, collectibles and a wide variety of weather vanes. Be sure to visit the Vermont Cheese Emporium, which is filled with Vermont wines, cheeses, syrup, homemade fudge and penny candy. A needlework shop is located upstairs in the old dance hall. (802) 824-5477

The Farrar-Mansur House, Old Mill and Crafts Building Museums, Weston
Visit an 18th-century home/tavern furnished with Weston family heirlooms. The Old Mill features a special collection of antiques, tools and equipment. The Crafts Building features an exhibition of band instruments, uniforms and the Weston Concert Band Wagon. Each museum building is filled with authentic and rare examples of the everyday items used by 18th and 19th century Westonites. Open in July through mid-October only. (802) 824-6624

Mountain Pond Farm, Weston
Tours are available of this working farm which profile Vermont livestock breeding and the raising of cashmere goats and alpacas for their fiber. (802) 824-8190

A Brief History

Weston Green in Winter

Chartered on October 26, 1799, the present village of Weston (pop. 488) was originally part of the larger town of Andover. At the time, however, the ridge created by Markham and Terrible Mountains made it impossible to get from one side of town to the other. When the legislators created this new town, its name seemed obvious to them: said part of Andover had always been known as West Town. The chief village is picturesque Weston, though there is a smaller hamlet in the southern tip of the town which has always been known as The Island, a settlement which grew where a canal was cut across a bend in the West River to power a mill. The river rises in the north and flows southeast to join the Connecticut River at Brattleboro in the extreme southern part of the State. Old maps are still to be found in this region that use the original Abenaki name for the town, which was Wantastiquet (meaning, "at the head, or source, of the river"). It was a particularly appropriate name in that, over its 40-mile course, the river drops over 2,000 feet while draining some 430 square miles.

See Also

Hawk's Guide to Vermont Shopping and check-out some of the wonderful shops in Weston and the surrounding towns.

Plymouth / Calvin Coolidge Homestead (Our hometown...)
Ludlow / Okemo (10 minutes)
The Killington Region (10 minutes)
Woodstock (20 minutes)
Rutland (30 minutes)
Quechee (35 minutes)
Manchester (45 minutes)

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