V E R M O N T
Dorset's appeal as a getaway destination was established over a century ago.
The town occupies the highest valley between New York City and Montreal, Canada.
Nineteenth century physicians recommended these clean, cool environs as
restorative havens from crowded, polluted cities.
By the early 1900s, artists were gathering here to capture the landscape on canvas while enjoying the peace and quiet of the countryside and the wholesome fare offered at the dairy farms and country inns.
This largley summer traffic soon led to the acquistion of homes by those who wished to stay for longer periods. It is to these early "summer people" that Dorset owes much of its current appeal: While staying at one of Dorset's fine country inns, the summer visitor can enjoy summer theater, music festivals, garden and gallery tours, and a number of very good restaurants.
The development of nearby skiing in the 1950s plus the popularity of trout fishing, an dother activities such as road and mountain biking, hiking, walking , swimming and picnicking make this valley village a perfect respite from the "cares that infest" everyday life for all ages and intersts anytime of year.
On August 20, 1761 Benning Wentworth, King Georg III's Governor of The "Province
of New Hampshire" by royal grant created out of virgin forest the township
of "Dorsett" Under the terms of the grant, two yearly fairs could be
held and a market could be established as soon as there were "50 families
resident and settled theron".
From 1776 until 1791, Vermont was "The Republic of Vermont". After this brief romance with independance, Vermont became the first colony admitted to the new Union as the fourteenth state.
Historic Dorset, a lovely present form the past, lies nestled in a marble valley, just six miles north of bustling Manchester...yet a world apart. Its streets and lanes abound with charming old houses lovingly restored. The marble quarries at the edge of Dorset are said to be the oldest in the country and were once a major part of Dorset's economy. They provided the marble for landmarks such as the New York City Library as well as for hte marble sidewalks which lace the town and the all-marble church next to the village green. Yesterday's quarries now are today's popular swimming holes.
The arts have been significant in the development of Dorset's character.
Both visual and performing media provide stimulating and enjoyable
Several years ago a residental retreat for writers was founded. Known as Colony House, it is situated on the greeen and is a haven for both budding and established authors, poets, artists, composers, and playwrites, many with Broadway and Hollywood credits.
The acclaimed Dorset Playhouse had flourished through the years. Its performances encompass everything form Broadway to regional productions, timeless musicals to debuts of new stage offerings.
In 1904, a collective of Dorset Painters held an exhibition at the Dorset Field Club to benefit the Dorset Library. The library, now located in the former Gray Tavern, was founded in 1870 and is one of the oldest in the state of Vermont. It has a collection of approximately 20,000 volumes and vistors are always welcome.
"The Dorset Artists" as they called themselves later became Southern Bermont Artists and are the stewards of the lovely Yesterhouse galleries and performing arts pavilion.
The Congregational Chruch on the town green is aglow with stained glass windows - including some by Tiffany depicting Dorset gardens.
Visitors are welcome at the studios of area potters, painters, carvers, stencilers, cabinet makers and other artists who enrich us all with their work and as members of our communtiy.
The area offers a myriad of recreational possibilities year round:
BICYCLING AND HIKING are popular in Dorset's pleasant rolling countryside with many wooded trails. Nearby is the 2,000 acre Merck Forest and Farmland Center, a delightful mountain area with spectacular panoramic views, a model farm and 27 miles of hiking and cross trails.
ALPINE SKIING is but a short hop away at both Bromley and Stratton Mountains, each with extensive snowmaking ability.
SWIMMING - Emerald Lake State Park in East Dorset and Lake Saint Catherine, a short drive north, have water sports galore.
HIKING - Merck Forest, Green Mountain National Forest, numerous moutain trails throughout the area, as well as pleasant walking areas. The famous Long Trail and Appalachian Trail cross through the area.
BOATING AND CANOEING Emerald Lake State Park, Lake St. Catherine and the Battenkill. Rentals available.
FISHING - three major trout steams have their head waters in Dorset. The world famous Battenkill flows south to the Hudson, the locally popular Mettowee and Mad Tom Rivers wend their way past civil-war-era iron smelters, marble quarries and quarry caves, some of which keep winter ice well into July each year.
GOLF - Numerous area courses open to the public.
CAMPING - Merck Forest, Emerald Lake State Park and Green Mountain National Forest. In addition here are several privately operated campgrounds.
SNOW SHOEING - Merck Forest, Green Mountain National Forest and Emerald Lake State Park.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING - Groomed areas: Viking CC Center, Wild Wings CC Center, Stratton CC Center; Primitive areas: Merck Forest, Green Mountain National Forest.
ICE SKATING - Prentiss pond in downtown Dorset is sometimes snow-free.
SNOWMOBILING - Green Mountian National Forest and numerous public trails throughout the area maintained by Vermont Association of Snow Travelers.
Discover the leisurely pastime of browsing. Along Route 30 and Route 7 there
is a variety of fine antique and specialty shops, gift stores, art galleries,
locally made hardwood products, antique quilt shop to excite your interest.
Gardeners will be delighted by our local nurseries. In alternate years, Dorset
hosts one of the country's formost antique fairs.
Take time to meander along country byways where fresh produce at farmstands will catch your eye. Barn sales and auctions are a source of bargains and enterainment. You will find many things such as implements of early country living that will both intrigue you and tax the imagination. Authentic general stores let you step back in time.
And always, frienldy and helpful townspeople are on hand to ensure you an enjoyable and memorable stay in Dorset.
An Invitation to visit DORSET, VERMONT
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