Did You Know? That Emily’s Bridge has a Romeo & Juliet sad story. In the 19th Century a young woman (Emily) fell in love with a handsome young man whom her parents forbid her to see. The lovers however agreed to run off and meet at the Gold Brook Inn Bridge. When her parents discovered her intentions, they had the young man beaten unconscious. Poor Emily believing she was stood up then hung herself from the bridge. It is widely believed to this day that her angry young spirit haunts the bridge.
DAY 1 – Start with a visit to The Vermont Country Store in Rockingham. Known as “purveyors of the practical and hard-to-find,” this store is known worldwide for its unique, old-style mail order catalogue. Witness first hand the vast variety of apothecary, apparel, candy and Yankee Bargains.
From the Country Store you’ll begin to see covered bridges. The Victorian Village Bridge, built in 1872 was dismantled in 1959, modified and rebuilt in 1967. Vrest Orton, founder of the Vermont Country Store was instrumental in rescuing the bridge from a flood control project. You will also witness the Hall Covered Bridge, c1870 and the Bartonsville Covered Bridge, built in 1870 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
By this time you will be ready for lunch. Arrive at an authentic Vermont country inn, built in 1840 as a Victorian summer hotel. Enjoy fine food served with the best of New England hospitality.
Olson’s Bridgewater Corners Country Store, built in the 1840’s and FH Gillingham and Sons General Store are next. Gillingham’s is one of Vermont’s oldest country stores where you can buy everything from caviar to cow manure! As you wind your way between country stores, witness the Taftsville Bridge c1836, Middle Bridge and Lincoln Bridge c1877.
The last stop before arriving at your hotel is certain to sweeten your travels. The Sugarbush Farm welcomes you with samples of Vermont maple syrup and artisan cheeses. Discover how maple syrup is made and visit the workroom where cheeses are hand-wrapped and hand-waxed. Purchase your favorites from their Pantry Shop.
Arrive at your lovely Stowe hotel for a two night stay. Enjoy a relaxing evening and a delicious dinner served in the hotel’s dining room.
DAY 2 – Rise and shine to a hearty country breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the hotel’s beautifully manicured grounds before heading out for a busy day. Your local guide will join you at breakfast. Your first stop is Shaw’s General Store in Stowe. Family owned since 1895, the tremendous inventory that ranges from socks to toys will amaze you.
Prepare yourself for an adventure into some of Vermont’s most beautiful backcountry roads and scenic vistas, many of which are known only to the locals. Stop for photo ops at the Jaynes Covered Bridge c1877, known as the Kissing Bridge according to a sign posted by a visitor in the 1950’s, The Church Street Bridge, built in 1877 and still containing old ads and decorative stenciling on the inside and The Lynch Bridge.
Our route takes us to Belvidere, population 294. The name translated from Italian means “beautiful view.” We stop at Tallman’s traditional old-style country store, and witness the Mill Bridge, 1890 and the Morgan Bridge, 1887, which with a 62’ span covers the North Branch of the Lamoille River.
From Belvidere, we travel to the Covered Bridge Capital of Vermont, Montgomery. The unique geography of this farm town required may bridges and as recently at the 1940’s there were 13 covered bridges within the Town’s limits. Today there are six covered bridges within the Town, and one which straddles the town line with Enosburg; the most of any town in the country.
In Montgomery Center visit a restored country store and have lunch on own at the same time. This former 3-story general store boasts the original ice cream counter and 3 levels of displays from local artists. The aromas of fresh-baked bread will assure you of a delicious and down to earth lunch.
Then travel up and over the mountains into Coventry to view the Orne Bridge, built with a 14-panel truss representing the 14 counties in Vermont and the fact that Vermont was the 14th state to enter the Union.
At the “locals’ favorite” Evansville Trading Post, you will find all you want and more. Shovels for shovelin’, worms for fishin’ and sody pop for Saturday night’s social are just a few of the sought after supplies and staples! Back on the coach, relax and take in the amazing scenery. Stop in Craftsbury Common, one of the most-photographed villages in Vermont.
The Fisher Covered Railroad Bridge is the last railroad covered bridge still in regular use in Vermont and one of a very few left in the U.S. Built in 1908, it is the only one remaining with full-length cupola which provides a smoke escape.
A relaxing and delicious dinner served in a landmark restaurant is the perfect ending to your busy day. Return to the hotel for the evening.
DAY 3 – After breakfast there are a couple more “must see” sites. Emily’s Bridge offers a hauntingly sad history. In the nineteenth century a young woman, Emily, grew up in the town of Stowe. One day a handsome young man came upon Emily while she was doing chores and he instantly captured her heart. Emily’s parents forbid her to see him, however their love was so intense that they decided to run off together and meet at the Gold Brook Bridge the following night. Emily’s parents discovered their intentions and had the boy friend beaten unconscious. Emily thought she had been stood up and as a result, hung herself from the rafters of the bridge. Today, it is believed that Emily’s angry spirit haunts the bridge.
Next, open the door to the aroma of fresh-baked donuts at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. Enjoy samples of apple cider, Vermont specialty food products and shop for Vermont gifts and hand-made crafts. Followed by visit to the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory.
Traveling south, stop in the Village of Tunbridge. The entire center of Tunbridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. Tunbridge boasts 5 covered bridges, all of which are listed on the National Register. Stroll through this charming historic village and have lunch on your own.
Your last stop in Vermont is the Taftsville Country Store. The store has one of the finest assortments of Vermont cheeses, gourmet foods, pure Vermont maple syrup, wine, cigars, gift baskets, smoked bacon and ham you can find in the Upper Valley. This gem of a store is the centerpiece of the Taftsville Historic District, which includes one of Vermont’s oldest and longest covered bridges, a turn of the century brick powerhouse, the stately Taft homes, and a quiet residential hamlet of less than one hundred people. The covered bridge, built in 1836 is the third oldest covered bridge in Vermont.
Say goodbye to covered bridges, country stores, maple syrup and cheese galore!