The tradition of tapping maple trees in Spring is as old as the hills. Early European colonists learned the technique and the process of boiling the sap from indigenous peoples. Families handed down these skills from generation to generation. Eventually, folks began to celebrate the end of the first day's boil by making Sugar-On-Snow, a delicious, sticky maple syrup candy. Although a springtime tradition in Vermont, it can actually be made anywhere, at any time of year. You will need one quart of Pure Vermont Maple Syrup, a packed snow surface (or tub of well crushed ice), and a candy thermometer. Some folks recommend using a half of a teaspoon of butter as well, but that's up to you. Heat the syrup (and butter) in a saucepan. Watch the pot closely to ensure that the contents do not burn or boil over. Check temperature with thermometer. Cool mixture slightly when it reaches 230 °, or the soft ball stage. Drizzle the syrup onto the snow before it cools too much. Use a fork to wind the chewy strands, or "leather aprons," as they are sometimes called. Traditionally speaking, plain homemade doughnuts and pickles are served with sugar-on-snow. A bite of one is followed by a bit of the other, and the sequence is repeated until all have been consumed. CLOSE
Early settlers of the area found it to be timber laden. They cleared the land for home sites, using the harvested wood for their houses, barns and fences. They also burned wood kilns for potash, erected grist and cider mills, and made their clothes "to home." Trees were sawn at timber mills in Johnson, Morrisville and Stowe, then shipped by rail to places like Boston, Massachusetts, Portland, Maine, and the far west. By the mid-1800s, only 20-30 percent of Vermont remained forested. Farmland gradually gave way to forest, however, after the exodus of many Vermonters to the Midwest during that period. Along the streams and slopes of the Green Mountains, and in the valleys below, sawmills and wood industries cut and shaped timber into boards, flooring, butter tubs, chair parts, hand-shaved shingles and dishes. Other resources that provided area residents with a decent livelihood from the late nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century included the manufacturer of starch, cloth, and dairy products, as well as the mining of marble, talc and asbestos. CLOSE
The National Register of Historic Places is the official Federal list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. The villages of Jeffersonville, Morrisville, and Stowe are listed on the National Register as historic districts.
The Jeffersonville Bridge, the Lamoille River Route 15-A Bridge, and all fourteen of the covered bridges in the county are listed as structures. Elmore State Park and the Stowe Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Side Camp have also been recognized, as have the Lamoille County Courthouse in Hyde Park, the People's Academy in Morrisville, The Cambridge Meetinghouse in Cambridge, and both the Nye Block and Railroad Depot in Johnson.
Many of the buildings listed on the National Register bear a bronze sign indicating significant dates and some reason for inclusion. Just as the built environment tells us a lot about the region, so do the local libraries, historical societies and museums. There are six historical societies in Lamoille County, five with museums. All provide a glimpse into the collective past. All are working diligently to ensure a place for the stories, artifacts, and traditions of those who proceeded us, for those who will follow. The societies that post regular visiting hours are listed in the driving loops and can be found on the maps outlined in this publication.
For information on the others, head to the nearest computer and check out the Vermont Historical Society web site at www.vermonthistory.org
. You will find what you need under Lamoille County. CLOSE