Happy Vermont
Jackson’s Lodge, The Slash, and a Tiny International Lake

Jackson’s Lodge, The Slash, and a Tiny International Lake

July 27, 2022

Along the Canadian border in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom is Lake Wallace, a small international lake in Canaan. There’s an area known as the slash–a treeless zone of land–that runs along the entire US-Canadian border. You can see the slash from the southeastern shore of Lake Wallace, where Jackson’s Lodge is located.

Jackson’s Lodge is a family-owned vacation spot that’s been in the Jackson family since the 1950s.  Gloria Jackson purchased the lodge and cabins from her parents in the 1980s.  One of the cabins at Jackson's Lodge is located less than a dozen feet from the Canadian border. In the summer, you can swim, paddle or go boating into Canada, as long as you don’t set foot on Canadian land.

Gloria grew up in Canaan and worked at Jackson’s Lodge in the summers as a child. She now runs the business with her partner, Mark Leveillee. 

Learn more at www.jacksonslodgevt.net

Visit www.happyvermont.com for stories and podcast episodes. 

A Rare (and Adorable) Cattle Breed from Vermont Makes a Promising Comeback

A Rare (and Adorable) Cattle Breed from Vermont Makes a Promising Comeback

July 8, 2022

If you’ve ever visited the Dene Farm at Hildene in Manchester or driven by a small farm in Vermont, perhaps you've come across some unusual black and white cattle that look a bit different from Holsteins or Jerseys.

These beautiful, speckled creatures are Randall Lineback cattle. Randalls originated decades ago on a farm owned by Samuel Randall and his son Everett in Sunderland. 

When Everett Randall died in the 1980s, the cattle were sold to other farms, where they lived in less-than-ideal conditions and nearly disappeared. Today, the cattle are considered critically endangered.

But efforts to protect and preserve Randall Linebacks are well underway and making progress. Cynthia Creech rescued the breed in 1987—when only about 15 Randalls were left in existence. Together with farmers Phil and Dianne Lang, Cynthia Creech started the Randall Cattle Registry in 2001.

Kim Pinsonneault, who works at the Dene Farm at Hildene and lives at the original Randall farm in Sunderland, now maintains the Randall Cattle registry. 

Host Erica Houskeeper spent some time in southern Vermont meeting with a few Randall Lineback owners, including Kim Pinsonneault and Michelle Porter, to find out what makes these cattle so special.

https://hildene.org/visiting/estate/dene_farm

https://happyvermont.com/

 

 

The Past Meets the Present at Basin Harbor

The Past Meets the Present at Basin Harbor

May 10, 2022

Basin Harbor along Lake Champlain is a family-owned resort that’s been around since the 1880s. The resort has weathered the Great Depression, wars, pandemics, and recessions, and through it all managed to thrive.

Descendant Sarah Morris grew up at Basin Harbor, where she made lifelong friends and developed a strong work ethic under the guidance of her parents, Pennie Beach and the late Peter Morris. Now a fifth-generation host at the resort, Sarah can be found helping guests in the dining room, answering questions in the main lobby, and everything in between.

As the resort gears up for another busy season, Sarah reflects on her time at Basin Harbor, what the future holds, and what she loves most about the place she calls home.

www.basinharbor.com

www.happyvermont.com

 

Local, Quirky and Old School: Erskine’s Grain & Garden in Chester

Local, Quirky and Old School: Erskine’s Grain & Garden in Chester

April 20, 2022

Inside Erskine’s Grain & Garden, a fixture in Chester since 1952, customers will find flower seeds, chicken feed, farm tools, and everything in between.

The store, started by the Erskine family, is now owned by Janessa Purney and her husband, Burleigh Sunflower.

The building, located in Chester Depot, is a reason alone to visit. With its creaky floors and sliding wooden doors overlooking the railroad tracks, Erskine’s is one of the more quirky, old-time grain and garden stores you’ll find in Vermont. 

https://erskinesgrain.com/

www.happyvermont.com

 

Maple Sugaring is a Family Affair at April’s Maple in Canaan

Maple Sugaring is a Family Affair at April’s Maple in Canaan

March 23, 2022

April’s Maple in the small town of Canaan is located on the Canadian border in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. April Lemay grew up in Canaan, left home for college, and worked in the corporate world before deciding to return to her hometown. She now owns and operates April's Maple, a Vermont maple farm and cafe along Route 114. 

"I was anything but a farmer. I always thought I was destined to live in Boston or New York or somewhere a little less remote or rural," she says. "But the land was calling me back, and I didn't even realize it."

https://aprilsmaple.com

https://www.happyvermont.com

 

 

Ice Fishing in Vermont’s Champlain Islands

Ice Fishing in Vermont’s Champlain Islands

March 1, 2022

In Vermont's Champlain Islands, where the land is flat and surrounded by water, ice fishing is a big deal this time of year. For Vermonter Bruce Batchelder, ice fishing has been an important part of his life for as long as he can remember.

A former educator and school administrator, Bruce and his wife Joanne have owned Holiday Harbor Lodge in North Hero for the past 16 years.

On a recent mid-February weekend, Bruce was particularly busy hosting a group of ice fishing enthusiasts for the 42nd annual Islands Ice Fishing Derby in northern Vermont.  

In this episode of Happy Vermont, Bruce talks about what he loves most about this traditional sport that has deep roots in Vermont.

www.happyvermont.com 

holidayharborlodge.com

The Tradition of Town Meeting: A Conversation with Former Governor Jim Douglas

The Tradition of Town Meeting: A Conversation with Former Governor Jim Douglas

February 21, 2022

Town meeting has been the basic system of governance for Vermont towns since the 1760s. But participation has been on the decline for several decades.

Former Governor Jim Douglas talks about the importance of town meeting, and shares why he is worried that this powerful local tradition might fade away.

www.happyvermont.com

Soaking Up the Outdoors with Forest Bathing Guide Duncan Murdoch

Soaking Up the Outdoors with Forest Bathing Guide Duncan Murdoch

January 31, 2022

Duncan Murdoch, a former actor, is a certified nature and forest therapy guide. He started forest bathing workshops in Central Park before returning to his home state of Vermont in 2015.

Forest bathing, which first originated in Japan, is a research-based practice for supporting healing and wellness through immersion in forests and other natural areas.

In this episode, Duncan talks about leaving acting behind, the beauty of nature, and how being a forest therapy guide changed his life.

Learn more about Duncan: https://natureconnectionguide.com or visit www.happyvermont.com 

 

Selling Christmas Trees is a Family Affair at Russell Farm in Starksboro

Selling Christmas Trees is a Family Affair at Russell Farm in Starksboro

November 29, 2021

Russell Farm in Starksboro has been in the Christmas tree business for 40 years. Located off Route 116 in Addison County, the family-owned former dairy farm is where locals and visitors flock to every November and December to cut their own Christmas trees.

A visit to Russell Farm includes a horse-drawn wagon ride, hot chocolate, homemade cookies, and lots of holiday cheer. 

Host Erica Houskeeper talks with Russell Farm owner Dave Russell and his grandson Brandon about Christmas trees, the importance of tradition, and the future of the farm.

Learn more at www.happyvermont.com 

15 Years Back in Vermont: Old Favorites and New (to me) Places

15 Years Back in Vermont: Old Favorites and New (to me) Places

October 27, 2021

Host Erica Houskeeper returned to her home state of Vermont in November 2006. In this episode, she shares some of her favorite areas of Vermont and talks about a few places she's come across and fallen in love with in recent years. 

You can find more Vermont stories by Erica on www.happyvermont.com.

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