Happy Vermont
Vermont Place Names Offer a Glimpse into Local History

Vermont Place Names Offer a Glimpse into Local History

November 18, 2022

If you spend enough time in any Vermont town, you'll likely come across Vermont place names like Maple Corner in Calais, Snowsville in Braintree, and Hortonville in Mount Holly. These places are not official villages but rather unincorporated areas that are deeply rooted in the fabric of these communities.

Jackson Evans, president of the Braintree Historical Society, has lived in Braintree for over a decade.

“Place names are a real part of the history of any town,” Evans says. “So, when you're able to talk about those places or remember events that happened or people who lived in those places, it's a way to connect yourself.”

Evans is a historian who also loves exploring Vermont Class 4 dirt roads on his bike. He talks about his love for the town of Braintree, its places, and history.

Learn more on Happy Vermont:


A Love for Restoring and Preserving Vermont’s Old Cemeteries

A Love for Restoring and Preserving Vermont’s Old Cemeteries

October 28, 2022

The Vermont Old Cemetery Association (VOCA), founded by the late Leon W. Dean in 1958, is a volunteer organization that restores and preserves public and private cemeteries that are neglected, abandoned, or in need of repair.

His granddaughter, Dianne Leary of Charlotte, is vice president of VOCA. She talks about her grandfather's legacy and what volunteering in cemeteries means to her.




Locals Sing, Strum and Find Harmony at the Dover Town Hall

Locals Sing, Strum and Find Harmony at the Dover Town Hall

October 19, 2022

Open Mic Night, held twice a month, was started in 2018 by East Dover resident Linda Sherman. A singer, songwriter, and guitar player, Sherman has been passionate about music since childhood. For years, she's wanted to create a performance space in the community.

In this episode of Happy Vermont, host Erica Houskeeper asks Linda Sherman about her lifelong passion for music, why she started Dover Open Mic Night, and the importance of performing in a safe, supportive space. 

Article and photos:



Fall Foliage, Big Trees, and the Future of Vermont’s Forests

Fall Foliage, Big Trees, and the Future of Vermont’s Forests

September 19, 2022

Vermont is gearing up for another foliage season. If anyone can talk about fall foliage in Vermont, it's Mike Snyder, Commissioner of Forests, Parks, and Recreation.

Host Erica Houskeeper recently met with Mike in Mount Mansfield State Forest to discuss this year's fall foliage forecast. In this episode, Mike also shares the Vermont county with the most sugar maple trees, dives into details about big trees, and weighs in on private ownership of Vermont's forests. 





Main Street in Brattleboro

Main Street in Brattleboro

August 25, 2022

It’s tempting to describe Brattleboro as a mini-Burlington, but the town is very much its own place. Brattleboro’s Main Street is a vibrant place that's home to places like the Latchis Hotel and Theatre, which dates back to 1938, and Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters, a mainstay since the 1930s. A few doors down is the Brattleboro Food Co-op, which has been going strong since 1975.

There’s a big focus on local in Brattleboro—local food, local shops, local art.

Host Erica Houskeeper spent some time on Main Street to talk to people about why they love Brattleboro and what makes Main Street special. 

One of those people is Greg Worden, whose grandfather was raised in Brattleboro but moved away long before Greg was born. Growing up in the midwest, Greg had never met his grandfather or been to Brattleboro. But when a couple of college friends from the University of Missouri asked him to join them on a trip to their hometown of Brattleboro, Greg decided to tag along.

He never left. Fifty years later, he's still calling Brattleboro home. 

Read more:


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.





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.




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. 




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."





Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App