Photo of Dorset courtesy of Dorset Vermont Chamber of Commerce
On August 20, 1761 Benning Wentworth, King George 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 independence, Vermont became the first colony admitted to the new Union as the fourteenth state.
Dorset’s appeal as a Vermont 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 Vermont country inns.
This largely summer traffic soon led to the acquisition 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.
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 the 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.
For more information on Dorset, visit DorsetVT.com.
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