Woodstock Vermont

Why is Woodstock like it is?

Possibly the most frequently asked question that Sue and I are asked by our guests is why does Woodstock have the concentration of fine houses and building that it does. The answer lies in it's rich history and some purposeful decisions made by the town fathers over the years.
Court House in Woodstock Vermont

It was the Shire Town (A town or city that is the administrative center of its county), of Windsor County for two hundred years. As such it has achieved a cosmopolitan atmosphere far exceeding its size. Granted in 1761 and first settled four years later by a reclusive Harvard graduate, Timothy Knox, who built a cabin on the banks of Kedron Brook. Woodstock grew rapidly in self-sufficiency and influence at the turn of the nineteenth century when the County Court attracted lawyers (the town is is still home to the Windsor County Court House), bankers, merchants, artisans, and entrepreneurs prosperous enough to build the fine houses now so admired bythousandsof Visitor').Religion, education, and

newspaper publishing flourished along with trade. In the 1830s, five weekly papers competed for the readership of it's 3000 citizens. It was even home to an important Medical College from 1830 into the 1850s. The Green Mountain Perkins Institute in South Woodstock drew young students from all over the country between 1848 and 1898. And today the VINS, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, in Quechee is an offshoot of the pioneering Woodstock Country School (1944-80).

The Woodstock Railroad linked the town with White River Junction, Boston, and New York, bringing freight, and seasonal guests to the old Woodstock Inn from 1875 to 1933. With it's demise and the local woolen mills began to falter in the early 1890s, community leaders made the deliberate choice to invest in tourism rather than industry, and built the Woodstock Inn to rival The Equinox in Manchester and the notable White Mountain resorts. Their decision was sound: the narrow, serpentine Ottauquechee River valley and its closely surrounding hills leave little space for industrial development or for the kind of commercial growth that has transformed Manchester in recent years.

Historic Woodstock Inn