Transportation along Main St, Burlington

This sequence of four images contains some of the most viewed photos in the Landscape Change Program database.

From oldest to newest, they show the transportation changes that took place along Main Street in Burlington, Vermont, over the years. From a newly paved road in 1920, to the streetcars that lasted only a few decades, to the busy asphalt road of today, these images display a transformation that happened across the country.

Lyndon Landslide

The above photograph was taken of salt sheds standing in the highway maintenance yard on Route 114 (East Burke Road) in Lyndon. As a geologist, the photograph on the right is particularly interesting because of what appears to be a bare patch of ground on the hill in the distance. A closer view shows that this is probably due to landslides caused by instability in the slope. The lack of vegetation suggests that the slide has been recent or that events occur often enough to prevent growth. Click on the photograph to see a video created in Barre that shows how unstable slopes can become a major concern for the people living near them.


Dummerston: Bridge Sketch

The town of Dummerston didn’t have many photos that would be easy to locate and retake but the journey to finding them was fun and filled with wildlife!

A cute chipmunk said hello while we re-photographed a covered bridge in West Dummerston. As we ambled down the banks of the West River to get a few shots we found a happy, hopping hoard of little frogs that blended with the rocks. I also saw the biggest, scariest, coolest riparian insect I have ever encountered, content to sit on a large rock in the afternoon sun.

I think my favorite part, though, was re-photographing a sketch of a metal truss bridge. As someone who has tried their hand at art I can appreciate the skill behind such an accurate drawing! If you’d like to learn more about this bridge just click on the photo.


Quintessential Thetford

It is rare to capture such a perfect re-shot, because so much has changed over Vermont’s long history, even since the 1960s. Working on this project I have re-photographed almost two hundred images taken just before the interstate was constructed. But this is the only image really trapped in time. It does not matter what is happening outside the four edges of the picture frame. Inside that frame, time stands still.


Montpelier: What stays and what goes?

My favorite re-photographs from Montpelier are posted above (for more information click the pictures). As you can see, it wasn’t just the landscape that changed. That turkey-avocado sandwich didn’t stand a chance with me behind the plate!

As for the historical images, these photos are my favorites from Montpelier because they show that while changes can be drastic for one area (the tall building in the left front) things can stay almost exactly the same in an area nearby (the brick building and tower to the right of the bridge). It made me start wondering about what places and things are more or less resistant to change and why that might be.

I’ve come up with a few hypotheses of my own but I’m curious to hear what ideas other people may have so: What do you think?


Richmond: A Reminder

This photograph was taken from the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) barn, located in Richmond. This area has special significance to me because I volunteered with the VYCC last summer on a wilderness crew and I remember sitting on the lawn pictured here at the beginning of my adventure. I had to go home due to sickness before my full month in the woods was up but it is still the most rewarding job I have ever had. I learned so much about myself, teamwork, how to live in the woods and about what true strength is during my stay near the Long Trail that summer.

Traveling around Vermont for my work with the Landscape Change Program has exposed me to new experiences but in this instance it has also reconnected me with the memories and the lessons I have learned from both Vermont’s beautiful landscape and the wonderful people who live there.


St. Albans, Sun, and Sweets

Check out this restaurant that is still a restaurant, albeit a different one these days (click the image for more information). A lady at the St. Albans historical society said with a wistful voice, “Oh Brunelle’s!” when she saw the old photo and it made me feel like it must have been a great place chock full of memories for some of the St. Alban’s crowd back in the day. I didn’t check out the chow at the new restaurant but as you can see we did stop by to retake a photograph of the place.

When we found out that it wasn’t just in 1968 that they served frozen goodies next to good ‘ole Brunell’s we decided to partake in an age old Vermont tradition. CREE-MEEs!!! And not just any cree-mee… I had the most divine maple cree-mee ever made with genuine VT maple syrup drizzled all over it in brilliant, rapturous glory.

Let’s hear it for St. Alban’s ‘cause this place knows how to please a sweet tooth like no other.


Williston: A Snap-Shot of Magnitude

One of the facets of the Landscape Change Program has been a focus on the Interstate and how its construction has affected Vermont. This photograph shows Hinesburg Road in Williston going over I-89 in 1962 during construction as well as the same stretch 50 years later. For more information or to download these photos please click on the photograph.

The overwhelming presence of trucks and machinery parked near the overpass in 1962 gives the observer an idea of the large amount of resources that must have gone into the construction of even a small portion of the interstate. After seeing many of these images of interstate construction sometimes when I hop onto I-89 or I-91 I imagine a ghostly river of trucks, cranes, machinery and workers marching forward inch by inch, paving the way for a new era in Vermont transportation.


Richmond: Rolling Hills, Picnics, and a Preservationist’s Dream

Today we left the craziness of Burlington and made the trek 20 minutes south to land in picturesque Richmond. As soon as you get off I-89 you are bombarded with the beauties of nature at every angle.

We made our way to the Historic Round Church where the structure, as well as the small-town charm, remains. Crossing the Checkered House Bridge (under construction at the time) you would know you were in farm country even with your eyes closed. The smell of cows and earth hit me right away- it was fantastic!

We ate our lunch picnic-style at the park next to the On the Rise Bakery- couldn’t resist a sunny, mid-70 degree day. Ana, Sandra, and I walked the streets of the small downtown trying to get a sense of what it may have felt like 100 years ago.

The preservationist in me came roaring to the forefront as we re-photographed what was the Richmond Creamery on Jolina Court. The two-story gable-roofed section is all that remains from the original building. I could easily imagine a cleaned up landscape, repaired roof and windows, and a gorgeous surrounding view. Ah, if only!

The little building with the green door was, by far, my favorite find that day. Something about that green door that just caught my eye and made me wonder, what was this?

Do any of you know?


The Wilds of Winooski

It is day two of the Landscape Change Team’s travels. Yesterday we walked all over downtown Winooski, re-photographing some great streetscapes from our image archive. Today, however, we got out of the downtown and into the wild!

Ana and I hiked through the Casavant Natural Area, a nature trail part of the Winooski Valley Park District. Having never hiked before I am probably not the best authority on the type of path we traversed but I can tell you that I had a blast!

We re-photographed several pictures looking west towards the I-89 overpass, and east towards the railroad bridge. Fabulous limestone cliffs, concrete pylons, and creative graffiti made for some great photos and an interesting juxtaposition between nature and the ways in which we embrace it, or change it.