Have you seen this bridge?
The Landscape Change Database is full of photos that have been described, keyworded, and located. However, there are some photos – like the one above – that come to us without a lot of information. If you know where this bridge is let us know. If you have a story about it, even better! We love to hear how structures on the landscape have affected Vermonter’s lives.
This summer I heard stories about family farms being split and houses being lost to make way for the Interstate, but I also heard about Vermonter’s love of this state and their pride in the construction and quality of the Vermont Interstate System. Many people we spoke to fondly reminisced about the days pre-interstate, while others spoke of the freedom of the open road.
While the stories we have heard and recorded this summer have been fascinating, our fieldwork has also resulted in 548 rephotographs and 74 stand alone images of Vermont, all of which were added to the Landscape Change Database. During our travels, we also gave 6 presentations, and formally interviewed over 15 Vermont residents.
We are still gathering data and opinions, so if you would like to contribute to this project please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our Interstate Survey.
Well everyone, this is farewell for me. My time with the Landscape Change Program is up since I’ll be going to graduate school this fall. It’s been a summer full of learning new things and travelling all around the state experiencing some delicious food, seeing some gorgeous buildings and meeting some wonderful and helpful people along the way. Thanks Vermont and the people at the Landscape Change Program for making my last few months in the area full of sightseeing and re-photographing on beautiful summer days!
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.
Today we traveled to Middlebury for a Meals on Wheels group. The presentation time and location were coordinated through wonderful staff at the Central Valley Agency on Aging (click on the picture to go to the website). The talk was presented by Katie Briscoe and Ana Vang who are pictured above.
There were a few great questions asked at the end by audience members. One woman in particular wanted to know if on our travels we had considered joining the “251 Club” which challenges you to go to all 251 towns in Vermont and have a picture taken next to something memorable. I checked it out and have to say that I hope I’ll be doing it myself someday! (http://www.vt251.com/)
As a non-native Vermonter who has lived in the state going on seven years I have learned so much more than I could have imagined about Vermont during my travels this summer. It seems there is always something new to see. I keep finding towns, people, and (of course) food that I enjoy immensely!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.