Middlebury, surrounded by the Green Mountains, is a classic Vermont town. Chartered in 1761 it has over 300 houses and buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The town is home to Middlebury College with its Mahaney Arts Center offering a stellar amount of performances of dance music, theater and art exhibitions. Middlebury brims with culture, history, shops, great restaurants, and charming accommodations. And, you can take a tour of the world-renowned University of Vermont Morgan Horse Farm.
There’s even a little bit of Hollywood, the Waybury Inn was the setting for Newhart a 1980’s sit-com about a Vermont innkeeper, his wife and their neighbors.
The best way to see Middlebury is by foot, start your sojourn on Main Street at the white clapboard Congregational church that dates to 1809. Its tiered 136-foot spire can be seen for miles around.
Across the street from the church is the Village Green, deeded to the town in 1790 by one of its founders, Gamalial Painter. Further down the street is the Main Street bridge, built in 1892 from stones quarried in Middlebury, the bridge spans Otter Creek the longest waterway in the state. From the bridge you can see Middlebury Falls. The falls and creek were a major source of power for mills that produced cotton, wood, nails, flour and grain, making Middlebury a prosperous town in the 18th and 19th centuries.
On docent led tours of the Henry Sheldon Museum you will hear the history of the house. The three-story brick house was built in 1829 by marble merchants Eden Judd and Lebbeus Harris, the six black marble fireplaces were crafted from stone quarried in Middlebury. The clothing, furniture and pictures depict what like was like for early settlers of the town.
The University of Vermont (UVM) Morgan Horse Farm – a National Historic Site – is surrounded by 215 acres of lush countryside. The late 1800’s Victorian style barn is home to 80 Morgans, the official state horse of Vermont.
In 1789 the first Morgan, named Figure, was given to Justin Morgan as payment on a debt. The horse weighed less than 1,000 pounds, but he could do the work of five horses. His genetics were so strong that no matter what mare Justin bred him to the offspring had Figure’s characteristics.
In 1951 the farm came under the ownership of the University of Vermont. Guided tours of the barn give visitors the chance to observe the beauty and intelligence of the breed.
For further information go to Travel Vermont.