Waits River Church

Since launching HappyVermont.com in August 2009, I’ve traveled through many of Vermont’s 251 cities and towns.  Here are some of my favorite historic churches, meeting houses, barns, and bridges to photograph in Vermont.

Waits River Church

The tiny village of Waits River in Topsham is small enough to miss if you’re not paying attention. The West Topsham United Methodist Church on Route 25 and nearby barns are a classic Vermont scene worth stopping for if you’re in the area.

Getting there: From Interstate 89, take Exit 7 to Route 62 and travel 5 miles to Route 302 (Berlin) to Route 25.  The church will be on your left. Turn right on Pike Hill Road to get views of the church and village.

Rockingham Meeting House

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Much of what stands today at the Rockingham Meeting House is original fabric from the 18th century. A National Historic Landmark, the Rockingham Meeting House is among the best preserved New England meeting houses.

Getting there: The Rockingham Meeting House is located on Meeting House Road, just off Route 103 in Rockingham. It is about one mile west of Exit 6 on Interstate 91.

The Old First Church in Bennington

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The Old First Church is the first church in Vermont to reflect the separation of church and state. The church, built in the early 1800s, includes a beautiful cemetery where Robert Frost is buried. My favorite detail about this scenic, peaceful place are the words engraved on Frost’s gravestone: “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.”

Getting there: On Main Street, travel west past the Bennington Museum to the Old Bennington Historic District. The church will be on your left.

Strafford Town House

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The Strafford Town House is one of those iconic Vermont buildings that looks like you’ve see it a million times. But up close, it’s a feast for the eyes. Built in 1799, the Town House is where Strafford residents have held every March Town Meeting since 1801.

Getting there: From Interstate 89, take Exit 2 and travel east on Route 132 for about 9 miles. At the stop sign, you’ll be in South Strafford. From there, turn left onto Justin Morrill Memorial Highway, which will take you to Strafford’s upper village, where the Town House is located.

The Old Round Church in Richmond

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Built in 1813, the Old Round Church was originally designed for Vermont town meetings and church services. Now the National Historic Landmark is open to the public during the summer and fall and is a popular spot for weddings and local events.

Getting there: From Interstate 89, take Exit 11 to Route 2 east. Take a right on Bridge Street, travel past local stores, and cross the Winooski River. The church will be on your left.

Barn in Stowe Hollow

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Stowe Hollow Road is one of the prettiest roads in the state. One of the most scenic spots along the road is the Grandview Barn, which is part of a 65-acre farm protected from development through the Stowe Land Trust.

Getting there: From Route 100 in Waterbury Center, take Guptil Road or Howard Avenue to Maple Street (east of the Waterbury Center Grange Hall). Stowe Hollow Road begins after you cross the Stowe town line.

Peacham Congregational Church

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Located in the Northeast Kingdom, the Peacham Congregational Church is one of the oldest and most photographed churches in Vermont. Enjoy the view of the church from town or hike up a hill near the Peacham Fire Station to soak up a magnificent view of the church and the mountains.

Getting there: From Route 2 in West Danville, turn south on Peacham Road to Bayley Hazen Road and travel for about 7 miles to the village.

Taftsville Covered Bridge

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Built in 1836, the Taftsville Covered Bridge spans the Ottauquechee River in Windsor County. The bridge connects Route 4 in Taftsville (a village in Woodstock) and River Road. Five years ago, it was severely damaged during Tropical Storm Irene, but the bridge managed to stay intact. It remained closed for repairs for two years and reopened in September 2013, which was a cause for celebration.

Getting there: From Woodstock, travel east on Route 4 toward Quechee. The Taftsville Covered Bridge can be accessed from Route 4 in the village of Taftsville in Woodstock.

What are your favorite places to photograph in Vermont?

 

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