Returning to Grafton Village
May 28, 2010
The scenic hamlet of Grafton is one of the most beautiful towns in Vermont. Located between Townshend and Chester, Grafton is a quintessential, classic New England village. In the heart of the community you’ll find The Grafton Inn, Grafton Village Cheese and the Grafton Village Store.
But Grafton is much more than just a picture perfect place. This vibrant community of 600 people has made a magnificent comeback over the years.
Prior to the Civil War, the town was home to more than 1,480 residents and 10,000 sheep. But Grafton eventually experienced difficult times as the town’s population declined and the region’s once strong wool industry collapsed. Farmers moved westward, buildings fell into disrepair and the town was no longer a main thoroughfare.
The Windham Foundation
In 1963, the Windham Foundation was established by a family with ties to the area to begin the process of restoring Grafton. The Foundation evolved over time and now also offers grant and scholarship programs and operates mission-driven businesses including The Old Tavern and Grafton Village Cheese. It also maintains a sheep program to help educate the public about Vermont’s sheep industry.
The Old Tavern
The town’s main landmark is The Grafton Inn (pictured above), which has welcomed several notable guests throughout the inn’s 200-year history, including Theodore Roosevelt, Daniel Webster and Rudyard Kipling. In recent years, Paul Newman was a longtime guest before his death in 2008.
It’s easy to see why so many people are drawn to this beautiful, charming town. But it’s Grafton’s sense of community and spirit of creativity that keep us coming back.