Vermont Women's History Project

The Remarkable Women of Franklin County Driving Tour

In 2005 the Vermont Women's History Project completed the first phase of a statewide map and self-guided driving tours of sites related to women's history in Vermont.

Consuelo Northrup BaileyThe first phase launched in June 2005 as part of Vermont Cultural Heritage Month in partnership with the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. Franklin County was chosen first to coincide with the dedication of a new historic site marker commemorating Fairfield's Consuelo Northrop Bailey, Vermont's first female lieutenant governor (pictured at right).

The information gathered for this driving tour was developed in cooperation with local historical societies, knowledgeable historians, and community leaders.  It has become the basis for other projects and presentations, and a catalyst for further research and writing on women in Franklin County and the rest of Vermont.

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Remarkable Women of Franklin County Site Descriptions and Directions to Points of Interest (PDF)

Site Descriptions and Directions to Points of Interest

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SUGGESTED TOUR OPTIONS – Franklin County is a large, diverse and beautiful area.We suggest that you break this driving tour into pieces so that you can really explore each site and area. The Champlain Biking Trail and the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail wend their way through this area and there are several walking loops suggested below, so you can combine history and outside recreation. The following loops make sense geographically, but you candesign your own tour to fit your time and interests.

  • Georgia-St. Albans- Swanton-Highgate Springs
  • Fairfield- Bakersfield- Enosburg Falls- Richford
  • Swanton-Highgate Springs- Enosburg Falls- Richford
  1. St. Albans Historical Museum
    Description: Large fixed exhibit museum with exhibits on Louella Kittell, whose actual classroom is there, where she taught for 50 years, Anna Eliza Smith, (daughter of Lawerence Brainerd, married Gregory Smith ,Governor in Civil War, mother of Edward Smith, Governor during Spanish-American War.  She was a prolific writer - the museum has all her papers and letters.) Also Grace Sherwood, first female surgeon in Vermont. Other well known St. Albans women include Frances Frost, Janet Smith, Miranda Aldis Brainerd.

    Directions: From I89, Exit 19, turn right at light onto 104. At next 4 way intersection, turn left onto Fairfield Street to Downtown St. Albans. Turn right onto Church Street, top of Taylor Park. Museum is 2nd building in on right. Park in back.
    Hours and Contact Info: Mid June through September, M – F 1 – 4p.m.,Fridays 7 –9 p.m. June and July. Other times by appt. 527-7933

    Franklin County Chamber of Commerce is located on Main Street, bottom of Taylor Park.

  2. Swanton - Maquam Wildlife Refuge
    Description: Swanton is the Ancient Homeland for the Missisquoi Abenaki There are several sites in the area that can be visited to learn about Abenaki women. The Maquam Wildlife Refuge includes the site where Martha (Grandma) Lampman lived, an Abenaki woman who was well known for her knowledge of tribal customs and medical herbs.

    Directions: Swanton can be reached on I89, exit 21or by taking Rt 7N out of St. Albans. (Main Street). From downtown Swanton (Swanton Chamber of Commerce Info bldg), follow Rt 78 west to junction with 36 (notice signs for Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge) (just after crossing Missisquoi River). Turn left onto 36S (note signs for Champlain Bikeway). Stay on 36S (it will take a quick turn right onto Lake Street). Stay on 36 S until you see a green and yellow Fish and Wildlife sign on left saying Maquam Wildlife Management Area Grandma Lampman Unit (1 mile). Park on right side of road and walk in past orange gate 200 feet.to marker. Continue walking past marker to get onto network of unmarked walking trails into the Preserve.

    Hours and Contact Info: The Grandma Lampman marker and Preserve are open all the time. Individual tours led by Louise Lampman-Larivee, great grand daughter of Martha Lampman, available by appointment only - llampman@uvm.edu 868-9939 Saturdays in June.,

  3. Swanton - Missisquoi Village and Mission Marker - Abenaki Totem Pole
    Description: Monument marking the “First Church in Vermont”. These are other locations in Swanton related to Abenaki History that can be visited on the way to Highgate Springs.

    Directions:
    Return to downtown Swanton. Take 7 N out of Swanton. 7 turns left soon after leaving downtown .7 miles from the turn, you will see the Missisquoi Village and Mission marker on your left at the corner of Monument Drive. Turn left on this road and continue about 1.5 miles (you will end up following the Missisquoi River on your left) until you come to the end, where you will find the Abenaki Totem Pole and “First Church” monument.

  4. Highgate Springs - Carman Brook Farms
    Description: A family operated farm open to public. Tour of farm includes visit to caves where Abenakis stayed while collecting herb and medicinal plants. Carman family cemetery is also on land. .www.cbmaplefarm.com
    Directions: From the Mission Marker, go back to 7. Turn left, heading north. Go 2.7 miles and turn right on Carter Hill Rd, going over interstate. Go .7 miles and turn left on Fortin Rd. Farm is one mile on the left.
    Hours and Contact info: Tues thru Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Memorial Day through October 1st. 1-888-84-MAPLE, 868-2347,Karin Fortin www.cbmaplefarm.com

  5. Enosburg Falls
    Description – points of interest in Enosburg Falls include:
    Enosburg Historical Society – See great collection of WW1 era items and photos by Effie Merle Bashaw. Other notable Enosburg women include Susan Tolman Mills, Helen Elizabeth Tyler,
    Self-Guided Walking Tour of the Legacy of Enosburgh’s Spavin Cure Era available at Historical Society .
    The Opera House in Enosburg Falls .

    Directions: From Carman Brook Farms, go back to four corners, go straight through onto Frontage Road. At 3.4 miles, take left onto 78 E towards Highgate Center. Stay on 78 for 10 miles through East Highgate, Shawville to Sheldon Jct. Turn left onto 105E. 7.0 miles to Enosburg Falls. ( Note Recreation Trail through area for biking and walking).Turn left on 108 N into downtown.
    Enosburg Historical Society is on Railroad St. The Opera House in Enosburg Falls is nearby on Depot St
    Hours and Contact Info: Enosburg Historical Society Janice Geraw janiceellen@vtlink.net 933-2102 Open Saturdays 10 – 2 June through October. The Opera House open by appt. Barbara Hayes 933-2120.

  6. Richford – Richford Historical Society
    Description: The Richford Historical Society has pictures and other memorabilia related to several well known women from Richford, including Mary Rogers Miller, Orpha Smith, Pruella Gibson, Arwin Fletcher and the “infamous” Lillian Minor Shipley, known as Queen Lil. .

    Directions
    : From Enosburg Falls, take 105 to Richford (10 miles). Historical Society is in the Old Richford Fire House on Lower Main Street.
    Hours and Contact Info: Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Memorial Day – October or by appt. Mae Kittell933-6622 or Carolyn Coons 848-7656

  7. Bakersfield – Brigham Academy
    Description: Brigham Academy was founded by Sarah Brigham Jacobs and her brother Peter Bent Brigham. The Academy educated men and women for over 100 years. The building is now on the National Register. Learn more …

    Directions:
    From Enosburg Falls, take 108S for 7 miles. You will see signs to Chester Arthur Historic Site at 4 miles. If you want to go directly there, take that right. You will end up bypassing Bakersfield. As you enter Bakersfield, look for Academy Rd. on your right. Brigham Academy will be right there. The interior of the building is not open to the public at this point.
    Hours and Contact Info: The inside of the Brigham Academy is not open to the public at this time, but the Bakersfield Historical Society has a great collection of pictures and science equipment from the school.

  8. Bakersfield - Bakersfield Historical Society
    Description: The focus of the Bakersfield Historical Society’s summer exhibit is “The Women of Bakersfield”, including Betsey Carroll, Sarah Brigham Jacobs and Elsie Camp Wells. .

    Directions:
    At the intersection of 108 and 36, turn left with the town green and cemetery on your left. The Historical Society is a large red brick building on your right.
    Hours and Contact Info: Sundays 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Memorial Day – August or by appt. 827-3042.

  9. Fairfield – TheBrick Store (also called Fairfield Country Store)
    Description: From its opening in the early 1830's, the Brick Store served as an important social and financial center for the community of Fairfield. The store has also been owned or run by women through out the years, from the Soule sisters, who owned it at the turn of the century, to Gertrude Howrigan to today’s owner, Pat Edsen. .

    Directions: Fairfield Center is 8 miles from Bakersfield on 36W. Coming from St. Albans, Fairfield Center is 7.5 miles on 36E. Store is on your right at crossroads and a public parking lot is on your left.
    Hours and Contact Info: Pat Esden, 827-6160 open 7 days a week in summer.

  10. Fairfield – Consuelo Northrop Bailey History Marker – Bent Northrop Public Library
    Description: The new Consuelo Northrop Bailey Historic Marker will be dedicated July 2005 outside of Bent Northrop Library at Fairfield Center School. Consuelo Northrop Bailey was born in Fairfield, in 1899 at her family farm. She was “first” in many areas” - first woman city prosecutor for Burlington, first woman lawyer to try a murder case in Vermont, first Vermont woman to be admitted to practice of law before U.S. Supreme Court, first woman Speaker of the House in Vermont Women's History Project, first woman Lieutenant Governor in U.S., ,. Complementary copies of Consuelo Bailey’s autobiography, “Leaves Before the Wind” will be available at the library, the Country Store and the Chester A. Arthur Historic Site.

    Directions: School is just before Fairfield Center four corners on your right, coming from St. Albans.
    Hours and Contact Info: Library Summer Hours
    Bet Howrigan, hjh@verizonmail.com, 827-6160

  11. Fairfield - Chester A. Arthur Historic Site
    Description: Birthplace of President Chester A. Arthur. Consuelo Bailey was instrumental in getting site established. Walking tour of area developed by local schoolchildren.
    Directions: Follow “Chester A. Arthur Historic Site” signs from Fairfield Center or from Enosburg

  12. Fairfield - Green Wind Farm
    Description: Family farm run by Julie Wolcott, Stephen MacCausland and family. 25 registered Jersey cows, 4,000 tap maple sugaring operation, vegetable, flower and fruit gardens. Self-guided one mile walk on farm roads through the meadows to the sugar woods and sugarhouse.

    Directions - As you approach the 4 corners in Fairfield Center coming from St. Albans, take your left, towards Chester’s Bakery (if you are coming from Bakersfield, take a right at the four corners) Go .7 miles and turn right, following Chester Arthur Historic Site signs. You’ll pass the Magnan Farm on your right 1.3 miles later. Keep going. When you’ve gone 2 miles on this road, you will come to a fork in the road with a big old brown/gray house – take your left onto Wanzer Road. (If you want to go to the Chester Arthur Historic Site, stay right and follow signs). Stay on this road for 1.9 miles until you come to an intersection with Talcott Rd and Pumpkin Village Road. Take your left onto Talcott Rd. You will pass the Talcott Family Farm and soon after come to a T intersection with Northrop Road (sign is all bent up and there is an abandoned house on your right). Take your right, and Green Wind Farm is the yellow farmhouse on you left.. Park by the basketball hoop. There is a farm map in the green mailbox in the big barn door opening of the “new” barn. “Nine mile walk on old town road” nearby .

  13. Fairfield -Consuelo Bailey Cottage
    Description: Known in Fairfield as the summer home of First Woman
    Lieutenant Governor Consuelo Northrop Bailey

    Directions: At the intersection with Northrop Road, turn left instead of right towards Green Wind Farm. ,7 miles along this road, you will come upon a whitish large cottage. This was Consuelo Bailey’s homestead. The next large farm you come to right after that is the Howrigan’s. They own the Cottage.

  14. Georgia - Stone Schoolhouse
    Description: The Georgia Stone School was built in 1843. Unmarried women teachers would either board with a local farmer or walk as far as Route 7 to teach. School is on Register of Historic Places and has early photos of students and teachers.

    Directions
    : From downtown St. Albans, take 7 S. At 4.8 miles, turn onto Polly Hubbard Rd. At T intersection (1.9 miles), take a right (note Champlain Biking Trail signs) Continue .5 mile. The Stone Schoolhouse will be on your right.
    Hours and Contact Info: open by appt. June – August, Betty Vallee 527-7198

  15. Georgia – Georgia Historical Society
    Description: Georgia Historical Society - Brick schoolhouse on 7 in Georgia. 2005 Focus – Georgia Women in the Home.

    Directions
    – from downtown St Albans, take 7S to Georgia. Brick schoolhouse is just before “downtown” coming from the north.
    Hours and contact info: July 1 – Labor Day MWS 2 – 4 p.m. By appt. Contact Peter Mallet – 524-4539
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