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Brattleboro, Vermont…

Posted by on October 4, 2015

OCTOBER 5, 2015 

MY STORY CONTINUES with observations and photos of Brattleboro, Vermont. Located in the southeast corner of the state, it’s just a few miles down the road from Hidden Acres Resort where we’re staying. Brattleboro is one of those places like Sandpoint, Idaho or Kennebunkport, Maine where upon seeing it for the first time we instantly knew that it’d be very easy to spend several days just lookin’ around town. See for yourself…take a look at these pictures.

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Historic downtown section of Brattleboro, Vermont.


Remember Carter’s Little Liver Pills?


The buildings are handsome.











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This little park is right in the middle of the downtown area.

BRATTLEBORO FARMERS MARKET. In keeping with our resolve to support local farms and merchants whenever possible, we shopped the market and enjoyed classic New England offerings and welcoming, authentic and funky vendors. Just-picked produce, live music and great homemade food. This is another Brattleboro venue with an obvious sense of community on display.

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We drove down a country road to find the Farmers Market in Brattleboro.



This Farmers Market isn’t located in a parking lot that’s been roped off  for the event, like in so many cities. No, the market in this little town is under a canopy of beautiful trees.

These aren’t exactly bargain prices, but you get what you pay for.


Lady on a mission.


“Hey, look at this eggplant!”












I’m sure you’re tired of looking at pictures of vegetables, but I just can’t help myself. When’s the last time you saw purple onions in the supermarket that looked anything like these?

We didn’t buy any bread today, but it was sure tempting.


Custom made in Vermont buy a craftsman who told me, “It just takes practice.”  At $45 apiece, it appears that the guy’s made $90 so far today. 

MYSTERY ON MAIN STREET. At this unique bookshop, the focus is on Mystery. (Yes, that’s a capital M.) Covering the mystery scene from Dickens to Conan Doyle, here you can discover new authors and new series or unearth that hard-to-find book you’ve been trying to find. The shop also has a supply of hard-boiled mysteries. You know, the ones with downtrodden detectives, damsels in distress, femme fatales and dime-store johnnys — even a classy shamus or two. I don’t read lots of mystery novels, but Florence does. She could have easily carted dozens of treasures from this one-of-a-kind shop.


Lots of mystery books!




TWICE UPON A TIME ANTIQUES. This family-owned cooperative store offers a selection of furniture, collectibles, jewelry, glass, china and home decor ranging from the 18th Century to “the day before yesterday.” The 10,000 square foot building occupies a renovated, historic turn-of-the-century department store called E. F. Fenton & Sons, established in 1906. More than 100 dealers and 4,000 consignors are represented and there is definitely “a little something for everyone.” I could get happily lost in this old three-story building for an entire day without even “coming up for air.”














Every nook and cranny of this huge three story building is stuffed with treasures from yesteryear.


I had a client years ago who was an antique dealer. He told me that any kind of a collection will become valuable if it’s saved long enough. Old wooden boxes, anyone?





ESTEY ORGAN MUSEUM. The museum is dedicated to the history and innovations of the Estey Organ Company of Brattleboro. The company was world-renowned for manufacturing reed, pipe, and electronic organs and operated in Vermont between 1846 and 1960. Organizers established a non-profit corporation for the purpose of building this museum in very old slate-sided factory buildings that still stand. Are you beginning to understand the community spirit and deep-seated roots and traditions I’ve been observing over and over here in New England? This museum and the nonprofit that runs it are a couple more examples.


This little museum is only open on weekends for two hours each day.


In its heyday, Estey Organ Company occupied eight of these slate-shingled buildings.







The Most Extensive Organ Works in the World.

A LITTLE KNOWN FACT. It’s like pulling teeth to get her to play, but my bride is a pretty accomplished piano and organ player. She wanted to take piano lessons when she was just four years old, but was told that even with the piano stool cranked all the way up, she wouldn’t be able to reach the keyboard. To which she responded, “If I sit on a Sears-Robuck catalogue, I can reach!” (Remember those catalogues? They were about 10 inches thick!) She was right, and her mother let her begin taking lessons.


Florence can play the organ. You didn’t know that, did you?


In later years, Estey made electronic organs. This display shows some of the parts used to build them. 


Company advertisement. Circa 1846


Handwritten parts inventory.











DELECTABLE MOUNTAIN CLOTH: That’s right…it’s a fabric store. I groused when I leaned that visiting it was on the agenda. I honestly don’t care a hoot about fabrics, sewing or quilting… but I must admit that once we got there I found the shop pretty interesting. I overheard one of the ladies inside say that she doesn’t know of another shop “this side of Manhattan” that’s as elegant as this one. Apparently people come from far and wide to visit the place. The proprietor is an eccentric dyed-in-the-wool Vermonter…a liberal gal and a Bernie supporter. I’ll never understand them, but I’ve had to bite my tongue all over New England, since those of my political ilk are definitely outnumbered around here. Anyhow, if you’re “into fabrics” you’ll not want to miss this place. And if you aren’t, just “buck up” and go inside anyhow. It’s not that bad!


I think those are scarves, but I’m not really sure. I had to laugh when the store owner asked me if I was looking for anything in particular. I felt like saying, “Yes ma’am. I’m actually looking for a new set of doilies. Can you point me in the right direction?” 


If you’re ever in the market for buttons, this is the place to get them!

LATCHIS THEATRE. Attached to the historic Latchis Hotel in an old renovated building downtown, the cinema is a delightfully small,latchis2 grand art deco theater recently restored to its former glory. Artwork on the walls and sculptures carved out of stone gave us lots to enjoy even before the opening credits rolled on the film we came to see. What a theatre! It’s reminiscent of the Panida Theatre in Sandpoint, where we such good times last fall, and it’s yet another multi-discipline fine arts center operated by a local non-profit group. Very impressive.

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Artwork adorns the walls of the renovated Latchis Theatre.


“THE INTERN” WITH ROBERT DI NIRO AND ANNE HATHAWAY. We saw “The Intern,” with Robert Di Niro and Anne Hathaway. This is not your typical Di Niro “shoot ’em up bang-bang flick.” Rather, it’s a delightfully emotional story about life, aging and death. The plot may seem slight in the face of would-be Oscar contenders, but its quality should not be ignored due to its emphasis on workplace relationships or its lack of grim spectacle. We were completely engaged from the start. Especially for those of you who are recently retired, we recommend this film. It will make you feel good about yourself. And it will definitely give you something to discuss on the drive home.


“Experience never gets old.” You really should see this film. 

AND SO MUCH MORE. Brattleboro is one of the most interesting towns we’ve visited during our travels. Even though we spent several days exploring it, there’s much more that we just didn’t have time to see. We don’t plan to be traveling long enough to re-visit all the spots we’ve really enjoyed, but if we were, this is for sure a place we’d come back to see again!





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