Thursday, October 17, 2013

FALL TOUR - Barnet Vermont

I jumped on a school bus in Barnet Vermont, with 40 other people for a quick fall festival tour and WOW!! what a tour it was!!

Barnet contains the locations of Barnet Center, East Barnet,  McIndoe Falls, Mosquitoville, Passumpsic and West Barnet.

First, we all met at the Barnet Center Church where there was a big pancake breakfast and crafts fair upstairs in the Vestry and all around the church grounds.

Handmade items.  Woolen knit slippers, embroidered towels, socks, winter hats and of course Vermont maple syrup!

 There were tours of the local cemetery and famous gravestones of early settlers.

Old Ross (built by the thousands in this town ) cow stanchions were repurposed with mirrors and sold for $300. Some of the old dairy farmers almost fainted when they saw them. I imagine many of them will now be looking through their old junk piles for stanchions that could be made into mirrors.

The views were beautiful and just got better and better as the day went on.

There is always some Scottish folk at every event as this entire area was settled by Scottish, Irish and English.

We all boarded the bus and went to a historic old water powered mill that is in the process of being restored.
First built in 1872 to dye sheepskins for parlor and carriage mats.

With a blacksmith shop added to the east side and it was turned into a wheel and carriage shop.
Soon a cider shop was added to the west side of the building.

I went right to the blacksmith shop to watch two young grammer school students being taught how to make the famous Barnet coat hooks.

 Tools of the trade.

Adding air to keep the fire hot.

Where the dam use to be to power all the turbines.  It collapsed in the early 90's when the owner died and now there is mega red tape to rebuild a dam on this stream to repower the entire facility as a working museum.

Much of the building has been rebuilt including the foundation, roof, blacksmith shop, giant cider press and many of the clapboards.

For a complete description of this worthy project click here. Lots of photos and info about how all the penstock works plus the incredible history of this mill.

This is a wood planer.  One of many in the building used to plane wood of all kinds.

This is the famous penstock that was completely rebuilt here by volunteers!

The giant hydraulic apple cider press.

The magic of using just water to run all the machines.

Had a great visit and will return to spent more time here and learn how to make coat rack hooks and pots holders in the blacksmith shop.

Next stop was to Mosquitoville and the Walter Harvey Meeting House.
Built in 1831.
This congregation has retained more of the customs of the old Covenanter churches in Scotland than any of the others in this vicinity.
For the full details of this unusual meeting house click here.

We were greeted by Rev White.

It was a bit chilly by the time we arrived here, but he was ready for us.

This meeting house has a unique heating system.

2 wood stoves.

With the stove pipes suspended from the ceiling.

It got toasty warm here in 10 minutes.

 The Annual Scottish Kirkin O' Tartans is held on the third Sunday of each July.  Service is at 11 AM, followed by a pot luck lunch. All are welcome!
Whats a Kirkin ?  Details here.

Saw some beautiful flowers on the tour.

 Next stop on the bus tour

Great views, sweet cider, oatmeal cookies and apples were shared by all!

Much to learn here.

Lesson #1 - The girl alpacas are separated from the boys.

Lesson # 2 - They come in 22 colors.

 Lesson # 3 - This is not an alpaca.  (I knew that, but many others did not)

She is a guard Llama.  And very serious about her job.

 Lesson # 4 - Alpacas make funny faces while chewing an apple.

Lesson # 5 - Wear appropriate foot wear and do not get stepped on by these hoof claws.

Lesson # 6 -  Girls argue amongst themselves...a lot.

Lesson # 7 - These are the boys. They seemed much calmer.

Back on the bus, we went to the tops of mountains and looked down over the valleys and the many farms in the area.

At 1 pm ( I could not believe we had been driving around for over 3 hours) we went to the church in McIndoe Falls for lunch.  The Tartans were flying so that meant that lunch was ready!

Corn chowder, sandwiches, pumpkin pie and hot drinks warmed everyone up. There was also a bake sale and "Attic Treasures" to temp us.

I was stunned by the simple, beautiful organ here. I wish someone had been playing it, it certainly would of added to the autumn atmosphere.

Back on the bus will full stomachs and homemade cider donuts we headed to the round barn.

I have been here before but it was nice to be able to walk around and not just drive slowly by taking photos.

Silo on the inside.

Lots of sheep in the field.

Back on the bus and up some more mountains to ooh and ahhhh over the views, the valleys and the farms.
For the life of me I can not figure out how the 18 wheeler milk trucks are able to navigate these steep, icy, one lane roads in the dead of winter to pick up all the milk from the dozens of mountainside dairy farms in this town!!!!!!.

Our fearless bus driver, Dexter, who taught schools in this town for 30 years and knows where all the 13 one-room school houses are.
  Thank you to the St Johnsbury Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium for letting Dexter "borrow" the bus for this incredible tour!

It wasn't over yet!

Evidently the townsfolk were encouraged to make some interesting decorations at the end of their driveways and this is what I was able to take decent photos of.

If the keys were in it, this truck was going home with me!

Last stop was the Goodwillie House, the 1790 home of the first Barnet minister.

HUNDREDS of interesting items dating back to that time period are on display here plus the original beehive fireplace, a birthing room and original clothing and agricultural equipment.
This house was on the stagecoach road and the mail was thrown in through the front door as the stagecoach went by.

And...... it is suspected this house was on the Underground Railway.

We saw the extra brick wall down in the cellar.

This concluded the tour and I was exhausted.
Best Fall bus tour I have ever been on and I plan on returning to a few of these places to linger a little longer.  The atmosphere in this town is original to the 1800's-- and the views and roads prove it!
Old Yankee farms, homes, stonewalls and fields. Come visit and go back 300 years in time.
I did, and will have many wonderful memories of this day.   THANK YOU BARNET!


  1. What a fantastic tour! Love the old barns, that beautiful organ and the cutie alpacas! I didn't know they had guard llamas! (I'd have to fight you for that cool red truck!)

  2. i would have loved to have gone on this trip! the colors in the countryside are just wonderful. a great way to spend a wonderful fall day! thanks for taking me along!

  3. What a wonderful tour filled with so many great things. Thanks for showing us too!

  4. Sounds like a wonderfully interesting day! I loved the towels with birds embroidered on them. The round barn/silo is great.

  5. Now THESE photos are well worth viewing, in fact, more than once! What a wonderful jaunt you had. Wish I had been there. I saw some things I would buy for sure!!

  6. What a fun and interesting tour! The fall colors are just spectacular!

  7. You take such beautiful pictures!!!

  8. How wonderful! Your pictures are gorgeous. Thanks you for letting me experience your tour through photo. This must have been extremely fun.

  9. I am so glad you got to do this. I have wanted to do it for 25 years. So happy you shared this at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop last week. Hope to see you link up again this week! ♥

  10. Oh my goodness, what an incredible tour! The sights and scenery are spectacular. Fills me with a curious yearning. I laughed at your comment about the old farmers' response to the cow stanchion mirrors. Too funny! Gets me back to wondering how I can repurpose the treasures in our old barns. And I would SO love to have that old, beautiful truck too :-)

  11. Wow, amazing. I felt like I was right there with you. I'm taking a camera class learning how to take beautiful pictures like yours. Thanks for sharing

  12. What a great tour! I'd love to have you share this on The HomeAcre Harvest Hop today!

  13. What a wonderful slice of autumn you've captured here!

    Thank you!

    I felt like I was walking around right beside you!

  14. Beautiful photos and what a wonderful tour! I live in Vermont but have never been to any of these places! Thanks so much for sharing on the HomeAcre Harvest Hop! Hope to see you again this week! - Nancy
    The Home Acre Hop