Vernon Village gains official state designation

An area in the Town of Vernon has been designated as a Vermont Village Center by the Vermont Downtown Development Board. The designated area includes the Town Office building, the elementary school, the Governor Hunt House, a number of residential properties and some undeveloped land.

The Downtown Board voted for the designation at its meeting on September 25 in Montpelier. Five other towns also received Village Center designations, and five towns had their designations renewed or amended. There are about 140 designated village centers in the state.

In Vernon, the designation process grew out of a visioning effort during 2016 led by the Vermont Council on Rural Development, in which Vernon residents developed priority projects for the future of the town. These included the development of a village center — the town does not currently have a traditional village cluster of homes and businesses — as well as the development of a store, café and gathering place.

The task forces formed to pursue these goals merged, and recently formed a non-profit organization, the Friends of Vernon Center, Inc., for the purpose of pursuing both goals. The Friends are chaired by Arthur Miller, co-owner of the Miller Farm.

The Friends worked through the town and its Planning and Economic Development commission to pursue the designation.

Vermont Village Center Designation will help the town to apply for grants for purposes such as master planning for the village area, which will be done with public input on the types of development to be pursued.

Village Center Designation also brings financial incentives, training and technical assistance to help attract new businesses and vitality, and qualifies towns to apply for historic tax credits to help finance development projects.

The designation does not create zoning or other restrictions on property owners.

View a map of the Designated Village Center area here.

View the Downtown Development Board designation letter here.

View the application and ACCD staff review here.

Volunteers needed for Vernon’s NEW 1st ANNUAL HALLOWEEN “TRUNK OR TREAT” EVENT

YOU can be help create a brand-new Halloween tradition in Vernon — TRUNK OR TREAT!

Trunk-or-Treat, on Saturday night, October 28, is a bunch of cars (trunks open) parked at the Vernon Elementary School, and children walk trunk to trunk, collecting goodies. It’s a safe way to trick or treat, especially for our rural town without sidewalks and without big neighborhoods.

Trunk-or-Treat doesn’t replace the official ‘trick or treat’ night.
The Recreation department’s budget could no longer stretch to cover its big halloween event, so this event will cost it very little — but it depends on YOU to help out! There will be a donations bucket for the Recreation Dept, but no admission cost. The success relies on getting enough trunks! People coming with trunks should plan on having 200 treats to distribute.
This year the Recreation Dept. is hosting this event in conjunction with the Fire Department’s haunted house/games.
Please sign up to bring a “trunk” and start thinking of ways to decorate your trunk appropriately for Halloween! Here’s the sign-up form:

Vernon Historians meeting and potluck supper

The Vernon Historians will hold their quarterly meeting on Tuesday, October 10, downstairs at the Vernon Town Office Building.  The meeting will be preceded by a potluck supper beginning at 6:30 p.m., and attendees are asked to make a dish to share from one of their favorite “old fashioned” recipes.  Plates, napkins, utensils, and drinks will be provided, and some historical recipe books will be on display.  The business portion of the meeting will follow at approximately at 7:30 p.m., and all members of the Historians are encouraged to attend. Election of officers for the upcoming year will be held, and a quorum of the membership is required.  All quarterly meetings of the Vernon Historians are open to interested members of the public of all ages from Vernon and beyond.  Please join us!  A regular monthly meeting of the Vernon Historians trustees is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 17, downstairs at the Vernon Town Office Building.

Photo by Bettyjohn2012, used under Creative Commons License.

Vernon Free Library news, October 2017 — — Like us on Facebook!


  • Monday 1-6pm
  • Tuesday 9-noon & 1-6
  • Wednesday 1-6pm
  • Thursday 1-6pm
  • Friday – CLOSED
  • Saturday 9-12 noon
  • CLOSED for COLUMBUS DAY, Monday, October 9 



  • Cribbage Club – Every Wednesday @ 11am
  • Knitting Group – Every Wednesday 1-2pm
  • Reading Group – 2nd Thursday of the month @ 5pm
  • Rhyme Time – Every Monday @ 10:30 am for ages 0 to 3 yrs. & siblings

Reading Group will be meeting Thursday, October 19th at 5 pm.

  • We are reading LUCY by Ellen Feldman.


The library is in need of paperback book donations for our ongoing book sale! If you would like to donate, please drop books off during library hours! Thank you!



Improvements at the J. Maynard Miller Municipal Forest

By Seth Deyo, Vernon Recreation Director

Vernon’s Black Gum trees have put the J. Maynard Miller Municipal Forest “on the map” as they say.   Well, the time has come to update that map, quite literally actually! The River and Trails Committee established through the Vermont Council on Rural Development Community Visit process has teamed with the Recreation Department (with help from the Highway Department) to provide some “TLC” to the 460-acre property located at the top of Basin Road.

The forest and wetlands where purchased by the town in 1973 from Jacques Delmarre for $175,000. At first it became known as the Basin Property, Delmarre Property, or Black Gum Swamp. At the 1981 Vernon Town Meeting, Selectman Antonio Abbiati made the motion to remove the various unofficial titles and rename the property the J. Maynard Miller Municipal Forest. Mr. Miller (an owner of the Miller Farm) spent countless hours working with foresters, outlining timber management plans, as well as mapping out and building recreational trails. The motion and subsequent renaming of the property was most certainly a fitting tribute.

Over the years, the Miller family has continued to invest hours maintaining and clearing the trails so others could enjoy exploring the forest and wetlands. Given the recreational aspect the staff of the Recreation Department has also played a role in this process. As with most anything proper maintenance is a necessity. With this in mind, we have begun a project which we believe will allow future generations to enjoy the forest as much as those in the past.

We put together a challenging but very doable “punch list” in an effort to upgrade, improve, and continue the maintenance on this extraordinary property.

  • Replace trail markers
  • Replacement of entrance sign
  • Construction of a kiosk area at entrance complete with benches
  • Trimming of existing trails
  • Establishing new trails
  • Development of GPS Maps
  • Replacement of tables at the Eric Haskins Eagle Scout Picnic Area
  • Cutting and designing a new family friendly vista picnic area

Work began this summer with continued progress expected throughout the fall and winter months. Stay tuned for updates as the work continues!

October 2017 news from Vernon’s churches

Vernon Union Church

Vernon Union Church, located at 2631 Fort Bridgman Road (next to Vernon Hall), Vernon, VT. Meets every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. for morning worship, followed by a social hour. During October, there will be guest preachers, to be arranged — check sign board outside the church. Childcare is available. The church is fully handicapped accessible. Church phone: 802-257-8523. Email:

Advent Christian Church

Advent Christian Church, located at 4554 Fort Bridgman Road at the VT/MA state line, meets every Sunday at 9:15 am for Sunday School classes for all ages. Morning worship begins at 10:30 a.m. and Youth Group and Intercessory Prayer meet at 6:00 p.m. Adult Bible study begins every Wednesday at 6:30 pm at the church and other Bible study meetings are held throughout the week. The building is handicapped accessible. Church Phone: 802-257-2341 or 413-498-4458. Senior Pastor: Rev. Bruce C. Burks, Associate Pastor, Rev. Derek Irvine; email: Website: and FaceBook.  Detailed Calendar of Events for October.

Beginning October 15, 2017, the Vernon Advent Christian Church will take part in Prayer New England, an initiative seeking to have churches in Vermont (& all New England) praying 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Besides praying for our state & nation & world events, we would count it a privilege to pray for the needs of our community.  If you have a prayer need we can address, please send it via email to

Mountain View Seventh-day Adventist Church

Mountain View Seventh-day Adventist Church, located at 1002 Fort Bridgman Road, Vernon, VT, meets every Saturday at 9:30 AM for Sabbath School classes for all ages. Church service begins at 11:00 AM. All are welcome. The church building is handicapped accessible. A fellowship meal is provided after the church service.

Prayer Meeting is held on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM at the home of Paul and Mary Miller (5 Tyler Hill Road in Vernon). For more information, call 802-254-9464.

We recently launched a new church website! The link is  – please bookmark it and check back often for new events and information! The website has been optimized for both desktop and mobile browsing. Please check out the various pages and ministries so that you can take advantage of the free resources we have available!

Our 2017-2018 season of “Music at Mountain View” concert series kicks off on Saturday night October 14 at 6:30 PM. Vocalist Elvis Foster will be performing. Admission is free and all are welcome! The concert will be followed by light refreshments. Rescheduled for November 11!

Join us Saturday night October 28 for our Annual Fall Hayride at the Miller Farm! (Address: 1730 Fort Bridgman Rd, Vernon, VT)

We will be having sundown vespers at 5:30 PM, followed by a hayride and bonfire supper.

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Mountain View will be holding a special event called “A Pale Horse Rides” on Friday October 27 and Saturday October 28. You can watch a video trailer about this seminar at

Done in conjunction with Voice of Prophecy, “A Pale Horse Rides” presents the untold story of the 1,200 years between Constantine and Martin Luther nailing the 95 theses to the Wittenberg Castle church door. This free event is not to be missed! The dates and times are listed below; additionally, if you click on the links, you can see the Facebook invites for the events.

Dates and Times:

Part 1: Friday October 27, 2017 at 7:00 PM

Part 2: Saturday October 28, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Part 3: Saturday October 28, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Also this fall, Mountain View will be showing “500,” a newly produced, landmark series by It Is Written about the Reformation. We plan to begin showing the series in November. Check out our website for more information.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Depression/Anxiety Recovery Seminar series has been cancelled. We hope to re-schedule in the not-too-distant future.

Follow us on social media to learn more about upcoming events and other news! InstagramFacebookTwitterYouTube channelWebsite.

Contact information:
Email: Church phone: 802-254-5088 (Saturdays only).
Pastor Art Miller: 802-490-0751 (cell) and 802-254-4477 (home); email:

Vernon’s school plan is moving forward

From Mike Hebert, chair of the Vernon Elementary School Board:

The State Board of Education approved the withdrawal of Vernon from BUHS #6 on September 20.   The Vernon Elementary School Board now will generate an education plan based on the results of the November district vote on merging.

Calling all Vernon artisans!

The Vernon Annual Report typically features a “theme” that highlights some of the wonderful attributes or individuals from this beautiful town. This year we would like to highlight the artistic talent that resides and does business in Vernon by recognizing as many local artisans as possible. If you are an artist, selling, or displaying your work to the public, please send a photo of you working, your storefront or your work plus a small description of what you do and how to find you. We will do our best to include as many as possible in the town report. All inclusions will dependent upon space availability.

There are no guarantees that your work will be featured, but we will do our best to accommodate everyone that takes the time to submit their information.

Submit photos and information electronically to Michelle Pong, Town Administrator,

Photo by Rajesh Pamnani, used under Creative Commons License.

Stones and bones, where can they be? — The mystery of Vernon’s vanished cemetery, Part V

By Barbara Emery Moseley

Click here for the full series on the vanished Polly Lee Cemetery and the Peeler and Lee families.

Eli and Rebecca (Stebbins) Lee lived “in affectionate and happy communion together for 46 years, until her death in March, 1862.”

Their oldest son was John Stebbins Lee, born Sept. 23, 1820. He learned to read at an early age and set a goal to get a college education. After going through eight grades at Vernon’s West Road one-room school, at age 16 he commenced the study of Latin, which qualified him to teach school. His parents thought it best for him to wait until he was 18, and at that age he first taught school in Guilford, followed by two terms in Vernon, in 1839 and 1840.

His goal of attending Amherst College was achieved in July, 1841. Reputedly, he walked there. Railroads were still in the future locally, and horses were needed at the farm. Among a class of 30, his standing was among the first ten. At once, he began teaching at Mt. Caesar Academy in Swanzey, NH, where he met his wife Elmira Bennett. (more…)