This Place in History: Morrisville History and Art Walk

Vermont History

MORRISVILLE, Vt.

At ‘This Place in History’, we’re in Morrisville with Executive Director of the Vermont Historical Society Steve Perkins.

“The Town of Morristown has created a really cool project here that brings people to all sorts of historic places around town. We’re going to go up to the town offices and we’re going to go see Todd Thomas, the Zoning Administrator and talk about his brainchild here of the History and Art Walk,” began Perkins.

“We have a fabulous, free, family-friendly tour in Morrisville. There’s a lot of history here in Morrisville that’s of local and probably regional or statewide importance that’s kind of hidden. It’s a new tour. It’s been very well-received. We started it last year and finished it this fall. We’ve seen people walking around with the maps, looking at the historic sites, which has been very rewarding for us,” explained Thomas.

“The idea came about because I live four houses over from the Civil War bell and never knew it was there. I walk to work and I walk home for lunch. I’ve walked by this bell 10,000 times and never knew it was there. This bell was going to be melted down to shoot at the Union Army and it was taken back here instead. I started to say we need to map these kind of sites.”

“The downtown organization helped me with funding from the Copley Trust, a benefactor in town. We mapped all the sites and we had historic plaques manufactured to commemorate each site and we’ve connected it all with a walking tour map. Now, we have a nice little historical walking path. It takes about an hour to do. It’s really worthwhile and wonderful to do winter or summer,” added Thomas.

“There’s a green line out there as opposed to the red line in Boston. It’s a complete ripoff of the Freedom Trail but it’s Vermont-sized and I think it’s better.”

“The building we’re in is a neat one, too. This used to be a movie theater, built in I think 1937, to challenge the other movie theater in town. There are plaques for the invention of the washing machine here in Morrisville, one of the early patents for it. There are also plaques for the Governor’s Mansion here and other historic buildings that are worth looking at and learning about,” said Thomas.

“There are two sets of people. There are the people who come to town or stumble in on the Rail Trail. They’ve seen the flyers down there and done the walk. They’ve said what a great little community! I’m really happy I did that. It’s so neat to celebrate your history. I want to do that in my community.”

“The second group of people is the people who have been here forever and they said I had no idea any of this even existed. Thank you for doing this. So, our downtown organization is really happy that we’ve done this and hopefully will lead to more people enjoying the history of Morrisville, coming to Morrisville and hopefully it leads to Morrisville being a better place in the future, too,” concluded Thomas.

At ‘This Place in History’!

For more from our ‘This Place in History’ series, click here.

To view a map of Vermont’s roadside historic markers, click here.

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