National Geographic : 1967 Aug
Not all of them. Emma Hart Willard, early advocate of learning for young ladies, taught in Middlebury, where she founded her first girls' school.John Dewey, prophet of progres sive education, was born in Burlington and graduated there from the area's largest college, the University of Vermont. I know the Dewey place well; for 15 years I lived just a block away. Grace Goodhue, later Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, grew up in a house between. I never met the famed philoso pher or the President's wife, but all of us, while attending the university, struggled up Maple Street, a tilted thoroughfare better suited to bobsleds (which often ran its course) than to sleepy students with early-morning classes. Burlington climbs a tree-clad hillside from industrial lake front to college green. Midway, a shelf of land accommodates a modest business district. Then the terrain shoots up again, at an even steeper angle. Wager of $50 Costs Colonel $12,000 Fortunes made along the shoreline in the 1800's-in trans portation and lumber-built mansions on the heights and inspired an era of elegance that lasted to the turn of the cen tury. One home, a gem of Victorian architecture, belonged to my good friends Col. and Mrs. H. Nelson Jackson. Soldier, doctor, banker, publisher, and, above all, rugged individualist, Colonel Jack did things with a flair. In 1903 a San Franciscan bet him $50 he could not drive a car across the continent. At that time no one had. It cost the colonel $12,000 to win, but he and a Winton motorcar did it, west to east, in 64 days. He returned to Burlington in triumph, only to be arrested for speeding up Main Street at more than six miles an hour! Burlington's inner city looks much as it did when I lived there 30 years ago. Big elms shade spacious lawns; handsome 19th-century houses preserve the dignity of bygone days. A great deal of neon ornaments her outskirts, but otherwise Vermont's Queen City grows old with grace. Long the valley's major marketplace and leading cultural center, Burlington is also the largest, fastest-growing 188 Audacity of a dawn raid by Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys so surprised the British that they surrendered Fort Ticonderoga on May 10, 1775. Allen recalled that "the capt. came immediately to the door with his breeches in his hand... I ordered him to deliver to me the fort instantly... in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress." The citadel appeared impregna ble (below). But in 1759, soon after the French completed it, the British overwhelmed the fort. They took it again in 1777, this time from the Americans. Peace brought ruin; settlers dismantled stone walls for their homes. Acquiring the family property, Stephen H. P. Pell lav ished a fortune on reconstruction, beginning in 1908, and his descend ants continue the work. Guide in cocked hat leads visi tors through the history-haunted fort, which flies the Grand Union, predecessor of the Stars and Stripes, and a French regimental flag.