What a ride the last two years have been for most of us! I don’t need to say much about the many changes to our lives; as well as the many months, if not years, some of us were unable to step inside a museum.
Well, We Love Museums is on the road again, at last! (At least some roads, Europe may not be for a bit, but there’s so many wonderful places to see in your local area. Remember, for example, to check out your local Historical Society/Museum!)
In late July, we spent a couple of days in Bennington Vt. Bennington is a three and half hour drive from New York, about three hours from Boston, and just an hour from Albany, and not much further than that from many parts of Connecticut, Maine or New Hampshire!
There are covered bridges, a very walkable, lovely downtown with art galleries and pubs, and these two lovely museums that we took the time to explore.
Our first stop was at this magnificent high Victorian Mansion: The Park Mc-Cullough Historic Govenor’s Mansion.
Built in 1864 – 1865 by attorney and entrepreneur (what word did they use for this in 1865?) Trenor Park, it was lived in by a member of the same family and its descendants until 1970, when the process of creating a museum began. All of the contents are original to the family; and that has to be very rare in the world of house museums. It is a stunner to see.
The staff was incredible lovely and knew a great deal of the history. We had arrived right after a tour had started, and they very nicely got us to the tour in progress, and caught us up on anything we missed. There is, of course, a lovely gift shop with some books about the history of the house and family for those interested. The family was instrumental in many things Bennington: the college, the hospital and many more philanthropic causes.
There is a few small gardens on the premises as well as a small greenhouse exhibit of small scenes of Woodland Folk and Faires of Cobble Hill.
Their website has more information and a few videos to tell you more about the home, and its history.
The second museum of the day was the Robert Frost Stone House Museum
Robert Frost resided in this house from 1920 – 29. An entire room is devoted to his poem written there in 1922: “ “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
The house was built in 1700s, and is important in and of itself. Although we did not follow the hiking path, we noticed there was one, as well as some nice chairs to sit and rest or picnic at.
An important woodprint artist, JJ Lankes, has a small gallery dedicated to his work on display as well. Frost and he were longtime collaborators.
It’s a nice stop that won’t take you more than an hour if you only go in the house, and well worth it. You don’t have to be a Frost scholar to appreciate what is on display here. And, my favorite part was they had a record player where you could play and listen to Frost himself read “Stopping by Woods on A Snowy Evening.”
Please note this is overseen by Bennington College, so we suggest that you check hours, etc. when you plan to visit. There is still a mask requirement to be in the Museum.
For more about the city, check this out: