Vermont Archaeology Month

Vermont Archaeology Month Celebrates the 20th Anniverary Year: Learn and Explore 13,000 Years of Vermont History

Every September, the Division for Historic Preservation along with the Agency of Transportation hosts a month-long celebration of Vermont archaeology and history. It is a time to discover and explore new and compelling research and artifacts that delve into Vermont’s 13,000 years of history. Novices and history buffs alike can learn about Vermont’s Precontact and historic past, its Native communities and their traditions, how the environment and the natural world shaped and directed past people’s lives, and at more.  

2015 Calendar of Events

 -events listed by date-

“Bringing the Past to Light: New Technologies and New Interpretations in Vermont Archaeology” by Jess Robinson, State Archaeologist

Wednesday, September 2nd, 4:00-5:15 PM
Bentley Science Hall
Johnson State College
337 College Hill Rd
Johnson, VT 05656
Free, No Pre-registration Required

Vermont State Archaeologist Jess Robinson will discuss how new discoveries, new technologies, and new interpretations of existing archaeological data have shed light on Vermont's unwritten precontact past.

“Whiskey on the Lake” with Dr. Scott McLaughlin

Wednesday, September 2nd, 7:00 PM
Milton Historical Society
13 School Street
Milton, Vermont 05468
Free, No Pre-registration Required

During the Prohibition years, many professional smugglers and others avoided lawmen by using the open waters of Lake Champlain. Learn how these outlaws smuggled alcohol into the United States from Canada and how the U.S. Customs officers tried their best to stop the seemingly never-ending flow of booze between 1920 and 1933. Join us for this exciting talk by Dr. Scott McLaughlin!

“The Missisquoi Summit” Symposium

Friday, September 4th, 3:00-6:00 PM
Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge
29 Tabor Rd
Swanton, VT 05488
Free, No Pre-registration Required

Join us as experts come together to talk about the natural and cultural landscape of the Missisquoi River from the time the glaciers receded until the present day. A series of presentations by experts will be followed by a panel discussion and audience question and answer session.

Time Travels through Nature: A Guided Walk

Saturday, September 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th, 10:30-11:30 AM and 1:00-2:00 PM
Mill Trail Property
Located on Notchbrook Road
Stowe, VT 05672
Free, No Pre-registration Required

Discover the farm, mill, and ski inn history at the Mill Trail property through a guided walk and scavenger hunt with the Stowe Land Trust’s Summer Naturalist. Participants are encouraged to wear a good pair of hiking shoes. All ages are welcome!

Directions to the Mill Trail Cabin: From Stowe Village drive 5 miles north on Mountain Road. Turn right onto Notchbrook Road. Look for the Mill Trail Property trailhead sign half a mile up on your left. Park along the road. We will meet at the Mill Trail Cabin, an easy quarter mile walk from the trailhead.

Hiking Tour of 19th c “Old Job”

Saturday, September 5th, 10:30 AM-3:00 PM
Meet at the LT/AT Parking lot on Forest Road #10
Mt Tabor, VT
Free, No Pre-registration Required

GMC Director of Trail Programs Dave Hardy and retired GMNF archaeologist Dave Lacy will lead a 3.2 mile hike along the “Old Job Trail” to explore the remains of this 19th c. mill town, then along the Long/Appalachian Trail to the earlier “Greeley” site. This will be an easy-to-moderate walk between Forest Road 30 and Forest Road 10 with visits to several trail-side historic archaeological sites and features.  Please bring water, lunch, appropriate footwear, & bug dope/sunscreen if desired.

Native American Pottery Workshop at ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain

Saturday, September 5th, 1:00-3:00 PM
ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain
1 College St
Burlington, VT 05401
Free with Admission, No Pre-registration Required

Get your hands muddy with archaeologist and potter Charlie Paquin as he guides you through Native American pottery construction techniques while making your very own pinch pots and coil bowls.

Soldiers atop the Mount

Saturday, September 5th, 9:30 AM-5:30 PM; Sunday September 6th, 9:30 AM-2:00 PM
Mount Independence State Historic Site
497 Mount Independence Road
Orwell, Vermont 05760
Cost: $6.00 for adults, Free for children under 15, No Pre-registration Required

Step back to 1776 and 1777 as reenactors take over the Mount, demonstrating Revolutionary War camp life, military tactics, colonial crafts, firing artillery, cooking, and clothing manufacture. There will be an interactive “Baldwin Trail walkabout” on Saturday, children’s activities, the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence, and music by the Seth Warner Mount Independence Fife & Drum Corps. Suitable for all ages.

Artifact Roadshow and Flint knapping Demonstration at ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain

Sunday, September 6th, 1:00-2:30 PM
ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain
1 College St
Burlington, VT 05401
Free with Admission, No Pre-registration Required

Bring in your prehistoric finds and have experimental archaeologist Charlie Paquin identify and analyze them. Charlie will also demonstrate how Native Americans shaped projectile points utilizing the ancient technique of flint-knapping.

Chittenden Town History

Tuesday, September 8th, 7:00 PM
North Chittenden Grange Hall
3 Lower Middle Road
Chittenden, VT
Free, No Pre-registration Required

GMNF Archaeologist Tim Watkins will give a presentation on the history of the Chittenden area. The presentation will include pertinent town history, popular folklore, and the personal observations of the presenter; one of the newest residents of Chittenden.

“Peace and Conflict: mid-18th Century Life around the Forts of the Middle Connecticut River Valley” by Gail Golec

Tuesday, September 8th, 6:00-7:30 PM
Eureka Schoolhouse
470 Charlestown Rd
Springfield, VT 05156
Free, No Pre-registration Required

Come hear Gail Golec recount the early years of European settlement in the middle Connecticut River Valley, when English and French forts emerged as social and economic centers for Europeans and Natives alike. As the French and Indian war approached, the area was transformed into a battleground, and longtime friends and acquaintances were pitted against one another.

"Before the Lake Was Champlain" Film Screening

Wednesday, September 9th, 5:30-7:30 PM
Vermont Archaeology Heritage Center
60 Washington St.
Barre, VT 05641
Free, No Pre-registration Required

Join Professor Fred Wiseman for a screening of "Before the Lake Was Champlain," a film he co-produced with NY filmmaker Ted Timreck. It focuses on some of the recent discoveries in Northeastern archaeology, especially regarding Paleo-Indian Seafaring, that have caused us to re-think the social and ecological history of the Lake Champlain Basin's Indigenous peoples. Following the screening, Dr. Wiseman will provide a short update on his ongoing work focusing on the ethnobiology and cultural ecology of the basin and facilitate a discussion on new directions in the study of Vermont’s ancient peoples.

“Archaeology in and Around Essex” by Jess Robinson, State Archaeologist

Thursday, September 10th, 7:00 PM
Town of Essex-Memorial Hall
81 Main Street
Essex Junction, VT 05452
Free, No Pre-registration Required

Jess Robinson will present a summary of the major archaeological sites identified in and around Essex and what these finds reveal about Vermont's ancient and early historic past.

“Mammoth Discoveries” with Brennan Gauthier

Saturday, September 12th, 2:00-3:00 PM
Vermont History Center
60 Washington Street
Barre, VT 05641
Free with Admission, No Pre-registration Required

Archaeologist Brennan Gauthier will discuss the discovery of a mammoth tooth and tusk in 1865 at Mount Holly. He will talk about theories developed at the time to explain the bones, as well as what we know now after 150 years of archaeological and scientific progress.

Homer Stone Quartzite Quarry Open House

Saturday, September 12th, 1:00-3:00 PM
Green Mountain National Forest Supervisor’s Office
231 North Main Street
Rutland, VT 05701
Free, No Pre-registration Required

The Green Mountain National Forest Office, Vermont Archaeological Society, the University of Vermont Consulting Archaeology Program and many volunteers worked in partnership to excavate a small portion of the extensive Native American Homer Stone quartzite quarry between 2009 and 2012. They have conducted analysis on thousands of tools, utilized flakes, and debitage recovered since then. This Open House is a chance for the public to get a first-hand look at a sample of the artifacts recovered, and to discuss them with dig co-directors Geoff Mandel (UVM) and Dave Lacy (GMNF, retired).

Native American Pottery Workshop

Saturday, September 12th, 1:00-3:00 PM
Kellogg-Hubbard Library
135 Main St.
Montpelier, VT 05602
Free, Please Pre-register by calling (802)-223-3338 (limit 12 people)

Join archaeologist and potter Charlie Paquin, as he leads a hands-on workshop demonstrating the techniques used by Native Americans of Vermont to build and decorate clay vessels.

Five Formidable Forts of the Lake Champlain Narrows Tour

Saturday, September 12th, 10:00 AM
Chimney Point State Historic Site
8149 VT Route 17W
Addison, VT 05491
Cost: $20 per person, Free for children under 15, Call to Pre-register at 802-759-2412

This drive-yourself tour explores the locations, material vestiges, and history of five formidable forts of the Lake Champlain Narrows. The tour will include the Chimney Point location of the 1690 British military occupation and 1731 French Fort de pieux; Crown Point, NY ruins of the 1734 French Fort St. Frédéric and the 1759 British Crown Point fort and redoubts; and the 1776-77 American Mount Independence fortification in Orwell, VT. Meet at Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison. Bring your own lunch; snacks will be provided.

Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge Indigenous Film Festival

Saturday, September 12th, 1:00-7:45 PM
Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge
29 Tabor Rd.
Swanton, VT 05488
Free, No Pre-registration Required

The Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge in West Swanton, VT has been used as a location in many Indian-themed movies over the last ten years. This film festival will feature five of these films, Before the Lake was Champlain (2009), 1609: the other side of history (2009), The Changeling (2008), Against the Darkness (2006), and Waban-aki: People from Where the Sun Rises (2006). These films are among those that have used the Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge as a film location. As part of Vermont Archaeology month, each film will be screened and followed by a discussion with Dr. Frederick M. Wiseman, concerning the movie and its message about the history and culture of the Indigenous People of the Missisquoi region.

Walking Tour of Springfield's Industrial Heritage

Sunday, September 13th, 1:00-3:00 PM
Great Hall
100 River St.
Springfield, VT 05156
Free, No Pre-registration Required

This walking tour of Springfield's industrial heritage will include a display of various artifacts that the Black River Action Team (B.R.A.T.) has pulled out of the Black River over the past 15 years while cleaning its bed and banks. One special feature includes the famous "Black River cannonball." It is most likely from the soldiers' memorial statue that was once erected in the middle of the nearby intersection. It is believed that when the statue was melted down for the Second World War, this cannonball was tossed into the river by a mischief-maker. The artifact collection will be on display at the Steampunk Festival, located at the Great Hall, prior to the tour. The tour will leave at 1pm and return to the Great Hall in time for folks to enjoy the rest of the Festival.

Merck Forest Historical Archaeological Site Tour

Sunday, September 13th, 12:00-3:00 PM
Merck Forest & Farmland Center
3270 Route 315
Rupert VT 05768
Free, No Pre-registration Required

You are invited to join Charles Paquin for a guided hiking tour at Merck Forest to visit an early historic archaeological site. The tour will venture down to the Giles Site, occupied from ca. 1800 to 1850, and discuss the archaeological work that has been carried out there in the recent past. Participants are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch, something to drink and whatever they will need to be comfortable for a short afternoon in the woods. Meet at the Merck Forest visitor center.

“Hyper-Archaeology” lightning lectures

Wednesday, September 16th, 5:00-7:00 PM
Queen City Brewery Tasting Room
703 Pine St
Burlington, VT 05401
Free, No Pre-registration Required

Archaeologists and colleagues working around the world share their research in short presentations in rapid succession. These five-minute talks are given in a fun atmosphere and there will be time afterward for the presenters and attendees to chat.

A History of the Green Mountain National Forest and its Heritage Program

Wednesday, September 16th, 7:00 PM
Charlotte Library
115 Ferry Rd
Charlotte, VT 05445
Free, No Pre-registration Required

GMNF Forest Archaeologist Tim Watkins will present a brief history of the Green Mountain National Forest and its Heritage Resources Program. Topics will include an overview of the various sites found in the forest and the challenges of preserving them for the benefit of future generations.

Taylor Valley Moonshiner Tour and Presentation

Thursday, September 17th, 10:00 AM
South Strafford Park and Ride (across from Café)
Strafford, VT 05072
Free, No Pre-registration Required

The recent boom in Vermont cider production is not something new to the residents of this state. Archaeologist Brennan Gauthier will talk about recent research on a group of notorious 1880s cider moonshiners in Orange County. This tour will concentrate on interpreting the historic landscape of Taylor Valley, with a focus on identifying the locations of long-forgotten moonshine stills. Put on your hiking boots, and grab your historic maps for an interactive history walk in the Taylor Valley forest.

From the “Cabinet of Curiosities” to the Modern Museum: Collections Management and Repatriation in Small Institutions

Thursday, September 17th, 6:00-7:30 PM
Bixby Memorial Library
258 Main Street
Vergennes, VT 05491
Free, No Pre-registration Required

The Bixby Memorial Library will host an open house and short presentation in the Museum Room. The museum room has been closed for a year due to an ongoing inventory and exhibition project, but will be temporarily opened to the public during this event. Between 6:00 and 6:45 PM, guests will have time to view the archaeological collections and exhibits being worked on in the Museum Room. This will be followed by a short talk given by Kat Raynor, manager of the Museum Room inventory project.

Consultant Training Day

Friday, September 18th, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
Calvin Coolidge Conference Room
1 National Life Drive
Davis Building, 6th Floor
Montpelier, VT 05633

Free for consultants, Pre-register by contacting Debra Sayers at Debra.Sayers@vermont.gov
Event not open to the public

Consulting archaeologists and architectural historians will gather in Montpelier for a day-long training session hosted by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.

Atlatl Workshop

Friday, September 18th, 12:00-5:00 PM
Chimney Point State Historic Site
8149 VT Route 17W
Addison, VT 05491
Cost: $65.00, includes materials and instruction, Call to Pre-register at 802-759-2412

Atlatl experts Bob and Cheryll Berg of Thunderbird Atlatl will be teaching traditional and modern techniques of atlatl and dart construction, flint knapping, hafting stone points, and cordage making. Enjoy atlatl lore and coaching on the use of your new atlatl.

20th Annual Northeast Open Atlatl Championship

Saturday, September 19th, 10:30 AM-4:30 PM
Chimney Point State Historic Site
8149 VT Route 17W
Addison, VT 05491
Competitor fee if pre-registered is $6.00; On-site day of registration $7.00
General admission $5.00 for adults, Free for children under 15
Call to Pre-register at 802-759-2412

Participate in or watch this annual championship. Competitive atlatl throwing is based upon the ancient hunting technique of mechanically aided spear-throwing. Demonstrations and workshops on flint knapping and Woodland pottery-making will be taking place throughout the day and arts and crafts will be offered for sale.

Vermont Granite Festival

Saturday, September 19th, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM
Vermont Granite Museum
7 Jones Brothers Way
Barre, VT 05641
Cost: $5.00 for Adults, $4.00 for Seniors, $3.00 for Children, $10.00 for Families, Free to Members, No Pre-registration Required

Celebrate Barre and Central Vermont’s granite heritage with ethnic music, performances and activities, exhibits, and demonstrations by area stone workers. If you have any questions, or want more information please go to the Granite Museum website at vtgranitemuseum.org, email at info@vtgranitemuseum.org, or call at 802-476-4605.

Pittsford Ridge Hike

Sunday, September 20th, 2:00-5:00 PM
Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site
5696 Monument Hill Road
Hubbardton, VT 05735
Cost $3.00 for adults, Free for children under 15 (as part of site admission), No Pre-registration Required

Explore part of the July 7, 1777 American evacuation route up to Pittsford Ridge after the Battle of Hubbardton, on a hike led by site interpreter Carl Fuller.  Please wear sturdy shoes and bring water.

UVM Petersen Lecture Pt. 1

Wednesday, September 23rd, 7:00 PM
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405
Free, No Pre-registration Required

The University of Vermont will host prominent Amazonian archaeology scholar Michael Heckenberger for the annual James B. Petersen memorial lecture. This is the first lecture of a two part annual series to honor Vermont’s celebrated archaeologist Jim Petersen.

UVM Petersen Lecture Pt. 2

Thursday, September 24th, 7:00 PM
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405
Free, No Pre-registration Required

The University of Vermont will host prominent Amazonian archaeology scholar Eduardo Neves for the annual James B. Petersen memorial lecture. This is the second lecture of a two part annual series to honor Vermont’s celebrated archaeologist Jim Petersen.

Seeds of Renewal Lecture

Thursday, September 24th, 5:30-7:00 PM
Intervale Center Community Barn
180 Intervale Road
Burlington, VT 05401
Free, No Pre-registration Required

In 2011, the "Seeds of Renewal Project" developed a strategy to recover the produce raised and consumed by the Vermont Abenaki and their Indigenous relatives.  Join Professor Frederick M. Wiseman, as he shares his tireless quest to discover ancient local crops from 17th-19th century written documents and modern Indigenous oral history; the daunting task of tracking down existing seed sources as far away as Manitoba and Colorado; and the sometimes frustrating labor in bringing the precious seeds to their first harvests in their ancient homeland. Working diligently with Native gardeners in Western New Hampshire, the Project successfully brought back many of these lost crops from near extinction and are actively distributing them to Indian Reservations communities and individuals that have lost their heirloom crops. In the near future, it is expected that these ancient crops will find an important place in the regional fare of Northern New England, but shared in ways that respect Native communities and their traditions. This illustrated presentation will be supplemented by examples of the crops, and displays of the techniques used to raise and store the seeds.

Lower Waterford, Then and Now

Saturday, September 26th, 9:30 AM
Davies Memorial Library
111 Lower Waterford Road
Waterford, VT 05848
Free, No Pre-registration Required

The Waterford Historical Society is sponsoring a guided walk around Lower Waterford Village. See evidence of the past and learn how the "White Village" has changed over time using images from the past century and local records. Meet at the Davies Memorial Library, rain or shine. The walk covers a little more than a mile. If it rains, a discussion will be held in the library. For more information, call 802-748-4609.

Archeology Day at the Montshire

Saturday, September 26th, 10:30 AM-4:30 PM
Montshire Museum of Science
One Montshire Road
Norwich, VT 05055
Free with Admission, No Pre-registration Required

How did Vermonters live in the past? What tools did they use and how did they make them? What was going on in the Upper Connecticut River Valley during the last 12,500 years? Find out for yourself at Archaeology Day—a day-long celebration of us—the humans!

Hike into History

Sunday, September 27th, 1:00-3:00 PM
Mount Independence State Historic Site
497 Mount Independence Road
Orwell, Vermont 05760
Free with Admission, No Pre-registration Required

Stephen Zeoli will use the historic Wintersmith map as a guide for exploring Mount Independence as it was in the summer of 1777. Discover sites shown on the map that still have traces to be seen today and see some Revolutionary constructions not documented by Wintersmith.

Points of Interest: Lake Champlain Bridge Guided Walk

Sunday, September 27th, 1:00-3:00 PM
Chimney Point State Historic Site
8149 VT Route 17W
Addison, VT 05491
$6.00 for adults, Free for children under 15, No Pre-registration Required

Learn the history of what surrounds you while walking across the new Lake Champlain Bridge! Friends of Crown Point, NY, board member Tom Hughes and Chimney Point site administrator Elsa Gilbertson will lead this guided walk.  Meet at the Crown Point, NY, museum. Binoculars are welcome. Rain or shine, dress for the weather.

Historic Silver Lake Hike and Talk

Sunday, September 27th, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM
Silver Lake
Leicester, VT 05769
Meet at the public parking lot (Silver Lake trailhead) on Rte. 53, south of Branbury State Park.
Free, No Pre-registration Required

Researcher & author Bill Powers and retired GMNF archaeologist Dave Lacy will lead a hike to Silver Lake where they will discuss the history and archaeology of the area, including and highlighting the story of the 19th century settlement, and development of a popular hotel on the lake shore. Bill will be armed with a collection of historic photographs and copies of his book about Silver Lake. It is a 1.5 mile walk, mostly uphill, to Silver Lake. Please bring water, lunch, appropriate walking shoes, and bug dope/sunscreen if desired.

Project Archaeology Teacher Training

Monday, September 28th, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM; Tuesday, September 29th, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
Vermont Archaeology Heritage Center
60 Washington St.
Barre, VT 05641
Please contact Scott McLaughlin at director@vtgranitemuseum.org for details, information, and pre-registration

Scott McLaughlin and Jess Robinson will host a workshop for teachers hoping to integrate archaeology into their teaching curriculum.

-school events booked by appointment-

Vermont Historic Sites Educational Field Trip - Chimney Point

Wednesday-Sunday until Columbus Day, 9:30 AM-5:30 PM
Chimney Point State Historic Site
8149 VT Route 17W
Addison, VT 05491
$1/Student, Call 802-759-2412 to register

Bring your students to the museum of Vermont’s Native American, French, & early American heritage on the shores of Lake Champlain at the base of the new Lake Champlain Bridge. Get a hands-on introduction to archaeology while exploring Native American exhibits, handling pre-contact stone tools, and discovering how artifacts were made and used.

Field Trip Highlights:

  • 9,000 years of Vermont history, including the Native American, French, and early American history of region.
  • Site of 1731 French fort
  • Hands-on artifact activities & short interpretive films
  • Champlain: The Lake Between film
  • Interpretive walks on the new Lake Champlain Bridge
  • Picnic tables in a scenic setting
  • Museum shop with books & resources

Vermont Historic Sites Educational Field Trip - Hubbardton Battlefield

Thursday-Sunday until Columbus Day, 9:30 AM-5:30 PM
Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site
5696 Monument Hill Road
Hubbardton, VT 05735
$1/Student, Call 802-273-2282 to register

Bring your students to the site of the only Revolutionary War battle fought in Vermont on July 7, 1777.  Explore the battle and battlefield through a guided walk and presentation by our lively site interpreter.

Field Trip Highlights:

  • Orientation to Hubbardton Battlefield
  • Follow the action on a large-scale fiber optic narrated map
  • See the area described in The Captive of Pittsford Ridge by Janet Ovecka
  • Picnic tables
  • Museum shop with books and resources

Vermont Historic Sites Educational Field Trip - Mount Independence

Daily until Columbus Day, 9:30 AM-5:30 PM
Mount Independence State Historic Site
497 Mount Independence Road
Orwell, Vermont 05760
$1/Student, Call 802-948-2000 to register

Bring your students to the site of a major Revolutionary War fortress built in 1776-77 on Lake Champlain to defend the lake and New England against British invasion from Canada. Learn about the past of Mount Independence while handling real & replica Revolutionary War artifacts and examining archaeological clues left behind by soldiers and other inhabitants.

Field Trip Highlights:

  • Orientation to Mount Independence & American Revolution
  • Short Introductory film
  • Hands-on artifact activities
  • “Talking soldiers”, cannon and other recovered artifacts
  • Six miles of trails winding past archeological remains of Revolutionary War fortifications. (the Baldwin Trail is an easy walk and has colorful interpretive signage, outdoor handicapped accessibility)
  • Educational lending kit with artifacts & other resources
  • Picnic tables with scenic views
  • Museum shop with books and resources

Email us at ACCD.ArchaeologyCenter@state.vt.us for a free booklet on Vermont archaeology!

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