University of Vermont

South Hero

South Hero, Vermont


Camp, unknown date. Postcard image courtesy of University of Vermont Special Collections.

Historic maps from the late 18th century and much of the 19th century are dotted with mineral springs, which were linked with 19th century tourism. Vermont springs may not have been as grand as those in Saratoga Springs, New York or White Sulphur Springs, Virginia, but their role in the history of tourism in Vermont should not be overlooked. The architecture and landscaping of these mineral spring resorts played an important role in attracting visitors and establishing these springs as a destination with both curative and aesthetic properties. Brochures from Vermont and New York Mineral Springs boast, not only their water's curative properties, but also its pleasant taste, the accommodations, and the beauty of the scenery. Local tourist destinations are mentioned, including transportation options and descriptions of other nearby towns. The brochures often included notes from physicians on the ingredients of the water and testimonials of other visitors. [1]

There is little to no evidence that the mineral spring on the Landon farmstead, appearing on the 1857 Walling Map and the 1871 Beers Atlas Map, was a tourist destination although the Landon family may have lodged visitors for the Iodine Springs, near Keeler's Bay. The spring appears in different locations on each map. The location in 1857 appears to be the center of a pond, near the intersection of Landon Road and East Shore Road, which is approximately three feet deep near the center and does not appear to be seasonal. [2] The other location, marked on the 1871 map, is an area where there is a drainage pipe from the west side of Landon Road, supplying water run off, that has eroded a small feeder brook to a stream that empties into the marsh. [3] The water running across the property has a slight sulphuric odor, and the smell was noticeable in the larger streams and the run off from the high points of the adjacent lands.

There is little evidence of tourism of any kind on the Landon property, but in Vermont, visitors came to escape the heat and congestion of the larger cites. Following the introduction of the automobile into American culture, Vermont farmers opened their homes to visitors who spent the summer, or a few days enjoying the calm beauty of the country life. Picturesque landscapes and quaint villages were advertised in periodicals, offering tourists a chance to get back to the country. Visitors traveled along the roads of Vermont and locals took advantage of the opportunity to make some additional income, setting up roadside stands to provide travelers with food and drink, such as apples and dairy products, as well as souvenirs, such as wool products and other rural products. [4]

Camp, unknown date. Courtesy University of Vermont Special Collections.

The Landon orchards and sheep may have supplied similar products to tourists who frequented the Champlain Islands in the summer months. Formal camps in the area offered summer accommodations for children and youth, such as Eagle Camp on the west shore and Camp Hochelaga on the south shore. Families visiting the area could rent or lease cabins or "camps" for the summer in South Hero. These camps have been seasonal residences for many Vermonters and tourists since the beginning of the 20th century. The camps provided opportunities for local businesses to serve the vacationers and interact at local events. [5]

Shoreline, South Hero, unknown date. Postcard image courtesy University of Vermont Special Collections.

[1] Leroy Wilbur Wood, South Hero in the Garden Spot of Vermont. Providence: Rollinson and Hey, 1923.

[2] H.F. Walling, Map of Chittenden County, Vermont. Boston: Baker, Tilden and Co., 1857.
[3] W.F. Beers, Atlas of Chittenden County, Vermont. Rutland: Charles E. Tuttle Company, Inc., 1971.
[4] Allen L. Stratton, History of the South Hero Island being the Towns of South Hero and Grand Isle Vermont. Volume I, Burlington: Queen City Printers, 1980.
[5] Stratton.

Last modified May 17 2005 05:38 PM

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