Vermont Humanities

Before Your Time: Princes and Free Men

It’s well-known that Vermont is one of the whitest states in the Union. And so the stories of African American Vermonters can sometimes get forgotten, no matter how important they have been to our state’s and our nation’s history.

Jose before barbed wire fence by Marek Bennett

Before Your Time: After the Crossing

Many different groups of people, from many different continents, have helped build our state. But from the 19th century through 2019, the stories of immigrants have largely been excluded from the popular image of Vermont.

Ryan Newswanger with Glenn Eames and old bike

Before Your Time: Green Mountain Grab Bag

It’s a shame that some of the things we record get edited out of our stories. So here’s an episode of lost clips: bike whistles, pewter purists, halfway houses on the border, needlework, and the grave of “Vermont’s Donald Trump.”

Proud not Cowed T-shirt

Before Your Time: A Place for Us

Queer lives and queer histories in Vermont were often kept private for good reason: the fear of losing one’s job, home, or family. The fear of violence. But it’s important to know that LGBTQ people are here, have always been here, and are part of the state’s history.

Woman with horse and Kendalls Spavin Cure pennant

Before Your Time: Herbs and Remedies

It can seem like every town in Vermont once had a pharmacist brewing their own special blend of medicine. Some of these cures were derived from herbal folk remedies. Others were created from a lot of alcohol, some food coloring, and a pinch of carefully honed hokum.

Image of Madeline Kunin press conference

Before Your Time: The Power of the Press

A massive wooden printing press made in the mid-17th century has a place of pride in the Vermont History Museum, and not just because it’s old. It represents both the history of written law in the state, and the crucial role that journalism—the press—plays in a democracy.

Image of Dimetrodon building

Before Your Time: Built To Last

Plenty of Vermont’s historic buildings are traditional homes, churches, and meeting houses. But as the state changed in the 20th century, its architecture did too. Now experts are looking more closely at buildings that look nothing like what came before.

Image of Bobby Dragon with checkered flag

Before Your Time: Anything for Speed

People have raced cars in the Green Mountains since 1903. There were racetracks in every corner of the state: at fairgrounds, in farmers’ back fields, and finally at dozens of dedicated racetracks. Thousands of Vermonters have been drivers, mechanics, track officials, and spectators at those tracks over the past 115 years.

Image of WWI soldiers marching

Before Your Time: Coming Home from the Great War

More than 600 Vermonters died overseas fighting in World War I. But thousands more brought their unique experiences of battle back to their home state.

Image of stone urn atop tombstone

Before Your Time: Tales Behind the Tombstones

Many of Vermont’s cemeteries date back multiple centuries. They’re filled with worn-down stones that may only offer glimpses of the personal histories of the dead. But these cemeteries still hold lessons for the people who visit them today.