Vermont is Home to an Abandoned Town Most People Don’t Know About

Vermont is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, charming villages, and storied history. However, hidden within the Green Mountain State lies a ghost town known as Glastenbury, a once-thriving logging and mining community now abandoned and largely overlooked.

The Ascent and Descent of Glastenbury

Established in the late 18th century, Glastenbury derived its name from the English town of Glastonbury. Nestled in the southwest corner of Vermont, near the borders of Massachusetts and New York, the town flourished with a peak population of approximately 240 residents in the 1870s. The advent of the railroad brought prosperity, fostering logging and mining activities. Glastenbury boasted sawmills, a gristmill, a hotel, a school, a church, and a post office.

However, this prosperity proved fleeting. The railroad ceased operations in 1898, and the logging and mining industries waned. Challenged by poor and rocky soil, farming became arduous. The town faced multiple challenges, including fires, floods, and landslides that damaged its infrastructure and structures. By 1930, Glastenbury’s population dwindled to just seven individuals. In 1937, the town was officially unincorporated, becoming part of the Bennington County unorganized territory.

The Enigma and Legends of Glastenbury

Glastenbury’s abandonment marked the beginning of its mysterious narrative. The town became the focal point of various legends, myths, and enigmas. Some believe Glastenbury is cursed, haunted, or protected by supernatural forces, with peculiar phenomena linked to the area:

  • Bennington Triangle: Coined by author Joseph A. Citro, this term encompasses a region in Vermont where people have gone missing or died under mysterious circumstances. Glastenbury and its surrounding mountains, forests, and trails are part of this zone, featuring cases like the disappearance of Paula Welden in 1946, James Tedford in 1949, and the death of John Harbour in 1950.
  • Glastenbury Monster: A creature resembling Bigfoot or Sasquatch has been reported in the woods near Glastenbury. Described as a large, hairy, ape-like being that walks on two legs and emits a foul odor, it was first reported in 1892 when loggers claimed an attack. Sightings persisted through the 20th century.
    Eerie Sounds: Visitors have reported experiencing strange noises like voices, music, laughter, screams, or gunshots with an unsettling feeling of being watched. Some attribute these sounds to the ghosts of former residents, while others suggest natural or atmospheric causes.

The Exploration and Conservation of Glastenbury

Despite its isolation and mysterious reputation, Glastenbury continues to draw curious visitors interested in its history and intrigue. Accessible via hiking trails such as the Long Trail and the West Ridge Trail, the town’s remnants are scattered across the forest, featuring foundations, cellar holes, stone walls, and cemeteries. Some landmarks, like the hotel and the church, have been completely destroyed or removed.

Glastenbury is part of the Green Mountain National Forest, enjoying protection under federal laws and regulations. The forest service strives to preserve the town’s natural and cultural resources, offering recreational opportunities while cautioning visitors to respect its history, environment, and potential hazards.

Glastenbury is a town faded from most memories but not from all. It harbors a captivating and mysterious past, and its present continues to evoke wonder and mystery. A town inviting exploration of its secrets while urging respect for its solitude, Glastenbury remains home to a forgotten history that most remain unaware of.

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