Vermont: The Green Mountain State
Geography and Industry
Bordered on two sides by large bodies of fresh water, Vermont shares its western border with New York (where Lake Champlain forms part of the boundary), and its eastern border with New Hampshire (where the Connecticut River marks the entire boundary line). The Canadian province of Quebec is north of Vermont, and Massachusetts lies to the south. Vermont is a very mountainous state. Vermont's Green Mountains are some of the most rugged country in the eastern United States.
Unlike the other New England states, Vermont has a strong agricultural base. This is especially true when it comes to dairy products. Vermont's milk and cheese are world famous — as is Vermont ice cream! (Ben & Jerry's is a Vermont company.) Apples and maple syrup are also important agricultural products that come from Vermont.
Vermont has a reputation for producing high-quality marble. While New Hampshire marble was valuable in building early skyscrapers and millionaires' mansions, Vermont marble comes in so many varieties that it is highly prized as a finishing product (as in marble tile for bathrooms) and as a medium for sculpture.
ALL ABOUT Vermont
LARGEST CITY: Burlington
POPULATION: 608,827 (2000 Census)
STATE BIRD: Hermit Thrush
STATE TREE: Sugar Maple
STATE FLOWER: Red Clover
STATE MOTTO: “Freedom and Unity”
STATEHOOD: March 4, 1791
POSTAL ABBREVIATION: VT
Vermont's contribution to the Patriot cause during the American Revolution can be traced back to the very beginning of the war for independence. On May 10, 1775, Vermont militiamen (the famous Green Mountain Boys) under the command of Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold seized Fort Ticonderoga (which controlled access to all of Lake Champlain) in the name of the new Continental Congress. They did so without firing a shot, taking the British garrison there completely by surprise during an early morning raid.
During the decades leading up to the American Revolution, three different English colonies (New York, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts Bay) claimed the area now known as the state of Vermont as part of their own territories. As a result of their inability to settle their differences over Vermont, these three colonies blocked Vermont's attempts to join the United States as a new state during the late 1770s.
In response to this dilemma, Vermont declared itself an independent state. The state's government coined its own money, appointed ambassadors, set up a postal system, and did all the everyday functions of an independent government until finally allowed to join the Union as the first state that had not previously been an English colony (and the fourteenth state overall).
Vermont's granite and marble quarries produce some of the most distinctive building stone in the world. Vermont marble in particular is thought to rival Italian marble in its beauty.