Stan Amster Photography – Scenic and Commercial Photography in Northern New England.

Vermont

Hillside Acres Farm in West Barnet Vermont

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I took some summer pictures of this farm about 10 years ago. Naturally, During our heat wave, I decided to go out and re-shoot this farm. (YES. We do have heat waves in Vermont and they suck).

Middlebury Falls in Middlebury Vermont

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Middlebury Falls is an impressively broad waterfall along Otter Creek located in downtown Middlebury Vermont. The falls plunge only 18 feet over an undercut shelf, but stretch 170 feet across and during periods of higher flow the river will overwhelm the entire cliff face, while during the summer and early autumn months it may segment into two or three distinct channels. Remnants of a small millrace on the right side of the falls are also visible, with a small portion of the creek being diverted through, though not nearly enough to impact the volume of water actually flowing over the falls.

 

Despite being an urban waterfall, found right in the center of the town of Middlebury, the development around the falls doesn’t detract from the scene quite as much as one might otherwise assume at first glance, and the city has done a great job at both embracing the falls and providing multiple public open spaces with views of the falls. A long metal footbridge spans Otter Creek downstream from the falls and provides interesting views through a grove of trees adjacent to the old mill race, and a nice park with ample open space on the north side of the stream allows for airy, unobstructed views of the whole falls.

Picture perfect day in Peacham Vermont

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I thought I would get out on a picture perfect day and head over to Peacham and a few other places in the NEK. The weather was perfect.

In 1763, Governor Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire gave a charter for the region to a group of proprietors, and the town was given the name Peacham (the etymology of the name is unclear). The original proprietors were speculators who surveyed the town, laid a few rudimentary roads, and divided it into lots, though the territory remained unsettled for some time.

 

In 1775, settlers, primarily from Connecticut and Massachusetts, bought the lots and built homes, developing the land for agriculture. The original settlers survived almost entirely through subsistence farming despite the long winters, hilly terrain, and rocky soil. Nine years later, records show a population of approximately 200 people. The first recorded town meeting took place in 1784, and selectmen were duly elected to govern the affairs of the town. Peacham was early on presented with a choice of having either the county courthouse or the county school, and the residents voted for the school. In 1795 the Caledonia County Grammar School received its charter, and the first school was established in a log structure on the Bayley Hazen Road, halfway between Peacham Corner and South Peacham.

 

In 1799, a library was established, which traveled from store to store. A congregational church was founded in 1794 – the first pastor, Leonard Worcester, was well known for his fiery sermons. His son Samuel went on to be an important missionary to the Cherokee people, creating the first typeface for the Cherokee alphabet and gaining lasting fame as the plaintiff in the supreme court case Worcester v. Georgia.

The Old Dairy Barn at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne Vermont

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This may be the last known picture of the barn. Sadly, on Sept. 11, 2016, lightning from the storm struck the Old Dairy Barn and  it burned to the ground.

The thunderstorm that rolled through Shelburne on Sunday morning may have woken many from a sound sleep, but it had a far more devastating impact at Shelburne Farms. At about 5:30am, on Sept. 11, 2016, lightning from the storm struck the Old Dairy Barn on the Southern Acres portion of the property. First responders and firefighters arrived on the scene slightly after 7am. By 9:30am, the building was ash and charred wood, and a National Historic Landmark had

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