Old Round Church – light or heavy?


The Old Round Church in Richmond, Vermont was built in 1813 and has a simplistic 16-sided, Federal-style structure meant to transmit a feeling of lightness, according to a Richmond Historical Society brochure.

From the outside, the bell shape seemed oddly heavy to me, though.

Inside, individual box pews were the property of local families who purchased them to raise money for the interdenominational church. The pews are closed in to conserve the heat of hot stones brought in by early parishioners – a primitive kind of heating system.


A boutique, Norman Rockwell state

Vermont is a cute, boutique kind of state. There are 621,000 residents — less than in many big cities.
Montpelier, the capitol, has just over 8,000, while Burlington, the largest city, has less than 39,000.


But even in Montpelier, there is a respectable amount of traffic on weekdays and vacant metered parking spots are hard to come by.

People cross the street in the rain with brief cases and umbrellas.

They attend school in striped sweaters and leg warmers amid drifting colored leaves.


Crime isn't a serious problem. In 2008, there were 197 reported forcible sex crimes, 17 murder victims and 2,823 drug-related crimes tallied.

Norman Rockwell, whose images have certainly influenced my all-American road trip, lived in Arlington, Vermont for several years and drew characters based on its townsfolk.

Ironically, I find Vermonters exude a sort of 'Canadianness.'
As soon as I arrived, I found myself formulating cliche mental phrases in French.
Later, I saw a couple highway signs with French words and metric distances.

I visited a maple syrup farm near Montpelier that was run by a character of a man. In an introductory video, he cusses and refers to himself as a "Yankee."

They call the building they steam the sap in the "sugar shack." The farm is surrounded by brilliant shaded leaves now, but soon will be blanketed in snow.