Bennington Historical Society to host ‘Route Seven, Then and Now’ talk


BENNINGTON -- On Sunday, Feb. 16 at 2 p.m., the Bennington Historical Society will welcome Ted Bird, who will give a presentation, "Route Seven, Then and Now," in the Ada Paresky Education Center of the Bennington Museum.

Also known as The Ethan Allen Highway, this north-south route along the western border of Vermont has been the main highway for travelers as long as we can remember.

Bird’s presentation will examine this road from Pownal to Manchester.

Images of motels, gift shops, stores, restaurants and other establishments that use to line the road or those that are still there but vastly changed from what is remembered, will be shared with attendees.

Pictures taken of sites in Pownal, Bennington, Shaftsbury, Arlington, Sunderland and Manchester, both current and how they looked in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, and 60s, are included. Even the road has changed as some of old Route 7 is now Route 7A. The relocated Route 7 from Pownal to Pownal Center (built in 1960-1961) and the new Route 7 from Bennington to Manchester (built in the late 70s and early 1980s) is not included.

In the past Bird has given presentations on "Bennington’s Missing Persons," the "Changing Face of Main Street," a look at the Ku Klux Klan in Vermont, and the story of the Bennington Opera House/General Stark Theatre.

The Bennington Historical Society is an affiliate of the Bennington Museum, which is located at 75 Main St. (Route 9), Bennington. Individual membership to the Historical Society is $10 for a year, and a family membership is $15. The museum has the largest public collection of Grandma Moses paintings in the world as well as the largest collection of 19th century Bennington pottery.

The museum re-opens Feb. 14 with newly installed masterworks by Anna Mary Robertson "Grandma’ Moses on view, as well as new works by Paul Feeley, Helen Frankenthaler, and Jules Olitski in the Bennington Modernism Gallery. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students over 18. Admission is not charged for younger students or for visitors to the museum shop and café.

Visit the museum’s website,, or call 802-447-1571 for more information.


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