breakenridge

A scene from the Breakenridge Stand-off re-enactment in 2021 that marked the 250th anniversary of the historic encounter. Another event is scheduled for July 17 in North Bennington.

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NORTH BENNINGTON — Plans are underway for the second annual Breakenridge Stand-Off / Birthplace of Vermont Day.

According to organizer Bob Hoar, the event will be held at the Henry House near the Henry Bridge in North Bennington — site of the historic 1771 encounter between early Vermonters and “Yorkers” seeking to evict residents from their farms.

The event is scheduled for Sunday, July 17, from 2 to 4 p.m., and will include an informal walking tour of the historic locations. Hoar will be the featured speaker, and Matt Harris, formerly of Bennington, now Hancock N.H., will play fiddle music.

Other contributors include Charles Dewey, Tyler Resch, GVH studios and the Shaftsbury Historical Society.

Hoar said the organizers are welcoming participation by craft beverage or other vendors for the event, which marks the 251st anniversary of the 1771 Breakenridge Stand-Off at the bridge.

Participation by historical societies or similar groups from around the region are also encouraged, as was the case for the inaugural event last July, marking the 250th anniversary.

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For more information, contact Hoar at 802-442-6779 or the Henry House on Murphy Road.

The Breakenridge Stand-Of occurred in July 1771 when local farmers faced off against officials from New York who came to enforce rival land claims and evict those — including James Breakenridge — who had established farms in what is now the Bennington area.

A New York sheriff’s posse of about 300 from the then-British colony of New York was confronted by about 250 members of the emerging Green Mountain Boys militia at Henry Bridge. The stand-off ended without bloodshed but the New York group backed off from their objective.

The event is credited with spurring settlers to begin imagining a separate entity that came to be called Vermont.

A monument erected in 1927 at the Breakenridge home site on Murphy Road commemorates the stand-off and calls the event the “Birthplace of Vermont.”

Jim Therrien writes for Vermont News and Media, including the Bennington Banner, Manchester Journal and Brattleboro Reformer. Email jtherrien@benningtonbanner.com

Reporter/editor

Jim Therrien reports for the three Vermont News and Media newspapers in Southern Vermont. He previously worked as a reporter and editor at the Berkshire Eagle, the Bennington Banner, the Springfield Republican, and the former North Adams Transcript.


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