Five Walks Through Montpelier VT: Tour #3 - The Elm Street Mini Loop

Jails, Bakers, and Civic Drama

Five Walks Through Montpelier VT: Tour #3 - The Elm Street Mini Loop

Montpelier, Vermont 05602, United States

Created By: Kiltumper Close Press

Tour Information

Welcome to Tour #3 in the Walking Tours for Montpelier, VT series. This time, we’ll be starting from the Court House at the corner of Elm and State Streets. I’ve called this tour the mini-loop because a little farther up Elm Street it takes a right turn at School Street, another onto Main, and one more onto Langdon Street, which will bring you back to the Court House vicinity to complete the loop. The tour after this one is a larger loop that continues straight up Elm and connects with Main Street farther up. You don’t have to remember all that, so don’t worry. I’ll give you the signal when we reach the spot where you can decide to either stay with the mini-loop or switch to the bigger loop and really stretch your legs.
Now, we’ll get started by walking up Elm Street from State Street to our first stop, which is on the sidewalk near the fancy-looking brick building that shares a parking lot with the court house.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

You might think this quaint-looking, Queen Anne-style building was designed to be the residence of some wealthy Montpelier family, but in fact it was purpose-built in 1900 as a jail house. It was an early example of a pre-fabricated kit, ob... Read more
This area now known as Jailhouse Common is the site of Montpelier’s first settlement – a modest log cabin built in 1787 where Jacob and Rebecca Davis and their sons first lived. They were generous with their hospitality, putting up mult... Read more
Laura Cutler was born in 1851 on a farm in East Montpelier, which is a few miles outside of town. Whether she had other suitors in her early 20s is unknown, but we do know that sometime in the 1870s her father took on a hired hand named Jam... Read more
That does it for jail talk. We're going to continue up Elm Street, but before we start cross the street for a look at the house on the corner of Elm and Langdon streets. It was built in the 1850s by James Langdon, who I mentioned in the las... Read more
This building had a bar in it for many years starting in the 1950s, but then in the early 80s, a new business moved in that had the townsfolk intrigued. It was called the Blue Heron Hot Tub Spa. They seem ubiquitous now, but in the 80s hot ... Read more
Here, where Elm and School Streets intersect, is a brick building that’s had a corner store in it for as long as anyone can remember, and that’s going back to the 1800s. On the diagonal corner is a house set on a slope with several flig... Read more
In the early 1990s, this bridge became the first structure in the city to be named after a woman. The VT Legislature renamed it the Rose Lucia Bridge. It honored the Vermont teacher, principal and supervisor of local schools who lived most ... Read more
At this intersection, we have in our sights all four of the church spires that are a major feature of the scenic hilltop view I spoke about earlier. As you face the library, to the left is the Trinity Methodist. You may want to capture a ph... Read more
The Unitarian Church is on the site of the first tavern and inn in Montpelier, operated in the 1790s by none other than the ubiquitous Davis family. It became known as the Union House, and several versions of this accommodation literally we... Read more
The saga of Montpelier’s public library begins in the waning months of 1889 in a fashionable neighborhood of New York City, where Martin Kellogg, a Barre VT native who’d struck it rich in the real estate market, suddenly dropped dead of... Read more
We have arrived at the home of Manghi’s Bread, which opened in Montpelier in 1981. With the explosion of the local food movement over the past few decades, we are spoiled for choice in Central Vermont when it comes to homemade bread, but ... Read more
Before leaving this area, I can’t resist giving a shout-out to the large white house next door and my own family’s roots. Established in 1921, the Guare & Sons Funeral Home is the oldest family-owned business in Montpelier that is s... Read more
This building was at one time the home of the New England Culinary Institute's restaurant, where diners could get a bird’s-eye view of the culinary students learning their craft. The Food Network's celebrity Alton Brown graduated from NEC... Read more
If I say the words “cracker barrel”, it might make you think of that family-friendly restaurant chain that has an outpost off highway exits all over America. But at one time the meaning was a literal one. There were actual barrels fille... Read more


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