Shaftsbury is one of the main towns of Bennington County, and it lies in the west central part of Bennington County. Shaftsbury is bounded by Arlington on the north, Glastenbury on the east, Bennington on the south, and White Creek on the west. The town of Shaftsbury includes the regions of Shaftsbury, Shaftsbury Center, and South Shaftsbury
This township lies between the Battenkill and Walloomsac rivers. The soil of the area is generally of a good quality. The area of Shaftsbury borders Bennington and New York State. Shaftsbury is at approximately a one-hour drive from Albany, NY and Pittsfield, MA.
The people of Shaftsbury are very good in their nature, soft-spoken, and hard working, and the composition of Robert Frost “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening;” truly depicts the nature of the natives. Robert Frost once owned a house here and loved to visit Shaftsbury, enjoying its calmness and beauty.
The area of Shaftsbury has retained its rural and rustic atmosphere, and visitors can enjoy the beauty of the nature to the fullest extend. Vermont’s Green Mountains are visible from here, and it is well known place in the United States for the visitors to travel here in early October during fall foliage to enjoy the wondrous colors.
History of Shaftsbury
Shaftsbury was chartered on August 20, 1761 and was awarded 23,040 acres of land, in 66 shares. The shares also included one for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, one for the Church of England, one for the first settled minister, and one for the benefit of a school. The very first meeting of the Proprietors of the Town of Shaftsbury was held in Bennington on March 9, 1762, but it took around 3 years for the meeting to take place in Shaftsbury itself!
As the town grew, the first product that was sold to somebody was developed: it was the manufacture of salts, which was made by burning hardwood trees to ashes. By the year of 1825, 728 “scholars” were in Shaftsbury schools, and the number increased to 774 in 7 years. And as the scholars of the area grew, so did the development of the town!
Farming was a mainstay for residents in Shaftsbury during the last century; however, in the next century, farming declined and there are fewer than a half dozen working farms in town now-a-days! The same happened with the industrial base of the town. In the 1800’s, the town enjoyed great diversity of small primary industries, but they are extinct now.
Places of Interest in Shaftsbury
Though the town had a stone house, which was once occupied by the great and renowned poet, Robert Frost, there is hardly any historical monument of buildings that you can visit in the town. It is clear that there are not many great historical monuments in the town of Shaftsbury, but the Shaftsbury Lake offer a great State Park, which satisfies almost all the needs of the locals and the visitors as well. The park caters to the needs of children, adults, and old age people beautifully and comprehensively! There are three churches in the town of Shaftsbury, which are soothing to the soul and locals use them as the places of their worship.
- Lake Shaftsbury State Park
Lake Shaftsbury State Park is on an 84-acre park, and it surrounds the Lake Shaftsbury. Though the lake is small in size it offers one of the most picturesque beauties around the region! The history of the area belonged to a private sector that used it as a campground/cabin resort, but it was turned into a national park in 1974. The park, since then, has become one of the most visited-places in southwestern Vermont.
The park offers a wide variety of choices for visitors: There is a fully furnished waterfront cottage in the quietude of the park that allows around 6 visitors to sleep and relax; the lake also offers a group camping area available throughout the year for scouts, church groups, and other organizations. The park also features a full-fledged and developed beach, play area, and picnic area, which is a great place for children as well as for adults and families.
- Shaftsbury Historical Society Museum
The museum is housed in the former Baptist Meeting House, which is actually used for other purposes also, like, religious services and community gatherings. The museum offers photographs, documents, books, hand tools, and items of local history that can provide you enough information about the life that people of the past lived here. Some of the activities of the museum include guided tours, lectures, and historic house tours, which can provide the best information about almost all the aspects of life in Shaftsbury.
Recreation is Shaftsbury
Shaftsbury offers a good variety of outdoor and recreational activities. The rivers and lakes around the area provide one of the best options of canoeing and enjoying the leisure by sitting on the bank on a quiet side.
Camping and hiking is another wonderful option that visitors can enjoy while in Shaftsbury.