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The Bennington Monument (Bennington, Vermont) was built over a period of four years from 1887 to 1891 to commemorate the location of the military stores over which the Battle of Bennington was fought. Standing at 306 feet, the stone monument was the largest monument to war in its time. It is located in the center of historic Bennington, right across the street from the Catamount Tavern, where Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain boys dwelt, and up the street from both Robert Frost’s grave and the Hemming’s Motor News garage.

History


The monument commemorates the American victory over the British during the Revolutionary War in 1777. It sits at the location where an important store for weapons and food were centuries ago. British General Burgoyne and his forces were on there way to New York to fight, when they found out that the military stores at Bennington weren’t under military supervision. The British troops were famished and in much need of the stores. To make sure there would be enough room and food, the British sent warning ahead to the local tavern (war was different back then!) The local tavern, The Catamount Tavern, happened to be the headquarters of Ethan Allen and The Green Mountain Boys (the rooten-tootenist fighting force east of the Mississippi) who were very interested in the news. Forces came in from New Hampshire, and the Rangers of Vermont. The actual battle happened more towards the Vermont-New York border. Needless to say the American forces came out victorious.

The Bennington Monument is basically a scaled down Washington Monument, but much more interesting. The stones that make it up contain numerous fossils that you can touch as you scale the many steps. The last time I went there was on a 7th grade field trip. It was a clear bright day, which was promptly spent lounging on the lush grass that surrounds the monument. To just lay there and think that it was built in 1887; what a feat it is! Growing up in a rural (RURAL!) Vermont town, I couldn’t tell cities apart from each other, except for Bennington. As we drove towards the city the great monument rose up from the mountains. I could tell were we were, for it was my lighthouse.

Recommended

The best times to view the monument would be any sunny clear summer day, for on such a day it is possible to see into New York State from the top. If possible, I highly recommend that you go to the cemetery that is on Monument Ave. and search for Robert Frost’s grave.

Directions


Bennington, VT 05201 (Off Route 7)

Go west on Main St. and turn right on to Monument Avenue. At the top of Monument Avenue. you will see The Bennington Monument. Parking is available at the base of the monument. (or just head towards the huge stone monument!)

    Sources:
  • My 7th grade notes (why did I ever save those?)
  • Sweet Memories

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