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A Level and Easy Walk - Review by Kathleen M | Downtown Bennington Walking Tour

Downtown Bennington Walking Tour

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A Level and Easy Walk 10/1/2006

The town of Bennington, Vermont, offers two walking tours. Each is approximately 1 1/2 miles long. The first sticks to the streets of downtown Bennington and thus stays on relatively level ground. There are ten points of interest on this tour. I believe you can still get a brochure at the Chamber of Commerce. St. Francis De Sales Church - The first St. Francis De Sales Church building was built in 1854 and was the first Catholic church in southern Vermont. This beautiful gothic-looking sanctuary was built in the 1890s. Putnam House Hotel - Originally built in 1873 as a gentleman's club, this huge brick building has served many purposes in the many years since. Bennington County Courthouse - Not built until 1936, this building looks much older than it actually is. That's because it was built to the exact specifications as the original courthouse, which burned in 1869. Old Blacksmith Shop - Built in 1833, this huge stone building was used as a blacksmith and wagon shop until about 1912. Like Putnam House, it has also served many purposes since then. Bennington Police Station - This old stone building was built in 1916. Old Stone Mill - Look for the sign with history about the textile mills in Bennington. Earl's Service Station - Still owned by the same family that built this business in the 1950s. Bennington Potter's Yard - Presently houses Bennington Potters factory and store. Blue Benn Diner - A restaurant where you can order and eat food, this diner is housed in an old railroad dining car. Henry Bradford/Holden-Leonard Mill - This humongous old mill was originally built in 1865 to make paisley shawls. I didn't even realize paisley shawls had ever been that popular! As the market for them dwindled, this old brick building was used to manufacture many other products. Today, it has been refurbished and is a business center. We really enjoyed our tour of the downtown Bennington area, especially in the crisp fall air. more
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