Royalton

by Susan Abbott
If it be necessary to startle the reader into an appreciation of Vermont's place in education, I can bring up the fact that the state has contributed two important factors--that it "invented" the professionally prepared teacher and the school blackboard. What school could operate today without such essentials?...Charles Edward Crane


I drove into Royalton last week (South Royalton, strictly speaking, which along with North Royalton and Royalton Village make up the town of Royalton, in true confusing Vermont fashion) on my meandering way home from an errand. "I have to get that blog going again!", I remonstrated to myself as I was driving the byways of my beautiful state, and myself answered, "Yes, get on with it!"--which I am happy to be now doing.

In looking up the history of Royalton, I came on this information: "The Vermont Charter reserved five lots of land: one each to support a seminary or college, a County Grammer School, the settlement of a Minister of the Gospel, churches in town, and town schools...58 Proprietors had to plant and cultivate five acres of land and construct a house of at least Eighteen feet square on each share of land or the land would revert to the Freemen of the State..it also reserved, for the benefit of the state, all pine timber suitable for a navy."

So I wonder what the patriotic Americans of today, who fight every tax and government decree, think about this town charter of our founding fathers? It certainly put the good of the many above the profit of the few. Something to ponder upon, no?

Also worth pondering is South Royalton's interesting Queen Anne architecture, and spacious town green with gazebo, memorial arch, and Civil War soldier. Fronting the green is a substantial brick business block, where a hungry wayfarer or peckish law student can find an ice cream parlor, bar and grill, or natural foods coop.

South Royalton is the only town in Vermont that needs to cater to the sensitive stomachs of law students, as it's the only town with a law school. Fittingly for our state, Vermont Law School is ranked as having the best environmental law program in the country.

South Royalton also has a very nice train station, and Amtrak's Vermonter still runs by. VLS students also run by the train station on their way to happy hour at the Crossroads Bar and Grill (as one law student wrote on the bar's website, "the scar on my left knee from tripping over the train tracks to get to your doors will forever remind me of all the good, the bad, the ugly times had therein...")



I need to get back to Royalton soon, both to have a beer at the Crossroads, and to take a look at the other two parts of town. But if I am going to keep this blog going, I need to move on up Route 14 while I still have some gas in my tank, and some light in the Vermont summer sky...