You here in Vermont have a priceless heritage-old houses that must not be torn down, and beauty that must not be defiled, roads that must not be cluttered with billboards and hot-dog stands. You are guardians of this priceless heritage...Charles Edward Crane quoting Sinclair Lewis's address to the Barnard rotary club

From Bethel I drove up and down North Road's hills to the center of Barnard, two graceful churches and a forthright general store. I perused these appreciatively from the Route 12 intersection, and then continued south down the Stage Road towards Woodstock.

I didn't know it at the time, but my dirt-covered Toyota had driven past the pristine 300 acres of Twin Farms, a luxury resort that must cater to that 10% of our population holding 70% of our national wealth, since accommodations range up to $3,000. a night. What tickles my fancy is that this property used to belong to leftist critic of the bourgeoisie (remember those novels "Babbitt", "Dodsworth", "Main Street", and "It Can't Happen Here"?) Sinclair Lewis, and his wife, anti-fascist journalist Dorothy Thompson--and you can sleep in "Red's Room" (Nobel Laureate Sinclair's bedroom) for $1,300. a night. The irony is gratis.

I'm glad I didn't find out about Twin Farms until later, as my populist rant would have distracted from enjoying the beauty of Stage Road in twilight.

Barnard facts and figures


  1. WAHOOOOOOOO-- you're back. Thought you'd died.
    I've never heard of Twin Farms! That tells you what percent of the population I'm in. (I think I've dropped a percentage point or two recently! lol)

  2. I'm not certain how I found your blog, but I want to say that I think your paintings are incredible!
    The color is stunning.
    I appreciate your work to paint Vermont. I spent many a childhood vacation driving around absorbing the "atmosphere".

    And the irony of the present use of Twin Farms is...well...ironic.

  3. Leslie, that's a great way to spend a vacation, though I don't know how many kids we could inflict that on today. I myself enjoyed looking dreamily out the backseat window, listening to the occasional front seat squabble about the right turn that was missed two miles back.

    Yes, Clair, I am back and have many a mile to go before I reach the next town-oh (that's a Burl Ives quote, balladeer of the lower 99 percent of income distribution in the 1940's. Fun fact: as a young man Ives was jailed in Mona, Utah, for vagrancy and for singing “Foggy Foggy Dew,” which the authorities decided was a bawdy song.)