Decades of Art Deco: The Latchis Theatre Through The Years

You could snap a pic at the Latchis Theatre, throw on a vintage filter, and walk away with an Instagram-worthy shot that could pass for a 1938 throwback. We’re proud of our timeless Art Deco aesthetic, but make no mistake — we’ve come a long way in 80 years. From resilient recoveries to remarkable renovations, The Latchis has not only survived, but thrived against the test of time.

DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, & GRAND OPENING

The Latchis was built during the height of the Art Deco movement. Greek sculptures, friezes, and hand-painted mythic murals make up some of the Art Deco decor that adorns The Latchis to this day. Since fire was an ever-present danger in the 1930s, architect Steven Haynes used steel, concrete, and glass while laying down the terrazzo floors.

After a two-week delay following the Great New England Hurricane of 1938, the Latchis Memorial Building and its state-of-the-art theatres opened on October 6th in an extravagant gala event. The Main Theatre was built with a balcony, stage, and oversized screen (that’s right, the same trio you see today).

65 YEARS & A NEW GENERATION

The Latchis Theatre remained successful as a business throughout and until the ‘60s. It served as a diversion during the events of World War II, and survived a television boom that came late to Brattleboro — the first TV sets didn’t arrive in town until the mid-1950s. The rise of drive-in theatres, an oil crisis that made the theatre impossible to heat, and multiple fires at other Latchis family theatres contributed to the Latchis Theatre’s decline during the ‘70s. When Spero Latchis took over the building from his father in 1985, the theatre was at its lowest point.

Spero and his future wife, Elizabeth, embarked on a last-ditch project to save the business.  It involved renovating the hotel room by room, and later hallway by hallway, as hotel occupancy grew and profits finally started to rise. Spero Latchis also took on a loan to build a second theatre screen that replaced the old ballroom on the upstairs level.

THE LIGHT IN OUR STARS: 2013 RENOVATIONS

In the late summer of 2013, The Latchis underwent major renovations to restore the theatre to its 1938 glory. The seating in the Main Theatre was replaced and the famed Zodiac ceiling was restored with new balsa wood pieces and an enhanced “starry night” effect that swapped light bulbs with LED lighting to illuminate the heavens above. Ramps in the lobby and elevator upgrades were also included in the project, bringing The Latchis up to code for ADA accessibility guidelines.

The 2013 renovations were substantial, but not just because of the polished aesthetic and improved functionality of The Latchis. The nature of the project left a huge mark — funding for the $550,000 renovations was entirely community-powered through grants and donations.

The Latchis Theatre, a historic Art Deco theatre in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Photo: Wayne Fawbush.

LOOKING AHEAD AND STAYING TRUE

We can’t predict what the future will hold, but some things will never change. As one of only two genuine Art Deco buildings left in Vermont, the Latchis Theatre continues to serve its original purpose: as a place to gather, celebrate, and enjoy the latest in cinema in a building as storied as the feature films it shows.

Green Mountain Cone Zones: 4 Amazing Ice Cream Parlors in Southern Vermont

Maple syrup isn’t Vermont’s sole claim to dessert fame — farm-fresh ingredients and picturesque mountain backdrops make southern Vermont an ice cream lover’s paradise. Non-natives, keep in mind, however: what you call soft serve, we call creemees. Once you get used to our vocab, fulfill your ice cream dreams at these ice cream parlors in southern Vermont.

1. THE CREEMEE STAND (WILMINGTON)

Located right off Route 100, locals and visitors have been frequenting Wilmington for over 15 years to get a taste of the Creemee Stand’s rich, flavorful cones. For the full-fledged Vermont experience, try one of their signature maple creemees, made with pure Vermont maple syrup from Wilmington-area sugar houses.

2. WALPOLE CREAMERY (KEENE, NH)

Don’t think we’re cheating on our beloved Green Mountain State — the Walpole Creamery in Keene, New Hampshire is worth a trip across the border. With a “super premium” product that has 70% less overrun (that’s air to you and me) than your standard grade of ice cream, you’d be hard-pressed to find a creamier scoop in the area.

3. HIDDEN SPRINGS MAPLE (PUTNEY, VT)

If you want authentic Vermont, you’d be best off heading straight for the source. Hidden Springs Maple is a family farm that offers only the finest organic maple syrup around, and, with it, maple creemees that are legen-dairy in southern Vermont.

4. CHELSEA ROYAL DINER (WEST BRATTLEBORO)

Photo: Cathy Stanley-Erickson / Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0.

If you’ve grown tired of chocolate and vanilla, take a short ride over to the Chelsea Royal Diner’s Royal Madness Ice Cream Stand for a scoop of Cherry Remy, Toasted Coconut, or Rum Raisin. Pro tip: homemade ice cream goes best after a meal of homestyle french fries and local, grass-fed beef. (Hint, hint.)

Here at The Latchis, we, too, scream for ice cream — and it’s just one of many reasons to fall in love with southern Vermont. After all, a scoop is best served after a day of hiking, biking, or relishing in those breathtaking mountain views.

Across the Border: New Hampshire Day Trip Ideas

Don’t get us wrong — we bleed maple syrup here in the Green Mountains, but we have to give credit where it’s due. Art museums, specialty shops, and riverside trails make it easy to grow a soft spot for Keene, New Hampshire. Just thirty minutes away from The Latchis, the Elm City is a perfect day trip destination for everyone from art enthusiasts to nature lovers.

Keene is the perfect town for a New Hampshire day trip from Vermont.
Photo: Doug Kerr / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0.

For The Shopaholic

Specialty shops run rampant in Keene’s central square. Seek out some good reads at Toadstool Bookshop, or stop by the Hannah Grimes Marketplace to peruse locally-made glassware, woodworks, and other artisan crafts. Looking to add to your wardrobe? One walk on Main Street reveals fashionable options for every style, including (but not limited to) Moe Clothing, Linda’s Closet, and the Willow Tree Boutique. Fellas, head over to Miller Brothers-Newton for the most dapper menswear around.

For The Museum-Goers

Keene’s collection of historic sites and art museums speak to the storied nature of this very New England-y town. Put yourself back in 1805 with a trip to the Horatio Colony Museum, a house that dates back to when Keene’s population barely brushed 1,600. Or, go back even further at the Historical Society’s gallery of local relics, dating back to the 1700’s. Art lovers, admire the fine work of local painters and photographers at the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery, the hub for visual arts in the Monadnock region.

For The Young Families

If you’ve got little explorers in your party, treat them to a Granite State adventure in Keene. Start with a visit to the Cheshire Children’s Museum, whose exhibits showcase the Monadnock region’s best and brightest — they can walk through little farms and markets, or play talk-show host at a pint-sized radio station. Afterwards, grab a few scoops at Walpole Creamery, and knock down some pins at the Yankee Lanes Bowling Alley.

For The Nature-Lover

The Granite Gorge in Keene, a day trip destination for nature lovers in Vermont.
Photo: Dennis Jarvis / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0.

Conquered the Green Mountains? Don’t worry, there’s a whole new set of scenic trails to explore in southern New Hampshire. Hike, bike, or blade down the Ashuelot Rail Trail’s meandering country roads, and catch some panoramic views of the Ashuelot River. If you’re looking to keep closer to home, explore Madame Sherri’s Forest in Chesterfield, located smack dab between Brattleboro and Keene. The forest is a jumping-off point for several trails that loop around brilliant views of the East Hill, Indian Pond, and the fascinating (albeit spooky) remnants of Madame Sherri’s Castle.

We’re sorry for those who don’t like their neighbors, because we sure love ours. With so many things to do in New Hampshire, it’s no wonder that so many Brattleborians are equally as familiar with the Elm City. Make a reservation here at The Latchis, and stay close to scenic nature trails, shop-portunities, and family attractions (in Vermont and New Hampshire alike).

The Strolling of the Heifers: A Stroll Through the Ages

Each June, just as the leaves return to the Green Mountains, Brattleboro gets cow-crazy for a pre-summer tradition: The Strolling of the Heifers. If you didn’t already know, this world-famous Brattleboro festival is like a mellow version on Spain’s Running of the Bulls. Dozens of heifers (cows that have yet to birth a calf, if you don’t know our Vermont lingo) march up Main Street during a weekend of live music, entertainment, and locally-sourced fare.

The Strolling of the Heifers in Brattleboro, VT.
Photo: Jeffrey M. Lewis

To keep it fresh, parade organizers cook up a new theme each year. These themes can get pretty Vermont-y, ranging from Women in Agriculture to Drawing Your Mooovements. In the spirit of Brattleboro’s biggest cow-fest, take a stroll down memory lane with this list of notable heifer parades.

2002: WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

It’s the stroll that started it all. The inaugural parade was put on by a group of civic leaders and farmers to help bring attention to the small family farms in the Brattleboro area (and, at the same time, celebrate the start of National Dairy Month). More than 10,000 people showed up to watch the first heifers trot down Main Street.

2004: CATTLE AND CAMELS

The Strolling of the Heifers in 2004. Photo: Sherry Russell.

The crowds had grown substantially by the time of the 2004 parade, with tens of thousands of folks coming in from outside Brattleboro to get in on the heifer action. The herd of cattle at this year’s stroll had some company — kids were able to take camel-back rides down at the Brattleboro Common following the parade.

2009: THE GREEN EXPO

The Green Expo at the Strolling of the Heifers in 2009. Photo: Jason Henske.

By 2009, Stroll Weekend had grown to include another farm-tastic feature: the Green Expo, located on the Brattleboro Common. Here, stroll-goers can meet local leaders on energy conservation, green construction methods, and local efforts for sustainable living.

2010: HEIFERS ON WHEELS?

To our dismay, we’ve yet to witness a heifer ride a bicycle. However, the 2010 Stroll Weekend did feature the first Tour de Heifer, a tradition that continues to this day. On the Sunday of Stroll Weekend, cyclists can choose between 30 and 60 mile challenge routes, or take it a little easier and ride a 15-mile scenic trail by the West River.

2013: RUNNING OF THE BULLS MEETS MARDI GRAS

Colorful masks, beads, and sequins made for one of the most memorable Stroll Weekend themes of all time: Running of the Bulls Meets Mardi Gras. Try as you may, you can’t help but smile when heifers dressed like Mardi Gras revelers cross your path.

2016: THE G.O.A.T. (OLYMPICS)

Fourteen years after Main Street saw its first-ever batch of parading heifers, the crowds at the Strolling of the Heifers grew from 10,000 to at least 50,000 (we haven’t dared to try counting). The larger-than-life afterparty on the Brattleboro Common saw some udder chaos in the form human foosball and a goat Olympics.

The 2016 Strolling of the Heifers. Photo: Jeffrey M. Lewis.

There’s a reason the Stroll has made five appearances on the Green Mountain State’s Top Ten Summer Events list (though it tops our Latchis list every year). At the end of each march, everyone gets a chance to join the parade and follow the heifers down to a spirited summer kick-off. It’s a Brattleboro tradition that does more than just fill our bellies and hearts — it embodies everything we love about our town.

Take a Dip: A Guide to Southern VT Swimming Holes

You may think Vermont summers are mild, but don’t be fooled — once June rolls around, it can get pretty hot here in the Green Mountains. Luckily, Brattleboro has the fortune of not one, but two rivers, offering many a scenic spot for you to beat the heat. Grab your bathing suit, and get ready to make a splash at one of these southern VT swimming holes.

The Cornfield is a popular southern VT swimming hole.
Photo: Rebecca Siegel / Flickr CC BY 2.0.

1. THE CORNFIELD (BRATTLEBORO, VT)

Scenic mountain views, lush trees, and privacy from residential homes make The Cornfield one of Brattleboro’s most popular swimming holes. This spot on the West River is located just five minutes north of the Latchis, behind several professional buildings off Route 30.

2. UPPER WEST RIVER (WEST DUMMERSTON, VT)

If you travel just a bit further north on the West River, you’ll encounter some lesser-known southern VT swimming holes. Stroll down the gravel beach and get a enjoy a view of the ever-charming Town Lattice covered bridge. A bit further up the river, you’ll encounter a giant rock and another deep swimming hole.

3. HARRIMAN RESERVOIR / THE LEDGES (WILMINGTON, VT)

If you happen to be out and about in the wild west (as in, paying a visit to Mount Snow or the Molly Stark Trail), make a stop at the Harriman Reservoir. The reservoir is the largest body of water located entirely with the state of Vermont, stretching about 10 miles from Wilmington to Whitingham. The most popular swimming area here is The Ledges, which offers sandy beaches and leap-able cliffs alike.

4. STICKNEY BROOK (DUMMERSTON, VT)

Southern VT swimming holes are perfect for summer exploring.
Photo: Brian Flanagan / Flickr CC BY 2.0.

In the mood to explore? Take a hike alongside the Stickney Brook in Dummerston and hunt for deep pools in the brook where you can dip your feet. Large, flat islands in the stream make ideal spots to enjoy a picnic while taking in Vermont’s natural beauty.

5. INDIAN LOVE CALL (NEWFANE, VT)

With sandy beaches on one side and a jumping rock on the other, it’s easy to fall in love with the Indian Love Call swimming hole, located on the Rock River just off Route 30. Serene beauty and spacious sands make this swimming hole well worth the short drive.

6. TIMBER CRIB DAM (GUILFORD, VT)

About 20 minutes southwest of downtown Brattleboro, you’ll find the Timber Creek Dam, a National Historic Site with two designated swimming areas. Here, you’ll be able to swim right under one of the most Vermont-y sights of all: the Green River Covered Bridge.

The Green River Covered Bridge at the Timber Crib Dam in southern VT.
The Green River Covered Bridge at the Timber Crib Dam. Photo: Brent Soderberg / Flickr CC BY 2.0.

Taking a dip in Vermont’s rivers, brooks, and reservoirs is about as refreshing as that fresh mountain air. We’ve only skimmed the surface of southern Vermont swimming holes, so take some time to explore on your own! Drive along any river or stream and look for cars parked on the side of the road — it’s a surefire way to know you’ve come across a stellar swimming area.

Keep close to Brattleboro area swimming holes by making a reservation here at the Latchis Hotel — we’ll be your resident guides to the most splash-tacular spots in southern Vermont.

Mud, Maple, and More: 6 Things We Love About Spring in Vermont

Each spring in Brattleboro, we count our blessings in the midst of vibrant flowers and newly-dried wooded paths. Winter’s thaw paves the way for outdoor adventures, spirited spring festivals, and sightseeing galore to name a few. Strap on your mud boots for spring in Vermont, the quiet season that has our hearts.

Spring flowers in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Photo: Matthew Ragan / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0.

1. FOOT TRAFFIC RETURNS TO SCENIC TRAILS

Warm weather means fresh treks through those rugged, picturesque Green Mountains. There’s nothing like taking in that crisp mountain air, feeling the squish of mud under your boots, and seeing the trails burst into life with mini-streams produced by melting snow. From an invigorating jaunt on the West River Trail to a summit-bound journey on Mount Wantastiquet, southern Vermont’s trials are an outdoor enthusiast’s dream.

2. MAPLE IS IN THE AIR

In the early days of a Vermont spring, you can hardly go anywhere without passing a maple sugaring farm (or six). Many of these sweet spots will let you see the sugaring process from sap to syrup. If you don’t get the chance, the sweet fruits of their labor are always availble for purchase in downtown Brattleboro.

3. FROM BREW TO COWS, SPRING FESTIVALS START SWINGING

Brattleboro festivals are always a source of excited chatter, as soon as March rolls around, we begin to buzz about two in particular. The first one is the Brattleboro Brewers Festival in May, a celebration of Vermont’s local breweries and all things craft beer. Like a one-two punch, early June sees the annual Strolling of the Heifers Parade & Stroll Weekend; a jamboree that involves a downtown cow parade, jamming to some moo-sic, guided farm tours, and more.

4. THE FARMER’S MARKET IS BACK OUTSIDE

The outdoor Brattleboro Farmer's Market is a sure sign of spring in Vermont.
Photo: Matthew Ragan / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0.

In early May, after months of cramming cabbage and carrots into the indoor River Garden, the Brattleboro Farmer’s Market finally relocates to its outdoor turf on Route 9 near the covered bridge. Sample some artisanal cheese, some ultra Vermont-y maple candies, and newly-picked spring greens and veggies from southern Vermont’s finest farmers.

5. LOCAL EATERIES BRING OUT SOME FRESH FLAVORS

Winter visits to You’ll notice some menu shifts to reflect in-season vegetables at downtown restaurants like Superfresh! Organic Cafe and Duo Restaurant, Brattleboro’s farm-to-table finery. Seasonal spots also begin to open their doors in May, like Guilford’s Blueberry Haus, an ice cream parlor and country gift store that radiates with southern Vermont charm.

6. IT’S LIKE SUMMER… BUT A LOT QUIETER

From early May to mid-June, the signs of summer’s forthcoming are everywhere. Mountain views grow greener by the day, Whetstone Station opens up its deck for live music shows, and local restaurants bust out the outdoor seating. In the spring, you’re beating all of the lines while reaping the rewards of a warmer Vermont as we defrost from winter’s grip.

Winter's thaw leads to outdoor adventures and scenic attractions to enjoy during spring in Vermont.

Spring in Vermont is more than just mud season; it’s a time to refresh and reanimate within the natural beauty of the Green Mountains. Beat the bustle of summer and stay at the Latchis Hotel this spring — we’ll be your resident guides to Brattleboro’s springtime sights and attractions.

Vermont Scenery In A Snap: 5 Photo-Ops in Brattleboro

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, Brattleboro must be a library. Rugged mountains, eye-catching architecture, and serene streams make southern Vermont a photographer’s delight. Grab your DSLR and stop by these five spots ripe with Vermont scenery, perfect for expert and amateur photographers alike.

Mountain view from Bellows Falls, VT.
Photo: Collapse The Light / Flickr CC BY 2.0.

1. Mount Wantastiquet Trail (Just Across the River)

It’s our favorite downtown mountain and the closest source of southern Vermont natural beauty. The top of the ledge summit oversees downtown Brattleboro, the Connecticut River, and the faraway Green Mountains. Bring your wide-angle lens — the landscapes you capture are sure to knock the socks off your friends and fellow photographers.

The trail to the ledge summit usually takes around two hours, but, with several paths to choose from, you can document a new route each day.

2. Living Memorial Park (West Brattleboro)

A popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, Living Memorial Park has it all. Throw on your telephoto lens to capture some fine details on the park’s charming picnic benches, gazebos, and ski lifts. Crank your shutter speed, because the perfect action shot can ski by in a snap at the 20-meter ski jump in the winter. Also, several hiking trails make perfect places to capture fall foliage at its finest.

Living Memorial Park is right next door to the Creamery Covered Bridge that crosses over the Whetstone Brook, a picture-perfect example of Vermont country charm.

3. West River Trail (Brattleboro)

The West River Trail in Brattleboro is a perfect place to see some stellar Vermont scenery.
The West River Trail in Brattleboro is a perfect place to spot some superb Vermont scenery.

If you’re looking to add some water shots to your photography reel, take a riverside stroll down The West River Trail. In the spring, melting snow creates little waterfalls and creeks that run down the adjacent mountainsides — it’s the perfect opportunity to crank your shutter speed and catch some stellar running water shots. The West River Trail begins behind The Marina’s parking lot, just a quick drive up Route 30 from downtown Brattleboro.

4. Fort Dummer State Park (Guilford, VT)

If you’re looking for variety in your nature photography expedition, the Sunrise and Sunset Trails at Fort Dummer State Park are for you. This park offers some of the most beautiful vistas in southern Vermont, ones that only an ultra-wide lens can fully capture. The trail, covered in sturdy oaks and birch trees, overlooks the site of Fort Dummer and crosses serene views of the Broad Brook.

5. Bellows Falls Canal (Bellows Falls, VT)

About a half-hour north of Brattleboro, Bellows Falls is a photographer’s dream — it has captivating mountain and river views, train tracks, and historic architecture that includes an old-fashioned Opera House and an impressive clock tower. Position yourself from either side of the Arch Bridge for a variety of angles on the train station and river bank. While you’re there, also try your hand at nature photography with a quick expedition through the Bellows Falls Village Forest.

Bellows Falls Historic District
Photo: Doug Kerr / CC BY-SA 2.0.

The proof is in the printing. Southern Vermont’s natural beauty and one-of-a-kind architecture are enough to set any photographer’s heart a-flutter. If you’re looking for a place to stay as eye-catching as Vermont’s beautiful scenery, come stay at The Latchis — our art deco facade is every bit as photogenic as the rolling Green Mountains.

Traveling to Vermont: How to Get to Brattleboro From Every Direction

You’re probably eager and ready to get eyes on Brattleboro’s scenic sights and attractions, but first thing’s first: you need to consider how to get here. We’re still working on our teleportation unit, so until then, you have a few other options. Daily buses and trains allow you to get to Brattleboro from east, west, north, and south. Here are some choices for traveling to southern Vermont from your city or region.

The Brattleboro, Vermont train station.
Photo: Adam Moss / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0.

NORTHBOUND: BOSTON, MASS. / WASHINGTON D.C. → NEW YORK CITY →  HARTFORD, CONN. → BRATTLEBORO, VT

Amtrak’s Vermonter train is a transportation staple. With complimentary Wi-Fi and a food cart, you can plan your Brattleboro itinerary during your ride to the Green Mountains. The train leaves from Washington, D.C., at 8:00 a.m. and passes through Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Trenton before its late morning stop at Penn Station. If you’re coming in from Hartford, your train will leave around 2:00 p.m. You’ll arrive in Brattleboro just before dinnertime, so don’t forget to pick a restaurant by the end of your journey. Alternatively, you can ride on the Megabus if you’re coming in from Hartford, Amherst, New Haven, or the Big Apple.

Just a little over two hours from Brattleboro, Bostonians are within perfect proximity to make a weekend getaway to southern Vermont. The MAX Regional Bus runs to and from Brattleboro each day, with stops in Worcester, Fitchburg, and Greenfield. The bus arrives at the Brattleboro Transportation Center, just steps away from The Latchis.

SOUTHBOUND: MONTREAL, CANADA via BURLINGTON, VT.

The Brattleboro, VT train station.
Photo: Adam Moss / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0.

If you’re looking to visit Brattleboro from Montreal, drive the distance down I-91, or take the Amtrak going southbound. The northernmost train stop on Amtrak’s Vermonter route is the town of St. Albans, Vermont — you can park there and catch the morning southbound train.

If you’re situated near Burlington, you can catch the train at the Essex Junction station around 9:30 a.m. for a mid-afternoon arrival in downtown Brattleboro. The Megabus can also take you to Brattleboro from Burlington or Montpelier.

EASTBOUND: ALBANY, NY.

Upstate New Yorkers, there’s no railroad to connect us. Instead, you’ll be heading eastbound on Route 9 — you can make the drive yourself, or take a Greyhound if you don’t mind waking up a little early. It’s one of the most scenic drives you’ll encounter; the rolling Green Mountains never disappoint.

WESTBOUND: PORTLAND, ME / MANCHESTER, NH

There are two ways to venture through New Hampshire and into our neck of the woods: make the drive yourself, or take the bus. The Greyhound departs from Portland just a couple times each week, while offering daily transport from Manchester. Either way, you can count on a scenic ride through New Hampshire right before crossing the Connecticut River and landing at the Brattleboro Transportation Center.

The bridge over the river in Brattleboro, VT.

Travel doesn’t have to stand in the way of a great experience. Whether you’re driving yourself and making a road trip out of it, or taking a bus or train for a relaxing trip, be sure to make travel part of the experience as you plan your getaway to southern Vermont.

Embracing the Maple Magic: 5 Southern Vermont Sugar Houses

Each spring, just as winter begins to loosen its grip and the wooded paths start to dry, we kick-off sugaring season here in Vermont. During this time, sugar makers diligently collect sap and boil it down until it thickens into maple syrup — the sweet, sugary goodness we all know and love.

It’s an exciting time for Vermonters, and an age-old process that speaks to the core of Green Mountain culture. Below, discover six Southern Vermont sugar houses producing some of the finest maple syrup in the country.

Boiling sap during sugaring season at a Southern Vermont Sugar house.
Photo: Doug Kerr / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0.

1. Robb Family Farm (Brattleboro, VT)

Situated on the outskirts of Brattleboro, Robb Family Farm has been in the sugaring business since 1920. This sixth-generation farm boils sap over a traditional wood-fired arch, selling three delicious grades of maple syrup in classic glass jugs. They also craft maple candy and ice cream in an on-site kitchen in an old milking barn.

2. Paradise Farm Sugarhouse (West Brattleboro, VT)

Maple cream, candies, and homemade pies are just a few of the sweet treats awaiting you at Paradise Farm Sugarhouse. The farm (including its 200-year old farmhouse) sits on 55 scenic acres along the banks of Whetstone Brook. During your visit, get a glimpse of the sap-boiling action and pick up some goodies at the farm’s country gift store.

3. Collins Tree Farm and Sugarhouse (Westminster West, VT)

Maple sugaring and snow in Southern Vermont.
Photo: Eliza Youngson.

Up in the rolling country landscapes of Westminster West, you’ll find the Collins Tree Farm and Sugarhouse set back from the dirt road, and nestled comfortably at the edge of a large open field.

The Collins family has an interesting backstory — the family purchased the land in 1936, planning to open a ski school there; a snow-sparse winter caused them to change course, however. Martin Collins developed an affinity for sugaring at the early age of five, and now taps over 4,500 maple trees each year at this whopping 200-acre farm.

While the Collins Tree Farm and Sugarhouse does not offer tours, the their pure Vermont maple syrup is available for purchase online.

4. Dwight Miller Orchards (Dummerston, VT)

As one of Vermont’s oldest sugaring operations, Dwight Miller Orchards has been producing pure maple syrup for eight generations (and counting). The Miller family also grows and harvests organic apples, among other orchard fruits, and makes fresh-pressed cider. May through October, the Miller family brings their goodies to the Brattleboro Farmer’s Market, so you can taste the magic without leaving town.

5. Bunker Farm Sugar House (Dummerston, VT)

Sap runs sweet in Dummerston, where The Bunker Farm runs several springtime tours and sugaring demonstrations at their sugarhouse. In addition to making wood-fired maple syrup, The Bunker Farm maintains a plant nursery and enough cows, pigs, and chickens to make Old MacDonald jealous.

Sugaring from a maple tree at a Southern Vermont sugar house.

The sugaring hype culminates in March with the annual Maple Open House Weekend (although depending on the weather, the season can extend into mid-spring), when many farms and sugar houses throughout Vermont give the public an inside look into the proud process of sugaring.

For a dive into an authentic Vermont tradition (plus a little catering to your sweet tooth), don’t miss out on these Southern Vermont sugar houses and a trip to the Latchis — our own personal slice of Vermont history as storied as the long tradition of sugaring.

A Latchis Love Story: The Dixon’s Latchis Theatre Wedding

It was love at first screening. From their first date to their wedding vows, the Latchis has become a key player in Alison and Mike Dixon’s love story. Last October, they tied the knot underneath a gallery of painted murals, gold-washed friezes, and ethereal signs of the zodiac. The Latchis is a hotel, a theater, an arts venue, and for folks like Mr. and Mrs. Dixon, a sentimental place that helped to write the perfect love story.

Alison and Mike Dixon during their wedding at the Latchis Theatre in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Photo: Meghan Fagley Photography.

FIRST DATE IN AN ART DECO THEATER

Mike was born and raised in Brattleboro, while Alison moved to town in 2004 from White River Junction. They both attended Brattleboro Union High School, but didn’t meet until years later when they had their first date at the Latchis Theatre in 2011.

“Alright, so we saw a really terrible movie,” Alison laughed. “But we had our first date in one of the small theaters, and we just love the Latchis.”

RETURNING TO THE LATCHIS TO SAY “I DO”

Alison and Mike Dixon under the Latchis Theatre marquee.
Photo: Meghan Fagley Photography.

After the couple got engaged and the time came to choose a wedding venue, the Latchis wasn’t the first to come to mind. The two were focused on finding a place that would hold their long guest list of about 150 friends and family members.

“It was tricky to find a place around here that would hold that amount of people,” Alison says. “A friend of ours that works at the Latchis recommended it to us, and it turned out to be perfect because that’s where we started.”

Alison and Mike’s wedding was everything they’d dreamed it would be. While their big day was met with gray clouds and spotty showers, it only made their wedding experience at the theatre all the more warm and cozy, with a team of Latchis employees ready to see the day to perfection.

“They were great to work with,” Mike said. “And they made sure all our needs were met.”

The couple said their vows in the Main Theatre, keeping the decor simple and clean: vibrant ribbons and fall mums to complement the theatre’s art deco interior.

A NEW CHAPTER IN A LATCHIS LOVE STORY

At the end of their perfect day, the newlyweds were brimming with gratitude for their one-of-a-kind Latchis wedding. With the Latchis as host for their big day, their love story came full-circle in Brattleboro’s historic art deco theater, with more chapters yet to be written.

“It was definitely a no-brainer to have our wedding [at the Latchis],” Alison says. “It has a historical value to Brattleboro, and means a lot to us, too.”