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Area History


It would be impossible to talk about the history of Vermont and the Killington area without mentioning that the Green Mountains. Which are an aspect of the Appalachian Mountains, are amongst the very oldest mountains in the world. They're older than the Rocky Mountains, older than the Alps, the Andes, the Himalayas, older than just about every famous mountain range. Of course, they were once a lot higher, but time has alloweed erosion and glacial movements of the last 500 million years to round them off into the richness we now enjoy in the form of towns like Killington, Rutland, Ludlow, Middlebury, Wiatsfield, and Warren.

Originally granted charter from New Hampshire in 1761 as Killington, the town would be changed to Sherburne in 1810. Only in 1999 was its name finally reverted back to Killington. But we're getting far ahead of the tale. In 1763, Vermont was officially recognized as a state. It was then that the Reverend Sam Peters christened the state “Verde-Mont” (Green Mountain), while on his way, baptizing converts.

Vermont's population grew quickly. By 1810, when the town was recognized as Sherburne, population 116, the state of Vermont's population was over 218,000. Milling of grain and lumber was a principle industry, which led to clearing land for grazing of sheep. Logging was the area's mainstay for some time. The arrival of the rail in 1850 only served to increase that trend... but Vermont's population wasn't staying. By 1880, Vermont lost more than half of her residents (some would say the tougher half remained,) and the numbers continued to fall until the 1960's.

Oddly enough, as the numbers were falling, Killington would gain its first tourist resort in 1880. Summit House was a favorite of nature lovers, and the proprietors were pleased to welcome such guests, Vermonters having long been nature lovers themselves.

Skiing came to Killington at the end of 1958, the fulfillment of Preston Leete Smith's dream, along with the help of Perry Merrill and Joe Sargent. It was well received and brought prosperity to the region. The original mountain ski operations have been sold to one of the largest Ski corporations in the world, a natural progression and demonstration of of the success the mountain has had and continues to rightly receive.

Be sure to add the Killington area to your vacation plans, summer AND winter! The history is staggering as the vistas and beauty, and the activities make up a wonderful list that seems to get longer every day.