Montpelier, VT

Montpelier is both the state capital of Vermont and the county seat of Washington County, and has the distinction of being the least populous state capital in the country. The Town of Montpelier was originally laid out in August of 1781, and the first permanent settlement began in May of 1787. Montpelier became the State Capital in 1805. A large fire destroyed many of the downtown buildings in 1875. The city suffered a particularly disastrous flood in 1927 and another in 1992. Montpelier recovered after each of these misfortunes and is doing just fine today. So, what do you do in Montpelier? You check out the plethora of boutiques, antique shops, art galleries and restaurants.

View north along Main Street

Historic Montpelier

Montpelier Businesses

Artisans Hand Craft Gallery

Interior of Craft Gallery

Crafts in the Craft Gallery

Supreme Court Gallery on State Street

A must-do thing while in Montpelier is a tour of the Vermont State House. The current State House is the third building built on the same site and was origianlly occupied in 1859. Much of the capital building has been retored to its original condition, and contains many historical paintings and statuary as well as contemporary art. As an aside, the statue of the goddess Ceres on the capital dome (shown below) was removed in April of 2018 for cleaning.

State House

Statue of Ceres on capital dome

Everyone needs a big gun on the front lawn.

And a smaller one on the front porch.

Ethan Allen
by Aristide Piccini (after Larkin G. Mead)

Lobby of the State House

Ground floor hallway

by Larkin Goldsmith Mead

Governor's Ceremonial Office

The two chambers of the Vermont General Assembly are on the second floor of the State House. Both chambers have overhead visitors' galleries on a third-floor mezzanine, but visitors are welcome to sit quietly on the main floor of the chambers. The Senate Chamber is decorated in green and gold, and the Representatives Hall is done in red and gold. A large portrait of George Washington, painted around 1837 by George Gassner, hangs above the speaker's chair in Representatives Hall.

Representatives Hall

Our Nation's Father

Representatives Hall

Senate Chamber

Legislative Lounge

Contemporary painting near Legislative Lounge

Contemporary painting near Legislative Lounge

A large reception room called the Cedar Creek Room is located on the second floor. It features a large mural on the south wall painted by Julian Scott in 1874. It depicts the Battle of Cedar Creek during the American Civil War. There are two restored stained glass skylights in the ceiling. One skylight depicts the front of the Vermont coat-of-arms with the head of a white-tailed buck. The other skylight shows the reverse of the state coat-of-arms with a female representation of Vermont known as "Vermontannia" (not making that up).

Cedar Creek Room (reception)

Skylight depicting the front of the Vermont coat-of-arms

Skylight depicting the back of the Vermont coat-of-arms

"Battle of Cedar Creek"
by Julian Scott (1874)

Background content obtained from Wikipedia and from information provided by the State of Vermont.

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