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Old 08-19-2009, 09:20 AM
6,764 posts, read 19,759,993 times
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How do you like it?

We're considering leaving the 'golden triangle' for southern VT. (we live in the Lebanon, NH area). The cost of living thanks to Dartmouth(s) is high and frankly I am not impressed with anything here. The supposed 'jobs' are non-existent here. The 'Vermont friendly feel' is not as apparent here as in other part of VT we have been to...

Basically now we go to Claremont to shop when we can and the only nice part we enjoy in this area are the parks and the Hanover Library. I also think our schools are decent but I am willing to move if we can find another good special ed. school/area either in NH or VT.

This past weekend we went to Windsor and enjoyed a great meal at the diner (The best in the area, I think.)

If anyone wants to chime in about the Putney/Brat area, let me know.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:06 AM
Location: Vermont
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Well, as you know, I live in Brattleboro. I often go to Dummerston, Putney, and Guilford. Yesterday I discovered the pool in Vernon. Very nice pool.

I like southern Vermont a lot. People are friendly and there is lots of things to do. There is a great cultural scene and the place is intellectually alive. There are plenty of restaurants. There is an emphasis o natural, organic, local foods. In the summer we have two farmers' markets a week. We have a weekly one for most of the winter. Our food co-op is one of the best on the east coast, I believe.

Brattleboro is a small town of about 12,000, but there are urban amenities out of proportion to its size.

Putney is a great little town. Very alive, but also very small and rural. It also has a food co-op, which is about the size of the WRJ co-op.

Guilford and Dummerston are very rural.

Vernon is at the extreme southeast tip of the state. Very conservative. Also, it has the nuke plant.

West Brattleboro is its own village, I think. Some parts are very suburban, some very rural.

About 20 years ago, I briefly lived in the Upper Valley. I loved the scenery but I found the people much colder than they are here in Brattleboro. Especially at Dartmouth.

A few weeks ago, I visited White River Junction. It was very different from what I remembered. Lots of sprawl. But I was mostly on North Main Street.

There are many ex-New Yorkers here, and, arguably, the place has a slight New York vibe, but without the rudeness and obnoxiousness.

Unfortunately, though, jobs are hard to come by here. Lots of people go into business for themselves. And salaries are much lower than in NYC.

The mountains are smaller here. Not as breathtaking as further north, but the roads are easier to navigate in the winter. I remember the steep hills in WRJ. I dreaded the thought of skidding on them in the winter. We have a couple of steep roads in Brattleboro, but only a few.

Brattleboro has a lot of old houses. Lots of Victorians and farmhouses. In some places there are newer houses. In West Brattleboro there are subdivisions with capes, split levels, ranches and raised ranches. In Brattleboro, you can choose to live in an urban neighborhood, a suburban setting or even a frankly rural area.

There are lots of apartments available. Rents for decent places start at about $700, I would think. I think rents have gone down since I moved here.

Bratttleboro has very little crime, but it has been increasing. There was a murder here a few months ago. And there has been a public reminder to lock car doors, due to thefts from unlocked cars. I lock my car all the time, and I double lock my house doors. But I don't secure my steering wheel with The Club, as I did in New York.

Brattleboro is also near to other nice places. The Pioneer Vally in Western Massachusetts iw withing an hour's drive. Keene, New Hampshire, is abut a half-hour away. Boston is 2 1/2 hours away. New York is about 4 hours away. Burlington is aobut 3 hours away. New Hampshire is across the river, and there is a Walmart's 5 minutes from town.

There is a wonderful lake - Lake Spofford - about 10-15 minutes away. A lake beach, with sand and amenities. There are swimming holes, but I'm not into swimming holes. If you drive west along Route 9, you can get to Lake Raponda and also Lake Whitingham (Harriman Reservoir). I haven't been to the reservoir, so I can't comment on it.

When you want to come down to visit, why don't you pm me and we can arrange to meet. I'll be happy to show you around.

Last edited by arel; 08-19-2009 at 11:18 AM..
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:55 AM
6,764 posts, read 19,759,993 times
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Thanks Arel.
We're just thinking the Upper Valley is not for us. Like I said, schools are good and my husband has a nice job (except it is nights) but I am also finding this area 'not so nice' for what you pay.

I will see what happens and may take you up on your offer should we decide to look into this further. If you have any links to real estate (with photos) that do rentals, please PM me.
We couldn't leave till after Feb. when our lease is up but we want plenty of time to do research.


If anyone can tell me about the schools or special ed. programs (or schools) I'd appreciate it.

Last edited by GypsySoul22; 08-19-2009 at 12:54 PM..
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:44 PM
Location: SW NH
105 posts, read 313,791 times
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In Putney there's the public school Putney Central School; The Grammar School (http://www.thegrammarschool.org/index.html - broken link)-private elementary and The Putney School-private high school.

The Putney Central School goes through 8th grade and then students attend Brattleboro (BUHS) if you stay in the public school system.

The Putney paper mill is right on the main road of Putney, with Basketville a little further up. The Putney General Store had a devastating fire in 2007 and was then purchased by the Putney Historical Society. The reopening date is in 2010. That store was/is the hub of the village. I used to visit it weekly when my DDs went horseback riding at a barn in Putney....I hope they're able to replicate the original feel of the store. On cold winter days after riding we usually stopped at the Putney Coop and got soup and bread. The village has a great little bookstore right beside the Front Porch Cafe yum,yum....I'm overdue for a visit to the cafe great brunch. There's also a hot yoga, pilates & spin studio that has recently opened another studio in Brattleboro. Just north of the village is Landmark College

Years ago we looked into moving to Putney but it never materialized, we ended up moving to West Dover VT, but are now in NH. I doubt that we'll ever move back to VT, we like living on this side of the river, although we conduct almost all our business in Brattleboro. We're very happy with the elementary school that our DD attends, although the school budget is unbelievably sky-high.

Are you looking to rent a large apt or a house? As arel mentioned there are quite a few rentals on the market now, but in the past the housing market in Brattleboro has been tight. I lived in Brattleboro for 24 yrs, attended elementary & high school there, although any info I have on those schools is definitely waaayyyy out-dated, but I might be able to answer some of your other questions.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:02 PM
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I've lived in Putney for 10 years. If someone has more questions, let me know.
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:38 AM
Location: Vermont
371 posts, read 396,890 times
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I left the Upper Valley last year, but in 25 years of living there, I never had a problem finding a job or making friends. The unemployment rate has always been low, as well as the rental vacancy rate. If you are having problems finding employment in the area, I think you will find Brattleboro and Putney provide even less opportunities. I don't see a huge difference in rental prices there (I looked into southern Vermont last year when I moved, didn't find it was any more reasonable than the Upper Valley).
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Old 04-08-2015, 05:56 PM
Location: Venus
4,760 posts, read 3,192,317 times
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When I first moved to Vermont about 25 years ago, I lived on a mountain in West Dummerston for about 2 years. I have to say that I did like the Bratt area for the most part. But, I moved to go to college and never moved back.

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