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Old 06-16-2007, 12:19 AM
Location: ~~In my mind~~
2,111 posts, read 6,127,810 times
Reputation: 1622


Hi all,

I have been reading all the posts on this site, and havent seen too many reguarding living in Manchester, Dorset, or Bennington. Can anyone give me their insight to these towns? My husband and I are thinking of moving to Southern Vermont this coming year. I must admit, after reading most of the posts here, I am a little leary now I have researeched so much on these towns, but it is nice to hear from people that actually live there or have lived there.
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Old 06-16-2007, 04:38 AM
Location: Tolland County- Northeastern CT
4,457 posts, read 5,884,991 times
Reputation: 1237
The best town in southern Vermont in my opinion is Brattleboro- it has as much culture and sophistication then some places 20 times larger.

I have always enjoyed the town- and have spent much time there over the years. Bennington I am less familiar with.
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Old 06-16-2007, 05:53 AM
1,134 posts, read 3,515,984 times
Reputation: 649
I would agree with skytrekker...
One thing that needs to be realized by people who
look into Vermont, there is no cultural stuff in most of the
smaller towns. Brattleboro, Burlington and MontPelier have
stuff to do without having to drive 25 miles.
My take on the towns you mentioned, highly biased and
unscientific :
Manchester : Shopping outlets, nothing else. Even then, the
town closes at 8' o clock on friday night.
Bennington : Northeast Troy if its current leadership has
any more say in it.
Dorset : The proper is very pretty and well to do, but again,
miles away from anything cultural.

Im not a mall type person so I dont mean going to look at new
stuff, but a cup of coffee at a book store or being able to
hear some music just on a whim is something I really miss
about living in Vermont. Most cultural activities have to be
driven to and within limitied hours. If you are a strictly
stay-at-homer then you will be happy in any of the towns
you mention because they all have very nice areas.
Bennington is experiencing some growing pains thier leadership
cannot deal with though.....
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:47 AM
Location: on a dirt road in Waitsfield,Vermont
2,185 posts, read 5,759,732 times
Reputation: 1106
Dorset and Manchester are very expensive real estatewise. Dorest is small, the perfect Vermont village with a very expensive country club. Like many Vermont villages it is on the National Historic Register and I would think to myself when I am there that if you wanted to paint you house you don't have much of a say on what color you use.

My former college english teacher, John Irving, lives there. Thought he was awesome in college but has become a right wing republican type. During the Act 60 debate he said, publically, some pretty bad things about some of his neighbors who lived in modest homes.

Manchester has grown to become mostly a outlet shopping mecca with bumper to bumper cars on the weekends and holidays. The village center is still okay but real Vermont it is no longer.

I feel bad about saying this but I have always felt Bennington seemed more a part of NY then Vermont.

I too think Bratt is an an awesone little city. I lived in Putney for about 5 years. It's small but has more artists than anywhere else in Vermont so there is some culture. Only 10 min down I91 to Bratt and 60 min to the Northhampton/Amherst area of Mass.

Living anywhere in southern Vermont is a trade-off regarding big name concerts, professional sports and the big crowded malls but the other side of the picture it's an awesome place.

Not a big fan of Bellows Falls or as we used to call it "fellows balls" or Springfield. Windsor is the home of the recently built Vermont State pen and their economy is still abit depressed.
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:06 PM
Location: Vermont
13 posts, read 69,927 times
Reputation: 13
Just wanted to comment on the National Register of Historic Places issue. I am a historic preservation consultant.

National Register historic districts do not actually protect private property, unless state or federal funding or permitting is involved. If you own a home or business within an NR district, if you are using your own money, you can do whatever you want to your building, even tear it down.

Historic districts can also be protected when a local historic preservation ordinance is enacted. I don't think Dorset has a local historic preservation ordinance.

Most local historic preservation ordinances do not dictate building colors. In fact, I don't think there is any ordinance in Vermont that dictates building color.

If anyone is concerned about a local preservation ordinance in a particular town, please contact the town clerk.
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Old 06-16-2007, 04:08 PM
Location: ~~In my mind~~
2,111 posts, read 6,127,810 times
Reputation: 1622
Thank you for your responses. I will look into Battleboro. I was concerned because isnt it near the nuclear power plant? Also, are there problems with flooding there? My family and I are coming out there for the foliage in Oct. We were going to be looking at real estate also. The main reason for our move is, we wanted to experience just a new way of life other than the one we have come to know. We live in Southern Calif. I have lived in my home town all my life, with the exception of living in Iceland for a year. My town has become almost unreconizable. We have over 200,000 living in my little town now, and they keep on building. It is time for a change. I have researched Southern Vermont, and fell in love through the computer, lol, with it. But like I said, reading a lot of the posts has me leary of moving there. I realize that looking at and living in are totally different. For some reason though, out of all the places I have looked at, I keep coming back to Vermont. I am excited to come out there for the fall. I have been to Boston and New York City, but dont care for the busy, crowed scene any more. Does anyone have any experience with Saratoga Springs or around that area in NY?
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Old 06-17-2007, 07:00 AM
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,290,795 times
Reputation: 395
Manchester and Dorset are in a very scenic area, but land and housing is very expensive. The shopping in Manchester Center is not really shopping for common folk and everyday needs, but rather trendy outlet stores. Manchester also is one of the few locales in Vt where the sales tax is 7%. Manchester used to be a very nice NE town. I first visited there in 1979 coming off the Appalachian Trail to resupply. It is still a good stop for hikers and I always stop there when doing sections of the trail in S. VT. It is quite amusing to watch the reactions of the vistors when they encounter a sweaty and dirty hiker and even answer their questions about hiking. Subject for another thread I suppose.
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Old 06-17-2007, 01:26 PM
Location: Vermont
89 posts, read 282,872 times
Reputation: 34
Just curious about why being near a Nuclear Plant is a problem????
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Old 06-17-2007, 03:32 PM
Location: on a dirt road in Waitsfield,Vermont
2,185 posts, read 5,759,732 times
Reputation: 1106
The Yankee Nuclear Power plant in Vernon is south of Bratt, pretty close. They have had to shut down several times over the years because of safety issues. They recently were allowed to go back online and just discovered a bunch of cracks, can't remember exactly where tho.

On the plus side the town of Vernon has the lowest property taxes in the state.
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Old 06-17-2007, 08:11 PM
Location: ~~In my mind~~
2,111 posts, read 6,127,810 times
Reputation: 1622
I dont like the idea of being near one. MRVphotog just gave me reasons as to why I am justified in feeling this way. It is just my thoughts and feelings on the subject. Manchester and Dorset do look beautiful. I cant wait to come out there in Oct. Everyone that I have spoken to for reservations, etc.. have been so nice and informative. The way I look at it, life is meant to live. Everyone has different feelings and opinions, some things work for one, but not another. If in Oct, my family finds a house that we fall in love with, then I guess we will move to Vermont, lol. I do worry about floods. Where I live, we dont have "weather"..it is either sunny, sunny and hot, or sunny hot and smoggy. So flooding does scare me. I do love the rain though. I love cloudy cool days. They sure dont happen out this way very often.
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