Adventure Bear, the SATW Traveling Teddy, scooped up some Ben & Jerry’s chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream and headed out to explore Vermont. The ice cream factory in Waterbury, Vt. is the most-visited spot in the state.
Adventure Bear travels for the third-grade class of Meredith Schroeder at St. Joseph Consolidated School in Hamilton, Ohio, and the kindergarten class of Barbara Hill at Crawford Street Playschool in Vicksburg, Miss.
Following the gleam of gold to the State House
Heading east, Adventure Bear then visited the Vermont capital, Montpelier, and zeroed in on the gleaming dome of its Historic State House —topped with 23.7-carat gold leaf, the purest possible.
The bear took the tour of the chambers, and even received permission to hop onto one of the legislator’s historic desks.
In the State House, Adventure Bear learned about Vermont’s two U.S. Presidents: Chester Alan Arthur, the 21st President, serving from 1881-1885; and Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, serving from 1923-1929.
Learning about the 30th President
Wanting to learn more about President Coolidge, Adventure Bear headed south to his birthplace and boyhood home in the hill country around Plymouth Notch. Adventure Bear explored the modest house where Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872 and the homestead across the street where the family moved when Coolidge was 4. It’s also the home in which Coolidge was sworn in as President by his father, a notary public, at 2:47a.m. Aug. 3, 1923, upon the death of President Warren G. Harding.
The Florence Cilley General Store is also part of the Plymouth Notch Historic District. John Coolidge’s the President’s father, became storekeeper in 1868, and owned the building until 1917. Florence Cilly was storekeeper from 1917-1945.
By now, Adventure Bear was totally caught up in Presidential history. He headed west to Manchester, Vt., and the estate of the Lincoln family at Hildene.
More presidential exploration at Hildene
Robert Todd Lincoln was the only child of President Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln to survive to childhood. After boyhood retreats to Vermont with his mother and brother Tad, Robert grew to love the hills and forests. In 1905, he and his wife Mary built the Georgian Revival mansion. Hildene was home to Lincoln descendants until 1975, longer than any other Lincoln residence.
Robert Lincoln was president of the Pullman Company, the largest manufacturing corporation in America at the time. A 1903 Pullman Palace Car Sunbeam railway car has been gleamingly restored, and Adventure Bear couldn’t resist —he wanted to ride the rails!