Springfield: Although not initially thought of as a visitor destination, Springfield is a major stop for those traveling I-91, or seeking a "Home Base" for visiting Vermont's Upper River Valley. It's one of Vermont's largest towns, containing all of the basics, plus a variety of Lodging & Dining facilities.. from Fine Dining to Fast-Food.
Springfield has some interesting sites, and a truly fascinating history. It's also a great spot for putting your kayak, canoe or boat in the water and cruising the Connecticut River. Great View! Great Fishing! And plenty of parking space at the boat launching site immediately off of I-91
Downtown Springfield is wedged between steep hills leading away to its residential and farming areas, and is located beside the Black River, a tributary of the Connecticut River. Residents are proud of the series of waterfalls through which the river drops 110 feet over an eighth mile span in the center of downtown. The falls still provide electric power The best and closest view of the falls is from the Park Street bridge, a few feet off Main Street.
In earlier days, the source of hydroelectric power brought industry to Springfield. And Springfield was no lightweight in this regard. In fact, Springfield was a major producer of war materials in WW2, and was listed on Nazi target maps as a priority bombing site.
Main Street [Downtown] is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Check out The Miller Art Center, housing a permanent exhibit of antique toys manufactured in Springfield in the late 19th century. And, make certain to stop by the Eureka Schoolhouse, the oldest existing schoolhouse in Vermont. It's on the way into town when coming from I-91. The Hartness House Inn is also of interest in that it was built in 1904 as a private home by former Governor James Hartness, and includes an observatory and telescope built in 1910. James Hartness was also a well-known inventor, one of Vermont's earliest pilots, and responsible for building the State's first airport...now, Hartness State Airport.
Springfield is also the site of the annual Stellafane Convention, and event which draws thousands of amateur telescope makers each summer. This isn't a convention hall type gathering, this is star gazing in the great outdoors!
And although it's in that other state just across the river, you may want to visit Fort No.4. It's three minutes the other side of the Cheshire Bridge. Built during the French & Indian War, it consists of over 50 buildings and is New England's only living history museum of this time period.
Maybe Springfield is more of a place to visit than you thought?
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