Calvin Coolidge Historic Site & Ludlow, VT


North of Weston, Route 100 is pretty remote and tree-lined.  I stopped by the side of the road when I noticed a rare moment — a view of the mountains ahead.  Most of the time, the road is just curves and trees.

Ludlow, VT

Ludlow was the next town along the road, and the next place that tempted me to stop.   It has a lighthouse (now serving as a thrift shop), even though it’s not near the water…

… and an old mill (dating back to 1834), that’s been converted into condominiums, often rented by skiers who are in town to hit the slopes at nearby Okemo Mountain.

Since it’s a ski-town for a few months out of the year, you’ll find enough stores and restaurants to occupy your time, if you decide to stay a while.  I fueled up at the Shell station, then continued up Route 100 to…

Calvin Coolidge Historic Site

Just off Route 100 (via Route 100A), you can step back in time to 1923 in Plymouth Notch.  Vice President Calvin Coolidge was visiting his childhood home when he received word that President Warren Harding had died.  That night, August 2, 1923, by the light of a kerosene lamp, his father administered the presidential oath of office.

President Coolidge was the only American president to be born on the 4th of July.
Coolidge lived in this house, from the time he was four years old, until adulthood.  He was born…

… in a room on the backside of the Florence Cilley General Store.  The birthplace has been restored to its 1872 appearance.  You can visit the store, too, as well as the room upstairs, which was used as a dance hall, and during Coolidge’s presidency, he used it as the “Summer White House”.

Just slightly up the hill from the store and homestead, you have another chance to buy cheese!  The Plymouth Cheese Factory was built by Coolidge’s father and three other local farmers in 1890.  It was shut down in 1934, then reopened in 1960, and brought up to code for food production.

Another nearby barn must not be of any historic significance, because it doesn’t appear on the park’s guide.  But, it’s still worth a picture or two.

The Coolidge Historic Site charges admission, though I can’t see any good reason to pay it.  If you park in the main parking area, you’ll have to pay, in order to pass through the visitor center and access the historic home and buildings (and at $7.50, I think it’s a rather steep admission fee).  But, there’s no toll on the road that passes right in front of the Coolidge homestead, Plymouth Cheese store, and other buildings.  If you have only a passing interest in making a quick visit, you can drive through for free.

Drivelapse Video

Here’s a dash-cam, time-lapse video showing the drive from Weston to Pittsfield, Vermont:

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