Related topics

Snowsville Buried In For Winter

January 31, 1985

SNOWSVILLE, Vt. (AP) _ It has no bank, no post office, and no traffic lights, but Snowsville in winter is never short of snow.

″We are in snow country,″ said Sanford Small, former owner of Snowsville General Store. ″We get our share of snow, you can say that.″

Inside the Snowsville store, snowshoes hang by their web tips, snow shovels are in the back, and a blue Snowsville T-shirt hangs over the cash register.

Outside, with Mother Nature spitting snow on white fields treaded by snowmobiles, one sign on the store’s bulletin board read: ″Snowplow For Sale.″

Snowsville has attracted visitors for decades. But people drawn to the small spot tucked in the center of the state are surprised to learn that the name comes from a man, not the weather.

Jeremiah Snow settled here in 1814, and, as happens in all frontiers, he promptly gave the village his name. When the area was incorporated later as Braintree, Snowsville officially became East Braintree.

Today, residents stubbornly stick with ″Snowsville.″ Mapmakers sometimes side with townspeople. An 1858 map by a New York City mapmaker includes Snowsville in the town of Braintree and highlights the village in a separate drawing. There also has been the Snowsville School and the Snowsville Grange in the village of 20 families.

″The oldtimers always have called it Snowsville,″ said Helen Bowen, a Snowsville resident and former Braintree town clerk, who is the co-author of a local history.

Mrs. Bowen, 75, a sixth-generation Vermonter whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower, disputed the notion that Snowsville gets more snow than, say, neighboring Brookfield or Randolph.

″Lately, we’ve been getting less snow than they’ve gotten up in Barre or Montpelier,″ she said.

The snow is deep here, though. Francis Blanchard will tell you that. His fields are buried under two feet of snow.

″The snow doesn’t bother me, no,″ said Blanchard, 72, another former Snowsville General Store owner and retired dairy farmer.

″I got a crawler, and a four-wheel drive car,″ he said. A ″crawler″ is a vehicle with many functions, one of them being a snowplow. ″I just keep that bulldozer handy, in case we have a storm.″

Last year, Blanchard said, Snowsville was snowbound by a storm of 30 inches.

The general store was built in 1830 and was known back then as the Snowsville store. But over the years the store took on the name of its various owners, until Sanford Small returned the name ″Snowsville″ to the store in the 1960s.

″We loved the name,″ said Small, a former tugboat captain. ″It’s far more appropiate than East Braintree. I think it’s kind of cute.″

Out-of-staters, passing through, sometimes stop and inquire about the name, Blanchard said.

He said one day several years ago ″a fellow from Connecticut walked in. He said, ‘I’d like to see some snow,‴ Blanchard said. ″Now this was ’long about May, but I took him out back. It was clear ground everywhere else, but we had snow out in back of the store.″

Blanchard laughed at the memory. ″We had a big pile of snow out there,″ he said.

Update hourly