The administration of Jim Douglas, the Republican Governor of the state of Vermont, is dropping its collective drawers and mooning Vermont’s historic heritage by significantly reducing the hours that four of our state historic sites are open. Read about it in the Rutland Herald here. I am sputtering mad at this callous disregard for Vermont’s heritage. First of all, these sites are not just important to the state as a whole, but they are important to the communities in which they are located. Many of these sites have local people who volunteer their time to help the state operate them. Personally, I donate probably 100 hours a year to helping the state operate Mount Independence State Historic Site in Orwell. Fortunately, the Mount isn’t on the hit list.
And how much does this move save the state? Maybe — MAYBE — $30,000. And I can just hear the planning meetings next year: “Visitations to the Hubbardton Battlefield were down in ’08. [sound of head scratching] I wonder why. Well, doesn’t matter, let’s just open the site on the 4th of July.”