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Montpelier, pronounced “mɒntˈpiːliər”, is the capital of Vermont and has a population just short of 8,000 people. The daytime population almost triples for more than 20,000 due the large number of jobs in the city.
Formed in 1781 and named after the French city of Montpellier as a thank you for the French aid to the American colonies during the Revolutionary War.
In 1805, Montpelier was selected as the state because of its central location, good accessibility, and because local residents provided land and money.
Montpelier and Barre are known as Twin Cities”, because they form a small metropolitan area.
Interesting fact: As of March 2020, Montpelier is the only state capital in the US without a McDonald's
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The Bragg family has produced maple syrup in Vermont for eight generations. Even today, they are still using traditional methods to make maple syrup by collecting the sap in metal buckets (which are stacked up to the ceiling) and boiling the sap with a wood-fired evaporator (which you can see) to preserve the original maple flavor. A 14 minute educational video demonstrates the process. There is free tasting of 3 distinct qualities which are made by different boiling times. The longer the boiling time, the darker and sweeter gets the maple syrup. And, of course, the more expensive it is.
Bragg maps syrups have won many awards, including "Best maple syrup" at the Vermont Maple Festival.
Here are some fun facts:
The Vermont State House, built in Greek Revival style and furnished in American Empire, Renaissance Revival, and Rococo Revival styles, is the third State House on this site.
The first Vermont State House was built in 1808.
The second State House was finished in 1838 and its design was based upon the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens. It was almost entirely destroyed by a fire in 1857 and the third State House then built on the parts that could be salvages (Doric portico, as well as portions of the granite walls made from granite from nearby Barre). The building was enlarged to what you see today as the third State House. The dome originally painted dark terracotta red and was converted to the shiny golden dome in the early 20th century.
There are free guided tours that are definitely worth joining. The tour guide will tell you about the history of the building and bring you to places that are not accessible for other visitors. You will see the beautifully decorated two chambers of the Vermont General Assembly and the ceremonial office of the Governor of Vermont.