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Shelburne, with its population is just short of 8,000, lies about 7 miles south of Burlington. It was chartered in 1763 and named after William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne.
The wood industry and farming were the major industries early on. Later, sheep raising and ship building grew in importance. The Ticonderoga, built here in 1906, was moved overland to the Shelburne Museum in 1955, where it is now on display. The fantastic Shelburne Museum is a major tourist attraction in Shelburne.
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Founded in 1983, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company is the largest seller of teddy bears by mail order through the internet.
All teddy bears are handmade and the very informative factory tour is a must-do for kids and the young-at-heart.
Every teddy bear is guaranteed for life and, should teddy feel sick or need some repairs, teddy can be sent to the Bear hospital for any reason. Dr. Nancy is there to help and make teddy happy and healthy again. Dr. Nancy say: "99% of the time, the patient makes a full recovery" but "sometimes the injuries are just too extreme...we will always replace your friend if he cannot be repaired.".
We visited Shelburne on July 3 and that is the day when Burlington celebrates the 4th of July with their fireworks. We loved the idea of early fireworks, as it enabled us to see the 4th of July fireworks the next day in the Adirondacks. Instead of taking a bus to downtown which is blocked off for the celebrations and super crowded, locals suggested we watch the fireworks at Oakledge Park. And they were so right. The view on the fireworks from Oakledge Park is fantastic. And the best of all, you don’t need to wait in crowded bus lines or traffic jams to get back to your hotel.
Oakledge Park was built in the 1970s on a site that was used as a farm, private residence, resort and shipyard. The park has two public beaches, , charcoal grills, a playground, tennis, bocce and volleyball courts , a tree house, walking trails, picnic tables, bathrooms and access to Burlington’s 9 mile bike path.
During the summer months, stand-up paddle boards can be rented and there are even lessons on how to use them. Last but not least, there is also free wifi.
Parking is free from November to April, but costs $2 per hour from May to October.
The Shelburne Museum was one of the highlights of our trip. There is so much to see and do, that you should plan full day for the over 150,000 artifacts that are exhibited in 39 buildings. Twenty of those buildings are 18th and 19th century buildings from New England and New York that were relocated to the museum. Among them are barns, a covered bridge, general store, jail, lighthouse, meeting house, one-room schoolhouse, and the 220-foot steamboat Ticonderoga.
The museum displays artifacts from the 17th to the 20th century, 19th-century American folk art, quilts, 19th and 20th century decoys and carriages.
It was founded in 1947 by Electra Havemeyer Webb, who was an avid collector of American folk art. She sought to create "an educational project, varied and alive” by displaying her collections in a village resembling historic New England architecture - the Shelburne Museum.
Here is a rough overview about the sheer number of displays: