Exploring Hartford VT

While staying with my aunt and uncle, Charles and Christine in Hartland, I also had several chances to explore Hartford and the White River Junction area.

The Upper Valley Food Co-op is Christine’s day job as an education and outreach coordinator, where she also suggested I could try some volunteer work.

Stocking shelves, packaging food and inventorying incoming deliveries turned out to be very satisfying to my slightly obsessive-compulsive side.

Beans, Beans, Beans

A little bit of plaster work in one of the rooms still under construction at the co-op.

The Sweet Lilac Deli. A well known hallmark of the UVFC, which keeps the whole store infused with an aroma of their wonderful cooking.

Working at the co-op also gave me some opportunities to wander through the surrounding village of White River Junction. On the day that I first decided to take a walk into town, I stepped out of the co-op to find a fully electric car (The Nissan Leaf) parked outside.

Nissan Leaf electric car

As I stopped to take a picture, the owner came out of the store with groceries and explained that this was a demonstration vehicle that his company was promoting. He then offered me a chance to take it for a test-run, cruising around the co-op building several times.

Test driving the Nissan Leaf

It was amazingly quite and a very smooth ride, also rather different for me to drive since the only road vehicles I had ever operated before this had been cargo delivery vans.

At the center of downtown I found the Briggs Opera House and stepped inside to explore. Following voices, I found my way into a theater and watched through the open doorway while an acting troupe rehearsed scenes for an upcoming performance.

Later on during my stay, I managed to get a seat for the same play (Into The Woods), which was amazing! Only 20 feet from the stage and I had never been to a live theatrical performance like this before.

No pictures of my own. Camera use is forbidden inside the building, but here are some videos that can provide a glimpse of the show:

Preview footage:

Actor Interviews (Cutoff at the end, but still interesting):

Another, more… unusual curiosity in town was the Main Street Museum. Which to quote their wiki page, may be described as: “an eclectic display space for materiel culture and an experiment in a new taxonomy”.

Already decked out for Halloween

When I first stepped into the museum, it was quite devoid of visitors, which gave it an even more pronounced feeling the mysterious.

Strange dolls, with a “history” of their own

With collections of objects that seemed either comical, bizarre, creatively labeled or simply mystifyingly categorized. For example: a set of pliers is displayed alongside dried fish heads in a glass case, right next to this “Rare Miniature Red Bat” in a covered box.

Curtain reads: Warning! Rare Miniature Red Bat. (Vespertilionini rufus picatus) Please approach the Rare Miniature Red Bat with care. Lift curtain with caution and avoid any sudden motions.

Click Here to lift curtain.

Add to this, a handful of experimental taxidermy, some rather odd “artifacts” and several twisted mockeries of science, all arranged in a long, narrow, dimly lit room, overseen by an eccentric curator, with assistance from the occasional twisted artist. Freaky and fun.


Also see the following pages, which complete this photo album of my September 2014 travels:

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