Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dateline Woodstock
Our town is fairly abuzz with early tourists headed north in busses and cars intent on experiencing Autumn in Vermont. Of course it will be another 3-4 weeks before the midlands (where we live) reach peak color. But the harvest festivals are in full swing with farm gardens pouring forth their bounty and the real possibility of a killing frost ever on the minds of home gardeners. Every Wednesday afternoon on the Woodstock Town Green through mid-October you can purchase all manner of fresh veggies including carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, beets, green beans, sweet corn, and squash. If you're anxious to see the largest Vermont-grown pumpkin or the tallest ox, then head on up to the Tunbridge Fair this weekend, just a few miles north of MISys World Headquarters. Like many country fair across the nation, the Tunbridge Fair features a huge 4H exhibit, tractor pulls, a demolition derby, a Tilt-a-Whirl and other carnival amusements. Tunbrdge was created on September 3, 1761 by way of a royal charter which King George III of England issued to Governor Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire. The name Tunbridge was chosen by Wentworth and most likely in honor of (or to gain favor with), the English noble William Henry Nassau de Zuylestein (1717-1781), fourth Earl of Rochford, Viscount Tunbridge, Baron Enfield and Colchester. De Zuylstein's secondary title is derived from the old "royal borough" of Tunbridge Wells (sometimes Royal Tunbridge Wells) in England. Just before dawn on October 16, 1780 the town line of Tunbridge and Royalton was witness to the last major raid of the Revolutionary War in New England, after which the Yankees retired to the Tunbridge fairgrounds for the now famous and ever-popular pig races.

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