Seeing It All - The 251 Club of Vermont
Get to really know Vermont - visit all 251 towns
Dr. Arthur Wallace-Peach was the retired Director of the Vermont Historical Society and an author at Vermont Life magazine, when he challenged Vermonters to visit every town in the state. “One real way to know Vermont is to visit every town in the state,” he said.
Peach formed the 251 Club of Vermont to acknowledge those who completed his challenge, visiting all 246 towns and 5 unincorporated areas in Vermont. He was also the club’s first member.
Completing the 251 Club challenge is ideal for a motorcyclists, since it requires a lot of riding.
Motorcyclist Donna Soltura got a gift membership to the 251 Club of Vermont for her birthday last summer and she immediately liked the idea of visiting every town in Vermont. “I’m a New Englander and I just love the vistas we have”, she said. “The Church steeples and the New England towns are so beautiful.”
Soltura has taken up the challenge with great enthusiasm. She has ridden her Yamaha FJR1300 extensively in New England and Vermont is her favorite New England state for riding. “I love to show friends Vermont,” she said. “You can’t pick a bad road anywhere”.
Although she is only partially through her quest, she already has great memories. The Vermont Country Store in North Clarendon, the Weston Priory, Texas Falls in Hancock, the Warren store, the Path of Life Garden in Windsor and the Hope Cemetery in Barre are some of her favorites.
The Hope Cemetery is “like going through a museum”, she said.
Soltura enjoys motorcycle touring and the way riding adds to the experience of touring. “We tend to talk to people in ways we wouldn’t otherwise when we’re on a bike,” she said.
The 251 Club of Vermont is open to all. A $10 enrollment fee, plus a $8 annual membership fee (or $35 for 5 years) gets you a profile on the club’s web site – where you can track your progress -- three newsletters per year, a map, a town checklist, and an invitation to attend the club’s semiannual dinners.
When you start your quest, you are a “Minus” member: your status being 251 minus the number of towns you have yet to visit. When you reach 251, you become a “Plus” member, and receive a Plus membership card and acknowledgment in the club’s Wayfarer newsletter.
The best part of the 251 Club, though, is the journey. How many Vermont towns have you visited? Make this summer the year you take on the Doctor’s challenge, so you can say you really know Vermont – that you’ve seen it all.