Worthy of a Destination
In collaboration with the Manchester Historical Society:
Manchester’s promotion as a destination resort for visitors from crowded metropolitan areas began in earnest in 1853 when Franklin Orvis opened the Equinox House adjacent to Vanderlip’s Hotel in the Village. After Orvis purchased Vanderlip’s in 1880, the combined buildings became the largest hotel in the area. The summer colony of annual visitors became well established by the late Victorian era and this would continue into the 20th century with the opening of several other boarding houses and hotels that catered to tourists. The next large hotel to open was Orchard Park in 1907, which later became the Worthy Inn, the first hotel in the Village to remain open during the winter, accommodating a new class of visitors: skiers. MHS curator Shawn Harrington and board member Bill Badger will look back on the development of these two iconic properties, why they were popular, and the marketing efforts they made to attract visitors.
Shawn Harrington serves as Curator of the Manchester Historical Society and is a lifelong resident of Bennington County. His interest in history began at an early age when -as a second grader – he discovered The Shires of Bennington: A Pictorial History of a Vermont County (edited by Tyler Resch, Bennington Historical Society, 1975) in the library at the Shaftsbury Elementary School. Over the past 8 years, he has been digitizing the thousands of pieces in the MHS collection to use for outreach and education at local schools, as well as in print and social media. He has worked for the past two decades in the financial services industry with a tenure as a member of the New York Stock Exchange and resides in Manchester Center with his two sons.
Bill Badger is a 1970 magna cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College (B.A. Art History, Phi Beta Kappa) and a 1974 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Fine Arts (M. Architecture). He received a summer fellowship in Early American Arts and Decorative Arts from Historic Deerfield and a Dales Traveling Fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania. For several summers he worked as an architectural historian for the Historic American Building Survey (U.S. Department of Interior). He is a founding member and current Membership Chair of the Rutland Railroad Historical Society. Bill has been a dedicated board member of MHS for several decades. He and his wife, Pam, live in Manchester.