#TBT: Cool Memories For a Hot Summer Day

#TBT Memories of a Lost Ski Area: Pine Top

Every now and then at Stonehurst (now our Vermont furniture showroom) we’re treated to a blast from the past.  Our property dates back to the 1860s when it was a farmhouse and since then it’s had many and varied identities.  From the 1940s to the 1960s Stonehurst was a local ski area with 3 rope tows.  It was called Pine Top and every now and then we get special visitors who stop by to see how it’s changed and share their memories of family vacations here.  Recently we had the pleasure of meeting Sigrid Oscarson who stopped by with her husband Bill Wares.  I wanted to share Sigrid’s memories with those of you who  remember Pine Top.  Did you know Sigrid and her family?

A Visit from Sigrid Oscarson Wares

My husband and I visited with Peggy and Ken last Friday. They were gracious to show us Vermont Woods Studios, formerly known as Pine Top. I grew up in Vermont and spent many days skiing as well as celebrating holidays there. My Godparents, Elsie and Romey Racine were the owners. My father helped to maintain the rope tows very often using a combination of his well-honed automotive skills, true grit with sheer determination, and lots of prayer! It was always a work in progress.

#TBT Memories of a Lost Ski Area: Pine Top by Sigrid Oscarson Wares
Sigrid and her husband Bill Wares of Moorestown, New Jersey are standing in front of a map of Pine Top that was created by Vernon Town Historian (and former Pine Top employee) Barbara Moseley.

“I came across this picture of me skiing at Pine Top. From these humble beginnings I have maintained a life-long love affair with this sport and even became a ski instructor for a period of time. Growing up in Vermont was a wonderful experience of which Pine Top was a very integral part.  Looking at the ski garb makes me wonder how any of us survived the cold! Any one who skied there will tell you that they went through several pairs of mittens in one season due to the friction of the rope tow. We would all cram into the “Warming Hut” as it was affectionately called, to toast our frozen fingers and toes near the pot belly stove while munching on hamburgers or hot dogs with hot chocolate and brownies (made by my mother). It was truly a family effort.

Thank you for showing us the beautiful renovations you have performed on this most wonderful “home” that holds so many memories for me. Your organization is truly an excellent steward of the property and that warms my heart.”

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Monarch Butterfly Waystations in Vernon, Vermont
We had a great turnout for our Monarch party on Monday.  If you’re creating your own Monarch Waystation, you can register it and get an “official sign” at MonarchWatch.org

We’re sending thanks out to everyone who gathered with us at Stonehurst this week to begin making Vernon, Vermont a Monarch Butterfly Way Station.  If you’re interested in the environment and nature, please consider joining us in this fun project!  You can learn more about our efforts to save the endangered monarch butterfly here.

Monarch Butterfly Party | Vermont Woods Studios
Thanks to all Vernon’s Monarch Butterfly advocates: MaryLynn Scherlin, Annette Roydon, Marilyn McQuaide, Ken Farabaugh, Janice Pereira, Bronna Zlochiver, Janet Rasmussen, Peggy Farabaugh, Dawn Petrovsky and Emily Vergobbe.

Vernon has many master gardeners and butterfly enthusiasts!  We shared some milkweed seedlings (the Monarch caterpillar’s only food source) and will begin planting them in our gardens and back yards.  We’re also reaching out to the Vernon Elementary School VES, the recreation department and the roads commissioner, asking them to support the project by planting milkweed where appropriate on public land.

How to grow milkweed for monarch butterflies

In August and September we will meet again when the Monarchs are laying their eggs and beginning their metamorphoses.  Please contact us through our Facebook if you’re interested in joining our butterfly rescue project or starting one in your own town.  It’s fun, and there’s wine.  What more could you ask for?

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Trees have been scientifically shown to improve health, wealth and happiness
Trees have been scientifically shown to improve health, wealth and happiness. Who knew? Check out the scientific studies below that make it official.

An Unlikely Remedy

Trees.  Who knew?  We founded Vermont Woods Studios 10 years ago on a mission of forest conservation.  Now we’re learning even more about the magic of trees: they’re the key to improved memory, health, wealth & happiness!  Take a leaf out of these new scientific studies that make it official:

  • Trees improve memory: A research team at the University of Michigan gave people a memory test, then assigned some of them to walk through downtown and others to walk through the woods. The participants were tested again upon their return, and the group that took the nature walk scored significantly better!
  • Trees treat depression & improve happiness: The same researchers at UM assessed the moods of people with major depression, then assigned some of them to walk through downtown and others to walk through the woods. After the strolls, the people who’d been through the woods showed greater improvement in “positive affect” — an emotional state typically low in depressed patients.
  • Trees improve mental health:  Researchers gathered data on antidepressant prescriptions across London and paired that with data on the number of trees in the same area.  The places with higher tree densities had significantly lower prescription rates.
  • Trees save your money AND your life: according to Treehugger, about 850 lives are saved each year, the number of acute respiratory symptoms is lower by about 670,000 incidents each year, and the total health care savings attributed to pollution removal by trees is around $7 billion a year.
Trees, Health, Wealth & Intelligence
From all the tree huggers at Vermont Woods Studios–Here’s to your memory, health, wealth & happiness!

We’ve been talking forever about how trees provide food, shelter & housing.  And how they combat pollution & global warming.  And how they provide some of the world’s most effective cancer medications.  So today,  I thought it might be fitting to bring a few newly discovered advantages of trees to light.

From all the tree huggers at Vermont Woods Studios– Here’s to your memory, health, wealth & happiness!

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

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We are excited to roll out our new and improved website! We’ve upgraded the design to be cleaner, easier to read, and more user friendly overall. The days of our minty green background are far behind us, and we are happy to give our customers the best possible experience with our website.

One of the biggest improvements is the look of our category pages. Header images are larger, giving you a better look at the quality and style of our pieces, and product images are larger too–creating a better shopping experience overall.

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These changes are only the beginning of an ongoing project to tell our story and give you the most honest view at our company, our values, and our brand! Keep your eyes on the blog as we reveal more website transformations and upgrades! Until then, browse through our new website template and let us know what you think of it in the comments section!  If you are interested, you can see what it used to look like here.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Autumn in Vermont's Woodlands
Check out VermontVacation.com’s Fall Foliage Forecaster to see where today’s most vibrant leaf peeping is.

Autumn is an exciting season in Vermont! Travelers from all over the world journey here to see our maple trees all dressed up in their most vibrant colors of red, yellow and orange.  What people don’t see is the behind the scenes activity of Vermont’s land-owners and forestry professionals that keeps Vermont’s woodlands healthy for future generations.

At Vermont Woods Studios our professional forester, Lynn Levine is the key person who helps us steward the 109 acres of woodland in our care.  Lynn is an environmental educator, tracker and a consulting forester.  She visited us yesterday to jump start a logging process that will thin out our woodlands, making healthier habitat for resident wildlife.  While here, Lynn dropped off a couple copies of her new book on tracking mammals in Vermont:

Lynn Levine - Managing Vermont's Woodlands
Lynn Levine, our professional consulting forester is also an environmental educator and author.  Her newest book is a waterproof pocket guide on Mammal Tracks and Scat.

Another professional who works behind the scenes to keep Vermont’s woodlands alive and healthy is Kathleen Wanner.  Kathleen is the Executive Director of the Vermont Woodlands Association and also of the Vermont Wood Manufacturer’s Association.  She provides leadership and guidance in many of Vermont’s forest conservation programs including the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative.  Today we received our American Tree Farm Certification which was facilitated by Kathleen.  This is an independent third party testament to our application of 8 standards of sustainability on our land.

American Tree Farm Certification
American Tree Farm Certification is an independent third party testament to our application of 8 standards of sustainability on our land.

Vermont is lucky to have many dedicated forestry professionals and land owners who are passionate about conserving our woodlands for future generations.  It’s not an easy job, as unsustainable development is certainly tempting and lucrative in the short term.

So as you’re out enjoying the beautiful Fall colors of Vermont’s woodlands, keep in mind the connection between sustainable management of the forest and the wood products you may purchase.  Wood furniture, flooring, firewood, dimensional lumber, wood pellets, paper and maple syrup are all products that rely on sustainable forest management.  Support the efforts of Vermont’s sustainable forestry industry by asking vendors where your forest products come from and if they are certified as sustainable.

Next up: our Columbus Day Cherry Furniture Sale

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.