Outing to the Northeast Kingdom

Arrive in Jay, Vermont in the morning and drive around the base of Jay Peak Resort. Witness all of the expansion that has taken place over the past 2 years.

Your next stop is at the Old Stone House Museum, once a student dormitory known as Athenian Hall. The building is a part of the Brownington Village Historic District, a district of ten historic buildings added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

The Old Stone House, or Athenian Hall, was built in 1836 by Alexander Twilight, the nation's first African-American college graduate. Twilight was the minister of the Brownington Congregational Church and the principal of the Orleans County Grammar School.

The Orleans County Grammar School was the only high school in the county that required many students to travel long distances for their education. They boarded with families in town, including Twilight's. Athenian Hall was built to accommodate the larger number of students attending the Grammar School.

Twilight began building in 1834 and finished two years later. From 1836 to 1859, the building was used as a dormitory for school children, boys and girls. Due to diminishing school enrollment Athenian Hall was closed for good in 1859. For a brief time Mercy Ladd Merrill Twilight continued to live there with a few boarders.

The building stayed vacant until 1918 when the Stone House was put up for auction. A representative of the railroad in the State of Vermont bid on the structure with the hopes of using the granite stones for bridge abutments. The Orleans County Historical Society bid at the price of $500 (the equivalent of $7840 in current dollars) and won the auction. The building was opened as a museum in 1925.

The building has four floors with twenty-two rooms of exhibits. It is dedicated to the history of the last two centuries in Orleans County, Vermont, and to the life of Alexander Twilight, the first African-American college graduate in the U.S. and state legislator.

After your visit to the Museum, travel a short distance to Derby for a fabulous luncheon. This eatery has become the favorite of locals and visitors alike and has recently won the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence! Dine on the freshest of ingredients made with an Italian flare.

Lake memphremagog After lunch, arrive on the shores of Lake Memphramagog and board the Northern Star for a narrated scenic cruise. Learn about the local boys during the days of prohibition, the geological miracles that formed the lake millions of years ago, the rich habitat of loons, eagles and other birds plus a whole lot more!