The nickname was created by Governor George Aiken during a political appearance, on March 24th 1949 in Lyndonville, Vermont.
Years later George Aiken recalled his off the cuff remarks in an interview, where he briefly re-named the kingdom to express sarcastic frustration about opposition to improved east-west transportation.
“It seemed just a natural thing to do, to call it the Northeast Kingdom. And now I tell them that they’re going to not finish the highway from St. Johnsbury across to New Hampshire or they’re going to not put the railroad in passable condition, they better call it the Forgotten Kingdom, instead of the Northeast Kingdom.”
While the phrase has become popular on bumper stickers (NEK) and throughout Vermont, the man who really brought it to life through his chronicles of life in the Northeast Kingdom, was Scott Wheeler, publisher of the Vermont Northland Journal. Scott contributes his time and work by documenting how life really was in northern Vermont, during the yesteryear’s. His work and collaboration with media around the world have only helped to make the phrase, “Northeast Kingdom” become better known around the world.
We are fortunate enough to share some of Mr. Wheeler’s stories with you here. Note that these are a tiny sampling of the work that Scott has done over the years. We highly recommend that you visit the Vermont Northland Journal where you can subscribe to monthly online issues or have them delivered to your home.
- Montgomery Ward – A Newport, VT Icon From the Past
- Bootlegging in Vermont was Risky Business
- Jacques Boisvert – Scuba Diver, Historian, Ecologist, and Monster Hunter
- The Famous Fur Bearing Trout of Lake Memphremagog
- Gerald Bull’s Project Babylon Supergun
- Polar Bear Rescued by Derby, Vermont Man
- A Farmer’s Work is Never Done – Even in Death
- Jay Peak Ski and Summer Resort Celebrates 50 Years
- Live Free or Die in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom
- Ghosts Still Visit Cahoon Farm
- The Pipe-Smoking Fisherwoman of Newport, VT
- Slipperyskin – Bear, Bigfoot, or Indian?
- Surviving the Brutal Cold Weather of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom