June 22, 2022
Montpelier, US 66 F

Haunted Vermont, Folklore & much more…

Abandoned Places in Vermont You May Never Forget

As you travel around the Green Mountains of Vermont, you’ll soon become aware of a number of places that have been long abandoned, yet still maintain a sense of curious attraction. From houses to where generations of Vermont families lived and passed away to factories, luxury hotels and even military bases, there seem to be many places that arouse the curiosity within all of us.

Abandoned Vermont: Down Forgotten Backroads, published in 2021, brings readers on a journey down roads throughout Vermont where once loved homes and flourishing farms and businesses now sit empty, forgotten and untouched as nature reclaims them. They sit still and quiet as life around these places passes them by. Underneath the caving roofs and behind the dirty and broken windows, these places hold memories and long to be remembered. You can order this fascinating book here.

Vermont has an abundance of old, abandoned places that have become iconic because of their demise. They are easy to find, and many of them are temptingly inviting in their long, forgotten states of disrepair and neglect.

Looking for abandoned places in Vermont?

Abandoned estates, resorts, ski areas, Air Force bases and much more. Some of these places are well known and most people have never ventured beyond what they see from their point of view. Rightfully so as some of these places are mysterious, spooky and unfortunately dangerous or illegal to trespass at.

The Lowell-Eden Vermont Asbestos Group Mine

lowell asbestos mine
Long abandoned mine shafts reaching to the top of an asbestos mountain

The author of this article was a UPS driver who delivered packages to the now, long abandoned Vermont Asbestos Group Mine back in the 1990s. It was a hive of activity, dust and noise and back then, I never had a clue about the high levels of toxicity inherent within the many asbestos mounds. It was simply another hectic day as a UPS driver – one hell of a long diversion off my normal route.

Vermont has some very interesting and tempting places to visit

Hyde Manor is one of those mysterious places along Vermont’s rural highways. You drive past and wonder in amazement how an old but magnificent place like this could exist way out in the midst of a sparsely populated Vermont town.

The former Grandeur of Hyde Manor Now Reduced to Rubble

Hyde Manor photo courtesy of Mike Ballantine

This former grand hotel and resort, located in Sudbury, VT just a few miles south of Middlebury, is one place that people seek most. Though now decrepit and slowly falling victim to the ravages of time, this magnificent structure still amazes passersby who venture through the small, Lake Hortonia community.

From Rte 30, you can clearly see the decaying Hyde Manor, especially during fall and winter, when the trees have shed their leaves. Sadly, there isn’t much left of the landmark as it passes into the annals of history. Read more about the Hyde Manor here.

Hyde Manor in it's glory days
Hyde Manor in it’s glory days

Thanks to Mike Ballantine, who has a Facebook group called Abandoned Vermont, which has some fascinating photos (such as the one above) and some great stories.

The Stronghold House in Middlebury, VT

This historic home has been long abandoned but as of 2022, there have been rumors that the sadly dilapidated house has been purchased and possibly being considered for renovations. The home’s proud history dates back to the US Revolution.

In 1765, the Strong family settled in Addison County, Vermont. They were among the first settlers in the area. John Strong served in the Revolutionary War. After the war, he represented Addison at the state convention, which passed the Constitution and approved the admission of Vermont as the 14th state in the Union.

One of John’s eldest sons, Samuel Strong also joined the army and became a general. During the War of 1812, General Samuel Strong was instrumental in organizing the forces for the Battle of Plattsburgh. Samuel constructed a beautiful home on West Main Street in the town of Vergennes.

They built the house in the late Georgian/early Federalist architectural style. Nicknamed “Stronghold”, the house remained in the Strong family for nearly 180 years. The house was privately sold in the late 1970s and has been in a state of decay ever since.

A Real Vermont Ghost Town

Rickers Basin House

Ricker Basin, which is also known as Ricker Mills is a classic Vermont “ghost town” that was abandoned back in the early 1900’s after two floods devastated the small community. What remains today, and is there any truth to the legends and ghost stories surrounding this long abandoned Vermont community?

Enjoy the entire, fascinating article about Waterbury’s Ricker Basin and the Ricker Basin photo gallery.

The abandoned North Concord Radar Station, Air Force base located high in the hills of East Haven, VT

The radar base is one of the most popular abandoned places in Vermont. It was an active part of the Cold War and was built because of its strategic location for spying on Soviet Union.

It has always been an intriguing location, sought by many. Unfortunately, the location which is now a privately owned property, has been vandalized and destroyed by people with little to no respect for such places. In early October 2021, investigators say that the fire at the abandoned Air Force radar station in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom was arson.

The Lyndonville Air Force Base

The base became operational in 1956 and was renamed the Lyndonville AFS in 1962. The site and its operations were closed by the Air Force in 1963, leaving many of the buildings standing but decaying into disrepair over the years. Read the full article about the abandoned radar station here.

abandoned air force base vermont
Photo courtesy of Chad Abramovich

Connections to the Betty and Barney Hill UFO incident

The base was constructed by the Air Force in the 1950s, but was abandoned in 1963. Over the decades the buildings at the base deteriorated due to weather and human carelessness. The base is known for a fascinating history, including airmen claiming to see a UFO just hours before a New Hampshire couple, Betty and Barney Hill, reported being abducted by aliens.

The Elgin Springs House Still Standing but Not For Long

Many years ago, upon locating the site of Elgin Spring, Hiram Allen realized that he had found a lucrative business opportunity during the antebellum era, a time period when the therapeutic healing procedure known as spring hotels was popular.

Photo courtesy of Chad Abramovich of Obscure Vermont

He built an attention-grabbing Greek Revival-inspired addition to his cottage-style farmhouse and turned his home into a boarding house, located in the top of lengthy, steep pasture lands, with a breathtaking view of the rough Adirondacks fading away in the distance. Unfortunately for favored tourists, the waters of the springs were fed to tour groups because of their supposed healing properties, and were claimed to disinfect.

The picture of water at Elgin Springs so captivating it inspired writers to compare the springs to notable springs around the world led to the story of this place being mentioned in 1889.

But as with most health-related industries, the fad endured for only twenty decades. The business thrived for two decades until 1870 before closing down forever. From that point on, it was a private residence that changed hands a number of times in the following few decades. By the 1970s, the house had been deteriorating due to neglect.

The town of Panton had finally given its consent to condemn the property, so it was abandoned. The family who had possessed the building at the time sold off the salvaged furniture, etc. for their own benefit. They’ve been contacted by curious people who wanted to buy the family’sproperty on several occasions, but the buyers have been rejected.

The whole area has been totally submerged in vines and fallen trees, giving it a wild, fantastical appearance. Even the decaying structure appeared as though nature was attempting to exert its power to silence this place, using the overgrown roots and twisted trees to seize and haul this home upon itself, stealing back what had belonged to her long ago. As of 2022, there is not much remaining as the house continues to collapse into the overgrowth of trees. Nature is rapidly reclaiming this once proud property.

Additional photos and articles about the Elgin Springs can be enjoyed at Obscure Vermont and Preservation in Pink.

Frontier Town in Upstate New York

Although this one isn’t in Vermont, it’s close by and one of the most intriguing and thought provoking, abandoned places in the Northeast. Unfortunately, the former western theme park is now long gone, after being totally removed and renovated into a campground, equestrian and day use area.

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