The Legend of “Boots Berry”
Any self respecting Vermont Inn has a resident ghost or two. The Green Mountain Inn located in Stowe is no exception. As a matter of fact, they have a very unique tap dancing ghost.
The Inn itself is more than 173 years old and during that time, it has welcomed a variety of guests from famous celebrities to the rowdiest of individuals. The Inn was also home to a local man named Boots Berry, whose life ended on the grounds of the historic Inn.
Boots was the son of the Inn’s horseman and chambermaid. He was actually born at the Inn – Room 302 in 1840. During that time the room was located on the third floor as part of the servant’s quarters. He grew up in and around the building and took over his father’s work there in his twenties.
He became known as a respected horseman and caretaker of the Inn’s horses. He was also responsible for providing fresh horses for the daily stagecoach. On one particular morning, the stagecoach team bolted and began to runaway with passengers on board. Boots was quick to react and stopped the runaway stage, saving the lives of the passengers inside. He was awarded a medal for heroism and he became well known and popular throughout the county.
Unfortunately, his new found popularity also led to his downfall. He became unreliable and took to drinking and women, in perhaps an excessive amount of both. He eventually lost his job at the Inn. After that, he traveled the country and wound up in a New Orleans jail, where he learned to tap dance from a fellow prisoner.
At the beginning of 1902, Boots found his way back to Stowe. He was broke and only carried the tattered clothes on his back. Shortly after he arrived, there was a severe snowstorm which trapped a little girl on the roof of the Inn. Boots found his way to the roof and lowered the little girl to safety. Just as she was safe on the ground, Boots lost his footing on the ice covered roof and fell to his death. The roof he was on was directly above Room 302, where he was born. On stormy days, it is said that you can hear Boots Berry tap dancing on the roof.
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