The Brattleboro Words Trail leads listeners on an exciting exploration of the people and places that make it America's most storied small town.
Photo by Mike Kelly
The Brattleboro Words Trail map is available around town. Pick one up today to start your journey and share with everyone.
The Brattleboro Words Trail
From Abenakis who first lived here to the Nobel Laureates who made it their home, the Brattleboro Words Trail unlocks the secrets of America’s most storied small town. Audio stories and maps guide listeners through a treasure trove of tales told by local artists, writers and students, an array of voices illuminates the rich past of writing, printing, publishing and ‘words’ embedded in the rivers, mountains, streets and buildings. Visitors can savor the rich and varied language of this ‘Gateway to Vermont’ where stories unfold as you listen.
Vermont Folklife Center, Brattleboro Literary Festival, Brattleboro Historical Society, Brooks Memorial Library and Write Action have joined forces to document how this history is embedded in particular places and make it accessible for all. People, Places & History of Words in Brattleboro, Vermont (The Brattleboro Words Project) was awarded a multi-year National Endowment for the Humanities matching grant to help connect today’s citizens to the stories behind the places we share—and each other, as we help shape the future of our places—together.
A Special Thank You!
The community spent nearly four years engaging in a new way of exploring the meaning of this place and developing the highly praised Brattleboro Words Trail and the book, Print Town: Brattleboro’s Legacy of Words.
None of it would have been possible without the contributions of over 200 people, dozens of leaders and organizations, many thousands of volunteered hours, and firm financial support from our sponsors.
We are eternally grateful to all.
Creating the Words Trail Map
Cynthia Parker-Houghton, Lead Studio Designer at Natalie Blake Studios in Brattleboro, VT, uses the landscape to unite the narratives of the Brattleboro Words Trail.
With the generous support of many local volunteers and contributors, the Words Trail brings into vivid focus the people and places forming Brattleboro’s unique identity as a center for innovation and excellence in printing, publishing, writing and storytelling.
Get the Book!
For well over 100 years, Brattleboro was nationally recognized as a “print town.”
Print Town: Brattleboro’s Legacy of Words features over 30 authors with connections to Brattleboro, all lending a unique perspective and style to telling the story of Brattleboro’s long history, and ongoing legacy, of printing, publishing, and “words”.
“At long last, the important history of Brattleboro as a print town and all its implications will finally be told, as it is a microcosm of the story of the nation at large.”
Jeff Potter, Editor-in-Chief, The Commons, Brattleboro, VT
“In harnessing its community’s creativity to tell the diverse and entertaining stories that make this town a nationally significant literary hub, the Brattleboro Words Trail is an exceptional resource and attraction for tourists and locals alike, offering multiple destinations around an intriguing central theme for those who seek a unique Vermont experience.”
“By bringing together partners from different backgrounds to share in a common mission, the Brattleboro Words Project helps unite the community at a time when there is too much division in the world.”
“The Brattleboro area has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to its history of book publishing, printing, literature and the like, but few people who live here, much less outsiders, appreciate this history. The Brattleboro Words Project brings these facts to the fore in an entertaining and creative way that aims to involve the whole community over time.”