Grandma Lampman’s Preserve at Maquam in Swanton, Vermont

Grandma Lampman’s Preserve is also known as the Maquam Wildlife Management Area in Swanton, VT. It is made up of 872 acres of land which encompasses Route 36 in Swanton, VT. Martha “Grandma” Lampman was an Abenaki woman who lived in this area on a small road that is 200ft south of Route 36. There is a plaque where her house once stood and sacred burial sites containing her kin. In 1991, this site was secured by Abenaki community leaders in order to preserve it and preserve a piece of Abenaki history as well. This area was also attractive to European settlers as well and it was also the site of an attack by the British on an munitions depot during the War of 1812. Beavers, muskrats, mink, river otters, water shrews and star-nosed moles are some of the mammals present within this area. Foxes, raccoons and deer also frequent this area. Osprey and Bald Eagles are just two of the bird species that can be sighted here. The endangered spiny softshell turtle can also be sighted at Maquam. Bass, Pike and Bullhead are just some of the fish species found as well. If not for the efforts of Abenaki community leaders, this land would have fallen prey to development.

[i]  Maquam Wildlife Management Area
[ii] Women’s History Vermont: Martha Lampman

Site of historic Missisquoi Village and first Jesuit Mission in Vermont

Located on Monument Road on the Swanton/Highgate town line is the site of the historic Missisquoi village, which also doubles as the site of the First Jesuit mission in the state of Vermont, which was established around the year 1700. There is a totem pole and a plaque as well to mark the importance of this area. There is a checkered past in regards to land use and suburbanization of the Monument Road. In 1973, 88 sets of Abenaki remains were documented by UVM at a site owned by the Boucher family. The remains were determined to be over 10,000 years old and they were kept by UVM until 1989 when a visit by Chief Homer St.Francis discovered that a human skull was being used as a doorstep. St.Francis was outraged and thus began a battle to re-claim said remains and re-inter. In 1996, the State of Vermont purchased a plot of land in which the remains were properly re-interred by Acting Chief April St.Francis-Merrill. Another dispute came about in 2000 when more remains were discovered by the Bushey family during construction on their site. After said remains were discovered, enraged Abenakis from Vermont as well as New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine blockaded the Monument Road in protest of continued development on ground that is very sacred to the Abenaki. April St.Francis-Merrill claimed that when the bones were dug up, she became sick. It is not hard to understand how important it is for native remains to receive a proper burial and it’s important to protect those remains as well. After input from April St.Francis-Merrill, the State of Vermont purchased the Bushey site on June 21,2000 for $60,000. The blockaded ended in November of 2000 and on November 4th, 2000, the remains were re-interred at the site.

[iii] Article: Unquiet Earth In Abenaki Country

Photo source:

Chimney Point,  Addison VT

Archaeological evidence has documented that Abenakis hunted, camped and fished at Chimney point 7,500 years ago.  However, another view of history claims that  Abenakis started making pottery, domesticating animals and living in villages  around 1,000 B.C . They developed bow and arrows and made sharp stone blades.  This period of time which started in 1,000 B.C and ended in 1600 AD was known as the Woodland period and it gave rise to the ancestors of today’s modern-day Abenakis. Lake Champlain became an important trading point and copper, shell and stones were traded.

[iv] Vermont Department of Historical Preservation

Photo Source:  Rock Dunder in Lake Champlain

Rock Dunder

In Lake Champlain, there is a site between Juniper Island and Shelburne Point known as “Rock Dunder”. This site is sacred to the Abenaki because it is said to be known in Abenaki folklore as the location of Odzihozo (The Creator). The Odzihozo creation story talks about the creation of the Champlain Valley.  An excerpt follows:

Dust from the Owner (Tabaldak) created Odzihozo. Odzihozo, while laying down, created the Green Mountains by pushing to one side and created the Adirondack Mountains by pushing to the opposite side. Odzihozo now had legs (mountains) but he still could not stand up so he reached out with his arms and his fingers gouged out river channels in the earth. He shaped legs and feet and when he stood up, he left a hole in the earth. Water flowed into this hole, creating Lake Champlain.  Abenakis call Lake Champlain Bitawbagok (The Waters Between). Odzihozo was so pleased with his creation that he changed himself into a rock in Burlington Bay (Rock Dunder) so he could admire his handiwork.


[v] Historic Lakes: Odzihozo