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Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:07 pm
I spent a fair amount of time in this area in both 2005 and 2006. My shots of both Peacham Village and Hillside Acres Farm are posted in the contributors area. I have to say this is one of my favorite “places” in Vermont. It still holds the old “Vermont feel” that is beginning to be lost in other parts of the state. Development has been slower here, as has “modernization.” When you arrive in the Village of Peacham, there is one very small store, and no gasoline stations, or other stores. The area is clearly rural and predominantly agricultural.
Peacham Village is the “iconic shot” here. This is the classic “New England” white church and a farm in the foreground. I am happy to report that this scenic is still very much viable and affords several perspectives from which to photograph it. While there are several ways to approach the village, I would highly recommend taking Mack’s Mountain Road from U.S. 2, just east of Marshfield. This (mostly dirt) road is easily car-accessible, and gives some great mountain views as you approach Peacham. The road ends on Church Street in Peacham. Here there is a fork in the road. Church Street goes Northeast, Past the Church and Peacham Town Hall, down to the main street. To the Southwest, the road is Academy Hill Road, which can be taken to Maple Tree Lane, and used to loop back to Mack’s Mountain Road.
The “shot” of the Village is just off Church Street. Just after you dump onto Church Street, the Peacham Cemetery will be on your right and the Peacham Fire Department on your left. You may park off to the right of the Fire Station (just heed the signs that say “no parking” in front of the fire station). To the North of the parking lot is a large, farm field which goes up a hill behind the church. Walk out onto the field and you will see the views of “the shot” develop. One point to keep in mind is that much of these locations involve private property. This is a farm field and it appears that over the years the farmer has patiently permitted photographers to traipse through this meadow to get this shot. However, in 2005, when this illustration was taken, the field was a hayfield (in 2006, the land was pastured and walking on it was less of a concern, though you definitely had to watch your step). It is just good manners not to tramp down uncut hay or other crops. When entering on such property, I ask permission when possible, and even when not, I try to stay close to fence lines, in pasture land and take other precautions not to damage growing crops. Remember, while we are excited about getting a beautiful shot, this is the livelihood of these farmers.
The Peacham Village shot is one which is best taken in the late afternoon. The afternoon light here goes later than other spots because it is not so soon blocked out by the mountains.
Other shots around Peacham. From the bottom of the cemetery across the road from the Fire Station, you can photograph the long view, with a long lens (at least 300 mm) toward South Peacham and get a couple of farms on the distant hillside.
Take Church Street on to the Main Street (Bayley-Hazen Road), and turn right. Follow it south and at South Peacham, it turns into Peacham-Groton Road. There are several views off toward the East of distant mountains and fields. You can also take Stone House Road West off of the Peacham-Groton Road and go up the hill past the house and there are pretty open views from those fields, again to the East.
At South Peacham, turn left and go to West Barnet. Just past West Barnett, is Stevenson Road, to the North. Turn onto Stevenson, and take the first road to the right. Just up the road is a small cemetery on the right. From the cemetery, you have some pretty spectacular views of distant farms on the hillside. Go back to the main road in West Barnet and continue East on West Barnet Road (there is a rather confusing intersection a short distance outside of West Barnet. Be sure to turn right and stay on West Barnet Road at this intersection). Continue on to Barnet Center Road. You will come to a right turn (North) and over a small bridge onto Barnet Center Road. Go up the hill and through what appears to be a very small village (a church, etc.), and on to the top of the hill.
To your right, you will see the next “Kaplan iconic scenic,” Hillside Acres Farm. Again, this is still a very viable Vermont Scenic. You can photograph this scenic from a variety of perspectives along Barnet Center Road. One problem, here is finding a place to park that is off the road. The road is very narrow and the visibility from both down the hill and up over the top is limited. We were able to find a spot to park in a sugar lot just off the road to the left (West), and walk along the shoulder to photograph the farm. To the south are some pretty impressive views of “Harvey’s Mountain.”
Re: PEACHAM/BARNET AREA
Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:21 am
You found a lot of good spots here. You can get a good long view of Hillacres Farm from the Garland Hill Road. You can pick up this road in West Barnet or off the West Barnet Rd using the Gilfillan Rd and Cloud Brook Rd. If you drive the Mack Mountain Rd out to route US 2, turn left and at the bottom of the hill turn right on the Danville Hill Rd. When you come out on the top of the hill in Cabot, you have quite a panoramic view. One area I think you should check out is the area north of Montpelier between routes 12 and 14. This encompasses the towns of East Montpelier, Calais, and Woodbury. The main artery would be the County Road, which starts out as North Main Street in Montpelier. The area has quite a variety of views and scenes. Kent's Corners has the old Kent Homestead and Robinson's Sawmill. The Tebbitts Rd goes under a barn. At the jct of the Horn Of The Moon Rd and the Jacobs Rd there is a long view with an old lonely barn. There are some ponds and swamps also. This area is full of short roads that criss-cross each other so it can be confusing. If you have a VT atlas you will have no trouble. If you don't, stop off at the welcome center at 134 State Street in Montpelier, just west of the Capitol Building, and get a map.
Re: PEACHAM/BARNET AREA
Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:17 am
Thanks,Phil: I have read some of these suggestions in your previous posts on the foliage forum. Unfortunately, there is only so much time (especially when you are racing with the foliage changes). I will definitely keep this information and will explore some of these places on my next trip.
Of course, its a great advantage to live in the state, particularly somewhat centrally, as you do.
Thanks for the information. Its exactly what I am hoping will happen here.
Best wishes for the upcoming holidays, Phil.
Re: PEACHAM/BARNET AREA
Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:17 pm
You could spend all day in that area above Montpelier.
Different shot of Peacham from the other hill
Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:40 pm
Andy asked if I would also post this info from the Foliage forum here as well. It's a shot that pro photog Alan Graham got on the cover of Vermont Life a few years back.
One photographic spot not mentioned for the town of Peacham is actually in East Peacham. It's a shot for first light in the morning. From the Peacham store (which got a great write-up in the latest issue of Vermont magazine) head down the hill until you reach a crossroads at the bottom, then head straight up the hill. When you reach a wide open field on the right at the top, park your car, and look back toward the far hill. The town, with the prominent white steeple, is framed by foliage trees at the edge of the field. Looking to the left, there's also a great red barn scene. If my information is correct, it's at the Richard Brown homestead. Brown has a few great photo books out on Vermont. Another great view is to take the road that runs opposite the field up the hill to the next road. Turn left, and the road quickly reaches a panoramic view of Peacham and the hills in the distance. Another great morning shot. After you're done, head down the hill to the road, take a left and that brings you back to the bottom of the hill that leads back up to the Peacham store. Hopefully they're open with a steaming hot cup of coffee and pastries awaiting.
Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 8:18 am
Thanks, Pentaxguy. Last time I was in Vermont, I bought a book at one of the tourist locations called Mayer's Best of Vermont. I think there are shots from this location in that book (of the village and the red barn, I think), for anyone who wants to see it. The book is in bookstores in Vermont, I know and was only about $15. While I always want to get my own version, it is nice to see the shot and see what you are looking for.
I couldn't figure out (after the fact) where that could have been taken from, but now that I see your directions and look at the photo again, I can see it.
Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:51 pm
I followed your directions to the top of the hill in E Peacham and just wanted to thank you for the directions and the info about that spot. When we got to the top of that hill, I went to put my teleconverter lens on my camera, but the lens adapter was broken, so I was not able to use it.
Here is one of the pictures from your spot:
Thanks again Pentaxguy!!!!!