Tom Slayton


Tom Slayton is a longtime journalist, editor and author who lives in Montpelier.

Vermont Historical Society

The recent fire that damaged Notre Dame triggered an outpouring of French anguish over the near-destruction of a building they considered a part of France’s soul. That got me thinking about our buildings here in Vermont. And which buildings, if any, are so important they sum up our experience as a state and stand for what we consider ourselves to be?

Slayton: The New Ceres

Jan 3, 2019
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur

The beautiful new statue of Agriculture, better known as Ceres, is finally back atop the dome of the Vermont State House, and she looks just great. She’s been up there for a while now and it still gives me a warm and happy glow every time I go past the State House and see her.

Ed Koren / Button Street Press

At Bear Pond Books recently, in the midst of what passes for a huge crowd in downtown Montpelier, Ed Koren, the New Yorker cartoonist who has lived in Brookfield for decades, was signing copies of his new collection of cartoons.

Bennington Museum

Bennington Museum’s current exhibition of New Deal art is a fine collection of prints, photographs and paintings from the 1930s – including several paintings by my father, Ronald A. Slayton.

Meg Malone

Mount Philo in North Ferrisburgh was formed about five hundred million years ago, and ever since humans came along some millennia later, its summit has provided us with an unparalleled vista of the Champlain Valley.


We like to think of Vermont as an honest, open-hearted place. Would national politics ever cloud or distort that? Perish the thought!

ArtCare Conservation / St. Johnsbury Athenaeum

Like many Vermonters, one of the state’s most important artworks spent last winter in Florida.

Betty Smith / VPR

As I walked out onto the boardwalk that crosses Eshqua Bog in Hartland, the trees opened out above me, a broad sky appeared, and the idea of trolls peeping up from under the resounding boards began to seem distinctly possible.

To my mind, the passing of Vermont Life Magazine is a sad and sobering cultural milestone.

Philip Hoff and his wife, Joan, pose in front of the Vermont Statehouse at Hoff's gubernatorial inauguration, which took place Jan. 17, 1963.
Associated Press

Historians debate whether historic change is made by forceful men and women, or by larger forces — trends and events that push human beings into actions that they may believe they are in charge of. But with Phil Hoff, it was a combination of both.

Old Vermont, the Vermont many of us grew up in, was rural, isolated, and poor in many material aspects - but rich in tradition, humor, and dignity.

Slayton: The New Ceres

Apr 3, 2018
Bob Kinzel

She may be the best-known, most widely recognized sculpture in the State of Vermont, and she stood at her post, high atop Vermont’s most important building, for some 80 years. But this week she was taken down, and she’s going to be replaced.

The publication this month of Green Mountain Scholar: Samuel B. Hand commemorates the legacy of a man who — in the process of changing his own thinking about Vermont — changed the way we understand our history, even today

It’s hard to imagine that Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Vermont author and ultra-respectable taste-setter in the Nineteen-Thirties and Forties, could become a figure of controversy, but that’s what’s happened.

Holiday dinners are not what they used to be for my family. They’re smaller and quieter. Parents and grandparents on both sides of the family are long gone, and Liz and I are now the senior generation.

Summers when I was a boy, we’d sometimes go to visit my uncle, who had a small farm on the shores of Lake Champlain. Occasionally we’d take his old rowboat and row ourselves out to a drop-off, where the water suddenly went to more than 10 feet deep. There, you could peer down and see weeds and sand on the lake bottom. It was that clear.

As you turn off busy Route 7 in Ferrisburgh and pull into Rokeby, the historic home of the Rowland Robinson family, you might think that you’re entering a different world

But you’re not.

Slayton: Chimney Point

Oct 6, 2017

History lies in thousand-year-old layers at Chimney Point in West Addison, a place where the eastern and western shores of Lake Champlain come close together. It’s one of the two most strategically important points on the lake.

Old houses have stories to tell. And none is a more eloquent storyteller than the homestead of Justin Smith Morrill in Strafford.

Vermont Division for Historic Preservation

Our heroic Revolutionary War heritage sleeps quietly at Mount Independence. But the Mount, a point that thrusts north into Lake Champlain opposite Fort Ticonderoga, has important, dramatic stories to tell.