Town of Hartford also known as White River Junction is located on the banks of the White and Connecticut Rivers, and part of the Connecticut River BywaysFive distinct, historic villages make up the town – Hartford, West Hartford, White River Junction, Wilder, and Quechee. White River Junction was the first and largest railroad center in Vermont. Every year, train enthusiasts from all over come to enjoy The Glory Days of the Railroad, a festival celebrating its 13th year this September 10th. In 1849, the railways created a need for first-class hotel accommodations. The Junction House – later renamed the Hotel Coolidge after the father of President Calvin Coolidge – still stands there today.
The village of Quechee is the site of the famous Quechee Gorge, “Vermont’s Grand Canyon”. It is also host to the popular Quechee Balloon Festival which just celebrated its 36th anniversary.
Hartford is also considered part of the " Upper Valley. The Upper Valley includes the townships in Vermont of Norwich, Sharon, Thetford, Hartland, and the Windsor Area, and Hanover, Lebanon, Lyme, and Enfield, in New Hampshire. These cities and towns serve the employment base of Dartmouth College, Dartmouth - Hitchcock Medical Center, and the manufactures of many hi tech products and services.
Employment opportunities abound. some of the major employers are:
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Hypertherm the Leader in Plasma cutting technologies.
White River Junction Veterans Administration Medical Center
Timpken Super Precision Bearings
Area Schools include:
Hartford School District 802-295-8600
Dothan Brook School 802-295-8647
White River School 802-295-8650
Hartford Memorial Middle School 802-2958640
Hartford High School 802-295-8610
Hartford Area Career & Technical Center 802-295-8630
Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce is also a great source of local information.
Culture and Community links
Briggs Opera House and the Coolidge Hotel are the cultural
core of downtown White River Junction. Northern Stage presents live theater
at the Opera House. The Tunbridge World's Fair, held in nearby Tunbridge in late summer, has been a regional tradition for a century.
Dartmouth College, across the river in Hanover, NH, is one of the premier cultural sites in northern New England. In addition to its libraries and bookstore, it boasts the Hood Museum of Art and the Hopkins Center, a leading center for the performing arts.
Among the most illustrious artists of the Connecticut River Valley was the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907). The Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Cornish, NH, preserves the home, gardens and studios where the sculptor summered from 1885-1897. Displayed here are reproductions of some of his most well-known works, including the Chicago sculpture depicting Abraham Lincoln, the Shaw Memorial in Boston, and the monument to General Sherman in front of New York's Plaza Hotel. Saint-Gaudens drew into his sphere many other artists and musicians who collectively became known as the Cornish Colony, here at "little New York," from about 1885-1935. The National Park Service manages the 150 acre site, including hiking trails that explore the park's natural areas.
Among those drawn to the Cornish Colony was the Parrish family, including popular artist Maxfield Parrish, who created luminous paintings of Connecticut River Valley scenes. Those who live here know that the remarkable lighting for which his work is so well known is a true reflection of the Connecticut River Valley skies. The Town Hall in Plainfield, NH, features recently restored stage scenery of Parrish's design. His work is shown at the Cornish Colony Gallery & Museum, Cornish, NH.