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The snug little harbor of Vergennes became a shipyard for the lake steamers and ferries that carried even more hill farmers giving up on their marginal farms to settle in the west. The banks of Otter Creek were bordered by a tow-path for barges traveling to and fro with the products of the farmers who stayed. The continuing prosperity of the town in the late 19th and early 20th centuries shows in the town hall, built in 1896, and the Bixby Library. The opera house is on the second floor of the city hall, and there are ambitious plans to keep its performance hall busy after the restorations are completed.

And even in the time of year we call, with characteristic directness, mud season, the towns are attractive to look at and to be in. As they lie deep in winter snow, many of them swann with skiers, and many others close to popular ski areas welcome tired skiers to the firesides of their inns and restaurants. For the "white gold" sustains the Vermont economy in winter just as its legendary maple leaves do in the fall and its moderate temperatures and fresh mountain air do in the summer. People like to come to Vermont, in any season.

Within eight and a half months he built the 26-gun Saratoga, the 16-gun Ticonderoga, a 20-gun brig, three sloops, and eleven 75-foot gunboats, giving him a fleet of 17 new vessels to contest domination of the lake. All of the wood for Saratoga was cut within five and a half days and she was afloat in the incredible span of 40 days from the time her timbers were growing in the forest. The site was a perfect one. McDonough had a harbor that was safe from attack by the British fleet, and the settlement at Vergennes offered not only sawmills for his lumber, but iron furnaces and blacksmith shops as well.

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