The Bennington Battle Monument is 306 feet 4 and 1/2 inches tall and was completed and dedicated in 1891. It is constructed from blue-grey magnesian limestone. When we had arrived at Bennington, Vermont, the previous evening, it was easy to spot the monument as its obelisk shape reaches high above the surrounding town of Bennington.
When we arrived in Bennington, it was beginning to get dark and we began looking for accommodation for the evening. At this time of the year it is not usually difficult to find suitable accommodation in larger centers so we had no reservations for the evening. We did have a particular B&B located near the monument in mind but, as it turned out, the folks who arrived in the parking lot only a few minutes before us got the last available room so off we went back downhill to the Paradise Lodge. It is very nice but a bit tough to find since it is located a distance off of the road with other buildings between its entrance and the main road. Behind the buildings there is a very nice garden area with a beautiful pool but not something that we would be staying around to enjoy on this trip.
The roadway to the monument passes through a residential area and the tree leaves were putting on a wonderful show of color.
The Monument is 37 feet square at its base and has an internal observation area 200 feet up from the base. People taking the elevator to the observation deck get to look at the surrounding countryside through 20 vertical slots (5 per side). I was rather looking forward ot the exercise of walking up the stairs to the 200 foot level but soon learned that the stairs had been closed many years ago for safety reasons.
Statue of Brigadier General John Stark is one of a number of statues and markers erected in the open areas around the base of the main obelisk/monument. In addition to historical themes, there was also an artistically painted moose statue highlighting the various covered bridges located in this area of Vermont.
For camera equipment, I was carrying my Nikon D300 with a 17 – 35 mm lens while my bag also held a 105 mm lens and a 10.5 mm fish-eye lens. Once I had taken a few normal wide-angle shots, I then had a bit of fun with the fish-eye lens.
The fish-eye lens captures a very wide angle but also introduces an artificial curvature the nearer one gets to the edge of the image and straight walls can suddenly become very bow-shaped.
I was joined on the observation deck by a number of students. Since one of them had a Nikon camera, I supplied a bit of entertainment to the mix by letting him experiment with the fish-eye lens on his Nikon camera. They seemed to be enjoying their visit to the monument and with a bit of coaxing, the elevator operator eventually agreed to join in the group shot! :-).
A pleasant elevator ride back down to the ground level led to a space where the kettel captured from Burgoyne’s camp hung from the ceiling and a diorama provided a better idea of how the Bennington Battle would have looked in 1777.
The Bennington Battle itself took place 10 miles form where the monument was located but our schedule didn’t provide time for a visit to the actual battle site.
As I was driving down the road and away form the monument, I remembered that I had meant to stop and take another photo of the monument from the approach side.
I stopped the car and turned to take the photo that I wanted and as if on cue, around the corner came a vintage car and honked its horn. I got out of the way :-).
Our next stop was the Bennington Museum.