On a boat on the lake

For one of my jobs right now, at the Vermont Women’s History Project, I’m writing up a profile on Augusta Brown.  Augusta Brown was an artist from Brooklyn, and in the summer of 1895, she and three friends took a leisurely trip from New York to Montreal on canal boats, going up the Champlain Canal and up the lake, and then to Montreal by train.

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This woman was cool, and her story reads like a typically awesome in-your-mid-20s summer vacation from 115 years ago (though she was in her 50s, making it even awesomer).  Brooklyn artist take summer trip to Vermont on unusual and cheap transportation, sketching and writing in her journal along the way.

Here is what she brought with her: “a small telescope bag, containing a change of clothes, a warm shawl and an umbrella. . .a shade hat and an extra pair of shoes.”

And here is what they did, pretty much the whole trip: lounging on the deck of the boat, rigging up a little canopy on the deck to nap under, drawing, writing, napping, eating mince pie, Boston baked beans, and cocoa, sleeping outside on deck at night, and occasionally getting off the boat to hang around on some docks and maybe get some tea.

I WOULD LIKE TO BE TAKING THIS VERY TRIP, RIGHT NOW!  Yes, I would like to be on a small boat on Lake Champlain, in the summer, with my friends, making some drawings and basically just hanging around for WEEKS, until I got to Montreal.

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You can find more about Augusta Brown in Russell Bellico’s book, Chronicles of Lake Champlain: Journey in War and Peace.

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It would be sunny, and we would lay around under our little tent and feel a breeze.

darkAnd then the sun would go down, but the breeze on the lake would keep the bugs away, and we would polish off a piece of mince pie, listen to the little mini-waves and fall asleep out in the air, and then wake up for more of the same the next day.  Take me there!

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