Place:Benson, Rutland, Vermont, United States

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NameBenson
TypeTown
Coordinates43.7°N 73.3°W
Located inRutland, Vermont, United States
Contained Places
Cemetery
Fairview Cemetery
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Benson is a town in Rutland County, Vermont, United States. The population was 1,056 at the 2010 census. The town is rural, with a concentration of several homes and businesses in Benson Village, at the intersection of Stage Road and Lake Road. Benson village is the centerpiece of a complex local economy that includes obstacle courses, a taco truck, the Wheel Inn tavern, a general store, an alpaca farm, a museum, a town transfer station, a do-it-yourself furniture store, a bookshop, three antique stores, a tungsten mine,a sandwich shop, and a quaint Bed and Breakfast throughout the town's main road.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

While nobody seems to be quite sure as to the precise origin of the town's name, most historians over the years have speculated that it was named for Egbert Benson, a respected lawyer and Revolutionary War officer, who was instrumental in negotiating the land claim which New York had made to Vermont — a congressionally mandated prerequisite for Vermont joining the Union as a state of its own, rather than being divided between New York and New Hampshire. Benson residents have entered into some disputes over the history of the town in the recent publication "Remembering Benson" over the origin of the town's name. Lilian Snyder Philips Smith, who moved to Benson in 1948, claimed that her late husband Percy Phillips' great-great grandfather Benson Philips was an early selectman responsible for chartering the town's first primary school in 1813. This was contradicted by Leonard Lussier, who questioned Mrs. Snyder Philips Smith's account as "probably malarkey."

Benson's political history has been checkered with Tory, Republican, Progressive, and Know Nothing sentiments. Local Historian Genevieve Trutor expressed surprise at Benson's progressive streak, noting that the brief tenure of 1920s representative Susannah W. Nifong was surprising to locals as well as anyone who might consider the prevalent political conditions at the time. Mrs. Trutor was an active feminist agitator during her own time, arguing for women to be engaged in front-line combat during World War II.

The Benson Tungsten Mine opened in 1968, near the junction of Stage Road and Vermont Route 22A, under the directorship of Kenneth Farnswell, a local speculator and entrepreneur. The tungsten mine proved to be a source of town employment and pride throughout the economically turbulent 1970s, and still plays a role as the largest tungsten mine in the state of Vermont. One of the mine's older shafts was in the process of being converted to a tourist attraction as of 2016.

The 1976 United States Bicentennial celebrations became a point of great national and town pride, as the town's rivalry with neighboring Orwell intensified over which town would hold a better celebration. Although there was no formal victor, Benson's parade still maintains an important part in the town's history, while Orwell's Chicken Dinner has been largely forgotten. The opening of the town's Arby's was the height of the festivities, making its grand debut on August 8, 1976, as part of the Benson Day celebration. Francis Munger remembered the day as "one of the greatest moments in my town's history", reflecting the general feeling of hope and optimism the fast-food franchise brought to the local economy.[1] The Arby's would not last out the decade, and Benson's economy fell into a slump that it would not recover from until the late 2000s.

In 1994, the town became briefly infamous for failing to approve its school budget eighteen times before it finally passed, a national record at the time.

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