Exhibit: Myths and Legends of the Connecticut River

Connecticut River Myths and Legends

The Connecticut River runs from the Atlantic Ocean to Canada, and the communities on its banks have varied and interesting stories to tell. The exhibit, on loan from the Connecticut River Museum, highlights the vivid personalities, local legends, wildlife, and traditions of towns from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire – and of course, Vermont.

Myths and legends are traditional stories that are told to entertain, educate, and create a common identity for people. There is no simple distinction between them, but folklorists generally consider myths to be stories that are cosmic in scope (such as those about divine beings), and legends to be stories with a kernel of historical truth (such as those about national figures).

New England’s great river has been a location for storytelling and the sources of myths and legends since the first people arrived. This exhibit brings these stories together for the first time and demonstrates their contribution to our concepts of New England.

The myths and legends of the Connecticut River Valley range from very serious tales to humorous anecdotes. And while some stories are located in a particular place on the river, together they link us to this special place – the Connecticut River Valley. Exhibit script by Dr. Stephen Olbrys Gencarella.

Open November 1, 2019 – May 1, 2020 at the Vermont History Center

part of exhibit featuring catamount
The elusive catamount is one Vermont story in the exhibit
Exhibit panels and audio component
Exhibit includes audio recordings as well as story panels and artifacts.

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