LYNDONVILLE-- On this day 68 years ago, former Vermont Governor, George Aiken officially named the three counties of Orleans, Essex, and Caledonia "The Northeast Kingdom." Last year, Kim Crady-Smith, Beth Kanell, and Darcie McCann hosted the first ever ceremony of the anniversary, in an effort to celebrate the naming of the Kingdom. Today, we can oficially celebrate March 24 as Northeast Kingdom Day in Vermont.
On March 24, 1949, Aiken, then a United States Senator claimed that the three counties in the northeastern part of Vermont were so distinct from the rest of the state, that the area should be known as a "kingdom". Lyndonville business owner, Kim Crady-Smith discussed a few reasons why the Northeast Kingdom is so unique.
"[It's] geographically unique," said Crady-Smith. "There's a real melting pot of people here. There's such a diversity of people, but we all sort of pull together and get along."
Crady-Smith owns two small businesses in downtown Lyndonville-- The Green Mountain Bookstore and the Grindstone cafe. The Grindstone has some significance to NEK Day, since it's right next door to the Darling Inn, which is where Aiken officially birthed the name "Northeast Kingdom."
Today, Crady-Smith, Kanell, and McCan are back at it again-- hosting the second annual celebration of the anniversary of the birth of the Northeast Kingdom. "We will raise a glass to Governor Aiken," said Crady-Smith. "Then we'll just ask people to talk about their experiences of the Northeast Kingdom."