With exceptional views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, the village of Stanbridge East is located along rapids and falls of the Pike River which originates in Vermont. The village’s name is borrowed from an English village in Bedfordshire, and comes from Old English Stan Brycg, which means stone bridge.
Long after the passage of the Abenakis, Europeans colonized Stanbridge East in 1796. The early pioneers of British and German origins arrived in the county from Vermont and the Hudson Valley. They made good use of the Pike River and by 1830 there was a post office, a bank, a tannery, a brick works, a foundry and a mill to grind wheat.
The village is surrounded by rich farmland still dominated by dairy farming today while the surrounding communities such as Riceburg, Dunham and Bedford, had booming industries. From 1879 to 1938, passenger and freight trains of the Portland-Montreal-Boston railway serviced the village; farmers still remember their livestock being transported by train. Today Stanbridge East counts almost 880 inhabitants. The houses of red brick and painted wood is reminiscent of rural New England.
The Historical Society suggests a walking tour guide with over 30 points of interest including the Missisquoi Museum that presents exhibitions in three sites: the Cornell Mill (1830), Hodge’s General Store and the beautiful twelve-sided Walbridge barn. The historic Baker-Gilmour house is now the Relais des Arts gallery.
A discovery tour of the numerous vineyards along the Brome-Missisquoi Wine Route, which includes Domaine de l’Ardennais here in Stanbridge East, picking berries in season, a cycling breakaway or a visit to the annual Apple Pie Festival in September, are all good reasons for a visit or even better a stay in one of the pleasant tourist accommodations in the area.