Middlebury

French Resources

Resources at Middlebury College

 

Francophone Vermont

There are many francophone activities in Vermont:

  • The Middlebury-area “Deuxième Samedi” French Conversation Group meets officially at 1 p.m. the second Saturday of every month all year through, currently convening at Carol’s Hungry Mind Café on Merchants Row.  All abilities and ages are welcome.  There is just one requirement: French language only!  If you feel shy, you are welcome to just come and listen at first, then join in when you feel comfortable.  Enjoy friendly, casual conversation over a bit of lunch or a fine beverage.  For more information, please e-mail slater@middlebury.edu.
  • Channel 22 (cable) broadcasts RadioCanada from Montréal.
  • Alliance Francaise of the Lake Champlain Region is a local organization that celebrates the French history and culture of the region, by offering classes events and resources to its many members. 
  • Vergennes celebrates French Heritage day in July, with Franco-American music, French Canadian fiddling,  French response songs, step-dancing, clogging, re-enactors, French food, a fencing demonstration, the Bastille Day Waiter's Race, narrated English and French historical walking tours, and more.
  • Va-et-Vient, a local francophone music group, often performs in the area, including at the College. Other French-language music groups that have performed recently at Middlebury College include Le Vent du Nord, Les Cowboys fringants and Gadelle.
  • Chimney Point State Historic Site has a Museum of Native American and French Heritage.

Some historical facts:

  • Samuel de Champlain discovered Lake Champlain in 1609.
  • In 1666, Pierre de Saint-Paul, Sieur de la Motte established Fort Sainte-Anne, a settlement on Isle La Motte.
  • In 1755, the French constructed Fort Carillon on the Vermont/ New York border.
  • The city of Vergennes is named after the Comte de Vergennes, who negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War.
  • The nineteenth century saw a large influx of French Canadians, coming to work in Vermont factories and mills, and many of their descendants live in Vermont today.

For more information:

The French Settlement Of Vermont: 1609-1929
Regional Educational Technology Network

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Middlebury College graduate Alexandra Braunstein of the class of 2009 has been awarded the Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) Philanthropic Engagement Fellowship.

Braunstein, from Providence, R.I., majored in English and American Literatures. While at Middlebury, she was a co-chair of the Middlebury College Relay for Life, the most successful youth relay in New England. She also spent time as an intern at the VCF and volunteered at local schools and libraries.

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