One of the unique and historically important characteristics of the Bennington Region is the presence of two county “shire towns,” Manchester in the north and Bennington in the south. Bennington County is the only county in Vermont with this distinct political geography, represented by two county courthouses, and prominently identified in the well-established “Northshire” and “Southshire” labels that include the two parts of the region. These two areas enjoy distinct identities, but the “Shires” theme that runs through the region’s character highlights the unique characteristics of the northern and southern communities and to draw them together socially and economically.
By way of example, the formally designated “Shires of Vermont Byway” now runs the length of the region along the Valley of Vermont, and the “Shires of Vermont Marathon” is an annual 26.2 mile long foot race contested over the back roads between Bennington and Manchester. The Shires concept helps promote the region’s assets to tourists and businesses and provides a valued sense of history and place for residents of the region.
Interested in learning more about on the events, attractions, and opportunities in the Bennington Region?
The Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce and the Manchester Business Association are outstanding places to start.