A Great-Grandfather's Legacy in Maidstone State Park

Jason Berard, a native Vermonter, shared some family history and photos with us in an email. Jason grew up in St. Johnsbury, then moved to the Boston area for 10 years. He came back to Vermont with his wife (from Barnet) when they were ready to start a family. They bought a 230 year old farmhouse in 1999 in North Thetford.

More recently, Jason took a job with the Upper Valley Land Trust as a Stewardship Coordinator, which allows him plenty of time outdoors hiking. Jason's great-grandfather worked outdoors for Vermont State Parks and Jason commented, "In some ways even though I only knew him well after he retired, I feel connected to him with the work I do now."
Jason's great grandfather, Paul Reed, was the first caretaker at Maidstone State Park. The photo to the left shows Paul with a local furry friend. After his time at Maidstone, he took the job as Caledonia's County Forester.

Jason was lucky to have many old photos of his relatives which show their love of animals, the latest fashions, and how happy they seem to be surrounded by nature while they work (looks like it runs in the family!) The photo to the right is Jason's great-grandmother feeding a showshoe hare. Below, his grandmother and a friend pose with a pair of tame foxes. How on earth did they catch those wiley foxes?

Jason also shared a few of his favorite hikes with us. "My first and favorite hike was Pisqah in the North East Kingdom which I did for the first time on a third grade field trip. He also hiked the Long Trail end-to-end in 1995. My latest 'first' hike was over in Waterbury late this fall where I hiked Mt. Hunger for the first time. It was incredible! Bald Mountain is another favorite. I highly recommend them all! Bookmark and Share


  1. Great post! I love the stories and photos. Make me want to take a hike.


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