DescriptionBellows Falls' namesake and most prominent feature is the falls. Once called the Great Falls, they now are reduced frequently to a trickle because of the power demands of industry. A canal was constructed nearby 1792-1802 for navigation on the Connecticut River from Long Island Sound to Barnet. Its nine locks raised small steamers and barges over the falls until the 1840s, when railroads took over the role of transportation.
Notoriety came to Bellows Falls in the person of Hetty Green, the Witch of Wall Street. Her house, now a bank, was at School and Westminster streets. Proclaimed the richest woman in the world at the time of her death in 1916, her worth was estimated at more than $100 million (over $17 billion in today's dollars). Green was known nationwide for her fabled money management as well as for her parsimony. She is said to have once spent half a night looking for a two-cent stamp, and she wore the same black dress day after day until it was in tatters.
The Connecticut River Byway (US 5), the scenic route that follows the Connecticut River, passes through the historic towns of Bellows Falls, Bradford, Brattleboro, St. Johnsbury, White River Junction and Windsor. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, an interesting stop in Bellows Falls is the town's fish ladder on Bridge Street. Completed in 1982, the fish ladder reintroduced salmon to the upper Connecticut River for the first time since the 1790s, when the river was dammed for the canal. Now fish move up the ladder much the same way earlier canal boats moved up the locks. Open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, the TransCanada Bellows Falls Visitor Center offers educational activities and exhibits for kids; phone (802) 843-2111.
Visitor InfoGreat Falls Regional Chamber of Commerce 17 Depot St. BELLOWS FALLS, VT 05101. Phone:(802)463-4280