A Place Called Adamant - Happy Vermont Podcast

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Adamant Co-op Vermont

A Place Called Adamant

It’s hard to define Adamant.

The unincorporated village, situated on the Calais and East Montpelier town line, consists of dirt roads, ponds, waterfalls and a small co-op grocery store with a post office.

But where its border exactly starts and ends is tricky to pin down. Locals like it that way.

“People will say, ‘Where’s Adamant?’ Well, we don’t want to be defined here,” says artist Janet MacLeod, whose grandparents were one of the founding members of the Adamant Co-op, which opened in 1935.

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A Community Once Called Sodom

Adamant waterfall

-A waterfall across the road from the co-op. 

Adamant used to be called Sodom.

“The story is that some preacher objected to the name Sodom and to getting his mail here. So, he decided to get it changed,” says MacLeod.

According to Esther Swift’s book, Vermont Place-Names: Footprints of History, one theory behind the Sodom name is that the pond in the village center was dangerous and filled with quicksand. The other story is that the village was home to rowdy granite quarry workers.

Eventually, the name was switched to Adamant and chosen for the granite quarries and the hardness of their stone.

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Adamant is a ‘State of Mind’

Adamant Road Sign

-A dirt road intersection showing Adamant’s former name, Sodom.

Today, the co-op and the Adamant Music School are in the heart of the community. The music school opened in the 1940s. The co-op serves as a general store, community hub and post office.

Liz Knapp, who manages the co-op, moved to Adamant 20 years ago. She likes how Adamant makes her feel.

“I feel like when I drive into Adamant, it’s this feeling of potential. What’s going to happen today? Who’s going to step through the door?” says Knapp. “It’s this feeling of potential, mystery and friendliness.”

Karen Kane, who volunteers at the co-op, agrees.

“Adamant is a state of mind because it’s not limited geographically,” says Kane. “Brigadoon comes to mind, except that we’re here all the time. We don’t just show up once every hundred years.”

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Adamant Post Office

-Post office boxes inside the co-op.

In this podcast episode of Happy Vermont, Janet MacLeod, Karen Kane and Liz Knapp talk about Adamant as a place, community and way of life.

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Central Vermont, Featured, History, Vermont Podcast, Washington County
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