Early Vermont Auto History (40th Anniversary Album)
The Automobile was a rare phenomena in Vermont in the early 1900s. However, there were a few Vermonters who thought the Automobile was a viable means of transport and they set out to formalize their belief.
Over 90 years ago, on March 25, 1903, twelve Vermonters gathered in the Pavilion Hotel in Montpelier to form the "Automobile Club of Vermont".
The purposes of the "Auto Club of Vermont" were: "To secure rational legislation, rules and regulations governing the use of automobiles, to maintain the lawful rights of owners and users of automobiles, to promose and encourage improvements of the highways of the State and to maintain a social club devoted to automobilism."
By 1905 the club had a total of 103 members. It sponsored two "runs" each year which served two purposes - to enjoy the countryside and to promote the use of the Automobile.
In July, 1905 the run was to the White Mountains at the time of the annual "Climb to the Clouds" which is the hill-climbing contest up Mount Washington. This event still takes place today.
In 1905 there were 380 autombiles registered in Vermont. One of the more amazing facts perhaps is that there were nearly 15,000 miles of public highways in Vermont. Since the legal speed limit in town was 10 mph and 15 mph outside of town, it would take quite a while to cover these roads by automobile, assuming they were passable.