Many New England towns have a central common or park. Woodstock’s central common is referred to as the Green. This beautiful spot, in the center of the village, is a great place to stroll or to relax on a park bench.
In its early days, Woodstock’s Green was anything but beautiful and park-like. Early descriptions referred to it as a “spruce hurricane,” littered with fallen trees and branches. It wasn’t until around 1830 that local citizens made a concerted effort to enhance the area by leveling the land, and planting and maintaining grass and trees.
The year 1830, local lore suggests, was also the year that a vampire’s heart was brought to the Green, and then subsequently burned to ash and buried in a pot. The basis for this story is an article that was published in the fall of 1890 in the local newspaper The Vermont Standard. This article recounts how a young man with the surname Corwin died of “consumption,” or what is now known as tuberculosis, and was buried in June 1830. About six months later, the young man’s brother became ill, ostensibly with the same symptoms. The doctors of the area were supposedly all of the opinion that the second brother’s illness was the result of vampirism, and his deceased brother was the primary suspect. Subsequently, the first brother’s body was dug up, examined, and his heat found to be filled with liquid blood. To rid themselves of the “vampire,” the town leaders supposedly removed the heart, took it to the Green and boiled it in a pot, and buried it in a hole with a seven-ton block of granite on top, and sprinkled with the blood of a young bullock. (To learn more about the area’s vampire lore, visit the Woodstock History Center.)
In more recent years, the Green has become the site of numerous events including community dinners, concerts, skating rinks, and craft festivals.
Far Left: Skating on the Green (or “Park”) in the mid 1900s
Above: A community dinner held on the Green in 2012.