About Pawlet and West Pawlet
The town of Pawlet, Vermont, which includes West Pawlet, was chartered in 1761. In 2006, Pawlet and West Pawlet make up a community of about 1,300 located in the southwestern quadrant of Vermont. A fertile river valley and steep hills once rich with multicolored slate distinguish the landscape of the town.
"From the early 1800s until the 1960s, the natural resources of Pawlet shaped its economy, its geographical development and its culture. Generations of farmers worked the rich soil…, particularly the bottomland of the broad Mettawee River, while a significant deposit of slate on its western border fostered a small industrial center.
When Neil [and Susanne] Rappaport arrived in the community in 1969, both agriculture and quarrying were on the decline and a large in-migration was occurring, yet attachment to the physical beauty of the landscape – especially Haystack Mountain – remained the unifying element binding the divergent lifestyles of natives and newcomers."
(Meg Ostrum, text for exhibition "In Place: The Photographs of Neil Rappaport")