White River Junction History
The impact of the rivers is most pronounced in White River Junction. Throughout its colorful history, the village has been a stop for boat traffic, staging for log drives, and one of New England's most important railroad hubs. With the railroads came manufacturing and warehousing for varying business including bread, produce, paper, and chocolates, diversity that continues today in an entirely different vein.
In the 1960s, the federal government extended the interstate highway system into northern New England. The intersection of Interstates 91 and 89 moved the center of commercial activity closer to the highways which compromised the economic vitality of downtown White River until it faded away. not unlike the disappearance of the mills in the village of Quechee.
Residents, the business community, and local government believed there was opportunity in the revitalization of White River Junction. Although it has taken twenty years to bring back lost vitality, the village is now the creative economy cornerstone of the town and the region. Art, professional theater, education, restaurants, museums, music, events, and excursion trains have made White River Junction a "happening" place.