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The Green Mountains are about 500 million years old, but the city of Killington itself got its start in 1761 when it was officially chartered. The town actually predates the state of Vermont, which was inducted into the United States thirty years later (incidentally, Vermont’s name comes from Verde-Mount, or Green Mountain.) However, Killington remained a tiny outpost for over a century, attracting no tourists or even very many residents until the 1900s.
A number of coincidences conspired to make Killington the ski powerhouse that it is. Among them was the fact that Pico Peak was given to a man named Mortimer Proctor as a twenty-first birthday gift! Proctor bought Killington Peak nine years later and ended up giving both to the state of Vermont. In the 1950s the peaks were leased from Vermont and a commercial skiing resort was born, though at the time it was known as “Sherburne”. It wasn’t until 1999 that the name was changed back to Killington.
Today, not only has Killington cemented itself as a classic skiing destination for New Englanders, it has also been revamping its summer offerings. Hiking and golfing have surged in popularity, and resorts have begun successfully attracting tourists year-round.
For more information, visit the Sherburne Historians, a historical society with headquarters at Killington’s Memorial Library on River Road.