by Mike Lance
HARDWICK – There are two prominences viewable from the Hardwick area that are called Buffalo Mountain by local residents.
One looms over Hardwick village, towering 700 feet higher than the traffic light at the intersection of Vermont Rte, 15 and Vermont Rte. 14 in the village. That peak is three-quarters of a mile from the intersection and tops out at about 1,550 ft.
The mountain can be viewed to the west all along S. Main St. A nice view of it can also be had past the shoulder of Jeudevine Library from the Memorial Park at the corner of Wesst. Church and Main St.
The second peak, viewable from various high points in Hardwick, looks like the outline of a buffalo’s back with a distinctive tall shoulder hump, tapering to the tail. This mountain would seem to best fit the name Buffalo Mountain.
However, looks can be deceiving.
The mountain with the notable buffalo outline is not Buffalo Mountain. That peak already has a name: Woodbury Mountain.
Buffalo Mountain is the one that can be viewed from downtown Hardwick.
A 1909 USGS document “The Granites of Vermont” discusses the gray granites obtained from Buffalo Hill Quarry, operated by Hardwick Granite Company, and sites it on the western side of Buffalo Hill, on the southwest side of Hardwick near the Hardwick-Woodbury border. Later, in the “Vermont Report of the State Geologist on the Mineral Industries and Geology of Vermont, 1915-1916”, Buffalo Hill was upgraded to Buffalo Mountain. The quarry was idled in 1917.
Since those days, after the granite business declined and the quarry closed, Buffalo Mountain appears to have lost its identity. It’s not mentioned in current Vermont Geology or USGS records.
There is an effort underway to complete a petition to appeal to the State of Vermont Library Board to include Buffalo Mountain in the list of Vermont Geographic names. If successful, it will officially give the mountain the name it has been known by for over a century.
Stop by Buffalo Mountain Co-op, the Whistle Emporium, or The Village Restaurant if you would like to add your name and signature to the petition to make official the name Buffalo Mountain.