History Comes Alive at Trapp Family Lodge

 
By Wayne Mills

To fully experience the “Alps in America” feel of Stowe, Vermont, a traveler must visit the Trapp Family Lodge located high on a hill outside the village.

As many will recall, the von Trapp family was the subject of the film, “The Sound of Music,” in 1965, the third highest grossing movie of all time. The film is an adaptation of Maria von Trapp’s memoir, “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers,” published in 1949.

Unlike the movie that showed Maria, husband Georg and the children walking across the mountains from Austria to Switzerland, they actually took a train to Italy and then boarded a ship to the United States. Eventually, the family settled outside Philadelphia and became a successful touring act with a record contract and many headline performances.

Johannes and Sam von Trapp

During breaks from touring, they stayed at a friend’s ski house in Stowe, and fell in love with the area because it reminded them so much of Austria.

 In 1942, they purchased 300 acres in Stowe and built a Bavarian-style chalet that grew to 27 rooms before burning to the ground in 1980. The Trapp Family Lodge was rebuilt and now offers a 142-room resort, with more than 2,500 acres to roam on foot, cross country skis or mountain bikes.

On site is a brewery that distributes beer to every New England state. Of course, it’s also served in the lodge. “Our focus on lagers has been very successful for us,” says Sam von Trapp, Maria’s grandson, who manages the lodge.

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