Professor Paul Searls has thought a lot about what it means to be a Vermonter. As he researched the topic, he borrowed terms to describe what two camps Vermonters fall into: "uphillers," or the Vermonters who arrived here first and began settling on the tops of hills, and "downhillers," who came later and settled downhill.
It's a fascinating way to describe the groups we commonly refer to as native Vermonters and "flatlanders." "Native" Vermonters, after all, came from somewhere else. They just got here first, a long time ago, and worked the farmland on the hilltops. And as a "flatlander," I find the term "downhiller" more fitting, since I came to Vermont from a relatively hilly part of Massachusetts.
Whether you're an uphiller or a downhiller, I hope you'll listen to VPR Presents: Paul Searls, and enjoy learning how these "Two Vermonts" have historically interacted and shaped the state we have today.
Check out Searls' lecture to find out more.