photograph by Tim Robison

Featured Image: It may not technically be downtown, but a trip to Belmont isn’t complete without a detour to see the blooming beauty of Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.

Belmont began with two sounds. The first was the clamor of bells, ringing out through a hushed quiet. On the grounds of Belmont Abbey, a Benedictine monastery founded in 1876, the bells can still be heard today. The second was the whistle and metal clanking of trains.

They carry freight instead of passengers now, but Belmont’s original name, Garibaldi Station, echoes like a refrain as locomotives rumble past the old depot on Main Street. Over the years, new sounds have joined the chorus: The drone of machinery in the textile mills, and the slamming of screen doors in the mill villages. Peals of laughter in downtown shops, and the babble of fountains at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. The rising hum of conversation and the clinking of glasses on restaurant rooftops and back patios. Belmont’s melody may have shifted, but the harmony of the song remains.

















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Katie Schanze is the assistant editor and digital editor of Our State.