By Kathy Mehuron

As long as I have lived in Vermont my friends and I have walked a particular loop, North Fayston Road to Randell Road to Center Fayston. I’d forgotten that not that long ago, Randell didn’t bridge the two mountain roads year-round. Also, how quiet the roads used to be.



It’s about 4 1/2 miles with some good hills that push our cardiovascular systems just far enough to be a good workout without killing us. Walking it is how I first met Chuck Martel. A 26-year resident of Fayston, he is on the select board and also serves on various committees for Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice. Over the years he’s lived in Vermont, he has been very generous with the time he gives to volunteering. “But I do only the two things now,” he said recently, “I cut way back.” I told him I didn’t believe him because he’s always flying off to one meeting or another. “Well, there’s the Boyce Hill Town Forest steering committee too.” And many more commitments, I promise you.

Chuck and his wife Laurene moved to Vermont when he became regional manager of Lucent Technologies in Williston (which is a spin-off of AT&T where he once worked). He was responsible for the sales and service of telephone equipment across the state of Vermont. Finding a house to buy that they both liked proved surprisingly difficult.


“We were living in Shelburne in 1995 and my son Matt had graduated from college and came to live with us. We had been house searching for almost two years at that point. So Matt was coming home from work and stopped at a little store (to pick up some beer, as he recalls) and sees a magazine called Picket Fence Preview and brought it home. He pointed to the place on the cover and asked, ‘Isn’t this the kind of house you are looking for?’”

We said, “Yes—but where the hell is Fayston?”

Del and Jean Grimord had built the house that appealed to the Martels in 1987-1988. They found the plan in Country Living magazine and sent away for the blueprints. Del was a aster woodworker and functioned as general contractor. Jean was talented too, apparently quite the decorator.

“We came to see it. My wife, Laurene, loved the house. I loved the rural location. We made an offer and bought it. The place meant a lot to both of them, they were looking for the right buyer that would take care of it going forward. Del was in tears at the closing.” 


“And it was rural too. I could hunt from my backyard. I could fish down at Shepard’s Brook; we would ride snowmobiles from the house to the VAST trail intersection at Murphy Road and connect to the thousands of miles of the VAST trail system; my closest neighbor was a hunting camp, so I’d only see them for two weeks in November; we would sled/toboggan from the end of my driveway on Randell Road down to the bridge over the brook. Back then, the plowed road ended at my drive and was a class 4 road to Center Fayston Road. Only two families lived on that stretch. If my neighbor plowed, I could get to Center Fayston, if not I had to go all the way around via North Fayston Road.” Many more houses have been built since then. I find that with more families moving in and the road cut all the way through, there is sometimes actual traffic.

Chuck says, “Despite all the changes (including Laurene passing away), this is still a magical place to live, offering seemingly unlimited outdoor recreational opportunities, and a Valley full of wonderful people. Oh, and I know where Fayston is now. Pretty sure I could point to it on a map?!”

How about you? Do you have a memory you can share? Or a person or organization you’d like to nominate as a subject? We’d love to hear from you.

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Mary Kathleen Mehuron lives in Waitsfield and writes novels.