McIndoe Falls Academy Community Center

Our Mission

As a self-sustaining and all-inclusive community center, McIndoe Falls Academy will continue its enduring educational purpose, enrich the region with events and activities and inspire an appreciation of local history.

Mission Statement adopted in Fall, 2020.

Ski Report 1/18/22

It’s hard to believe what a difference two inches of snow (and a bit of rain) can make. The Pearl Meadows groomed up nicely this morning, and the trail through the village to the field behind the McIndoe Falls Cemetery is done as well. This is the first grooming of the field behind the cemetery, and it came out really well.

Saturday is our group lesson day at the Pearl Meadows. Temperatures are expected to be very cold (-10) in the morning, so we are rescheduling the lesson for 1:30pm. Projected temperature is in the low teens at that time, so dress warmly. At those temperatures, even a modest wind can have a bite.Please spread the word.

ski report 1/11/22

A late afternoon scoot around the meadow in ‘fast’ conditions–ski area lingo for ice–was quick, and the air was crisp! The run down the hill to the lower meadow was particularly exciting! The crust provided by Sunday’s modest rainfall needs to go. I will try grooming midday tomorrow, as the temperatures are predicted to moderate, and I think many of our skiers are new at this and may not like the ice. There’s not much on the ground to work with, but I will give it a go.

The recent dusting of snow has covered over the icy crust, collecting in the track and creating some very nice skiing.  Unfortunately, there really isn’t enough snow to work with to run the groomer over it, but the skiing is quite nice as it is, and the track is in good condition, both in upper and lower meadows.

An additional ski track was started yesterday, heading north from the railroad bridge through the village along the railroad right-of-way, crossing Route 5 (sorry, you should take your skis off!) then proceeding over to Garland Hill Road. Again, skis, off, and a 5 minute walk over to the road into the McIndoe Falls Cemetery. There the skis can go back on and up the hill, through the gate into the Cemetery Field, where the track covers the perimeter of the field, with a cutoff along the base of the knoll for those who wish to avoid the hill. This will be groomed after the next snow of any consequence. You might find it easier to park at the junction of Garland Hill Road and Symes Pond Road and climb up through the road on the north side of the cemetery.

Update: Cross Country Ski Program

All of the skis are gone! Thank you everyone who turned out to take part in this wonderful program!

Wally has lined up an instructor for a group lesson on Saturday, January 22, at 9:30 am in the Pearl Meadows. If snow or weather is a problem, the ‘rain’ date is Saturday the 29th. We will be planning a full moon ski for the Snow Moon on February 16th. We may be able to change that forward or back one day to get the best weather. Details about the event are yet to be worked out. Look for more information as we get closer!

If you would like to be on an email list for information as it becomes available please contact us at:

Cross country ski loan program

We are so excited to announce the McIndoe Falls Academy cross country ski loan program available to residents of our local communities of Barnet, Ryegate and Monroe. We have over 40 pairs of skis and boots and many sizes of poles to choose from. Skis are available for borrowing through the winter season. They are free to borrow. We ask that you take good care of them and return them at the end of the season. We are also interested in acquiring more sets of skis with NNN bindings. These donations will go to a good use. We are committed to allowing those who are interested a chance to learn to ski or to ski for the season with little to no cost. For more information about the program, to donate skis, or to borrow a set/s for the season, please contact:McIndoe Falls Academy through Facebook or at :

Olive Cheney Legacy Celebration

On the beautiful Fall afternoon of October 17th, McIndoes Academy Trustees hosted an event to honor Olive Cheney and thank her for her $350,000 bequest to the Academy. Wally Thrall, President of the Trustees, welcomed everyone to the Celebration of Olive and spoke about what this gift means to the future of this very special building. He spoke of our mission statement, our vision, and the current construction that Olive’s legacy helped make possible. Cynthia Stuart, who is working with the trustees to help us achieve our vision, then introduced Barry Lawson, a friend of Olive’s from Peacham and executor of her estate. Barry told stories of Olive’s background, her passion for life and her love of family, Ed Weston, McIndoes Academy, and her Peacham community. Cynthia then introduced Ben Doyle, President of the Preservation Trust of Vermont. Ben is passionate about the history of, and potential for, Vermont’s communities and spoke about the importance of maintaining these landmark buildings. Jay Craven, was our final speaker. Jay talked about moving to Vermont and his first Vermont winter. He spoke of the importance of local community in the ever-changing, high-tech, global community. He spoke of the the importance of honoring history and celebrating our local people, buildings, and landscape that makes Vermont special.–October-2021.html?soid=1102172352505&aid=65oc_AQ4UNI

Please join us as on October 17th at 2:00 pm as we celebrate the life and legacy of Olive Cheney who attended the McIndoe Falls Academy from 1932 to 1936. Learn about Olive’s life, love of community, and her generous support of the planned McIndoes Academy Community Center. Cider and donuts will be available for all.*October 24th Rain Date

McIndoes Market, Music and More

McIndoe Falls Academy held its first outdoor market this past Sunday afternoon. Despite the heat, young and old (and their pups) showed up on the lawn of the historic Barnet building to enjoy food, drinks, art, crafts, conversation and music: “grandpa rock” by Barry Hayes. Katherine Fiegenbaum

The trees have arrived!

February 1, 2021

Thank you for checking into the McIndoe Falls Academy website. We, the Board of Trustees, will be posting news to this page as we progress along our path to the reopening of this beautiful historic building as a valued asset for our community. This 1853 treasure, well situated on a dramatic, functional, and welcoming 2 ½ acre site in the classic Vermont village of McIndoe Falls, has tremendous potential as a hub for social, artistic, and educational activities, with a library/cowork space and post office on the first floor, as well as an expansive event space in the Great Hall on the second floor, which will be available for private events as well as events hosted by the Academy.

As you can imagine, it’s a long and winding road to the full reopening of the building.  Progress is being made, however, and you should see more activity around the building this year.  We feel it is time to start posting progress reports on our website so you can share in the anticipation of what is to come with your local community center.  Here is a rundown of items that have been accomplished or are ongoing:

The Library, which was closed last winter due to Covid-19, is now reopened and is operating within the guidelines as determined by the State of Vermont for occupancy and social distancing, as well as any other mandates by the Governor, such as the wearing of appropriate masks.

XC Skiing in Pearl Meadows.  In spite of the dearth of snow this winter, there has been a marked increase in the number of skiers in the meadow this year.  Grooming of trails for this beautiful venue is in the works.  A snowmobile for grooming has been acquired and the search is on for an appropriate groomer and track setter.  Grooming may not happen this winter, but it is hoped to be worked out for next winter.  Start looking for xc ski equipment for you and your kids!

McIndoes Market, Music, and More–Starting June 27th, the McIndoe Falls Academy will host a monthly event on the front lawn, combining markets of all descriptions–farmers’, fleas, and crafts–with live entertainment featuring local talent and the food vendors. We hope you will consider joining us for a relaxing time on the front lawn.  Bring your lawn chairs and come hang out with your neighbors, enjoy some good food and music.  This will be a fun time!

In December, 2020, the Vermont Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation awarded a $20,000 matching grant to the McIndoe Falls Academy for the resolution of a few critical structural issues which should be resolved prior to the primary code, accessibility, energy, and cosmetic updates which will be done in the near future. This first step will allow us to remove the two temporary support posts in the Great Hall upstairs, stabilize the back wall with the replacement of a section of sill, and replace support columns in the basement. Preceding this work will be the abatement of asbestos in the attic and basement. We are still crafting a financial plan for this abatement work. The total cost of the asbestos abatement is approximately $50,000.

We are now entering a crucial planning phase in this amazing opportunity to convert this building to a Community Center for all.  It is our hope that the residents of our region, and in particular, Barnet, Ryegate, and Monroe,  will join us in determining how this  Community Center will evolve.  There will be a planning event or two, hopefully early this summer, probably outside on the lawn, where you, our neighbor and important part of this community, are welcome to participate.  We welcome your input. We need your input.  Please.  You can reach us by email at or by US Mail at PO Box 129, McIndoe Falls, VT  05050. 

The McIndoe Falls Academy Trustees are currently working to accomplish our goals and we are looking for volunteers to help as we work to turn this beautiful, historic building into a fully-functioning, ADA compliant building that will be available for community use.

Photo by Belinda Emmons

2 thoughts on “McIndoe Falls Academy Community Center

  1. This is great news. My mom and two aunts and two uncles (Little family) lived across the river in Monroe, NH and graduated from the academy (mostly in the 1930s). My brother Chuck and I went to the grade school down the road for a few years in the 1950s.


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