Sunday, July 27, 2014

Trapp Family Lodge

Bethlehem, New Hampshire High 72 Low  61

Yesterday we went to the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. I didn't have internet yesterday, so I wasn't able to post.

We had called to see about the family history tour and found out it was held on Saturday. I also asked about staying with the fifth wheel in a parking lot overnight and was given the go ahead.

When we got there, after climbing several steep hills, we found out that we couldn't park overnight, and they had a hard time finding us a place to park so we could do the tour. It seems there was a kid’s tri-anthelion going on and all the parking lots were full of cars. Because of the mix up, and explaining that they normally don’t allow RVs to park overnight, they comped us the tour. They were really nice, but firm, about the whole thing. So we were left without a parking place last night. We did have the grocery store to fall back on, but we thought we would rather go somewhere else.

The family history was given by Sam von Trapp, a grandson of the Baron and Marie. He explained that a lot of the movie was not factual, but a Hollywood depiction of the events. He said the Baron did use a whistle to call the 7 children. He also told us that Maria was hired, at first to take care of one ailing child.

It didn't take long for the children to learn to love Maria. Sam told us about how the two finally got married. There was 25 years difference in their ages, and Maria was getting ready to go back to the Monastery. The children asked their father if he would marry Maria to keep her from going back to the Monastery. He replied that he didn't know if Maria even liked him. They then asked her if she liked their father. She replied that she did, and so they went and told the Baron that she did like him. So he said OK, and went in to see Maria. She was cleaning a very expensive vase when the Baron asked her “when?” She had no idea what he was talking about and asked when what? He said, “When are we getting married?” This startled her so much that she dropped the vase and broke it into hundreds of pieces. With that she went back to the Monastery. The Nuns told her she should go back and marry him because they didn't think she would ever make a good Nun.

When she went back she was in tears when she agreed to marry him. Some of this was from her own words, which she recorded before she died. They were married in the Monastery, not the church in Salzburg as the movie portrays it. They were also married in 1927 and had 11 years in Austria and two children before they had to leave because of the Nazis in 1938.

Maria was pregnant with Sam’s father,Johannes, when they came to the US. He was born here. He and his two sisters are the only ones left living of the von Trapp children. There are many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Not many are involved with the Lodge.

Another change from reality was that the oldest child was a son,Rupert, and Sam told us when anyone asked him which child he was, and he always answered Lisel, because he was the oldest. Sam told us his uncle always thought it was funny to answer that way.

Also, I think all the names were changed for the movie. We were allowed to visit the family cemetery, which you are not allowed to do unless on one of the tours. One of the children died this year, and there is a temporary marker up, while the real headstone is being built in Austria. Sam told us she was 99 years old.

We enjoyed the tour and afterward we had to buy some strudel. It wasn't as good as I remember having in Salzburg.

From the views around the Lodge, it is easy to see why the von Trapps moved to Vermont. The mountains are not as high as the Alps in Salzburg, but the view is very spectacular.

After the tour we drove back down the hill and stopped at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill and asked if we could stay overnight, and were allowed to do so. It was kind of a neat place, but I will talk about it tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting. 


  1. This was a great tour and wonderful information. Too bad about the mix up on the RV parking but I'm glad you were able to maneuver in and out.

  2. Isn't Vermont a beautiful state? Do they still restrict billboards and enforce strict signage?