A big Mormon moves on Vermont

  Royalton, Vt.

Royalton, Vt.

The White River Valley in Vermont continues to be all shook up by the plan  by David Hall, a very rich Mormon businessman from Utah, to build a bunch of 50 “villages,’’ each with up to 20,000 residents (!) in in the now generally bucolic towns of Tunbridge, Stafford, Royalton and Sharon. Mr. Hall’s NewVistas project envisions residents living in tiny housing units, thus letting most of the land be kept as countryside, and assisted by hyper-high-tech gadgets.

Of course, many of the area’s current residents hate this idea. But Mr. Hall has big piles of money as well as patience. (His father invented synthetic diamonds.)_

Why that area? Well, one reason is that Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, was born in 1805 on the town line between Sharon and Royalton. There’s an  obelisk and museum in Sharon in his honor. It’s well worth a visit. (I’ve spent a lot of time in this rolling countryside.)

As the polite but relentless Mr. Hall pushes his dream, expect an entertaining war with stubborn Vermonters; okay, many of them are from New York.