In 1954, movie stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye took the legendary Snow Train from New York City to Vermont, a stack of Irving Berlin songs in hand, and immortalized the area forever in the holiday classic White Christmas. The film, a very loose remake of the previous decade’s Holiday Inn, recounts the story of two army buddies who try to save a friend’s floundering winter resort in the town of Pine Tree, Vermont. The musical highlight of the movie, of course, is the titular song which has gone on to become the most popular holiday tune of the 20th century.
Although most of the places in the movie are fictional in name, they are based on very real locations. The Snow Train, which was a real rail line that ran from New York to Vermont, brought skiers and other vacationers to Manchester, which is generally regarded as the town which inspired Pine Tree. In the mid-20th century Mancester was home to a popular lodge hotel called the Worthy Inn. According to the locals, it was this hotel which inspired the movie’s Columbia Inn.
Unfortunately the Worthy Inn and the Snow Train are both long gone. However, Snow Valley still remains and is as popular as ever. The area around Manchester is now dotted with hotels, bed & breakfasts and ski lodges, many of which compete to recapture the charm of the film, especially around the holidays. In recent years, several of these local inns have organized open house tours of the area in December, one of the most popular such events in New England. For those seeking their fill of White Christmas magic, this is the place to do it.
Manchester and its fabled Snow Valley are located in the Green Mountains of southern Vermont, approximately one-hundred and sixty miles north of New York City. Snow Valley is obviously an open site, as are many of its inns and bed & breakfasts for those who wish to take a peek inside. Web: http://visitmanchestervt.com (official tourism website of Manchester)