Aldis Hill Wolf Monument - Atlas Obscura

Aldis Hill Wolf Monument

Saint Albans City, Vermont

Nobody's quite sure who erected this monument marking the spot where a gray wolf was shot and killed.  


Hard’ack Recreation Area in Saint Albans, Vermont, is home to family-friendly activities and well-manicured hiking trails. But according to local historians, this area was a little bit more rough and tumble.

Back in the mid-19th century, a gray wolf was killing the livestock of local farmers. One crisp autumn day in 1839, Lawrence Brainerd finally had enough. Firearm in hand, he hiked to the top of the 850-foot-Aldis Hill and showed the aggressive animal who was boss once and for all. 

Now, a large stone monument stands at that site. The inscription reads: “On this spot in the year 1839 Lawrence Brainerd shot a grey wolf which had been ravaging the Northeast part of Franklin Co. The great beast measured six feet in length.”

To this day, there’s no agreement on who erected the 1,700-pound stone monument, or why they did it. Some surmise that Brainerd’s son-in-law (railroad exec turned Vermont governor J. Gregory Smith) placed the marker to promote regional pride and as a kind of offbeat tourist attraction. News reports at the time noted there was “much excitement at the slaying of the animal.”

The monument was originally laid horizontally in the ground. This caused it to get constantly covered in dirt, leaves, and snow. Wishing to preserve local history (and perhaps legend), in the summer of 2023, a group of volunteers relocated the marker a few feet from its original location and attached it to a nearby boulder using hydraulic cement and steel rebar.

Once a landmark that was simply stumbled upon if you were lucky (many explorers gave up in frustration), today a short trail is clearly marked as “Wolf Monument Way.”

Community Contributors
Added by

February 1, 2024

Make an Edit Add Photos
Related Places
In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web