A Short History of Mount Anthony Preservation Society
In 1980, a local developer and associates purchased on thousand five hundred and thirty five acres that encompassed the peak of Mount Anthony and surrounding land. The purchase price was $350,000. Their intent was to log the entire mountain and then subdivide the parcel into 96 house lots. Carol Moses a resident of Benington living on Mt Anthony, discovered flagging and lot numbers while riding on of her horses on the mountain. She became alarmed at the implications and she and her husband Henry Moses decided to do what they could to stop or slow the development. They met with their neighbors and formed a nonprofit organization that was registered with the state of Vermont. The name of the organization was MAPS or Mount Anthony Preservation Society. The original members included Henry and Carol Moses, Dorian and Judy Bowman, Al and Marylou Jacodi, and Clay and Pat Crum.
By 1982 the entire mountain had been clear cut with buffers of trees remaining along the roadways. Signs were places on Route 9 that informed the public that lots were available for sale. MAPS decided to sell memberships to their organization for a dollar. Carol Moses stood in front of local stores and canvased the public creating awareness and raising money. Within two days she had raised $350. Many people called the Planning commission to complain. Public sentiment was clearly against development. MAPS approached the Town of Bennington Planning Commission and requested that the lot sizes be at least 25 acres and the peak should remain free of development. The town agreed and also decided that only grey water would be allowed above a certain elevation. It was later discovered that the Morgan Spring source was My Anthony and the zoning laws were changed to protest that spring. therefore, no grey or black water systems were allowed and well drilling was forbidden on Mt Anthony above a certain elevation. This did not stop the developer from selling lots without disclosing this information to his customers.
Many people purchased lots sight unseen and had no idea that any restrictions existed. Forty lots were sold for nearly three million dollars. MAPS was able to purchase on lot initially with money they raised. Once people realized that they could not build their dreams homes on their newly acquired land they decided to sell. MAPS was able through the years to purchase nineteen of the lots. The original president was Clay Crum. Terry Ehrich was then president for several years followed by Tom Foster. Currently, the president is Matt Patterson. Many people have served on the board and many others have donated their time and money.