Cavendish, Vermont: Phineas Gage: A Rod Went Through His Skull

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

Address:
VT 131, Cavendish, VT
Directions:
I-91 exit 8. West on Hwy 131 13 miles to Cavendish. The memorial plaques are bolted to a big rock in an empty lot at the corner of Hwy 131 and S. Pleasant St. Cavendish only has a couple of streets, so it's hard to miss.
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Phineas Gage Monument

Phineas Gage: A Rod Went Through His Skull

One of America's oddest celebrities is Phineas P. Gage, who had a metal rod blown through his head and lived to get cranky about it.

Roadsideamerica.com Report... [12/09/2012]

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Gage Accident plaque.

Phineas Gage: A Rod Went Through His Skull

Small monument with timeline of Phineas Gage's life and findings from accident. We were driving from Okemo and stopped to check it out.

[Christine, 07/26/2017]

Plaque map.

Phineas Gage: A Rod Went Through His Skull

I was there and found out a lot of info. You can also follow the train tracks to the site of the accident.

[Howard, 09/27/2015]

Whoever designed the monument deserves credit for incorporating a map that points you to the fateful skull-piercing spot.

Phineas Gage monument

A plaque in the town of Cavendish, VT commemorates a freakish event that happened near the town on the 13th of September 1848. An explosion sent a 3 foot tamping rod through the cranium of Burlington Railroad foreman Phineas Gage. Gage survived the accident, but his personality was altered by the experience. Once level-headed and intelligent, he became a crazed, profane loony, carrying the tamping iron as a cane. His skull and the tamping iron are now on display at Harvard University's Countway Library of Medicine. The plaque in Cavendish shows a picture of Phineas's skull as well as a map to the site of the explosion. A quick walk along the railroad tracks will take you to the curve where the accident happened.

[Ethan Crenson, 08/25/2002]

Though the town celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the accident in 1998, there's no recurring Phineas Gage Days festival, but there should be. Gage is part of a medical pop-culture pantheon that includes the Elephant Man, Chang and Eng, and Dr. Beaumont's "man with the window in his stomach." There's also a quirky Seattle-based band named Phineas Gage.


Nearby Offbeat Places

Big Scrap Metal ManBig Scrap Metal Man, Ludlow, VT - 6 mi.
America's Longest Covered BridgeAmerica's Longest Covered Bridge, Windsor, VT - 13 mi.
Path of Life GardenPath of Life Garden, Windsor, VT - 14 mi.
In the region:
Birthplace of President Garfield's Mom, Richmond, NH - 48 mi.

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