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

VT 131, Cavendish, VT
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.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

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

Visitor Tips and News About Phineas Gage: A Rod Went Through His Skull

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

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.
Path of Life GardenPath of Life Garden, Windsor, VT - 14 mi.
Bowman Mausoleum's Mourning ManBowman Mausoleum's Mourning Man, Cuttingsville, VT - 15 mi.
In the region:
Gravity Hill, Greenfield, MA - 55 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

February 28, 2020

My Sights

My Sights

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Vermont Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Blackie, Horse That Never Moved, Tiburon, California (Feb 24-Mar 1, 2020)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from Subscribe now! Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Nearby Hotels: Cavendish, Vermont

Nightly rates found:

Book Now