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A Winter Jaunt to Covey & Nye, Manchester, Vermont

By Lindy McDonough

The heart of Manchester Village, Vermont

Though still small, most communities in Vermont tend to have enough residents to still be classified as towns, complete with the necessities of modern New England life. But as we made our way through the state, climbing hills on winding roads and stumbling in an almost accidental way upon little places with names like Newfane, Jamaica, and Dorset, these towns began to feel more like hamlets.

Perhaps it is the chameleon character of the buildings - green and white architecture quietly blends in with the green and white landscape - that gives this impression. Or maybe it is the lack of expanse and room. Paradoxically, with all of the surrounding open space, each town's center can be a bit claustrophobic with the general goods store sitting cozy with the post office and the church sharing grounds with the town hall.

One of the jewels of Vermont's town-dotted landscape is Manchester, a tiny yet cosmopolitan hub in the middle of the Green Mountain National Forest. There - in the center of Manchester Village, across from the storied Equinox Hotel (est. 1769!) is Covey & Nye, one of Vermont's finest stores and the newest shop to carry Lotuff Leather.

Covey & Nye is a self-proclaimed 'purveyor of fine guns' and 'attire for field & town.' The remarkably well laid-out store tells a story of shooting in the field by day and comfortably retiring close to the fire by night. With brands such as Filson and Beretta, Covey commits itself to fine-quality items with classic appeal - many of them made in the United States - perfect for its New England setting.

Joe Lotuff inspecting some vintage guns.

In addition to its fine shop, Covey & Nye also hosts guests at its private shooting grounds 25 minutes west of Manchester Village. The trek to get there took us on dirt roads past farms and peaceful grazing areas and across an unmarked border into upstate New York.