MIT's Talbot House in VermontMIT Clinical Decision Making Group and Children's Hospital Informatics Program Visit to Talbot House

October 1997

In October of 1997, our research group held one of its occasional two-day retreats at Talbot House, an MIT-owned retreat in South Pomfret, VT. This is a lovely old farm house, donated to MIT by the Rockefeller family, in one of the most beautiful spots in the world, across the road from the Suicide Six ski area. In October, the justly famous Fall foliage of Vermont made the scenery especially spectacular.

From the moment of our arrival, the weekend meeting combined happy sprawling with our friends and dogs to intense conversations about the current state of Medical Informatics and the appropriate choice of future research directions. Phil and Alex were sometimes more interested in romping outdoors.

We met for two days, Saturday and Sunday, and took some time off on Saturday afternoon to visit the nearby beautiful town of Woodstock.

One of the main attractions to me was the Woodstock Library on the Woodstock Green, next to the Woodstock Inn. Touring in text order, this bank stands at the main intersection of the town. The imposing stone building stands by the side of a stream crossing the main street, and must have served as a mill before it became a haven for costly artsy businesses. The Middle Bridge is recent, the original having been destroyed by fire about thirty years ago. Its joinery and all-wooden construction, however, date back to the origins of this human attempt to save bridge surfaces from the devastating effects of severe winters. Woodstock is rich and whimsical, as the selection of goods and prices at the Huneck gallery attest. The town is also endowed with a number of bells cast by Paul Revere, one of which is admired by Pete Szolovits, Fearless Leader.

The photo below serves as an index to other pictures, at least for those who stuck it out at the meeting to its closing moments. Others are accessible via the attractive photo of Phil Greenspun's Alex, the Samoyed.

Photographs and layout by Peter Szolovits (, February 1998. Photo of me by Chris Tsien.