St. Johnsbury, the southern gateway to the Northeast Kingdom, was chartered as early as 1786, but really only came into its own after 1830, when Thaddeus Fairbanks invented the platform scale, a device that revolutionized weighing methods. The Fairbanks family's subsequent philanthropic efforts left the city with a strong cultural and architectural imprint. Today "St. J," as locals call it, is the friendly, adventure sports–happy hub of the Northeast Kingdom.
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