John S. Hall is a graduate of the University of Vermont. He was later employed by UVM as a youth extension agent. In 1965, he and his wife purchased and ran a Vermont dairy farm where they raised four children. Twelve grandchildren and eighteen great-grandchildren followed, and many in the Hall family continue to be engaged in various forms of Vermont agriculture. (See pictures below!) In recent years, Hall has written four books: The West Window, The Meadow, Cooner’s Bench, and his latest, Harmony Hill.

Why I write:

There’s nothing more powerful than the written word. At my age, I love to flex my intellectual muscle strength while writing. It all goes back to when I was a little boy, trying to stretch my fingers all the way around our hired man’s bicep. I can do the same when I stretch my mind to make a sentence jump off the page. The reward is when folks in wonderment say, “Wow! Your descriptions land me right in the story!” To me . . . that’s delightful.

Cindy was a show winner at the Vermont State Holstein Show, 1979. My son Stuart is on the halter—she did well for him!
August 1978
John and Donna’s children—Louisa with Roxellen, Richard with Lindy, Margaret with Smarty, and Stuart with Cindy. With the exception of Smarty, these animals grew to be excellent cows. Our kids loved to show at our local Holstein show in Randolph Center.
My mother Diantha Lyman Hall, 2nd from the left (L–R, 2nd), circa 1917. My mother spent a lot of her summers working on her uncle’s farm in Bennington, Vermont. In this picture she was about thirteen. She raked hay and led the horses on the hay fork. She also worked in the young apple orchard on Harwood Hill. She always told us that she worked hard, but loved it!
Wallace Hayford, circa 1920, in front of the farmhouse that we bought in 1965, still our home today. The log was cut by axes and saws, no chainsaws! In the first decades of the twentieth century, horses were the main source of power. Tractors were not common until after World War II.

“I very rarely read a book a second time, but this one I will. I can’t remember the last time I have been so touched by a book. It’s accuracy and authenticity are incredible. . . . I don’t know the author, but I sure wish I did!”

—Reader of The West Window