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Bittersweet House, at the corner of Main and South Prospect, is home to UVM’s Environmental Program, but it may also be the home of a campus ghost. In Green Mountains, Dark Tales, Joe Citro records a UVM staff member’s encounter with a shadowy woman dressed in the style of the early 1900s. Others have reported seeing a shadowy grey shape in the Bittersweet halls. Some have suggested that the ghost is Margaret “Daisy” Smith, who bought the building in 1928 and ran a tearoom there for many years. Citro describes her as blind, poor, and tragically lonely.
While Vermont’s own ghost hunters, Vermont Spirits Detective Agency, have conducted investigations onsite trying to make contact with Daisy the ghost, another researcher visited Special Collections in Bailey/Howe Library to learn more about Margaret Smith.
Historic Preservation graduate student Christine Prevolos conducted exhaustive research that provides a rather different picture of Smith. She relied heavily on four books published by Margaret Smith in her late 70s and early 80s: Bittersweet Branches (1946), Beautiful Burlington (1948), Bittersweet Berries (1951), and Bittersweet Blessings (1952). Read Prevolos’s story about the business woman, traveler, author and peace activist here, and visit Special Collections to read Smith’s books or to learn more about other campus ghosts.