ANTHONY: THE MASSACHUSETTS
ECONOMY IS STRONG, GROWING
FASTER THAN THE COUNTRY AS A
WHOLE WITH UNEMPLOYMENT LEVELS
REMINISCENT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS MIRACLE DAYS OF THE 1980’S, BUT
GET OUTSIDE THE GREATER BOSTON
AREA, WAY OUTSIDE AND IT’S A
DIFFERENT PICTURE. A NEARLY THREE HOUR DRIVE FROM
BOSTON TAKES YOU TO MONROE,
MASSACHUSETTS, THE SMALLEST TOWN
ON THE STATES MAY LEAD. APPROXIMATELY 120 PEOPLE LIVE
HERE ON JUST UNDER 11 SQUARE
MILES.>>THERE’S NO TRAFFIC,
EVERYTHING IS AT A SLOW PACE. AND IT’S JUST A BEAUTIFUL PLACE
TO LIVE. ANTHONY: A PLACE THA SEEMS FAR
REMOVED FROM GREATER BOSTON. LOCATED IN THE NORTHWEST PART OF
FRANKEN COUNTY, MONROE IS A
SHORT RIDE FROM NEW YORK STATE
AND VERMONT.>>THIS IS THE END OF
MASSACHUSETTS. THERE’S, YOU’RE GOING INTO
VERMONT. THIS IS THE LAST STOP. ANTHONY: IT’S A SMALL TOWN AND A
POOR TOWN. ACCORDING TO CENSUS DATA,
RESIDENTS HAVE THE LOWEST INCOME
IN THE STATE, $31,458, LESS THAN
HALF THE STATEWIDE NUMBER. BUT WHAT MONROE MAY LACK
MONETARILY IT MAKES UP FOR WITH
ITS RICH NATURAL RESOURCES.>>MONROE STATE FOREST IS ABOUT
3700 ACRES AND TAKES UP MORE
THAN HALF OF THE TOWN OF MONROE. ANTHONY: ALEC FROM THE
DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION TOOK
US INTO THE MONROE STATE FOREST
ON FOOT FOR A GLANCE AT MOTHER
NATURE’S MAJESTY.>>IT’S MANAGED FOR FOUR
STRAIGHT BUT HAS A LOT OF
RECREATIONAL BENEFITS SUCH AS
THIS TRAIL. ANTHONY: PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER
COME TO, MONROE TO EXPERIENCE A
LANDSCAPE ON TOUCH BY HUMANS.>>AS YOU CAN SEE THERE ARE FEW
FOOTPRINTS GOING DOWN THIS SIDE. PEOPLE ARE HIKING. AT THESE HIGHER ELEVATION TOWNS
WHERE THE SNOW TENDS TO STICK. THE TRAILS ARE WELL USED. ANTHONY: HUNTING IS AN OPTION
AND ONE OF THE BIG DRAWS IS THE
RAY CROFT LOOKOUT.>>MONROE IS OFF THE BEATEN
TRACK. MUCH MORE THAN OTHER FORESTS AT
SAVOY AMOUNT STATE FORCE. THIS IS THE PLACE OF PEOPLE COME
TO ESCAPE AND GET AWAY FROM IT
ALL. ANTHONY: WHAT MONROE DOES NOT
HAVE HIS EYE OPENING FOR A
VISITOR FROM BOSTON. THERE IS NO MAYOR, NO POST
OFFICE, NO SCHOOL AND NO POLICE
DEPARTMENT. SO THAT MEANS STATE TROOPERS AT
THE SHELBURNE BARRACKS 16 MILES
AWAY ARE MONROE’S PRIMARY POLICE
AGENCY.>>IT IS QUITE A DISTANCE FROM
THE BARRACKS. SOMETIMES WITH WHETHER HE CAN BE
A HALF HOUR RIDE TO THE
OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN. RADIO COMMUNICATIONS EVERYTHING
BECOMES MORE DIFFICULT OUT
THERE. ANTHONY: KEVIN HAS BEEN
PATROLLING THIS AREA FOR TWO
DECADES. EVEN THOUGH THE TOWN DOES NOT
HAVE A STOPLIGHT, HE SAYS CALL
TO MONROE AREN’T USUALLY FOR
TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS.>>WE GET EVERY THING JUST LIKE
OUR OTHER 17 COUNTS. ANYTHING FROM HOUSE BURGLARIES
TO DOMESTIC SITUATIONS TO ISSUES
ON THE RIVER THERE, BECAUSE
THEY HAVE WHITE WATER RAFTING. ANTHONY: IN THE WINTER THEY HAVE
THE CHALLENGE OF NAVIGATING
AROUND THE ROA THAT ARE
CLOSED FOR THE SEASON.>>IT’S VERY CLOSE KNIT
COMMUNITY, A LOT OF RELATIVES, A
LOT OF FAMILIES. ♪
ANTHONY: LOOKING FOR NIGHTLIFE
IN MONROE? YOU ARE LOOKING AT IT. THE DEPOT TAVERN.>>IT IS A SMALL COMMUNITY BAR. A LOT OF PEOPLE SOCIALIZE AND
MEET THEIR NEIGHBORS. AND THIS IS WHERE PEOPLE
CONGREGATE. TO SEE EACH OTHER. ANTHONY: WALT LIVES IN
GREENSBORO, VERMONT AND HAS BEEN
COMING HERE FOR YEARS. A ROUTINE NOTE BAR’S OWNER RELIE
S ON.>>EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME YOU
KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DRINKING.>>IT IS NOT EASY KEEPING THE
BUSINESS ALIVE SINCE THE PAPER
MILL CLOSED IN. 1984
AND THE YANKEE ROW NUCLEAR
PLANT IN 1992. BUT SHE’S WORKED HARD TO KEEP
PEOPLE COMING, BUILDING THE
FOLLOWING ON SOCIAL MEDIA. AND HOSTING A POOL TOURNAMENT ON
TUESDAYS WHEN THE HOT DOGS ARE
ON THE HOUSE. THE DEPOT TAVERN ONCE TO THE
ATTENTION OF HOLLYWOOD, A MOVE
IE CALLED THREE BELOW WAS
FILMED HERE.>>A REVIEW?>>HOW DID HE DO AS AN ANSWER?>>HE WASN’T SHY AT ALL. HE DID GOOD. ANTHONY: DESPITE THAT 15 MINUTES
OF FAME, THE DEPOT TRAAVERN
REMAINS A QUIET WATERING HOLE.>>IT IS A BEAUTIFUL WORLD UP
HERE.>>IT SURE IS PRETTY. MONROE IS NAMED AFTER THE
COUNTRY’S FIFTH PRESIDENT JAMES
MONROE WHO SERVED FROM 1817 TO
1825. THE TOWN WAS INCORPORATED WHILE
HE WAS IN OFFICE. GETTING BACK TO THE FORESTS, ITS
TRAILS WERE CREATED BY THE CAN’S
–DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION
AND FROM THE 1950’S TO THE
1970’S BY WORKERS FROM A PRISON
CAMP RUN BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS. NEXT