About the Guides

Meet your tour leaders

Your tour leaders are experienced as researchers and teachers. We love to talk about history in a way that makes it come alive. We also enjoy feeding friends and families and would love to introduce you to the history and local foods of Burlington.

Elise Guyette

Elise Guyette is a teacher, museum educator, historian and author of French Canadian, Irish, and Lebanese decent. She grew up in Rutland, Vermont, surrounded by multiple ethnic groups that had migrated to the city to work on the railroad, in the Howe Scale Company, and in the marble trades. She became fascinated with why people moved away from their homeland, why they chose Vermont, and what they did to survive here. In the 1980s, as an elementary school teacher of Vermont history, Elise saw that many books contained no mention of various cultural groups in Vermont. She began researching that history to share with students. This work has resulted in many articles, curricula, and a book, Vermont: A Cultural Patchwork. She also researched the history of African descended people in the state and published her findings about an African American farming community in Hinesburgh in her book, Discovering Black Vermont. She is married to David Shiman, has two daughters, and is the proud descendant of refugees and immigrants.

Gail Rosenberg

Gail Rosenberg grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and can remember all the egg creams she drank and foods she noshed at local bakeries, kosher delis, pizza stands, and appetizing stores. A professional fundraiser and public relations specialist, Gail has worked for non-profits in Washington, DC and the Burlington area for years. As Development and Public Relations Director of Shelburne Museum, she promoted New York’s Big Apple Circus for ten years of sold-out performances. She has published articles on diverse subjects, including circus history, sword swallowing, flexible work schedules, and the arts. Her stories about New York foods have appeared in The Washington Post. Gail also takes credit for selling the Brooklyn Bridge. When pieces of the promenade were replaced for the Bridge’s Centennial in 1983, she used the discarded documented pieces to raise funds for a local temple. Gail is married to Tom O’Connor. Between them they have four children, a granddaughter, and three great-grandsons, and rescue dog, Lenny. as well as an extended family of friends of all ages. gail is the proud daughter of immigrants.

Hunter Colvin

Hunter Colvin is a graduate student at the University of Vermont. Her studies focus primarily on early modern British history, including an undergraduate thesis that compared the two Acts of Union that created the United Kingdom. Growing up in the Lake Champlain Islands and on the shores of Lake Bomoseen instilled a love of the history, people, and food of Vermont. Hunter spent a semester studying abroad in Newcastle, England during her undergraduate years, and she has also traveled extensively, most notably to Australia, Ireland, and Iceland, as well as frequent trips to Montreal and Boston, particularly the North End. She is of Scottish, English, and German descent, and most of her best memories revolve around food. Hunter showcases that love of food through both this tour and the annual Burlington Wine and Food Festival, where she is the Volunteer Coordinator.

Carolyn Connor

Carolyn Connor is a graduate of the University of Vermont, where she studied History, Anthropology, and Dance. While at the University Carolyn studied in Florence, Italy, for 6 months; performed in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia; and was a member of the University’s Division One Track and Field Team. After a year of teaching English and traveling in South East Asia she moved back to Vermont where she works for VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, which perfectly combines her interest in travel and community. While originally from Bethesda, MD, she has spent much of her life in Ontario, Canada, and now Burlington, VT, where she has fallen in love with Vermont’s mountains, history and, most importantly, food! This will be Carolyn’s third year as a guide.

Stuart Hackley

Stuart Hackley grew up in the foothills outside of Denver, Colorado, and recently moved to the area to enter a masters program in history at the University of Vermont. He studies gender and nationalism in late 19th and early 20th century Germany, but has a special soft spot in his heart for the history of food. Stuart has previously worked as an English and history teacher in three countries, including Germany and China, and has led tours at the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum. He firmly believes that Europeans have the right idea when it comes to pairing french fries with mayonnaise, and the best meal he has ever eaten was an astonishing bowl of ramen noodles in Hong Kong. He lives in downtown Burlington with his girlfriend, and greatly enjoys his proximity to the lake and to several high quality brunch restaurants.

“What a well-researched walk through the history of native and immigrant groups to Burlington, paired with locally sourced, off menu foods, prepared by local chefs to compliment the historical narrative of the tour.”
— Trip Advisor, Golden, CO