Though John Deere, both the man and the company, are often associated with the American Midwest, the innovator moved out to this region from the Northeast section of the U.S.

Although his company was founded in Illinois, he got his start in the small town of Rutland, Vermont.

He only spent a year in Rutland, and it was after years of a meager education in the surrounding area that he was apprenticed to a blacksmith in Middlebury, Vermont, where he got his first taste of tools and agricultural equipment.

Deere was born in 1804 and did not enter the profession until he was 21, but the formative years of his life were spent in the state, a fact that local residents are not soon to forget.

“It has been a little known fact, but one of those most significant things when you think about it – John Deere. And he’s only born one place in the world, and guess where it is – it’s Rutland, Vermont,” Tom Donahue with the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce, told WCAX News 3.

According to the news outlet, this is why the town erected an official historic site marker from the state directly across the street from where Deere was born. The residents are proud to be associated with the Rutland native, as they noted his work ethic and ingenuity are staples of Vermont and New England life.

Despite the long association that Deere had with Vermont, many people do not realize that this connection existed.

“It’s been one of those things that’s been sort of under the radar and it was a long time coming and we really needed to do a more significant recognition of his birthplace,” Donahue told WCAX.

Deere spent a significant portion of his life in Vermont, and it was not until 1837 that the inventor and his family moved to Illinois. Only a year after moving, he invented his first plow and the rest is history.

Despite the short time that Deere lived in Rutland, the local government realized it was important to establish a connection between the town and the agricultural icon.

“Having Rutland become a destination for those folks who are John Deere fans around the country, maybe even around the world, that might want to visit his birthplace,” Donahue told the news outlet.

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