Although Plainfield is similar to many other rural New England towns by the numbers (size, population, etc.) it has a distinct flair which sets it apart from most surrounding communities. Goddard College attracts a liberal, educated population that at one time made up a significant portion of the townspeople. Goddard alumni include Mumia Abu-Jamal, members of the band Phish, David Mamet, Piers Anthony, Mary Edwards, onetime State Historian H. Allen Soule Jr., and abstract artists including Robert M. Fisherand James Gahagan. Plainfield was home to noted composer and builder of the first American village style gamelan, Dennis Murphy.
The town currently has two restaurants; one located in the village center with New York-style pizza, and the other a cafe on US Route 2. The village also has a community food co-op open to non-members and featuring local products, The Blinking Light Gallery an artists cooperative art gallery, a used bookstore, and a community maintained flower garden, all within several hundred feet of each other. The town has a unique public library, the Cutler Memorial Library, located at 151 High Street (Route 2).
Plainfield’s atmosphere is distinct from popular tourist destinations in Vermont such as Stowe, and Woodstock in that its commercial activity is generated primarily by local residents. There are a number of active local groups such as the Plainfield Historical Society and the Plainfield Area Community Association, which sponsor community activities, like the annual Old Home Days.
Plainfield, like a number of Vermont towns, retains the influence of the back-to-the-land movement of the 1960s. A number of people came to stay for good and continue to run organic farms. This older generation has now joined with the newer, younger sustainable agriculture movement and the food renaissance in Vermont. While the college, Goddard, has suffered a decline in recent years, the town nevertheless retains an ethos of activism, community and solidarity (except on Town Meeting day when everyone voices their opinion loudly). Community spirit and solidarity was demonstrated in 2013, when the town raised the most money per capita for VPR – Vermont Public Radio – and thus earned an Ice Cream Social from Ben and Jerry’s. The radio station housed at Goddard College – WGDR – continues to serve as a community voice and link for area residents.
-Wikipedia Entry, 2016