Vermont in the 1970s was a hotbed for the counterculture, and the influx of young people had a lasting influence on the state's politics, agriculture and food and offbeat culture.

The Vermont Historical Society's exhibit "Freaks, Radicals & Hippies: Counterculture in the 1970s in Vermont" opens at the Vermont History Center in Barre on Sept. 24.

The historical society surveyed about 725 people from that time, most of whom identified with the counterculture movement.

Curator Jackie Calder says they were drawn to Vermont for its beauty, rural nature, inexpensive land and farms, and its proximity to Boston, New York City and New Jersey.

Calder says many of them were well-educated. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed had college degrees and some had post-doctoral education.

Thirty percent said they lived on communes.