January 2005
Montgomery Historical
Internet Newsletter

Montgomery Historical Society
P.O. Box 47
Montgomery, VT 05470
e-mail pratthall@yahoo.com

Number 2005-1
Scott Perry - Chair
Bill McGroarty - Vice Chair
Marijke Dollois - Secretary
Barb Nye - Treasurer

The MHS Board meets the second Thursday of the month at 5:30.  Pratt Hall in the summer, Public Safety Building Conference Room in the winter.

"Candles and Carols"

     Thanks again to all who made "Candles & Carols" such a wonderful evening.
MHS Calendars Still Available - $10.00
Call Parma Jewett or stop by the Town Clerk's or Lutz's.

This Month in History:

1863 Thomas Crapper invented the first flush toilet.

1920  The League of Nations is ratified.

1957  Whamo made it’s first Frisbee

Chairman's Message
     The Montgomery Historical Society Board met on December 3rd to consider changing the Bylaws. The changes passed, in effect eliminating the offices of President etc, and establishing a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary of the Board. This group, along with the Treasurer will run the day-to-day affairs of the Society.

     The Bylaws change also reduced the Board quorum requirement to make it easier to get things done. The new Bylaws are posted on the Society's web site.

     The Board also appointed Bill Branthoover as President Emeritus and I have also appointed him as the Society's archivist.

     As the new head of the Society I would like to first express my appreciation to all the other Board Members, Past Members, and Past Officers for their service to our organization. We've accomplished a lot and I will, no doubt, rely on them for advice and education. I ask all of you to continue to show me the patience and cooperation I will need, and to keep open the lines of communication.
     This newsletter, our first, is meant to help do just that. We want to keep you informed about what we are doing and get you involved. We hope to publish it quarterly.
     Our membership is our greatest resource, one I plan to tap often. If you have an article, or any other ideas, for this newsletter, or the Society, please let me know.  Wishing you all an historic 2005,
                       Scott Perry, Chairman, MHS Board of Directors

MHS Has A Web Page

     Did you know the Montgomery Historical Society (MHS) has a web page? It's hosted by the Town and can be reached via their home page at:

From there just click on the Town Civic, Non-Profit, and Church Link, then the MHS link.

     You can also access it directly at:

The MHS web page contains the Bylaws, Board members, an Annotated History and other information. A Mystery Photo is also posted and will be changed periodically.

E-Mail Address List

     For those willing to do it.... We would like to put together a list of e-mail addresses so we can disseminate this newsletter and other MHS notices/information electronically. If you agree, would you send an e-mail to:

     Your e-mail address will be used solely for Society business and will not be given to anyone else. This will increase the flow of information and save the Society printing and mailing costs. 

     Thank you.

Mystery Photo

     The photo at right is from our archives but nothing is known about it. We put it on the Society's web page and got the following input from John Quinn in a note to Lois Lumbra:

     "It might be that the barn raising involved Dalton Sweet's father. Joe worked for him when he was very young and Mr. Sweet was very old. He used to measure out and cut all the timbers to size on the ground before raising. I remember when Dalton lived across the road from your house more than 60 years ago. He was an old man then so I would think that his father might have been active around the 1880's. "

Do you have any information about this photo?

MHS Programs/Events

     Annual Meeting and Dinner - June 17th at 5:30 p.m. at the Town Hall.   $23.00 (includes gratuity).  Preview the History Expo Exhibit and other fun.  Mark your calendars.

     Summer Concert Series -  Sabra & Andrew Massey are working on this year’s program. Long time director, Steve Hays, has increased commitments and is unable to give it the on-the-scene care he would like.  Thank you Steve for all your past efforts.

     Speakers - Charles Henderson has three programs in the works.  The Society is co-sponsoring Dr. Frank Bryan with the Library to discuss “Real Democracy - Town Meeting in New England” on January 20th.  Other programs in development are on “Pre-Electricity Lighting,” and “Fuller Photographs.”  Charles is eager to hear any suggestions for speakers.  Members can go to the VT Humanities web site at:
to see a list of speakers available.  Early input increases the chances of winning grants to help fund these programs.

     Community History Project - A group from the Society continues work with local school kids, and photographer and videographer Bill Killon to develop a DVD documenting Montgomery’s covered bridges and the oral history surrounding them.  They are looking for leads on folks to interview.  If you have any ideas please contact Charles Henderson.  When complete we hope to hold an open house at Pratt Hall for members of the community.   This project is sponsored in part by the Vermont Historical Society, IBM, and Verizon.

     “Antiques Roadshow” - April 9th in the Town Hall (Grange) from 7:00-9:00p.m.  An encore of last year’s event where people can bring in items for identification / appraisal by a panel of experts, and enjoy music and gourmet desserts.        

     Covered Bridge Festival - A new event.  Local businesses will be asked to sponsor a mail box and a local artist will be asked to decorate it.  Finished products will be auctioned at a gala.  Dates and details to be determined.

     2006 Calendars - We will be doing a new calendar containing photos from the Society’s archives.  This edition’s theme will be Montgomery’s Buildings.

     Annual Memorial Day Commemoration - The Society will again sponsor our community’s annual remembrance ceremony.  This year’s will be at the West Hill Cemetery, and is scheduled for May 29th at 10:30 a.m.  It will include a short speech, honors, and refreshments.
     Vermont History Expo - Parma Jewett agreed to head the Society's biennial participation at this Summer's History Expo at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds, June 25 & 26th. Our theme will be "Farming: Then and Now". If you have items you think would add to our exhibit or would like to participate in any other way please let her know.

     We will need volunteers to set up, man, and take down the booth. If you've never been to the Expo, it's a wonderful way to spend a day. Sharon Perry, Marie and Bob Baron, Carolyn Babcock, Lutz Saborowski and Bill and Margaretta Branthoover all helped out with our last effort. Give them a call if you have questions.

     Photography Exhibit - The Society is sponsoring an exhibit of photographs by Bill Killon in March.  It will include images of  area covered bridges, Pratt Hall’s stained glass windows, and pastoral scenes.  Dates, time and venue to be determined.

     Annual Art Show - The Society hopes to host its annual art show again simultaneously with the Covered Bridges Garden Club's "Harvestfest" in August or September.  More details will follow.


     It will soon be time to renew your membership. A separate letter will be arriving this spring with a renewal request. Thanks for your past support and we hope you will be able to continue your membership.

     Membership is our principal form of income.  Do you have any friends you think would be interested in joining or you would like to sponsor? Let us know.

This and That

     -  E-mail the Chairman at:

     -  Do you know someone deserving of a "thank you"?  Give us the name and what they did and we will send them a note.

     -  If you haven't been yet...  The new Vermont Historical Society facility in Barre is getting rave reviews.  Their web site is at:

Consider at trip.

     -  Featured history internet link:

Make History Every Day