April 2005
Montgomery Historical
Internet Newsletter

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

Number 2005-2
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.

A few 2005 MHS Calendars still available $10.00
     This calendar contains rare photos of 11 of Montgomery’s 13 covered bridges.  Call Parma Jewett or stop by the Town Clerk's or Lutz's.

March History:

1780 - Montgomery is granted a charter.  We are 225 years old!!!

1791 - Vermont becomes the 14th State.

1836 - Mexico wins the Battle of the Alamo.

Chairman's Message

        It's that time of year again when we ask you to renew your membership in the Montgomery Historical Society.  Membership dues are our primary source of income and we would not be able to offer the many programs, or carry out our other activities, without your generous financial support.  A quick review of this year's work underscores the impact you can make by being a member:

Pratt Hall Preservation       Concerts       Speakers
Antiques Roadshow       Memorial Day Commemoration
Covered Bridge Festival       Community History Project
Historical Calendars       Art Show and Raffle
Carols and Candles       Participation at VT History Expo
Newsletter & Web site       Scholarships
Preservation, cataloging, and storage of local artifacts and structures

     A membership renewal card and return envelope was mailed to you with a hardcopy of this newsletter. We appreciate your past support and hope you will be able to help us preserve the heritage of Montgomery and bring quality historical and cultural programs to the community. 

     If you are not a member and are reading this please consider joining us.  Contact Marijke Dollois at the above USPS or e-mail address and/or visit the Become a Member link.  

     Membership dues and all other donations are tax exempt.   

     Help us make history!  Thank you.

                                         Scott Perry, Chairman, Board of Directors
                                         Montgomery Historical Society

Montgomery Historical Society Events and Programs

     Photography Exhibit - The MHS is sponsoring an exhibit of photographs by Bill Killon mid-March through mid-April at the Library.  These were taken as part of the Community History project.  It includes images of area covered bridges, and pastoral scenes.  We also commissioned him to photograph the stained glass windows of Pratt Hall and we will exhibit some of those prints at our Annual Meeting. Thanks to the Library for their wonderful support.

     An Antiques Evening of Appraisals and Sales - April 9th in the Town Hall (Grange) from 7:00-9:00 p.m.  An encore of last year’s event where people can bring in items for appraisal by experts, and enjoy gourmet desserts.  Thanks to Charles Henderson, Sally Newton and Winston Lewis for pulling this together.

     DATE & TIME CHANGE!!  Memorial Day Commemoration - The Society will again sponsor our community’s annual remembrance.  This year’s will be at the West Hill Cemetery, and is scheduled for May 29th at 10:30 a.m.      

    TIME CHANGE!!  Annual Meeting and Dinner - Jun 17th at 6:00 p.m. at the Town Hall.   $23.00 (includes gratuity).  Preview our Vt History Expo Exhibit and other fun.

        May 18th - Kevin Graffagnino
, Director, VT Historical Society, A Hard Founding Father To Love: Ira Allen. 7:00 p.m.  Pratt Hall.  (Note: Ira Allen was an original grantee of Montgomery)
        September 21st - Joe Citro, Spiritualism in VT: Religion, Politics, and the Preternatural”
 7:00 p.m.  Pratt Hall.
         October 19th - "An Evening with Abraham Lincoln".  7:00 P.M.  Pratt Hall.  An actor portrays the man and his times.
        Other Programs in development:  “Pre-Electricity Lighting,” and  “Fuller Photographs.”    Members can go to the VT Humanities web site at:
to find speakers available.  Charles applied for this year’s grant.  Thank You Charles.

     Vermont History Expo - Parma Jewett is leading the Society's biennial participation at this Summer's History Expo at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds, June 25 & 26th. Our theme is "Farming: Then and Now". If you have small hand tools or other devices you could loan for our exhibit or would like to participate in any other way (we still need volunteers to set up, man, and take down the booth) please let her know.  The Montgomery Fiber Group will be doing antique spinning demos in period dress.  Thanks to Ruth Little and Jessica Dillner.               
    Covered Bridge Festival - A new event.  Local businesses are sponsoring mail boxes and local artists are decorating them with a covered bridge theme.  Finished products will be displayed then auctioned, some at the Annual Meeting .  Other dates and details to be determined.

    2006 Calendars - A new calendar containing photos from the Society’s archives  of Montgomery’s historic buildings will be available at the Annual Meeting.

     Annual Art Show and Raffle - Held at Pratt Hall in conjunction with the Covered Bridges Garden Club’s Harvest Days on the Common.  Late August/Sept.

    Carols and Candles - We have successfully “booked” maestro Andrew Massey for a return to conduct the annual community Christmas sing along and celebration at Pratt Hall.  It will be Sunday evening, December 18th.  Mark your calendars and bring your voices.

     Community History Project - Charles Henderson, Bill McGroarty, and John Beaty continue work with local students, and photographer/videographer Bill Killon, to develop a DVD documenting Montgomery’s bridges and the oral history surrounding them.  They are looking for leads on folks to interview.  If you have any ideas please contact one of them.  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.

     Concerts: Sabra & Andrew Massey are working on this year’s program and hope to have one each in July, August and September.  Dates and programs are in the works.    

     Web Site Calendar -   Having trouble keeping track of all of this?  The MHS web site now has a calendar.  We will try to keep it current and list all of our activities and events as they develop. 


     Thanks to Ken Cota for donating a hand drawn map of the West Hill - Hill West area made by Harold Jewett.  It shows who lived where circa 1903-1912.  He recorded 65 farms and 81 places. 

     We will try to conserve it and make copies available.  If there is anyone else who would like to inquire about donating items, please call a member of the Society Board or Bill Branthoover, our Archivist.

New Pratt Hall Rental Fees Likely

     After reviewing our insurance policy it is apparent we should improve our coverage.  The MHS Board is also developing a use policy and will probably include a price hike to help defray the insurance and other cost increases. 

Mystery Photo

Do you have any information about this photo?  Is it the Rawley Stevens Farm?

Internet Links

     For those of you who like to surf the web here are a few history related links we recommend:

     The Vermont Book of Days is a “this day in Vt” history site:  www.vtbookofdays.com

     Frank Bryan, the speaker on Town Meeting we co-sponsored in January, has many of his writings on line at: www.uvm.edu/~fbryan/

     The Library of Congress home page is:
www.loc.gov.  Click on the American Memory link.  You can find maps, photographs, and other items of interest.

     Finally, The University of Vermont is sponsoring a project on the Changing Landscape of Vt.  The link, www.uvm.edu/perkins/landscape has a searchable collection of old photographs they are trying to pair with a current photo of the same place to document the change.  (There were 11 photos of Montgomery when we last visited the site.)

E-mail Mailing List

     About 20 members have joined our e-mail address list so far.  They will be notified when the newsletter is posted to the Society web site and given a link to it. 

     As you can see, the on line newsletter has active links to all e-mail addresses and/or sites mentioned in the newsletter. 

     The list will also be used for event reminders and other notes.  If you would like us to include you, please e-mail the Society at pratthall@yahoo.com.


Make History Everyday!