April 2017

  2nd Quarter

Number 50
Artifacts & Fiction

The Quarterly Newsletter of the
Montgomery Historical Society

P.O. Box 47
Montgomery, VT 05470

e-mail pratthall@gmail.com


Click here for a printer friendly pdf version

Section of 1960 Promotional Flyer

Scott Perry - Chair/Editor
   Bill McGroarty - Vice Chair
      Marijke Dollois - Secretary
         Mark Baddorf - Treasurer

  The MHS Board meets the third Thursday of the month at 5:00 p.m..  Pratt Hall in the summer, Public Safety Building Conference Room in the Winter.

VT & Montgomery History Quiz:

  1.  Electricity first came to Vermont in the 1880s to the larger Towns of Burlington, Rutland and Montpelier/Barre.  What year did the last VT towns (Jamaica, Granby and Victory) get electricity?
  a.1938  b.  1949  c.  1956  d.  1964

  2.  How many of Montgomery’s 600 homes/houses reported substantial damaged or were destroyed in the July 1997 flood?
  a.  50  b.  100  c.  150  d.  200

  3.  At the turn of the century how much did the Hutchin’s mill charge for a 30 pound butter tub?
  a. 4 cts  b. 10 cts c.16 cts d. 20 cts

  4.  What was the secret organization “The Patrons of Husbandry"?
Chairman's Message:
Not Just Another Pretty Building

    The beginning of 2017 saw more activity at Pratt Hall than normal for this time of year as we provided a venue for two memorial services.  These "celebrations of life" served as a reminder that our work is more than preserving a historic building or storing artifacts. We also provide our community with a place to come together for shared experiences some sad, some joyous, and many in between.  These can be weddings, educational programs, concerts, social events or any number of things.  These face-to-face social interactions foster effective communication, emotional wellness, and a sense of community.

April 2016 Wedding at Pratt Hall

     We are coming to the 20th anniversary of the "Montgomery Flood"  this summer.  On July 15th we will hold an open house type of event all day at Pratt Hall and plan to exhibit flood related photos and ephemera.  Part of the exhibit will be a home-made video donated to the Society.  It has some footage of the flooding but mostly shows the aftermath and clean up, people helping people, and runs for about an hour.  It shows a spirited community in action.  We will be reaching out for ideas, items, and help.  Please contact me or Marijke Dollois if you would like to help.

                                                                               Thanks for your continued support.  Scott

Memorial Day Commemoration

    This year's commemoration will be at the newer (upper) section of the Montgomery Center Cemetery.  It will most likely be the morning of Monday, May 29th.  We will post the time as soon as Americn Legion Post 42 confirms it.  The brief ceremony will feature remarks, roll call, honors by American Legion Post 42, and refreshments.  Please join us to pay our respects to those who gave their lives serving our country and all those veterans interred in Town.

Scholarship Applications

      The deadline for applications for the MHS Annual Scholarship grant is May 1st.   Applications were mailed to all eligible Montgomery high school seniors.  It's also available on our web site.   Scholarship Application

Pratt Hall Update

       The protective lexan panels are cut and may even be installed by the time you read this if temps and wind allow.

Preparing the Lexan Lancet  Sections


Town Annual Report Articles

      Since 2008 the Society has been submitting historical articles for the Town's Annual Reports used for Town Meeting.  They are meant to provide an educational and entertaining look at Montgomery's past, and promote greater awareness of, and involvement in, the Society.  

     Some of these articles are abridged version of our exhibits or other work, some are unique to the Reports.  This year's was based in part on photos donated by John and Mack Bolog.  Thanks again!  We've added all of these articles to our web site and they can be reached by clicking the linked title above.  

     Our "Then and Now" video had over 1,000 views before we updated it and reset the counter.  Check out our other videos too.

Montgomery History Quiz Answers

     1.  d.  1964.  BTW Montgomery had electricity at the turn of the last century, at least at the Nelson and Hall tub mill on the Hazen's Notch Rd.  Sources:  The Vermonter Magazine, Vol 3 January 1898,  & Vermont Historical Society.

     2.  b.  100.  The Selectmen reported this to the State in a September 1997 report.  Source:  "Montgomery, VT The History of a Town".

d. 20 cents.  At the turn of the century the Hutchin’s mill charged 20 cents for a 30 pound size tub.  Source: J.C.Hutchins Mill Invoice Receipt

     4.  The "Patrons of Husbandry" were the parent organization of the Grange and grew out of a federal post Civil War initiative to support southern farmers.  Vermont's first grange was established in St. Johnsbury in 1871.  Montgomery's Grange 548 was established in 1941.  Sources:  The Vermonter Magazine, March 1907 & 
 "Montgomery, VT The History of a Town".

Acoustic Evening with "Banjo Dan" Lindner & Friends

     The Saint Albans Museum, is hosting "Banjo Dan" & Willy Lindner (of the Sky Blue Boys)  March 31, 7:00 pm.  This intimate performance will include a repertoire of ballads, vintage country numbers, Civil War-era songs, instrumentals and gospel music.  Complimentary tickets may be reserved online.

The MHS Board is...

Scott Perry, Bill McGroarty, Marijke Dollois, Sue Wilson,
Pat Farmer, Elsie Saborowski, Jo Anne Bennett, Tim Chapin,
Patty Perl, John Beaty, Mark Baddorf,
Bob Cummins, & Andre Labier.

2017 Membership Campaign Underway

     You should receive a letter soon, if you haven't already, asking you to renew your membership or become a new member.  Annual membership donations are used for our operating expenses and programs.  You can mail us a check with the handy return card and envelope or join via our website and make your membership donation using a credit card (processed by Paypal) or a Paypal account transfer.

     No matter how you do it we thank you in advance.  Your support makes all the things we do possible. 

Save the Date - 2017 Annual Meeting Friday, June 30th

     This year's MHS Annual Meeting will again be part business and part celebration.  We will get out more information and invitations once we nail down the details.  

MHS to Host Farmer's Market

     If plans pan out, Pratt Hall's side yard will host a town "Farmers Market" beginning May 27.  Local vendors will be there every Saturday from 9:00 to 1:00 through September 2nd.  Look for the signs.  If you are interested in selling please contact Sue Wilson at 326-4189.  (There is no truth to the rumor Parma's donuts and cinnamon buns may be back... but it's first come first serve.)

Save Another Date for Our Oktoberfest Dinner

  Elsie Saborowski has agreed to encore another Oktoberfest Dinner fundraiser on October 7th.  Beer, brats, and kraut to die for!  Oompa music too!!  Look for advance ticket sales in late summer.

This Quarter in Montgomery & Vermont History

April:  1984.  Fire destroys the Village Store.
 1819.   Montgomery Episcopal diocese organized with the completion of church elections.
    June:  1957.  Ribbon cut officially opening the new portion of the Jay Road allowing direct travel from Montgomery to Jay Peak and Jay.   See the 2016 Town Annual Report link in the adjacent column.

Covered Bridges FYI


    Longley Bridge:  Work has begun!  It will see a major effort to improve its load handling capacity while preserving Ithiel Town's lattice truss design used by the Jewett brothers.  This is a State managed project funded largely by the Federal government to the tune of about 1.03 million dollars.    

     This was a challenging project as officials tried to balance historic preservation and practical transportation equities.  The State Historic Covered Bridges Preservation Committee had to sign off on the project in order for it to be eligible for the federal funding.

     Hectorville Bridge:  The Town-appointed committee to study options and develop recommendations for resurrecting the bridge received the final report from the grant and Town-funded scoping study last year.  The plan was to put the bridge up as a shelter / information kiosk / pedestrian feature at the Rec Center near Montgomery Center.  Unfortunately the engineer estimated a cost of about $550,000, of which $350,000 was direct construction costs.  

     At Town meeting the Committee recommended a DIY/sweat equity option to reduce costs estimates to about $100,000 and is exploring fund raising options.  They badly need volunteers so please contact Pat Farmer (326-2211), or Lynn Locher (326-2171) if you are willing to lend a hand.  Fundraising and computer / internet experience is desperately needed.  No volunteers, no  project.

Vermont Historical Society (VHS) Museum Re-Opens
With New Local Society Exhibit Space.

   The VHS opened their signature exhibit on Vermont history, "Freedom and Unity", in the restored Pavilion Office building in  Montpelier in 2004.  They just completed an update and have added a newly designed exhibit space.  Within the "Freedom & Unity" exhibit is a spotlight gallery dedicated to rotating exhibits created by local historical societies and museums. The MHS donated toward this effort and is looking forward to exploring this opportunity.  

     A Grand Re-opening Party for VHS members is scheduled for April 28th at 8:00 p.m.  and the museum will be open to the general public April 29th 10:00 to 4:00.  Admission is free that day.  If you are in the area  you may want to check things out in Montpelier (and/or stop by the Barre Heritage Center).

MHS Click Here for 2017 Events So Far...

Engraved Bricks

     The next order of engraved walkway bricks will be placed soon and installed in the walkway in May.  If you would like to order in time for May please contact Pat Farmer ASAP but no later than April 20th.  You can also order on line at our History for Sale link.

Thanks for your support!!