July 2005
Montgomery Historical
Internet Newsletter

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

Number 2005-3
Scott Perry - Chair/Editor
Bill McGroarty - Vice Chair
Marijke Dollois - Secretary
Sue Wilson - 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.

  2005 MHS Calendars sold out!  

  2006 Calendars, featuring Montgomery buildings, now available.

July History:

1776 - Colonies declare independence from Britain.

1863 - Battle of Gettysburg (editor's great grandfather wounded!).

1885 - Louis Pasteur successfully treats a patient with a rabies vaccine.

1996 - Dolly, the worlds first cloned sheep, is born.
Chairman's Message

  This month I want to take a moment to talk about the Society and the Covered Bridges of Montgomery.  There are five of these left standing and one in storage the Hectorville, or Gibou Bridge, in part because of Society efforts to save it.  All bridges belong to the Town, and the Society has a limited role in their care.  The State pays about 95% of the cost associated with repairs of the bridges considered used on highways, the Town must fund the remaining 5%. The Town must pay the entire cost of bridges removed from service.  The latter is the case with the Hectorville Bridge.

  At present, the ball is in the Selectboard's court to determine the ultimate fate of the Hectorville Bridge.  While no decisions have been made, the consensus is to repair/erect it, with as much local talent as possible, on Town-owned land
(the old Gordon Jewett property) off Fuller Bridge Rd. across from the intersection of Green Mountain Rd.  This will also be the site of the new municipal well and water treatment facility, and perhaps some future recreation space.  The thought would be to make the Bridge part of the plan to turn this into a park/green space suitable for low impact recreation.  This is very preliminary!

  The Society has not actively raised funds for the bridge since funding the disassembly and move, and is taking a wait-and-see approach. Earlier efforts in which the Society participated, to develop recommendations to the town failed for a variety of reasons.  In general, we support any effort to repair and reassemble the bridge.  Donations received by the Society for the bridge were used to pay for moving
it and have been passed to the town to help pay the storage costs.
   This will be an expensive, time consuming, and difficult task no matter what plan is adopted or who does it.  Let us, or the Selectboard, know your thoughts.

                                         Scott Perry, Chairman, Board of Directors
                                         Montgomery Historical Society

Montgomery Historical Society Events and Programs

An Antiques Evening of Appraisals & Sales

   Thanks to Charles Henderson, Sally Newton and Winston Lewis for pulling this together, and to all the exhibitors and appraisers for a fun and educational evening.  (Alas, your humble editor did not have anything worth big bucks!)

Memorial Day Commemoration

     The Society sponsored our community's annual remembrance
.  Thanks to Lindsey Larivee for singing our National Anthem, American Legion Post 42 in Enosburg for their Chaplain, Honor Guard, Firing Squad, and Taps support, and special thanks to Staff Sergeant Joshua Potvin, VT Army National Guard.  Josh is a Veteran of the War on Terror, having recently completed a year of duty in Afghanistan.   Also a special thanks to all MHS members who worked on this Memorial Day event.


        Dr. Kevin Graffagnino
's, Director, VT Historical Society, May presentation on Ira Allen  was superb.  About 50 people learned about Allen and early Vermont in a captivating presentation.

**Venue Change**  
         September 21st - Joe Citro, Spiritualism in VT: Religion, Politics, and the Preternatural”  7:00 p.m.  Montgomery Library.  Co-Sponsored with the Montgomery Town Library and Richford Historical Society.

         October 19th - "Even We Here: An Evening with Abraham Lincoln".  7:00 P.M.  Pratt Hall.  An actor portrays the man and his times.  Two acts, one man show. (your editor had a chance to preview this and gives it two thumbs up - don't miss this one!)

        We are always looking for program suggestions.  Call Charles Henderson if you've an idea.

Vermont History Expo

     Parma Jewett led the Society's biennial participation at this summer's History Expo at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds. Our theme was "Farming: Then and Now".  Thanks to Jessica Dillner for attending in period dress and demonstrating spinning.  Thanks to Parma, Bill and Margaretta, and Lutz for manning the booth and to those who donated items for the display.
     Covered Bridge Festival

A new event.  We hoped to have local businesses sponsor mail boxes, local artists decorate them with a covered bridge theme, then display them and auction them off.  We are having a bit of trouble getting this off the ground.  Many businesses and artists have signed on but we need to find a builder/source of the "blank"  mailboxes.  

Josh Potvin speaking at the annual Memorial Day Commemoration

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 photographer / videographer Bill Killon, and the school to develop a DVD documenting Montgomery’s bridges and the some of the oral history surrounding them.  They now have a story board and hope to "shoot" this summer.  This project is sponsored in part by the Vermont Historical Society, IBM, and Verizon.


     As of our deadline, Sabra Massey has booked the Green Mountain Barbershop Chorus for August 6th at 7:30 at Pratt Hall.  Other performances are in the works.

     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. 

Other News...

Archival News

     Bill Branthoover reported two successful initiatives at the Annual Meeting, one for the records of the Nazarene Church on West Hill and the other for an extensive set of diaries from the family of Joseph Potvin.  Bill said even a casual conversation can result in a donation of marvelous material and urges members to keep their antenna up for items of interest.  Let him know about any possible leads.

Annual Meeting and Dinner
     The meeting was on June 17th and attended by about 40 members.  Attendees enjoyed a scrumptious meal, previewed some of this year's Tunbridge History Expo exhibit items, and received the officers' reports.  All were urged to help spread the word about Society events to "share the fun".

New Pratt Hall Rental Fees

     The MHS Board adopted a new fee schedule and some rules of use at the May Board meeting.  Fees are May-September $150.00 member / 200.00 non-member; November-April $200.00 member / 250.00 non-member. The rules of use are available upon request and are posted to the Society web site at the Reserve Pratt Hall link.

Name the Newsletter

     We are seeking suggestions for a snappy name for the Newsletter, e.g. "Bygone Times".  Please let us know if you have any ideas and you may win a small token of our appreciation if your suggestion is adopted.

Pratt Hall Accident

     Two cars went out of control on the corner in the Village and one ended up on the wheelchair ramp at Pratt Hall after going through the sign.  The Board is getting estimates and will be filing a claim with our insurance company.  No one was hurt and the building itself was not damaged.  The driver was not insured.

Mystery Photo

     Last month's Mystery Photo drew an e-mail from Charles Stevens who identified the young man in the photo as his father, Rowley
Stevens.  Mr.  Steven's had never seen that photo before and thought it was taken in front of their house in the Center rather than the farm on Hazen's Notch Road where he recalled his boyhood including haying with a dump rake.  Thanks for the e-mail.

     Do you know these men or the circumstances surrounding this photo?  Location?  Please give us a call, write us a note, or send us an e-mail with your story.  Thanks!

Scholarships Awarded

     We've awarded three $300 scholarships to graduating high school students this year for exceptional academic excellence and citizenship. Congratulations to Brittany DeVries, Ashley Cota, and Sara Domina. The Society normally awards a scholarship on an annual basis which is partially underwritten by bequests from the estates of Lalia Pratt Hays and Amy Booth Meyer. This year's competition was particularly stiff, as the Selection Committee noted "These are three topnotch, extraordinary young women".

This and That

Internet Links et al.

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

     Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Preparation Begins.  400th Anniversary Info at:

     The Shelburne Museum is at:
They are holding over, by popular demand, a spectacular historic quilt exhibit and have new special exhibits including one of toy trains.  

Membership Summary

     As of the writing of this newsletter we have 138 members.  The good news is this includes 18 new members.  The less good news is we've lost, at least temporarily, about 50 members.  If you've forgotten to renew your membership, or are unsure of your status, please give it some thought.  We would love to have you back. (as a courtesy we send a paper copy of this newsletter to ex-members for a while just to stay in touch and hopefully entice them back, editor.)

     Welcome to our newest members:  Olive D. Bishop,  P. Bradley Conlin & Julie Carpenter, Real & Alicia Cyr,  Nicholas Dill, John DuBrule &, Pamela Wiener, Scott Eagle & Abigail Crocker, Jim Esty & Pete Picard, Kenneth & Jo Anne Fiske, Jason & Heather Haddick, Howard & Kathryn King, John & Leslie Lawson, Stacy B. Manosh, Keith Miles, Montgomery Properties, Daniel Picotte, Kirsi Ulmonen & Brian McHugh, Gary Wetherbee, Therese Zartarian.

Vermont History and Independence Month

     January is now Vermont History and Independence Month.  The observance grew out of research by a Vermont couple who found the original document declaring Vermont an independent republic in January 1777 in the National Archives.  There is a link to a March news article about the new "holiday" on the Society's home page.

History For Sale

     We've added a link on our home page called "History For Sale" where folks can buy the Town History, Postcards, Ornaments, and Calendars.  Perfect if you need a gift with local flavor.
E-mail Mailing List

     Our e-mail address list is up to about 37.  If you would like us to include you, please e-mail the Society at pratthall@yahoo.com.

Thank You!!

     The Pond Store's Michael Perry and Jeffrey Gonyaw for the perennials at Pratt Hall.

     D&D Deli, Beaver Meadow Nursery, D&N Nursery, Snowshoe Pub, The Pond Store, and Trout River Traders for donating gift certificates for our Annual Meeting raffle.

     Covered Bridges Garden Club and Janis Hess for donating a window box, and a pen and ink drawing of the Creamery Bridge, respectively, for auction at our Annual Meeting.  (Janis has work on display at the Red Barn Studio in the Village, please stop in.)


Did You Know??

     The term for a 225th Birthday is not carved in stone.  Among some suggested alternatives are:
Try saying those three times fast!

Fourth Of July Float

Make History Everyday!