July 2008
Artifacts and Fiction
Montgomery Historical Society
P.O. Box 47
Montgomery, VT 05470

e-mail pratthall@gmail.com
Click here for a pdf version that will print with correct pagination

Number 15

Scott Perry - Chair/Editor
 Bill McGroarty - Vice Chair
  Marijke Dollois - Secretary
   Sue Wilson - Treasurer

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

Check out the History For Sale link for DVDs, Xmas decorations, cards and Frig magnets.  

Montgomery History Quiz:

1.  What kind of woods were Atlas 3-ply veneer plywood packing crates made from?
2.  Who was their principal client?  What was the predominant product they were used to ship?
3.  What was the name of the dog that heard “His Master’s Voice”?

Chairman's Message

     Sometimes when you set out on a journey you end up in places you never anticipated.  Such was the case when we began to develop our History Expo exhibit this year.  "Carry the Weight, Save Freight:  The Story of an Innovative Packing Case Manufactured in Montgomery, Vermont" resulted in two acquisitions we never expected.  

     First, we were stunned to find a circa 1920 Atlas packing case manufactured in Montgomery for sale on Ebay in mid-June.  It was bought by a man in Columbus, OH at an estate sale.  We purchased the case for $50.00 and are working on getting it shipped back here as I write this.  This is the first time we have paid to add an article to our archives.  (see more on the exhibit later in the newsletter)

      Second, we tried in vain to find a butter tub we could display since the context of the exhibit on the packing cases was the timber industry in Montgomery.  At the eleventh hour Rita Tatro (who had donated the original Atlas catalog
) obtained and donated a butter tub manufactured in the Nelson and Hall mill on Mill Hill (Route 58).   When you think of the millions of tubs made here it seemed funny these weren't more common.  As we learned at the Expo, it turns out most tubs were shipped away and when packed with butter almost always absorbed some of the oil/fat.  They eventually became rancid and were thrown away.

     We will be showing the exhibit at the Library beginning August 9th.  I hope you can come by and see it if you haven't already.  Thanks to Rita for her generosity, and to your Board for supporting this effort, and thank you for your continued support.

                                                                    Scott Perry

(Reminder:  All MHS events are listed on the Town's Community Events Page and the Society's Calendar Page)

Concert Series Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

     The "Concerts By The Common" series got off to a rousing start with Jenni Johnson and Friends on July 5th.  Nothing like  vibes being played at Pratt Hall...  And Klezmer music for the first time on July 19th...and August 17th, 7pm (a Sunday):  The Diller Quaile String Quartet
   All concerts are at Pratt Hall, Montgomery Village.  Call Lutz Automotive (802) 326-4528 for tickets.  Concert tickets are $12 each ($10 for MHS members).   Pratt Hall is accessible to the handicapped.
  Thanks to our sponsors and patrons:
Lisa and Alan Cennamo/Sylvester’s Market
The Laura Crane Family
Eastman Foundation
Fairpoint New England
Steve & Catherine Hays
Ann and Jim Lackner-Graybiel
Lutz’s Automotive
Bill and Noela McGroarty
People’s Trust Company
Rock-Tenn Company
TD BankNorth
Vermont Arts Council
Michael and Lee Forman/The Inn on Trout River
Chantal and Marty Lumbra/The Belfry
Marijke Dollois and Charlie Fichman
Mr. and Mrs. William Hays
Betty Stanton
Deb and Bob Winders

Other Acquisitions

    We've received several other donations since the last newsletter.  The Soule family donated papers and photos including early Town Reports.  Nicol Brisbane donated Grand Army of the Republic ephemera.  Betty Stanton donated some early family photos and papers, Agatha and Warren Blodgett donated photos, and Douglas Butler has a decorative cloth commemorating his mother's engagement.  Thank you all for thinking of us!

2008 Membership Drive In Final Push
     Our 2008 Membership drive kicked off March 31st.  Thanks to those who have renewed, we appreciate your support.  Those we haven't heard from yet will be receiving a reminder letter and another donor card in the mail, but if  needed, you can find a renewal donor card on our web site.

VT History Expo

     We received a lot of great feedback on our exhibit this year, including one suggestion that we publish a version of it in the Vermont Historical Society quarterly magazine,  we'll see about that.  

     A slide show based on the exhibit is now available for viewing on our web site at:
www.montgomeryvt.us/pdf/mhscarrytheweight.pdf.  It is a 6.1 Mb pdf file and will take a bit of time to download.
The picture below is of the packing case we acquired in June.

     Thanks to Pat Farmer, Noella McGroarty, Marijke Dollois, Jo Anne Bennett, Andre & Rosalia Labier, Parma Jewett, and Sue Wilson for manning the MHS booth.  


Annual Meeting 2008

     This year's Annual Meeting was on June 27th.  We displayed the History Expo exhibit, recognized the scholarship winners, and League of Local Historical Society award winners, and reviewed our programs and financial status.  We believe the Society is in good shape and continues to improve.  The information below is excerpted from the Officers' reports.

 Annual Income and Expense Summary
-  Income:      2006:  $28,080*      2007:  $31,142
-  Expenses:  2006:  $27,566       2007:  $17,439
-  Balance:     2006:  $     514       2007:  $13,703
* Includes $8,000 loan

Treasury as of June 19th

-  General Fund Account -                  $6,664.26
-  Scholarship Account -                     $6,814.86
-  Capital Improvements Account -     $1,857.63
-  Stained Glass Window Account -    $5,508.29
- Mortgage -                                      $23,967.74

    Line Of Credit Balance Available - $20,000.00
    * MHS property assessed at $348,300.00


               2006    2007    2007    2008 so far...
-  Total      181      193      222      159
-  New         23        20        14          9
-  Dues $7,822   $9,317  $10,544  $7,835

2008 Challenges
-  Maintain & Increase Membership
-  Maintain & Increase Participation - Outreach
-  Plan for Exhibit Space/Storage
-  Continue Building Artifact Collection DB
-  Financial Security
-  Pratt Hall General Upkeep

The Speakers Are Coming

     Sally Newton and Charles Henderson have confirmed a program on the Abenaki for October 4th.  Sharon Anderson will be erecting a 19 foot wigwam on the Pratt Hall lawn and preparing traditional foods during the day, and Jean Burk will speak  that evening.

     On August 9th we will present "Early Montgomery:  A Conversation with Betty Stanton" at 7:00 p.m. at the Library/Public Safety Building.  Betty's relatives, the Gates, were long time residents who lived in the West Hill/Hill West areas and the Village.  We will also be opening our History Expo exhibit at the library that same night.

     All of these events are free and open to everyone.

Art Show & Sale

     Our 10th Annual Art Show and Sale will be Saturday, August 23 from 9:00a.m. - 4:00p.m., and Sunday, August 24th from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. this year.

     Our Member Appreciation Reception with the artists is scheduled for Friday, August 22nd at 6:00 p.m.

     Thanks to Noella McGroarty for spearheading this year's event, and to all participating artists. 

Work Day

     The Work Day on Saturday May 3rd was a great success.  Heaton House never looked better and we now have a plan to move the archives there.  Thanks to  Bill and Noella McGroarty, Sue Wilson, Ken Secor, Andre Gareau,  Pat Farmer, Tim Chapin, and Allan Kalsmith.


Elders Night II

     A small group enjoyed the storytelling of Fern Perley, Bill Branthoover, Agatha Blodgett and Morris Bushey on May 17th.  Stories of swimming holes, rum runners, logging, and neighborhoods were among those told.  Thanks to all participants and to Jo Anne Bennett for organizing the event.  Parma's goodies went fast.  

     We will do more of these.  Let us know if there is anyone you would like to hear.

Montgomery History Quiz Answer

     1.  Maple and Birch
     2.  Victor Talking Machine Company, Victrolas
     3.  Nipper

Board Members

     The Montgomery Historical Society Board is... Scott Perry, Bill Branthoover, Marijke Dollois, Sue Wilson, Bill McGroarty, Parma Jewett, Sally Newton, John Beaty, Jo Anne Bennett, and Pat Farmer.   Meetings are the third Wednesday of the month and are open to all MHS members.

Memorial Day Program Well Attended

     Sue Wilson was emcee for our annual Memorial Day commemoration.  Jon Ramey was our guest speaker and the ceremonies included roll call by Bill Branthoover, and a poem read by Sally Newton.  American Legion Post 42's Honor Guard and Chaplain provided honors and Parma's doughnuts were enjoyed by all.  

Scholarship Winners

     This year Jordan Cota and Hayley Williams were co-winners of the annual Lalia Pratt Hays / Montgomery Historical Society Scholarship.  Best wishes as they start their college endeavors soon.  Thanks too to the selection committee, Rita Kalsmith, Sue Wilson and Patty Hathaway  for another job well done.

Web Site Has More Content

     If you haven't recently, may we suggest you check out our web site.  We continue to add content (like the Expo Exhibit) and are eager to hear your feedback.  

Please Renew You Membership Today - Thanks