July 2011
3rd Quarter
Number 27
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
Pratt Hall


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 on our Home page for great local stuff.

History Quiz:

  1.  What percentage of Union Army soldiers were volunteers?
a.  54%            b.  65%           
c.  85%            d.  92%

  2.  How many men “from” Montgomery volunteered?
a.    59             b.  103            
c.  123             d.  137

  3.  For every 1 Union soldier killed in combat, ___ soldiers died from sickness/disease.
a.  2                b.  3
c.  4                d.  5

Chairman's Message
  Ring Ring.  Ring Ring.

  " Hello,  this is Ed Boadman from the Organ Historical Society.  Is this Scott Perry?"

       "Yes it is."
  "I'm in the area for a conference and was wondering if we could meet?"
       "You're a long way from Oregon.  What are you interested in?"
  "Montgomery has an organ connection we would like to research, Edward Smith."
      "We would be happy to help but what's this got to do with Oregon?
  "That's organ, like pipe organ, not Oregon..."
...and so another adventure in Montgomery history began this past May.

     Turns out Edward Smith, a brother of the Smiths that operated the Black Falls spool and bobbin mills, made pipe organs here in Montgomery.  The OHS knew of at least 9 still existing but only two were operational.  One of the operating Smith organs has a home in the Episcopal church in Hardwick.

     We did a little research and spent half a day with Mr. Boadman, learning among other things that Edward died from injuries related to a mill accident in Black Falls, served in the Civil War, and is buried in the Episcopal Cemetery in East Berkshire.  Mr. Boadman agreed to share their information and even send us an article for a future newsletter.

      This is a typical way we assist others and add to our knowledge and archives.  Elsewhere in this newsletter you'll see other examples.   Thanks to you, our members, and the hard work of our volunteers we have a vibrant and productive organization that serves our community
remarkably well, even if they're from Oregon.

     There's lots going on, take a deep breath, read on and enjoy!


                                                                            Scott Perry

Revised 0713

Memorial Day Program

     This year's commemoration was on the Village Common and had a Civil War theme to mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the War.  The Gettysburg Address was read, and guest speaker Scott Perry recounted the story of Charles Haile, the first Montgomerian to die in the War.  Charles died on Christmas Eve from an illness acquired in the camps.  Montgomery's post of the Grand Army of the Republic was named after him. 

     The roll of all Civil War veterans buried in Montgomery's cemeteries was read.  A wreath was laid at the veteran's monument and refreshments were served at Pratt Hall afterwards.  Our thanks to American Legion Post 42 (Enosburg) for their help with the ceremony, and Post 12 in Richford for marking  Montgomery veteran's graves with flags.

Howard Coffin Visit

     Vermont Civil War historian, Howard Coffin, paid a visit to Montgomery in June to do research for his new book on Civil War places in Vermont.  He hopes to write about at least one place in each Town.

     We assisted him with research on Montgomery vets, including the story of Charles Haile, and drove by a number of locations looking for vestiges of sites with Civil War connections.  Mr. Coffin indicated he will be delivering his manuscript to his publisher next Spring.

Franklin/Grand Isle History Expo

     The first F/GI County History Expo took place at the Franklin Town Hall on July 9th.  Parma Jewett, Sue Wilson, and Elsie Saborowski put together a scaled down version of the packing crate exhibit and reported a great turnout and lots of interest in our display.  More expos will probably follow during odd numbered years, and at different county venues.  Thanks ladies.

2011 Annual Meeting Overview

      Forty one member's and guests attended this year's Annual Meeting on June 17th.  The following are from the business meeting:

Scholarship winners
:  The winners are: Whitney Benzing, Kai Dandurand, and Alex Kolva.
Membership: As of June 17 – 168 members, $9,010.00 dues received. There are 8 new members and 17 business partners.
Treasurer:  As of Jun 15 - Assets = $18,267, Liabilities (Debt) - $0

     Society events and activities were reviewed and the current Board was re-elected.  A presentation on the entryway/tower project was also made.

Pratt Hall June 2011


2011 TD Bank Affinity Grant

     We were notified in June that we would receive a TD Bank Affinity donation of just under $9,000.  We have averaged about 75 members in the program for the last year and are very grateful to you all and to TD Bank.  This donation and our generous membership allowed us to complete the Pratt Hall work described above without going into debt.

     Having said that, we must keep our numbers up to remain eligible for 2012.  If you are already our Affinity partner you don't need to do anything.  If not and you want to, just contact your nearest TD Bank.  There are links on our web site with more information.

Clock Accident

     Pat Farmer and your editor attempted to restart the clock in early July.  We had stopped it while the staircase to the top of the tower was torn apart during the project. 

     When we attempted to wind it, the cable came loose and the weight fell about 8 feet before hitting the stud wall and ceiling of the entryway.  After two days of work we were able to correct the problem and the clock is now running as before.  We will have a couple of more holes to patch in the days ahead. 

2011 Membership Drive Wrapping up

     Our 2011 membership drive is wrapping up.  If you haven't already, please send in your membership.  A reminder letter will be going out soon.  We hope we can count on you to help us continue our work on the building and the many activities, programs, and services we undertake each year.

Regional Societies Luncheon

     The MHS hosted representatives from 9 societies from Franklin and Grand Isle counties at Pratt Hall in May.  These meetings, which occur about every six months, allow us to share ideas and network.  After lunch we went over plans for the Regional Expo, talked about summer and fall events, and exchanged items being deaccessioned.

     John Libbey from Richford presented the MHS with a wonderful gift at the meeting.  It was from his family which owned the Clapp Farm (the old red house across from the school drive).  His mother was working in her garden when she unearthed a silver thimble.  After it was cleaned up she could read the script engraving "Hatty Clapp".  This probably belonged to a Harriet Clapp but which one?  It could have been the first girl, and Joel's sister, born in 1796, or one of two nieces born circa 1845.  It's beautiful.  Thank you John.

Hatty Clapp Thimble

Pratt Hall Entry Work Update

     We're wrapping up the Pratt Hall project.  Jan Lewandoski completed his work on the project with the installation of the small window in late June.  Society volunteers will be patching interior holes and building new steps and a ramp soon.

     We spent nearly $30,000 in cash on the structural repairs and restoration of moldings, and other architectural details.  Donations of volunteer time, services and materials will likely add another $20,000 in value bringing the project to about $50,000 by the time we are through.  Grants will pay about $14,500.  The remaining bills will be paid out of our general fund comprised of membership donations, and TD Bank Affinity grant funds.

Vermont History Quiz Answers

     1.  c.
     2.  b.   This includes volunteers credited to Montgomery.
     3.  c.

  For more details, including sources, see the article on "Montgomery and the Civil War" posted at the History link on our web site.

This Month In Montgomery History

     In July 1979,  The Montgomery Rec. Center was officially opened.

Don't Miss These August & September Events

     August  7th:  Diller Quaille String Quartet
     August 26th:  Art Show & Sale Preview and Member Appreciation Reception

     August 27th:  Art Show and Sale

     September 10:  Banjo Dan and the Mid-nite Plowboys

Onion River Jazz Band July 10, 2011  courtesy Ken Secor
Thanks for your support!!