July 2016

  3rd Quarter

Number 47
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

Atlas Packing Case Catalog

  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 9:00 a.m.  at Pratt Hall in the summer, and the Public Safety Building Conference Room in the winter.

Vermont History Quiz:

1.  Which of the following was an early Vermont political party?
a.  Free Soilers    b.  Hunkers  
c.  Barnburners    d.  Free Love

2.  Which Town was settled first, Montgomery or Stowe? 

  According to the 1974 Franklin County Land Use Survey;

3.  What percentage of Montgomery land was classified as forest? 
a.  90%    b.  77%       c.  69%         d.56%

4.  Less than half of 1% of Montgomery was classified as Seasonal.   This represented what percent of  Seasonal properties county-wide?
a.  5%        b.  9%        c. 12%         d.  17%

5.  22.2% of Montgomery was classified as Agricultural.  What did this rank out of 18 cities and towns in the County?
a.  5th        b.  13th        c.  15th        d.  18th



    One of the fun things I get to do on behalf of the Society is to answer questions about Montgomery history.  Recently a woman emailed us asking about a cabinet she had recently purchased at an auction  (above).  Could we shed any light on it's origin?    Why ask us?   Turns out her cabinet wasn't always a cabinet...

     ... Flashback to six years ago.  We had just finished our VT History Expo exhibit on the Atlas Plywood - Nelson and Hall plywood mill in Montgomery Center.  You may remember they made 3 ply packing cases for  Victrolas and other products.   One of their selling points was their cases were frequently re-used and, if printed on, provided enduring advertising potential.   The back of her cabinet revealed the source of her inquiry.  
We referred her to our Youtube page for a video based on our 2008 exhibit.    Need we say more?  Scott


Meeting of Regional Historical Societies

     The St. Albans museum hosted the twice a year meeting of the Franklin and Grand Isle county Historical Societies in May.  Four MHS board members attended and listened to a presentation by the U.S. Postal Service on mass mailings services available to non-profits.  These meetings are great for sharing and the lunches are good too.

Summer and Fall Events

     While not a MHS event, we did support and promote Montgomery for the Annual Porsche Parade in June, a convention and rally held a Jay Peak this year.  We supplied the organizers with 1,500 Montgomery Covered Bridges pamphlets which had maps and information about our Town.  Did you see any of the cars on the roads around town?

     Things will be jumping on the Village green and at Pratt Hall on August 27 from 10:00 to 3:00.  The Covered Bridges Garden Club is bringing back Harvestfest and we will have a "Trinkets and Treasures" yard sale.  
 We need your help. We are canvasing the membership for donations.   We are looking for furniture, lamps, linens, china, glassware, knick knacks and quality kitchen items.  We can’t take books, clothing, or electronics of any kind.  If you have an item you wish to donate and aren’t sure please call Sue Wilson (326-4189) or Marijke Dollois (326-4404).  Drop offs should be coordinated with Sue and Marijke too.  All donations are tax deductible and receipts will be available upon request.   We will also have the Hall open that day and provide tours for anyone interested.
     September we will host the Franklin and Grand Isle historical  societies
regional meeting at Pratt Hall.
     Our web site has the most up to date info on programs and events.  MHS Events

Society Receives Seventh TD Bank Affinity Check

     We received a TD Bank Affinity Program donation in June of nearly $4,300 bringing our seven year total from this wonderful program to nearly $44,000.  This has helped our preservation work immensely and supported our other programs.  

     TD Bank deserves our appreciation, as do the 80 plus MHS members who patronize the bank and designate the MHS as their Affinity beneficiary.    If you are already a TD bank customer, or become one, you can designate the MHS as your beneficiary by calling 802-933-4347 and asking them to  use code J6.   It will cost you nothing, and no personal information of any kind  is shared with the MHS.  More info here.  TD Bank Affinity Program

MHS Annual Meeting

     Our bylaws require us to have an Annual Meeting every June to provide a "State of the Society" report and elect Board members and officers.  This year's was June 3rd.  51 members and guests were treated to  hors d'oeurves and desserts prepared by Sam Murphy.

     Vice Chairman Bill McGroarty presided over the business part of the evening and a written Annual Report  was provided to all  attendees.   It is available here.

     Thanks to your support the State of our Society is very good.  We are strong financially, meet our mission goals, and have fun doing it.

2016 Annual Meeting  - Yum!

2016 Lalia Pratt Hays/Amy Booth-Meyers S
cholarship Winner

     This year's scholarship winner was Sam Dillner.  Beside the glory Sam received $500, a certificate, and a copy of the Montgomery Town History.  Sam shared his essay on growing up in Montgomery to a verklempt Annual Meeting audience.  Sam's brother, Ben won the scholarship three years earlier.  Congratulations to Sam and proud parents Dan and Jessica.  

    Mom, Sam, and Dad

Engraved Bricks Remain Popular,  Sales Will Continue

   People continue to express interest in the engraved brick pavers and we installed 22 new ones in late June.  We will continue to sell them as long as there is demand (we can always expand the walkway!).  They also can be purchased on line at our store page, History For Sale, by calling Board member Pat Farmer, or emailing us.  We've also added a map on line, and at Pratt Hall, keyed to both a list by donor and  a list by inscription.


2015 Tax Return Complete

     Our tax return for the 2015 Tax Year is complete.  Gross revenues were about $37,000 which included a West Wall donation of $12,500 from the Eastman Charitable Trust.  According to the IRS formula nearly 68% of our revenue came from "public support" sources which easily meets the threshold to qualify as a non-profit.   Click here to review.  

      This is the last tax year we are required to file a return (and hire an accountant).  The filing requirement was triggered by our successful  capital campaign for the West Wall Project in 2013 and 2014.

This Quarter In Montgomery History

     July 1817:  Congregationalist society organized, Montgomery's first formal religious group.

     August 1973:  First meeting of group that would become the Montgomery Historical Society.

     September 1802:  First Montgomery voting  in an election for State officers.

Memorial Day Commemoration

     The Society's annual program was at the Village Cemetery and was well attended.  Our speaker was Scott Perry who noted;

      "22 years ago the committee who revived Montgomery’s commemoration decided to use this occasion to also recognize those veterans who served in the pre-civil war militias. 
Even now we feel it is important to be as inclusive as possible as the world includes asymmetrical conflict like the operations against ISIS, disaster relief, responses to epidemic, and other dangerous operations. Normal training and vigilance, like during the Cold War, clearly merits such honors.
      We also pay tribute to the unsung heroes and heroines of our nation’s defense—the spouses, children and families of our servicemen and women.  They might not have worn our nation’s uniform, nor carried a weapon, but they have carried the weight of worry, heartache, and loss. Through their personal sacrifice in time of war and peace, they too, have served our nation, and we salute them."

     Our thanks to our readers Steve Hays and Sue Wilson, and American Legion Post 42 (Enosburg) for supporting  our annual observance and to Parma Jewett for donuts, and cinnamon buns.

Thanks for Joining MHS - Drive Continues

     It's that time of year we offer our thanks to renewing members and new members, and  offer a gentle reminder to join us if you haven't.  Last year's membership drive reached 201 and we are hoping to get back to our average of 210.  So far we are on track but we can't let up.  Reminder letters will be going out soon. Please join or rejoin us... every member matters!  You can even do it on our web site.  Just click the Membership link.

More Pratt Hall Work to Begin in July

     A 65 foot lift will be delivered soon and the Men with Tools, with expert adviser and member Tim Murphy, will start repairs to the clock face moldings and bell stage louver trim.  Member Ted Bruckner will be doing the final prep and painting of the west wall soon as well, and will touch up the crenelation on top of the tower if time allows.    We will also be re-staining the entry porch deck this Summer


Recent Donations

     Our thanks to the Town of Montgomery for donating documents no longer needed.  This included a letter from Bill Branthoover to the Town Clerk in 1973 asking for her opinion on establishing a historical society and  a 1974 county land use study.  

     Items donated from de-accessions at the St. Albans and Richford museums included letters and pictures.  John and Marguerite Bolog donated some 97 Flood ephemera and pictures of the area that is now The Belfry,  including the picture below that shows the road which eventually became Route 242.  

      Joan Cowan, from the Northeast Kingdom,  donated a large spinning wheel, called a Walking Wheel, which she believes was hand made on her uncle Phineas Swan's farm in Black Falls in the later 1800s.  She also donated old homemade hand cards and a knitty-knotty for winding yarn.  Thank you all!!

Site of Belfry, Route 242 on left.  Donated by John and Mack Bolog

Swan Family Walking Wheel donated by Joan Cowan

Vermont History Quiz Answers

1.  a. The Free Soil Party, which replaced the Liberty Party in 1846, garnered 30% of the gubernatorial vote in 1848.  Its main purpose was to oppose the expansion of slavery into the western territories, arguing that free men on free soil comprised a morally and economically superior system to slavery.  Source:  Wikipedia

2.  Montgomery was settled a year earlier than Stowe. Source:  Vermont Book of Days.

Source for 3 - 5 :  1974 Franklin County Land Use Survey;

3.  b.  77% of Montgomery was classified as forest, the most of any Town in the county.

4.  d. 17% of the county's seasonal homes were in Montgomery

5.  b.  Montgomery ranked 13th smallest city/town out of 18 in land classified as agricultural.

Thanks for your support!!