July 2021

3nd Quarter

Number 67
Artifacts & Fiction
The Quarterly Newsletter of the
Montgomery Historical Society
P.O. Box 47
Montgomery, VT 05471

e-mail pratthall@gmail.com


Click here for a printer friendly pdf version

Wreath at Clapp Cemetery

Scott Perry,Chair/Editor
 Bill McGroarty,Vice Chair
  Marijke Dollois,Secretary
   Pat Farmer,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.

Montgomery Recent
History Quiz:

     1. According to State of VT, the UK, Brazil,  India, and South African variants of Covid-19 have all been detected in Vermont in addition to the U.S. variants.  What has been the dominant variant found in Franklin County so far?    
  a.  U.S.    b.  U.K.
  c.  Brazil  d.  South Africa 

     2.  As of June 10th State reporting, Montgomery’s vaccination rate was between 61-70%.  How many of the 14 towns in Franklin County had higher vaccination rates?
  a.  3      b.  6
  c.  9      d.  12

"God we're glad we live in Vermont"

      A year ago we noted the State's Covid map showed five or fewer positive cases in Montgomery.  We expected that number to grow and it peaked at 45 as of this writing with no new cases in quite some time.  The State now has a similar map showing vaccination rates by Town.  Montgomery comes in at the 61-70% vaccinated category as of June 10th.

     These maps will probably serve as historic documents but also carry a footnote.  The data is tied to mailing address zip codes.  Montgomery residents are served by several zip codes including Berkshire, Richford and Enosburg.  This means Montgomery's, and other small towns' numbers, good and bad, are likely under reported.

     None the less, given the lifting of State restrictions, the Board of Directors decided to resume our normal programs and events and they are reported elsewhere in this newsletter.  We expect we may get off to a slower that usual start but expect to gain momentum as the Summer and Fall pass.  We expect to add programs.  

     Our lights in Pratt Hall's Trinity window which are normally lit only during Christmas remained lit during the pandemic as a beacon of hope.  We have turned them off now that the emergency has passed and the State has reached its vaccination goal.  

     We want to thank those members that made our limited activities possible during the pandemic and note the wonderful on line support from our Canadian members via the Internet, many of whom still can't get to our community.  We hope that changes soon and we can welcome our Canadian members and residents in person.

     We know Montgomery, Vermont, and the country aren't out of the woods as new variants surface.  We hope you are healthy, safe, and remain so.  



     Blouin Brothers installed the Hall's new fuel oil tank in June so we will now be able to purchase refills as needed.  The old tank had been "red tagged".  An insurance inspection finding required us to bring it up to code with a new tank, slab, and piping.  We still have a bit of electrical and plumbing work to do as well.


     The next order of engraved walkway bricks will be placed soon and installed later this Summer.  If you would like to order for this shipment please contact Pat Farmer, 326-2211 ASAP but no later than July 15th.  You can also order on line at our "History for Sale" link and email us the information


     Farmers Market:  Saturdays 9:00 - 1:00, July10 - September 11.  Please call Sue if you would like to sell. 326-4189.

     Trinkets and Treasures:  August 21.  We are seeking donations of items to sell.  Good, clean condition items only.  No books, electronic devices, or clothes.  Please call Marijke at 326-4404 to arrange a drop off.

     Annual Meeting:  August 20.  Something different this year... At the Belfry under a party tent.  Short business meeting then buffet.  Please make reservations with Sue at 326-4189

     Holiday Happiness:  December 18.  The horses are already reserved for wagon rides and Santa has wiped the slate clean on the bad list.  

     Candles and Carols:  December 19.  Our annual caroling sing-along returns.

     We also hope to do a few flash exhibits of items from our collection to display Saturday mornings at the Hall, and host a speaker or two.

     Details on these and additional events and programs will follow on our web site, face book page, and member email.


    This month the historic site markers for the Comstock, Fuller, and Longley bridges, and for the Union Church (Pratt Hall) will be installed by State and Town crews and volunteers.  Click this link to see the raw (unpainted) plaques.  MontgomeryMarkers/index.html

     We will host an unveiling ceremony for the Union Church plaque to commemorate the installation of all of them.  We'll get out the details when we nail things down.


    We were crushed to learn member, and Trustee Emeritus, Sabra Massey passed away recently.  Her laugh was infectious and as unique as her finger prints.  You could identify her by it even if she was out of sight.  

     She was an avid supporter of the Society and community, a fiber folk, and organized concerts and assisted with husband Andrew's "Candles and Carols" program
s.  Our heartfelt condolences go out to Robin and Sebastian.


     1.  b.  The UK variant has been the predominant variant in Franklin County.  The others have been the U.S. and Brazilian variants.  No South African or Indian variants have been found in Franklin County yet.  All variants have been found in Chittenden County.  U.K. and U.S. are the only ones detected in Orleans County.

     2.  b.  Enosburg, Fairfax, Fairfield, Richford, St. Albans, & Swanton had higher vaccination rates.  Montgomery was tied with Franklin.


          July:  1979  Official opening of the Rec Center
      August:  1973  Montgomery Historical Society organized
:  1819  Joel Clapp, Montgomery's first born child, is ordained in Windsor, VT as an Episcopal priest.  


     Congratulations to Elle Purrier - St. Pierre  for qualifying for the Summer Olympics.   We  are proud of  you!!


     The Vermont Guard will be offering free Johnson and Johnson  (one and done) COVID 19 vaccinations at Pratt Hall from 10:00 - 1:00 on July 10, the opening day of the Farmers Market .   No reservations needed!  


History for Sale


    We're hoping to rebound from a Covid dip in membership last year and hopefully you have received our annual membership letter.   You can still renew / join online anytime. Every donation helps.

Revenue from membership dues is the life blood of our Society.  Dues and donations fund our operating costs (e.g. heat, water, power, insurance, grounds), and our programs (e.g. preservation, speakers, concerts, holiday events).  

     This year's ceremony took place at the Clapp Cemetery located on Route 118 just west of the Town Garage.  It is the oldest of Montgomery's cemeteries and there are 17 veterans interred there who served in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and in pre-civil war Militias.  We did a roll call, post 42 provided military honors, and flowers were distributed to decorate their graves.  Flags provided by Post 12 and placed by the Mercy family.  After the ceremony a wreath was laid at the Village common monument and refreshments were provided.
 Our thanks to Post 42 Enosburg, Post 12 Richford, the Mercy family, and Parma Jewett.

Grave of Revolutionary War veteran, and
Montgomery's first male settler,
Joshua Clapp.


      Abby Dixson-Boles was selected for the Dr. Winston Lewis and Joe and Irene Scott Memorial scholarships.  Her essay on the impact of growing up in Montgomery was outstanding.  She plans to attend Sarah Lawrence College starting in the Fall.  Congratulations to Abby and her parents, Chris and Jade.

Abby Dixson-Boles and proud dad, Chris.

Thanks for your support!  Not a member...  why not join us?