October 2005
Montgomery Historical
Internet Newsletter

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

Number 2005-4
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.

  2006 Calendars, featuring Montgomery's historic  buildings, now available on line and at numerous Montgomery businesses and venues.

October History:

1906 - Vt Governor Proctor expresses concern over the "automobile".  He calls for substantial licensing fees and expresses concern about automobiles interfering with business.

1922 - World Series broadcast on radio for first time.

1957 - Sputnik launched
Chairman's Message

     My maternal grandfather was a barber.  Part of the itinerary of every Perry summer vacation, our annual trip from Brattleboro to Bristol where we "camped" in a converted school bus, was a pro bono butch haircut. 

    His barbershop was filled with pictures from his Army days in World War I.  Sweeping panoramas of large units were displayed prominently, and we would always try to find Grampa in the crowd of uniforms, eventually asking him to point himself out.  It was while I was in his barber's chair years later, as I was about to enter active duty, that he told me a story about how he and a buddy volunteered to drive a horse drawn artillery piece.  They figured riding was better than walking, but quickly learned that their duty included pushing the wagon wheels through miles of mud so thick the horses couldn't do it on their own.  The moral of his story: “never volunteer,” at least not in the military.
    It  wasn't until some years later I learned he was captured and spent time in a German POW camp.  I never got to talk to him about it and wonder what other stories I missed.

     Everybody has a story.  Society Board Members Jo Anne Bennett and Winston Lewis did our first oral history interview recently, and hope to do more.  We are taking baby steps with this but are committed to getting those folks that have lived Montgomery's history and are willing to tell us about it, on the record.  If you have suggestions of people to talk to, or would like to help with the effort, please contact me or any Board member.  In this case, its okay to volunteer!

                                                             Scott Perry, Chairman, Board of Directors
                                                             Montgomery Historical Society

Montgomery Historical Society Events and Programs


     Joe Citro, noted storyteller and author, spoke to a crowd of nearly 80 Sep 21st on "Spiritualism in VT: Religion, Politics, and the Preternatural.”   It was a wonderful presentation documenting the movement and its social impact on the nation.   He also told the stories of Vermonters who were once world famous for their communications with spirits from the other world.  Thanks to our co-sponsors, the Montgomery Town Library and Richford Historical Society, and to the Programs Committee headed by Charles Henderson.

**Venue Change**  

     October 19th - "Even We Here: An Evening with Abraham Lincoln."  7:00 P.M.  Montgomery Town Hall (Grange).  Actor/Playwrite Michael Fox Kennedy portrays the man and his times in this two act, one man show he wrote based on Lincoln's writings.  Funny, , poignant and amazingly relevant today.  (Your editor had a chance to preview this and gives it two thumbs up - DON'T miss this one!)

     Charles Henderson, Sally Newton, and Winston Lewis will be meeting soon to start planning for 2006's programs.  They are always looking for program suggestions.  Call Charles if you have any ideas.


      Deja Vu all over again!  Past President and Board member, Steve Hays, will be leading the 2006 summer concert series.   He will be forming a committee to assist him.  Please let him know if you can help.  We hope to offer several programs next summer with a variety of performers.
 Covered Bridge Festival

Great News!  We found a mailbox builder and are now moving forward on the project.  We hope to have them  fabricated this fall and winter and ready for display and auction sometime next summer/fall.  As of  this writing we are tentatively planning to exhibit the mailboxes and hold a reception too.  Thanks to Ben Weed, our builder and to everyone who has signed on as a sponsor and/or artist.  Stay tuned.  

     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 some of the oral history surrounding them.  They now have a story board and hope to "shoot" this month.  This project is sponsored in part by the Vermont Historical Society, IBM, and Verizon.

Art Show and Sale

     Our Annual Art Show and Sale was a great success with one of our best turnouts ever.  Thanks to our newest Board member, Heidi Lague, and long time organizer, Eric Bataille, for a super job pulling this together and to all the participating artists.  Our membership appreciation preview also was well attended.  Thanks to Parma Jewett for the gourmet fare, and thanks to all of you who stopped by.


Other News...

Covered Bridge News

     Unofficial word has it that VT's congressional delegation was able to secure funding for several covered bridge projects in the State, including $450,000 slated for Montgomery's Creamery Bridge.  The Town had applied for both the Creamery and Hutchinss bridges.

Archival News

     We were visited by two descendants of Charles Wesley Janes in late September.  They are just beginning to research some of the family genealogy.  If you have any information they would be very grateful if you would contact them.  Send us a note and we will put you in touch.  They also generously shared some photos of their family and Montgomery Village which we copied and will add to the archives.

Oral History News

     Jo Anne Bennett and Winston Lewis started visiting some of Montgomery's  older citizens to write down their stories and to record reminiscences of  Montgomery in days-gone-by.  Winston and Jo Anne both live on West Hill, and so far they haven't gone much further than the bottom of the road - where they had a marvelous chat with Henry Rowse.   Henry was raised in Rhode Island but his roots are in Montgomery.  The little church on West Hill (at the four corners) was run by one of Henry's uncles.  So was the revival camp at the Creamery.   Henry also had some amazing photographs from the 19th century which we hope to scan next spring.

Mystery Photo

     Last month's Mystery Photo remains a mystery, but we will take your input any time.  
     Do you know these people 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!

Name the Newsletter

     We are STILL seeking suggestions for a snappy name for the Newsletter, e.g. "Bygone Times".  Get your creative juices flowing and give us some suggestions.

This and That

Membership Summary

     As of  writing this newsletter we have nearly 170 members.   Thank you all.  Welcome to our newest members:
    Ruth Fox
    Laura A. Haight
    Kevin and Stephanie Machia
    Keith Miles
    John Perkins and Jay Kerch of Phineas Swann B&B


Vermont History, Facts & Fun
(excerpted from September 05 "Opinions", the VT Sec. of State's monthly newsletter)

     On Monday, August 29, the VT Secretary of State’s Office hosted a kick off party at the Vermont Historical Society to celebrate their newest publication  – Vermont History, Facts & Fun. This activity booklet is designed to help 3rd - 5th graders learn about Vermont’s amazing history, culture and geography.

     Copies of Vermont History, Facts & Fun are available for elementary school children as part of their curriculum on Vermont history which is typically taught in the 4th grade. A copy of the booklet has been sent to all Vermont elementary schools.

     In September, the Secretary of State's newest publication also became available. How a Bill Becomes a Law is an engaging comic-like booklet designed for middle school children. This booklet walks readers through the bill-making process and demonstrates how they can become involved.

E-mail Mailings Start in Jan 06

     Our e-mail address list is up to about 70.  If you would like us to add your address to our list, please e-mail the Society at pratthall@yahoo.com.   Thank you to all who have provided your addresses so far.

     Beginning in January we will stop hard copy mailings (newsletter, reminders, invitations etc) to this e-mail list unless you request otherwise.  This will reduce our postage and printing costs.

Katrina Donation

     The Board voted to donate $100 for Hurricane Katrina relief at our September meeting.  We hope to target it for history-related efforts being overseen by the American Association of State and Local History which includes triage and recovery of lost and damaged historical artifacts or other items of significance to the area's heritage.

     History For Sale

     Reminder:  We've added a link on our home page called "History For Sale" where folks can buy the Town History Book, Postcards, Ornaments, and Calendars.  Perfect if you need a gift with local flavor.  The holidays are right around the corner!

Make History Everyday!