October 2018

4th Quarter

Number 56
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

Horses Entering Comstock Bridge
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.

History Quiz:

 In 1843 the VT Legislature passed a law to “encourage and promote agriculture”County Societies would organize and be eligible for state money which was most often used for awards called premiums at County Fairs..  The Franklin County Agricultural Society was organized in 1844. (Agricultural fairs were first organized and held in Montgomery in 1856 but moved to Enosburg in 1859. )

What was the County premium for best bull calf in 1844? 

     a.  $5           b.  $15   

     c.  $25         d.  $35

What was the County premium for best bull calf in 1845?

     a.  $5           b.  $15    

     c.  $25         d.  $35

Chairman's Message

     Your Society has been blessed by a governing Board of Trustee and officer volunteers since our establishment in 1973.  These people oversee all of our activities from archival work, to financial management, to cleaning pigeon guano out of the clock tower.  They are the people that make things happen and go unsung much of the time.  

      It is with regret I report the departure of Mark Baddorf.  Mark and Susan have been members of the Society since 2007.  He joined the Board in 2014 and has served as your Treasurer since July of 2015.    He kept track of revenues and expenses and provided information for our first ever tax returns required by our successful fund raising during and after the West Wall project.  Mark was also a member of the "Men With Tools (MWT)" and lent his expertise, and tools, to almost every self help project we attempted.  The new steps at the former Heaton House were his MWT swan song.

     He and Susan, who was also a frequent volunteer,  are returning to the mid-Atlantic to be closer to their granddaughter and other family.  We  will miss them.  Thank you for your love and support over the last decade plus.  You made Montgomery history!

     As one door closes so opens another.  I'm pleased to announce your Board elected Pat Farmer as the Society's new Treasurer.  Pat and his wife, Carol, have been members since 2002 and he joined the Board in 2006.  He is mastering the ins and outs of Quicken and TD Bank's online banking, and provided his first report at our September meeting.  He's also creating custom Excel spreadsheets, a truly beautiful thing.  I know we are in good hands.  

  And thanks to all of you who have served and are serving now.  

  Your current trustees are:  Bill McGroarty, Marijke Dollois, Jo Anne Bennett, Elsie Saborowski, Sue Wilson, John Beaty, Pat Farmer, John Kuryloski, Bob Cummins, Andre LaBier, Patty Perl, and Tim Chapin.
    We meet monthly and the meetings are open to all.  

  Thanks for your support.     


Farmer's Market Year 2 Wraps Up

      Thanks to all vendors and customers, and to Sue Wilson and her crew of Society volunteers for making this such a huge success.  

     Sue is happy to report all vendors passed the State inspection in September.  She is also thinking about starting the market a few weeks later and running later in the Fall next year.  

Other Activities Since the Last Newsletter

     We hosted our yard sale, a library benefit concert, a wedding, and by the time you read this will have served as a location for a music video shoot, and another memorial.   The Men With Tools repaired some clapboards there too.  

Clock Winder Extraordinaire

     Kevin Scheffler has been our Quasimodo for the last few years making the weekly trek 65 feet up to the clock to manually wind the winch, that raises a several hundred pound weight, that powers the clock.   Kevin took over the job from his son, Luke.  Other members of the MHS Quasimodo Order include George Roberts, Rocky Elkins, and Pat Farmer.  If you are a clock winding alumni, or know of any others, please let us know.    Our thanks to all of you.

Christmas Plans

     Back by popular demand...  We hope to reprise our free Christmas wagon rides, pulled by "Down to Earth Draft Horses'" Belgians and Percherons, on Saturday Dec 15th from 11:00 to 1:30.  If it pans out, the Hall will be open for activities and to warm you, and hot chocolate and cookies will be served.  This is in partnership with the Montgomery Town Library and the Northwestern Counseling and Support Services (Parent and Child Center).  Please check our web site for confirmation.  

     Candles and Carols will be Sunday the 16th at 5:00 o'clock.  Details will be announced on our web site, via email, and in Lois' column.

New Digital Piano Graces Pratt Hall

     We  were honored recently to receive the gift of a digital piano for Pratt Hall from Sabra  Massey.  It  was  used by Andrew in his  studio  (aka  the hut)  in the woods behind their home.  He used it to score the music for Candles and Carols among other things, so it seemed fitting.  Thank you Sabra!
2018 Membership Report

     Our membership numbers have dropped off a bit but we remain hopeful  the community will reward our efforts by joining our group.  Every member makes a difference and lets us know we are providing a valued service.  Remember you can now join, or renew, via our web site's Membership link and pay using a credit card or Paypal. Just click the Donate button.  If you've already joined - thank you!  If not, it's never too late.  

Look For Our Booth at the MES Craft Show and Sale

     We will reprise our booth at this show Dec 8th at the Montgomery Elementary School from 9:00 to 3:00.  Books, cards, ornaments, hats, T-shirts, engraved brick pavers, and more will be for sale.  Check out the sale and stop by and say hello.  

     Can't make the show?  You can purchase any of these items by clicking the History for Sale link on our web site.

New Heritage Garden Phase  Two

      Our new Heritage garden has filled in nicely and the final power raking and seeding was just finished on the lower area.  The feedback has been nearly unanimous on the improvement to the property.   Our thanks to Charlie Fichman, Avery Stanley, Steve Hogan, and "Nature by Design", and to all the volunteer stone movers, waterers, and tenders that kept things alive and thriving throughout the Summer and Fall.

Support the MHS, Use Amazon Smile

     As we approach the holiday season please consider using Amazon Smile for your Amazon purchases.  You can shop just like you normally would on Amazon and designate the MHS (in Vermont) as your beneficiary.  Amazon will donate from their charitable foundation based on what you spend on each purchase.   It's small but adds up.  Thank you.

This Quarter in Montgomery History

     October:  1901  Nelson and Hall mill burns down.  It is rebuilt and has electricity!

     November:  1812 - VT legislature raises two brigades for the war effort.  Border with Canada sealed.

     December:  1977 - St. Bartholomew's renamed Pratt Hall in honor of Larry Pratt.

History Quiz Answers

     1.  The 1844 prize for best bull calf was:  D.  $35

     2.  The 1845 prize for best bull calf was:  A.    $5

:  Sources: Vermont Historical Gazetteer,  Abby Maria Hemenway Vol 2 1871.  Negotiating Community Values:  The Franklin County Agricultural Society Premium Lists 1844 -1889, Chris Burns, VHS Quarterly.

     One reason for the difference was there were more prize categories so the prize money had to be spread around more.  Ed.

       Montgomery's own Tim Murphy will be receiving an Individual Award for his years of service to the Society and the community at large.  (these used to be called "lifetime achievement" awards but some found the term akin to calling someone an old fart so they changed it!).  Tim has been involved in our work for over 42 years, and was instrumental in the preservation work on Pratt Hall starting in 1976.  This is an honor well deserved.

     The award will be presented at the LLHSM's Annual Meeting which is at Woodstock on October 27th.  Look for pictures in the January 2019 newsletter.


Thanks for your support!!

Farmer's Market and "Trinkets and Treasures" Aug 25, 2018