October 2019

4th Quarter

Number 60
Artifacts & Fiction
The Quarterly Newsletter of the
Montgomery Historical Society
P.O. Box 47
Montgomery, VT 05470



Click here for a printer friendly pdf version

Birds Eye View
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:

1,  How many Vermonters trace their roots to Quebec?

  a.  1 in 4       b.  1 in 6         
  c.  1 in  9      d.  1 in 12

2.  When was the first census where French Canadians living in Montgomery were included?  

3.  Between 2010 and 2030 Vermont’s population of 0-24 year olds is predicted to:

  a.  increase by 2 % 
  b.  decrease by 2%
  c.  decrease by 10%  
  d.  decrease by 15%

 4.  Between 2010 and 2030 Franklin County’s population of 0-24 year olds is predicted to

  a.  increase by 2 %  
  b.  decrease by 2%     
  c.  decrease by 10% 
  d.  decrease by 15%

Chairman's Message

  Late in the evening on August 23rd I got a call from Lois Lumbra to let me know a car didn't make the corner and had crashed into the front deck, wheelchair ramp, and railing of Pratt Hall.  Thankfully no one was hurt.  The wooden deck with it's small ramp was thrown halfway to our neighbor's property, bouncing off the front of the hall and damaging the moldings and clapboards,  The wheelchair ramp was also thrown onto the front lawn and the railing ended up under the car also on the lawn.  There appears to be no structural damage to the building although a corner of the concrete slab upon which the deck rested is now cracked.  

  There have been at least a half a dozen similar accidents.  We have replaced our sign, repaired the railing, replaced trees and other plants.  Recovery from them was mostly done in house and at our own expense.  This time we are collecting estimates and tracking recovery expenses to submit a claim with the driver's insurance company.  We don't expect to be able to get the repairs done until next Spring or Summer though.  

Farmer's Market Ends for the Year

      Our third year wrapped up September 21st with 17 vendors and a reprise of Papa Grey Beard and guest serenading vendors and customers.  It was a warm, clear day, much appreciated after a damp cold session on the 14th (above).  Thanks to Sue Wilson and her crew of Society volunteers for making this such a huge success.  

      Fiddlers on the Green is an initiative to photograph a fiddler in every Vermont town in 2019.   
Elinor Levell played "Whitewater" at the Montgomery Farmer's Market on September 14th.  As you may be able to tell the weather was awful, rainy and windy, but Elinor braved the elements under the Historical Society tent. 

Montgomery Stories

     Our inaugural session of this reinvigorated oral history program featured Tim Murphy's presentation on coming to Montgomery in the early 70s.  He and his college friends ended up here because the price was right on the building that now houses the Blue Bike cafe, Jay Cloud Cyclery, and Flowers and Ferns. Kilgore Trout's Saloon, as it was called then, was a hub of community activity.  It served whiskey when the State shut down the town water supply, and organized casino nights in support of the volunteer Fire Dept.  Tim's entire talk can be seem on our YouTube channel.

     We also presented Tim with his certificate for a 2018 Award of Excellence from the Vermont Historical Society, and League of Local Historical Societies and Museums, for his support to the MHS and community over the years.   These used to be called "Lifetime" awards. Thank you Tim.  

     This is the14th of these awards received by the Society and our members since 2007.  Past recognition includes:
Bill Branthoover, Lifetime
Betty Stanton, Lifetime

Marijke Dollois, Membership
Jack Quinn, Lifetime
The MHS website
Concerts by the Common, Steve Hays
The Town History 3rd Edition, JoAnne Bennet
Lutz and Elsie Saborowski, Lifetime
Sue Wilson, Treasurer/Financial
Carry the Weight Save Freight, Parma Jewett
The West Wall Capital Campaign Restoration Project.
Scott Perry
The Tower Restoration Project.     

      We hope to have more Montgomery Stories forums beginning next Spring.  Who would you like to hear from?  What topics interest you?

     In that vein, last newsletter we reported on some 
reminiscences of Gepetto's Restaurant on 118, south of the Center.  Our thanks to Bob Soden who sent along the following picture.   He thinks he has more but, like most of us, is having trouble remembering exactly where he put them :)  We think this might make a good night of Montgomery Stories.

Christmas Plans

     Back by popular demand...  We hope to reprise our free Christmas wagon rides, pulled by Gary Cherrier's draft horses, on Saturday Dec 21st from 11:00 to 1:00.  The Hall will be open for activities (Kurt Valenta, face painting, and Santa!!) and to warm you, hot chocolate and cookies will be served.  This is in partnership with the Montgomery Town Library and the Northwestern Counseling and Support Services (Family Center).  Please check our web site for confirmation.  

     Our free community sing-along, Candles and Carols, will be Sunday the 22nd at 5:00 o'clock.  Details will be announced on our web site, via email, and in Lois' column.

2019 Membership Report

     Our membership numbers are improved a tad since this time last year.  We would like to add 20 new or renewed members before the end of the year.  Every member makes a difference and lets us know we are providing a valued service.  You can join, or renew, via our web site's Membership link and pay using a credit card or with your Paypal account. Just click the Donate button.  

     If you've already joined - thank you!  If not, it's never too late.  

History of Vermont Roads and Settlement

     On September 9th Pratt Hall hosted Vermont Humanities Council speaker Dr. Deborah Lee Luskin who presented "Getting From Here to There: A History of Roads and Settlement in Vermont".  A good crowd heard her cover the development  of the  State from Indian trails to the Interstates.  The Hazen's Notch road was one of only four Military Highways in the state.  Our thanks to the Friends of the Library for co-sponsoring this program.

Roadside Markers

     We are exploring the possibility of applying to the VT Department of Transportation to erect roadside historical markers at all of the remaining covered bridges in Town.  JoAnne Bennett is drafting the text for each sign and once complete we will work with the Town and the State to nail down the sighting and installation.  We'll update you on our progress.

In Memoriam

     We are deeply saddened to report the passing of long time supporter and Board member-by-marriage, Winston Lewis.  Pratt Hall hosted a warm, sad, funny and loving celebration of her life on September 21st.   Her family spoke poignantly of her love of Montgomery and her delight in her gardens.  Flowers, inside and outside the Hall were a fitting tribute.  

     I once introduced Tim Chapin, her husband, as Tim Lewis at an MHS Annual Meeting.  She laughed loudest and said "That's how it should be".  We will cherish her memory but miss her dearly.

Look For Our Booth at the MES Craft Show and Sale

     We will reprise our booth at this show Dec 14th 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 our items by clicking the History for Sale link on our web site.

New Embroidered Polos Available

      Our latest venture into fashion are custom embroidered polo shirts; Royal Blue for men and Carolina Blue for women.  We are also exploring a line of mugs with artist drawings of our remaining covered bridges.  

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:  1789  Montgomery charter approved by the executive Council and Governor.

     November:  1990 Montgomery Veteran's Memorial Dedicated

     December:  1959  Hubert and Caroline Dauberer open the Carinthia Inn, formerly the Montgomery Inn.  $8.50 a day for a room and two meals.

History Quiz Answers

      1.  a. 1 in 4 Vermonters trace their roots to Quebec.

2.  The 1840 census was the first to include Montgomery's  French Canadians

      3.  d.  Vermont's population of  0-24 year olds is forecast to decrease by 15% by 2030.

      4.  b.  Franklin County's population of 0-24 year olds is forecast to decrease 2% by 2030

Sources:  1 and 2 - Burlington Free Press and Montgomery,Vermont: A History of a Town.  3 and 4 - Vermont Department of Commerce.

Thanks for your support!!