April 2006
Artifacts and Fiction

Montgomery Historical Society Newsletter
P.O. Box 47
Montgomery, VT 05470


Number 2006-2

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, are now available on line and at numerous Montgomery businesses and venues.

March 15, 1780 - Montgomery awarded its charter.

April 15, 1970 - Vermont's first "Green Up Day"

April 29, 1986 -
The Vermont Senate resolved that the state recognize the possible existence of Champ, the Lake Champlain monster.
Chairman's Message

“May your virtues ever shine, Like bed bugs dipped in turpentine.”
Mary Cassidy to Madge Goodspeed, Circa 1887-1901

    I recently put together a small slide show of vintage photos for Town Meeting to publicize the  Society's role as keeper of the Town’s history.  I included a number of clever poems from Madge Goodspeed’s autograph books stored in our archives.  In the process of putting this together I rediscovered what a wonderful collection we have, and it drove home the importance of our stewardship responsibilities and the need to share these pieces of history with the community.

    Our annual membership drive is now underway.  Your membership enables us to carry on the many stewardship activities and programs we undertake each year.  On top of all of this we have taken on a mortgage for the land and house we purchased in December.  This acquisition will be the first building block to help us better accomplish our archival and exhibit missions, but it makes our financial need much more acute and your membership donation is  critical to our work.  If possible, please consider increasing your membership level to help us meet these new obligations.

    Please use our Become a Member link to join or renew.  You will see a list of our programs and another link for a donor card you can print and return.  Membership dues and all other donations are tax exempt.  Also consider giving a gift membership to someone you know and love.

    I'm confident I'll be saying... "Your support is so fine, Like bedbugs dipped in turpentine!"  Thank you,

                                                             Scott Perry, Chairman, Board of Directors
                                                             Montgomery Historical Society

Montgomery Historical Society Events and Programs

Memorial Day Commemoration

     Our annual commemoration will be on Monday, May 29th at St. Isidore's Cemetery in Montgomery Center at 10:00 a.m.  It includes the traditional reading of veteran's names and an honor guard salute and Taps by American Legion Post 42 in Enosburg.  We are still looking for a guest speaker so let us know if you are interested or have any suggestions.

Annual Meeting

     This year's annual meeting will be June 10th at 5:30 at Pratt Hall.  As a change of pace we will be having a Tapas (hors d'oeuvres) party at Pratt Hall and on the grounds.  Members will be able to view our new property, and socialize, and receive the annual report.  We also should have a viewing of the decorated Covered Bridge Mailboxes, vintage photo slide show, and possibly the DVD produced by the Montgomery Elementary School under the Community History Project. This is for every member of the Society.

The festival project is really shaping up. We now have eleven Covered Bridge Mailboxes constructed by Ben Weed of Enosburg.   The mailboxes are being sponsored by local businesses and organizations, and local artists, craftspeople, and elementary students will be decorating them. 

    The mailboxes will be on display from June 11th - July 4th at the Montgomery Town Library. They will appear in the annual parade on July 4th and from then to August 24th they will be displayed at local businesses. During all of this period a silent auction will be taking place and the final day will be August 26th at the annual Historical Society "Art Show" and Covered Bridges Garden Club "Harvest Days".  Also, a brochure describing the mailboxes, artists, and sponsors will be printed and distributed.  The proceeds from the sale will be used for the Historical Society's programs.

   We will also post pictures of the completed mailboxes with artist and sponsor credits on the MHS web site, and will accept e-mail bids as part of the silent auction.  A Bid Chart showing those pictures and the latest high bids will be updated frequently.

    For more information, or to sponsor or decorate a mailbox, or to bid on a mailbox, please contact
Parma Jewett, Committee Co-ordinator at 326-4583 or e-mail the Society at pratthall@yahoo.com.

     "Who was Robert Frost and Who Are We?"  May 17th, 7:00 p.m. at Pratt Hall.  Come explore the poems of Robert Frost.  Readings and discussion let by author and scholar Geoff Hewitt from Calais, VT.  Co-sponsored by the Montgomery Library.

  Alas, the program on Contra Dancing will not be available but the committee is investigating programs on Jericho, VT native "Snowflake" Bentley.  Stay tuned.

  Sally Newton, Charles Henderson and Winston Lewis  are always looking for program ideas.  Give them a call.

     Community History Project
     The project is done pending some sound track work.  We hope to premiere the DVD this summer.  Information about the project is also on line at the Vermont Historical Society, at:

This project was sponsored in part by the Vermont Historical Society, IBM, and Verizon.
 Special thanks to Sue Zeinith-Collins, Bill Killon, Bill McGroarty, John Beaty and Charles Henderson for their generosity and hard work on this endeavor.

Concerts By The Common

July 8              The Stockwell Brothers, a bluegrass trio from Putney.
July 29            Green Mountain Chorus, Barbershop Music.
September 2   Will Patton Ensemble. local Jazz.
October 7        Envision Chamber Consort (piano, violin and                                        bassoon) from Michigan.

     Steve Hays and his committee are working hard on these concerts which may include a few new twists including food and venues.
     Members will receive ticket discounts, as will anyone who purchases tickets for the whole series.  Tickets are available at Lutz's Garage in Montgomery Center or by mail.  Just drop us an e-mail or letter.  They will also be available at the door.   We also need sponsors.  Please call Steve or e-mail us if you are interested.  
     The latest details, e.g. times, ticket cost etc., will be posted on the Community Events page of the Town web site and the Calendar of Events on the MHS web site.  
At present, the series is partially underwritten by the Eastman Foundation and the Vermont Arts Council.

Other News...

Archival News

     The Town Clerk, Renee Patterson, was clearing space in her vault and has offered the society a number of documents, including Chattel Mortgages from the 1800s.  She also discovered an 1896 hand drawn copy of an 1837 town map.  It reflects the parcels assigned to many of the Town's original grantees.

     Susan Pelletier discovered a silhouette drawing of a Morgan horse, attributed to Homer Baker, on wall boards of a barn she will be taking down, and will donate it to the Society once it can be removed safely.

The Society is helping the HNA by hosting a concert of local music at Pratt Hall on May 5th.  Proceeds will benefit the HNA Campership Fund which pays for local kids to attend the various camps run by the HNA.  Scholarship recipients are selected by school teachers and administrators, in part based on financial need.
Mystery Photo

     Please let us know if you recognize any of these hunters.

This and That

Pratt Hall

  When it rains it pours... Adding to our financial challenges the Board is involved in assessing work that needs to be done at Pratt Hall this year.

  We are seeking estimates for painting the exterior and restoring the lancet storm windows on four of the large stained glass windows.  The glazing on the storm windows is failing and a number of the storm windows' glass panes have dislodged, with some leaning on the stained glass windows.  We have one estimate of just under $10,000 for the work.

  We also need to get the clock serviced since it started ringing 12 every hour and we need to trim or remove the large spruce tree on the northeast side of the building.  

  If you can, and wish to specify a donation to a particular project, it would be greatly appreciated.

From Madge Goodspeed's Autograph Book
“When the golden sun is setting,
And your mind from care is free,
Where of others you are thinking,
Will you sometimes think of me.”
                                                    Cora Hart
“Do not look for wrong and evil,
You will find them if you do,
As you measure to your neighbor,
He will measure back to you.”
                                              Beth Burt

Membership News

     2005's total membership was 181 which included 23 new members. The highest number of members yet.  We hope to break the record again this year!

     We note long time member Sidney Sundell celebrated his 100th birthday on March 21st.  Congratulations!

     We regretfully report Winston Lewis has resigned from the Board.  Winston has demanding commitments, in part as the new President of the Covered Bridge Garden Club, and has pledged to rejoin the Board when her schedule permits.  

      Thank you to both Sidney and Winston for their unwavering support of our activities
over the years!
  History Internet Surfing

     Saturday & Sunday, June 10th and 11th Vermont Days, a weekend of free family fun.  All state owned Historic Sites, Vermont State Parks AND the Vermont Historical Society’s Museum are open to the public at no charge!


     If you haven't already, and would like to receive this newsletter and other MHS event reminders or news via e-mail, please send us an e-mail so we have your address.  Sent it to - pratthall@yahoo.com.  Thank you.

Please Join or Renew Your Membership!