The Cavendish Historical Society's accepts tax-deductible contributions to help preserve our history. You can reach us at email@example.com 802-226-7807 or PO Box 472 Cavendish, VT 05142 The CHS Museum is located at 1958 Main Street (Route 131) in Cavendish.
Philip Tiemann was
born in New Jersey in 1900. He moved to Brook Road in Cavendish, VT from
Chatham, New Jersey with his wife Isabel (Carr), and three children Wyeth, Ann
and Joyce in 1933. Naming the property Windy Hill Farm, Tiemann wrote of the
family’s early years in Cavendish in “Memoirs of Coming into Vermont
(Cavendish) in the Depression.” The memoir was written in 1966, after his wife
had died (1958) and just a few years before his own death in 1969.
In 2015, CHS
serialized the Memoirs over a 30 week period, which can be read on line
starting with the Prelude. Below is an excerpt pertaining to how they celebrated
1930s Christmas card
Having the big room ready in time for Christmas was a
"must." We always have made that day a very special one. While in
1933 there was little to spend, we tried to get a few of the things the
children wanted most, and interesting packages were arriving from our families.
Everyone was excited at the prospect of cutting our own tree, and a couple of
Sundays ahead of time we spent most of the day in the woods. By good fortune
we came across a small group of balsam firs, which are superior for the
purpose, so got a nice tree and greens as well, and then more greens and small
trees to send away. Red pine is our second favorite, used as sprays or made up
into wreathes. All such things had to be Government-inspected before they could
be sent out of the state, but on request the inspectors used to come around
(before it got to be big business, and a very nice chap looked over our things
and issued tags to be attached. Then it was quite a job bundling them up. But
they made nice and rather unusual presents for the people "at home."
The tree that year (and a good many years since) was set in
the embrasure at the southeast corner of the kitchen. I put it up the afternoon
before Christmas-a chore which sometimes tried my temper considerably. It had
to be uniform and nicely balanced in the stand: a mechanical contrivance, which
after being wound up, caused the tree to revolve slowly while a music-box
played alternately "Holy Night" and "Lord, dismiss us with thy
blessing." Mother had found it about 1907 at Schwartze's in New York, and
every generation has enjoyed "the dancing tree."
Our celebration began on Christmas Eve, altho it was
impractical to-attend church (which in future years we did when we could.) The
children eagerly hung their stockings (large ones, provided for the purpose!)
by the living-room fireplace; then there was singing of carols and reading of
"The Night Before Christmas." After they had reluctantly gone to bed,
Isabel and. I filled the stockings and trimmed the tree. We also set out a
Crèche, with candles. Altho it was late when we retired, we felt assured that
we would not be allowed to oversleep!
And of course the children were down early next morning,
investigating their stockings while I did chores end Isabel got-breakfast. This
was a "party" meal, with. pancakes and sausages to supplement the
usual fruit, cereal and milk, and bread and butter. Housework and necessary
chores came next. Then Isabel said "Well, are we ready?" and the kids
stampeded in' to see the tree,- not but that they had doubtless peeked earlier!
Wyeth throu the switch to start the stand turning and playing and then the
three handed around the gifts piled under the tree while Isabel and. I relaxed.
Soon the floor was strewn with remnants of gay wrappings, as we all opened and
displayed our things with happy exclamations. The only thing, which could.
have made it more enjoyable would have been the presence of other members of
The day we marked by drifting snow,- "five feet deep at
the barn doors,”and a contribution of
eight eggs from the new hens. Also, despite the weather, company came for a
very pleasant supper. After this very successful day, all hands were glad
enough to turn in, and found it especially comforting to stretch out between
cotton blankets with which we had replaced the linen sheets; they were much
weekend, a one-time Vermonter returns to the state to perform in honor
of the woman who helped launch his career as a pianist and conductor.
Solzhenitsyn now teaches and conducts with the Chamber Orchestra of
Philadelphia. He's also the principal guest conductor of the Moscow
Symphony Orchestra, and conducts and performs all around North America
And his last name might sound familiar — he's the son
of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Russian author who was pushed out of the
Soviet Union for his writing, which was seen as critical of the Soviet
The elder Solzhenitsyn became an international figure
after he left the Soviet Union. He won the Nobel Prize in literature in
1970, but didn't claim it until after he was exiled in 1974. Soon
after, seeking a respite from the crush of attention, he ended up
settling with his young family in Cavendish, Vermont. That's where his
son Ignat discovered music. Excerpts from VPR's conversation with Ignat Solzhenitsyn below. Listen to the conversation above. A teacher's influence
As a child in Cavendish, Ignat Solzhenitsyn studied piano with Chongyo Shin of the Brattleboro Music Center. On Saturday, he returns to perform a recital in Brattleboro in honor of Shin. Solzhenitsyn says Shin provided him with a springboard for his musical career.
think the biggest thing was attention to detail," Solzhenitsyn says of
what he learned from Shin, "reading the text with attention and
understanding that anything the composer writes is there for a reason."
has influenced how Solzhenitsyn approaches music. He says that he
chooses to examine the historical context of a piece when he plays it,
something he adds is hotly debated in the classical music world.
a composer is writing in exile or if he's writing on his deathbed, how
can that not matter? And how can it not affect his state of mind?"
Solzhenitsyn says. "On the other hand, the reason we want to be careful
not to overstate that is simply that if it's art, in this case music,
worth playing five years later and certainly 200 years later, it must be
because it's more universal than simply reflecting a given
circumstance, no matter how serious." His relationship with Russia
now regularly travels back and forth between the United States and
Russia, something he says was utterly impossible when he was a child.
still pinching myself after all these years in that I'm able to go back
and forth freely. This was an utter impossibility during my childhood
because of the general circumstances of the Cold War and the specific
circumstances of my family," Solzhenitsyn says. "And so for me, it's
still just a great joy to be able to have that part of my heritage and
of my life restored to me, no matter what the political environment is."
course, the political environment between the U.S. and Russia is tense
right now. When asked what he thinks of the way Russia is currently
discussed in the United States, Solzhenitsyn says he's not impressed
with what he sees in the press.
"I actually find that regular
folks, just people I talk to — whether it's after concerts, whether
it's, you know, on the subway or whatever, something comes up — I find
people have a much kind of a more realistic and a more normal sense of
what's going on than I find really in the kind of most sophisticated
press of the U.S.," Solzhenitsyn says.
In his view, both the U.S.
and Russia are pursuing their own interests, and those interests will
not always line up, which, he says, is to be expected.
broad picture, it's normal, but it's kind of a bumpy ride right now, and
certainly I very much hope that this will improve as this next
foreseeable period of time unfold[s]," he says. Music and politics
his writer father was swept into the world of international politics,
Ignat Solzhenitsyn says his work as a musician is not overtly political.
But he does try to live his life in a way he says his father would
approve of, by living "not by lies."
"Even if we can't be heroic,
or life doesn't call upon us to be heroic, at least do not participate
in lies," Solzhenitsyn continues. "At least do not let your actions
help that side, wherever one sees it. And so I certainly try to make
sure that there is no concert I perform or program that I develop or
agree to or participate in that somehow might lead to supporting the
wrong, the wrong side, as I see it." Disclosure: VPR is a media sponsor of Ignat Solzhenitsyn's performance at the Brattleboro Music Center on Saturday, Dec. 9.
Decorating for the Holidays: Thanks to
Svetlana Phillips, there are now greens and holiday decorations at the Museum,
Stone Church and War Memorial. The lights are on in the Stone Church. Thank you
Kem and Svetlana Phillips for the batteries and a special thanks to Cooper
Naess for patiently working to make sure all the candles would light. They
should be lit from about 6-11 pm.
Carmine Guica Young Historians Program (CGHP):
The Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) program for the 5th grade was so much
fun. Check out the photo albumto see
all the crafts the students were involved in making along with the altar they
set up. Thank you Peggy Svec and Pang Ting for your help with this program.
Examining the Model T located at the site of Fitton Mill.
on what they learned from their trip to Sturbridge Village, the 6th graders
toured the old Fitton Mill site that burned in 1875. Using an archeologist map,
they could identify cellar holes and observe the damage done to the area by
repeated flooding. The Mill was constructed in 1867 on the banks of the Black
River off the Cavendish Gulf Rd near the gorge. It was destroyed by fire in
1875. Robert Fitton set fire to the family woolen mill, according to court
testimony. He is probably responsible for numerous other fires in town
involving a dwelling house, tenement house, storehouse, and a factory boarding
house. According to an article in the paper from that time period, "In
giving his evidence in the case, James Fitton testified that Robert Fitton told
him, after the burning of his (Robert's) factory in 1875 that he (Robert) set
the building on fire himself, spreading oil over the floors and elsewhere so it
would burn well, and that the machinery for putting out fires go out of order
just in time so no one could prevent the mill from burning, or words of that
import. James Fitton also swears in the same deposition that the books showing
how Robert's affair stood previous to his going bankruptcy the first time were
burned by Robert himself. " Check out the Photo album for this
trip as it includes a lot of photographs from the original mill.
It was a
thrill to hear the 6th graders discussing how wrong they thought it was that
the only surviving building from the mill-the school house-was now a second
home. “They sold off our history,” one of them noted. The CGYHP makes a real
Solzhenitsyn Program: In spite of a
chilly Museum, we’ve had a number of Russian visitors this month including a
group of five journalists. We’re gearing up for 2018’s 100th
anniversary of his birth and we’re booking various speaking engagements. Have
any ideas on what would make a nice T shirt design to celebrate this
Brief History of Cavendish: CHS has
provided the Cavendish Planning Commission with a brief history of Cavendish,
which you can read on-line.
Newsletter: The Fall Scribbler II is
now available on-line.
If you haven’t had a chance to read it, there is a special feature on the First
People of Cavendish.
Campaign: CHS’s Annual Appeal letter has been sent. It reads as follows:
While 2017 has been
an exceptional growth year, particularly for our Carmine Guica Young Historians
Program, it’s the important anniversaries of 2018 that we’d like to draw your
attention to. It will be the 100th birthday of Aleksandr
Solzhenitsyn’s as well as the 170th anniversary of Phineas Gage’s
As different as they may appear, these two historic
figures have much in common as they both highlight thriving in the face of
adversity-Solzhenitsyn survived the Gulag, Russian labor camp, and exile, while
Gage recovered from a massive traumatic brain injury and led a productive life.
Solzhenitsyn helped to rewrite the course of history with his books, while
Gage’s experience changed the world’s understanding of the brain and ushered in
the field of neuroscience.We are a
better and richer world thanks to these men and it’s important that CHS honors them
We can’t do this without your help. You can play an
integral part by
to the annual appeal campaign (see attached form), specifying how you want your
contribution to be used.
your annual membership.
to help with our various programs, including fundraising and the planning committees
being established on Gage and Solzhenitsyn
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN DECEMBER?
Christmas Spirits: We’re collecting
Cavendish Christmas stories. If you have some you’d like to share, please
e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Polish Christmas at CTES: We’re working
on a day long program of workshops and food for the students of Cavendish Town
Elementary School as part of learning about the Polish people who settled in
Cavendish. This program takes place on Dec. 21.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you can help with any of the following, please
contact CHS email@example.com; 802-226-7807 or PO
Box 472, Cavendish, VT 05142
• Have Polish traditions you’d like to share with the
school children as part of the special holiday program? We’re looking for craft
ideas, foods etc.
• CHS is looking for new board members as well as
volunteers who can help with various activities.
Cavendish has been occupied since the ice age
glaciers receded, about 11,000 years ago. While the earliest inhabitants would
have used the Black River and surrounding area for hunting and fishing, there
is archaeological evidence that an Archaic Indian village existed in Cavendish
5,000-7,000 years ago.
The first Europeans
would have traveled along the Indian trail that became known as the Crown Point
Rd. Playing a significant role in the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars,
the first deeded land was settled by Captain John Coffeen in 1769 in close
proximity to the Road. One of the signers of Vermont’s Constitution, Coffeen
came to Cavendish seeking religious freedom.
Dutton House in Cavendish, today now the Village
By the early 1800s,
the center of town had shifted from the Crown Point Rd area, to the Black River
where the river gave rise to a variety of industries that used water powered
machinery-woolen, grist, pulp and saw mills. Two villages grew up within the
Cavendish township-Proctorsville, named for Leonard Proctor, and Duttonsville,
for Salmon Dutton. The latter would eventually be called Cavendish.
In addition to the
industrial complexes along the Black River, farming was a staple for the town,
with small businesses, such as a hat shop, tanneries, cabinet makers and
tinsmiths, flourishing to provide goods and services to farmers and mill
workers. While sheep was an initial cash crop, this gave way to dairy farming
after the Civil War.
The arrival of the
railroads in the late 1840s impacted the town in numerous ways. While blasting
for the railroad tracks, Phineas Gage survived a major brain injury when a
tamping rod went through his head, thus ushering in the modern understanding of
the brain and its functions. More importantly to the town’s economics, the
train increased the ability to ship goods and expand markets. It also opened
the town to its first wave of tourists, some of whom bought “second homes” to
escape the heat of the city in the summer months.
Gay Brothers Mill in Cavendish
While the industrial
complex of the Black River made Cavendish a “mill town,” this rapidly changed
after WWII, when military contracts for both Gay Brothers Mill in Cavendish
village and Proctor Reel in Proctorsville military contracts ceased. By the
1950s, with the mills gone, and farming no longer a viable means of livelihood,
many traveled to other areas for work-machine shops in Springfield, General
Electric in Ludlow. Fortunately, the Gay Brothers Mill was purchased by Mac
Molding, which continues to operate in Cavendish village.
The town’s highest
census recorded was in1870 with 1,823 residents. This number would decline
rapidly due to job availability in more urban areas as well as westward
expansion. Since then, the population census has dipped down to a low of 1,100
and has yet to reach even 1,500.
Beginning in the
1980s, with the transformation of Okemo Mountain into a four seasons resort
area, tourism and second homes have become major economic drivers. The 2017
Cavendish Grand List indicates that approximately 54% of the town is now owned
by people who do not live here.
It is the
opportunity to live safely, freely and be a place of sanctuary that has drawn
many to the town. As early as 1805, a former slave and Revolutionary War
veteran found a home in Cavendish. Peter Tumbo (Tumber) signed the freeman’s
oath and owned 50 acres of land. He died at the age of 106, with his death
being noted in the anti-slavery papers of the day.
native Ryland Fletcher being Governor of Vermont, as well as the town’s strong
anti-slavery stance, abolitionist John Brown spent a weekin
Cavendish in 1857. Brown had hoped to secure some of the $20,000 the Vermont
Legislature had approved to support anti-slavery settlements in Kansas.
In 1976, Aleksandr
Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Prize winner for literature and anti-communist, sought
refuge in Cavendish. He would spend almost 18 of the 20 years he was in exile
here writing “The Red Wheel.” His books, including “Gulag Archipelago”
contributed to the downfall of the Soviet system.
Today, in many ways,Cavendish has returned to its roots with the single largest employer
being self-employment in the building related trades and services that cater to
tourism. With the arrival of the Internet age, those parts of town that are
fortunate to have high speed Internet, telecommuting and home business ventures
flourish. There is a growing artist community as well as a return to small
farms, with cows and sheep once again dotting the Cavendish landscape.
Nov. 3 was the 90th anniversary of
the flood in Cavendish. Instead of staying in its course
down through the Cavendish Gorge, the Black River broke through the power
company's pond dike above the gorge dam and by 9 pm, there were two feet of
water in lower Main St. and four feet covering Depot St (now called Mill St.).
The river then cut a deep and wide
gully down through lower Main St, once part of an ancient river bed. The gully
was one-quarter mile long, 100-600 feet wide, and 25-150 feet deep. Note that
this was a similar path that took place during Irene in 2011. Swept away
by the raging river were seven houses, ten barns, four garages, eight
automobiles, land, trees, the lower part of Main St., and a section of the
River Rd. The wreckage piled up in Whitesville, a mile downstream.
This past year, we
received a collection of photographs taken during the flood. In the week
leading up to the flood anniversary, we posted the pictures to the Cavendish VTFacebook page. One photograph in particular
caught people’s attention. This house still stands off Carlton Rddown by the Black River
THE FIRST PEOPLE OF CAVENDISH
At the end of October, the 4th and 5th
grades from Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) spent the day at Plimoth
Plantation thanks to the Carmine Guica Young Historians Program (CGYH). One 5th
grader, Andre wrote, “ I have a question for you, do you know when the Wampanoag
arrive in Plymouth?”
To Andre’s question, as well
as acknowledging Vermont’s adoption of Indigenous Peoples Day as a replacement
for Columbus Day, we are including a more in-depth look at who the 1st
people ofCavendish were and how they
came to be here. However, to answer Andre’s inquiry, it appears that the Wampanoag
arrived in New England around 15,000 years ago.
Where did America’s 1st
people come from and when? A much debated topic in the scientific community, most
archaeologists and other scholars now believe that the earliest Americans followed
Pacific Rim shorelines from northeast Asia to Beringia and the Americas. A
prehistoric land bridge formed between Siberia and North America and for years it
was believed that the first peoples walked over the bridge about 13,500 years. However,
by the time this would have been possible the Americas were already populated.
In fact, the dates for first humans in the Americas is about 20,000-15,000
Beringia theory is being replaced with the “kelp highway hypothesis.” Melting
of the glaciers on the outer coast of North America's Pacific Northwest, about
17,000 years ago, created a possible corridor rich in aquatic and terrestrial
resources along the Pacific Coast, with productive kelp forest and estuarine
ecosystems at sea level and no major geographic barriers. Using boats and
fishing tools, humans made it all the way from Asia to the Americas, founding
many coastal communities along the way. More and more evidence supports this
theory. It is possible that over a 2,000 year period, the people who would
become the Wampanoag made their way from the west coast to the east coast.
far as when the first peoples occupied Cavendish, there is archeological evidence at Jackson Gore in Ludlow
that dates back 11,000 years, shortly after ice age ended. Judging from the
tools uncovered, these hunter/gatherers were highly skilled craftsmen whose
travels were far and included trading with other groups, as a high percentage
of the stone used for the tools came from Maine. Cavendish would have had
Indians traveling through the area via the Black River and/or what became known
as the Crown Point Rd. The Paleo-Indians would have stopped to fish and hunt depending on the time of year, and may have
spent days or weeks here if food was plentiful. They traveled hundreds of miles
The most practical group size was large enough to hunt
cooperatively butsmall enough to be
self-sufficient andmobile. It was probably
an extendedfamily of men, women, and
childrentotaling 10 to 25 people. The
humanpopulation in this part of the
world at that time was low, and the territory thata few dozen groups like this shared mayhave included hundreds or even thousands of
square miles. At times several groups probably gathered together to hunt or
fish; to exchange information, goods, and stories; to celebrate, to make
friends, to resolve conflicts; and to meet potential spouses. Links were formed
among the groups through these activities and through family ties. History & Culture Mashantucket Pequot Museum &
Tools used about 5,000-7,000
years ago, called the Archaic period, have been found in Cavendish fields,
indicating there might have been an Indian settlement away from the river and
in close proximity to where Cavendish’s first European settlers built homes.
Just 37 miles to the South of Cavendish in Keene, NH there is evidence of a
winter settlement that is over 12,000 years old. Even closer is Bellows Falls,
where petroglyphs can be found.
The first people of Cavendish would be part of the
Abenaki Nation, which is part of the Wabanaki Confederacy, and not dissimilar
to the Abenaki described in A Brief History: From the Koas Meadows to You
Today. The Abenaki Native Americans have been living in the same region for
10,000 years. Today, this area comprises Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and
southern Quebec. The Abenaki Alliance in Vermont and New Hampshire consists of
four tribal bands, much like America is divided into states. These tribal bands
include the Missisquoi (St. Francis/Sokoki) [Swanton], the Elnu [southern Vt],
the Nulhegan [Northeast Kingdom] and the Koasek [central and . Each individual tribal
band is governed by a Chief and a Tribal Council, yet they are all part of the
Historians have often confused which band or tribe
some of the eastern Indians were from. If they saw an Indian in one location,
they assumed that person was a member of the local tribal band. Many historians
have called all Abenaki “St. Francis Indians.” Other historians have used that
term just to refer to the Abenaki of Odanak, who reside in Southern Quebec.
This has often led to confusion about the history of the Abenaki people.”...
Hollywood moves have portrayed all Native Americans as
having copper skin, dark brown eyes, and long black hair. This is far from the
way the eastern tribal people looked. In 1542, sieur e Roverval, Governor
General of New France, described the appearance of the Abenaki people in his
letters. He wrote, “They are a people of goodly stature and well made; they are
very white, but they are all naked, and if they were appareled as the French
are, they would be as white and as fair, but they paint themselves for fear of
heat and sun burning.” In 1637, Thomas Morton of Massachusetts wrote, “Their
infants are borne with hair on their heads and are of complexion as white as
our nation: but their mother in their infancy make a bath of walnut leaves,
husks of walnuts, and such things as will stain their skin forever, wherein
they dip and wash them to make them tawny.”
Between 1500-1609, it’s
estimated that there was a minimum of 10,000 Abenaki in VT. With the arrival of
the Europeans, by 1760, the population in VT and Southern PQ had dropped to
1,200. Reasons included disease, the Europeans pitting one tribe against the
other, involvement in various wars, and movement into Quebec. The Abenaki were
a peaceful people and were not well suited to war.
Vermont has a very dark
history when it comes to its native peoples.With the arrival of the Europeans, life changed dramatically for the
Abenaki. They lost their land, were persecuted, and/or died from diseases they
had no immunity to.Consequently, those
of Abenaki descent would be known as “dark” or “colored” French or gypsies.
Many would have changed their name and it was very common for parents not to
tell their children of their Indian heritage until they were adults.
Gratia Belle Ellis
Along with French Canadians, poor people and those
with disabilities, the Abenaki were coerced into sterilization. In 1931,
Vermont passed the eugenic sterilization law, "A Law for Human Betterment
by Voluntary Sterilization." Vermont's eugenic solutions -- in the form of
identification, registration, intervention in families with problem or backward
children, and sterilization of those deemed unfit to conceive future
Vermonters-was in effect until 1957, though the majority of sterilizations
-200- took place between 1931 and 1941. A total of 253 people were sterilized,
80% of whom were women. However, though the sterilization was reported to end
in 1957, the Abenakis continued to be sterilized in the United States,
We have confirmed one former
Cavendish resident, Gratia Denny, as being of Abenaki dissent. Her Grandmother
Gratia Belle Ellis, born 1843, was an Abenaki and spoke Algonquian. It is expected
there are others in town that share similar heritage, some of whom may not be
aware of it.
CARMINE GUICA YOUNG HISTORIANS
The CGYH program is
in full swing at the Cavendish Town Elementary School. Thanks to the generosity
of Stein van Schaik, it was possible for CHS to sponsor a day long workshop
with the fourth graders with cultural archeologist Charlie Paquin so that they
could experience how the 1st peoples of Cavendish would have made
stone tools (flint knapping) rope, and pottery as well as how they hunted with
atlatls. The 4th and 5th graders were able to spend the
day at Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts.
Thanks to Bruce and Betty McEnaney’s
Blueberry Fund, the 6th grade spent the day at Sturbridge Village,
which is a great way for the kids to learn why Cavendish developed along the
Black River as the water powered the machines in the 1830s.
In December, we will
hosting our annual holiday workshops at
CTES based on the heritage of people who have settled in Cavendish. This year
we will be celebrating the Polish, many of whom came to work at the Gay
Brothers Mills. At the
suggestion of one of the teachers, we will be adding a special luncheon so the
students can try kielbasa, perogies, stuffed cabbage and more.
We could not run the
extensive programming we do at the school without the generous support of the
community, including our drivers and volunteers. Special thanks to Pang Ting,
Peggy Svec, and Carolyn Solzhenitsyn
BECOME A MEMBER, RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP,
you have not joined the Cavendish Historical Society, need to renew your
membership, and/or would like to be a volunteer, please complete the form below
and sending a check, payable to CHS, to CHS, PO Box 472, Cavendish, VT 05142.
All contributions are tax deductible.
Ninety years ago on Nov. 3, 1927, there was a heavy rain. At first, the inhabitants of Cavendish were not particularly concerned but the rain continued hour after hour. In an unusual weather pattern, two storms from different directions stalled over Vermont. Seven and one-half inches of rain fell in 24 hours on the Black River drainage area. From its source, north of Plymouth, the Black River gathered volume and force as it washed out the Plymouth roads; flooded the streets and basements of Ludlow; damaged the Rutland Railroad tracks, undermined foundations of several tenements, and flooded the finishing room of the Proctor Woolen Company in Proctorsville. The heaviest damage was reserved for Cavendish village. Instead of staying in its course down through the Cavendish Gorge, the Black River broke through the power company's pond dike above the gorge dam and by 9 pm, there were two feet of water in lower Main St. and four feet covering Depot St (now called Mill St.). The river then cut a deep and wide gully down through lower Main St, once part of an ancient river bed. The gully was one-quarter mile long, 100-600 feet wide, and 25-150 feet deep. Note that this was a similar path that took place during Irene in 2011. Swept away by the raging river were seven houses, ten barns, four garages, eight automobiles, land, trees, the lower part of Main St., and a section of the River Rd. The wreckage piled up in Whitesville, a mile downstream. The Duttonsville School ended up protruding over the edge of a
high sandbank. Redfield Proctor, former Vermont governor, offered $10,000 to
restore the schoolhouse. Olin Gay, Chairman of the School Board, proposed using
this gift to move the school to a new location. He also proposed that the town
raise an additional $5,000 by taxes to put in an auditorium basement, modernize
the heating system and install toilets. The school building was moved on big
rollers by oxen and horses 400 feet back to a safer location. It had much
better facilities than before the flood. A Vermont Standard School until 1928,
thanks to the renovations after the flood, Duttonsville was upgraded to a
“Superior School,” a status it retained until closing in 1971. The school building still stands and to today is the home and business of Dan Churchill.
President Calvin Coolidge telegraphed his cousin, Park Pollard, that he wanted to do whatever he could to help the town. He sent Herbert Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce, to visit the region and make recommendations. Tow Army engineers came to give technical help about relocating the state road.