Saturday, November 10, 2018


Cavendish resident and WWI veteran, Clyde Bailey
Armistice Day is commemorated every year on November 11th to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France. It took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Armistice.

Cavendish had 57 men and one woman serve in the war. A few families had two members of their family serving but the Pollards had four sons and one daughter, Mary, who was a dietician in an Army Hospital on Ellis Island. 

Of those serving, four died: George Dixon, Winthrop Hoyle, Truman McNulty and Francis Wallace. Hoyle was only 16 and died of nephritis in Rhode Island, while the other three died from what was known as the “Spanish Flu.”

Killing between 50-100 million people around the world, this flu was more deadly than WWI where nine million men were killed in combat and another twenty one million wounded, many of whom were left without arms, legs, noses, and even genitals, while others suffered the remainder of their lives from mustard gas.

As history was to show, the seeds for WWII were laid in the Armistice, which in effect was a surrender. German civilians, due to what we would call today “fake news,”  were not aware that their military had been defeated and were outraged to learn of the Armistice terms and to see British, French and American occupation troops in their homeland. It isn’t surprising that Hitler could pedal his message that the Army was robbed of its victory by socialists, pacifists and Jews.

While much is made of the 11th hour, the 11th day of the 11th month, the final six hours after the signing of the Armistice, which occurred at 5 am,  was a blood bath. On that date, twenty-seven hundred and thirty-eight men from both sides were killed, and eighty-two hundred and six were left wounded or missing, with the vast majority of these casualties happening after the Armistice had been signed, where there was no political or military gain. The day’s toll was greater than both sides suffered on D Day in 1944.

Among the many victims were troops of the American 92nd Division, part of Bullard’s Second Army. The U.S. military was rigidly segregated, and the men of the 92nd were black. All their higher-ranking officers, however, were white, often Southerners resentful of being given such commands. “Poor Negroes!” Bullard, an Alabaman, wrote. “They are hopelessly inferior.” After already enduring discrimination and fear at home—sixty black Americans were lynched in 1918 alone—and being treated as second-class citizens in the Army, these troops found themselves, after the Armistice had been signed, advancing into German machine-gun fire and mustard gas. They were ordered to make their last attack at 10:30 A.M. The 92nd Division officially recorded seventeen deaths and three hundred and two wounded or missing on November 11th; one general declared that the real toll was even higher. A Hundred Years After the Armistice

Thursday, November 1, 2018

CHS Briefs November 1, 2018

Please check the Cavendish VT Facebook page for photo albums of various CHS activities.

Miles Glidden talking about Homer who visits PVFD
Carmine Guica Young Historians: Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) spends a lot of time working with youth, not only to teach them town history but to also instill good citizenship through stewardship. We are pleased to report that Cavendish has almost no vandalism of town property and starting with this fall’s RiverSweep, we can see that the beach area along the Black River is much cleaner and in better condition than ever before. 
The Blacksmith Shop at Sturbridge is popular with studens

October has been a very busy month. We had the first ever Foliage/History Tour on the Green Mountain Railroad for the Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) 4th grade and students from Green Mountain Union High School (GMUHS). The 6th graders once again visited Fitton Mill, as well as Sturbridge Village. Rounding out the month was the 5th graders annual Proctorsville Ghost Walk.

 Nov. 1 the 5th graders will take part in a Dia de los Meurtos (Day of the Dead) celebration and on Nov. 9 will learn more about first peoples in Vermont by making pottery, using stone tools and traditional story telling.

In December, the entire school will take part in a daylong series of workshops pertaining to Scandinavia. Included will be a “taste of Sweden, Norway and Denmark.” This annual tradition is one way students learn about the people who helped found Cavendish and gain a better understanding of their culture and traditions.

While many Scandinavians were recruited to work in the mills, the Swedes were also recruited to set up farms in Vermont. The latter was not considered a successful venture as many moved to other parts of the country. Interestingly, a second wave of Nordic immigrants came to the area because of the developing snow sports industry.

Thank you to our incredible volunteers this month including Bruce and Timothy McEnneny. Special thanks to Julie and Mike of the Golden Stage Inn, who once again amazed the students with stories of hauntings at the Inn. Our trips are made possible by contributions from Stein van Schaik and the McEnneny’s Blueberry Fund.

Vermont Native American Timeline: If you missed the last talk of the season, honoring Indigenous Peoples Day, check out the CHS blog post VT NativeAmerican Timeline Included on the timeline is a video of state archeologist Jess Robinson discussing Vermont pre European contact.

Solzhenitsyn: We are thrilled that the long awaited Aleksandar Solzhenitsyn book Between Two Millstones: Sketches of Exile, 1974-1977, which covers the first two years of his life in Cavendish, is now available in English.

We know that many are interested in how Cavendish will be celebrating Solzhenitsyn’s 100th birthday. We are finalizing plans and will be posting more information in the next few weeks in the CHS newsletter as well as in the newspaper, on-line etc. In the meantime, on Nov. 15, Margo Caulfield of CHS will speak on Solzhenitsyn’s Life in Cavendish as part of the third Thursday series of the VT Historical Society (VHS).

The talk will take place at noon at University Heights South (2&3), University of Vermont in Burlington. Directions are available on-line. If you are unable to attend, you can watch and ask questions via the VHS Facebook page

If you have questions or wish to volunteer with CHS, please call 802-226-7807, e-mail or mail PO Box 472, Cavendish, VT 05142

Monday, October 29, 2018

Between Two Millstones: Sketches of Exile, 1974-1977

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Prizing writing writer and Soviet dissident, spent 18 of his 20 years in exile in Cavendish, VT. With the publication of Between Two Millstones: Sketches of Exile, 1974-1977 now there is more than a glimpse of what life was like for him during this time.

"Between Two Millstones" contains vivid descriptions of Solzhenitsyn's journeys to various European countries and North American locales, where he and his wife Natalia (“Alya”) searched for a location to settle their young family. There are fascinating descriptions of one-on-one meetings with prominent individuals, detailed accounts of public speeches such as the 1978 Harvard University commencement, comments on his television appearances, accounts of his struggles with unscrupulous publishers and agents who mishandled the Western editions of his books, and the KGB disinformation efforts to besmirch his name. There are also passages on Solzhenitsyn's family and their property in Cavendish, Vermont, whose forested hillsides and harsh winters evoked his Russian homeland, and where he could finally work undisturbed on his ten-volume history of the Russian Revolution, The Red Wheel. Stories include the efforts made to assure a proper education for the writer's three sons, their desire to return one day to their home in Russia, and descriptions of his extraordinary wife, editor, literary advisor, and director of the Russian Social Fund, Alya, who successfully arranged, at great peril to herself and to her family, to smuggle Solzhenitsyn's invaluable archive out of the Soviet Union. Notre Dame Press 

For Vermonters, Senator Patrick Leahy summed it up when he wrote, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn took to Vermont and Vermonters took to him. I felt it a privilege to have met with him in his new Vermont setting, and I know that our state’s forested beauty reminded him of home. We are proud that he believed that his homeland, and the world, could learn from the local self-government that is embodied in Town Meeting Day in towns and hamlets across the Green Mountain State.”

There were differing ideas of how Solzhenitsyn lived in Cavendish- a self -imposed “gulag,” to a lavish lifestyle in a “gated” compound. However, the truth was quite different. The suddenness of our move caught everyone’s attention: it is unacceptable for people of fame not to inform the world of what they are doing, not to advertise their next move but to go ahead and do what they want unannounced. Over a hundred press vehicles now converged on the tiny town of Cavendish from Boston, from New York, quizzing the townspeople to get information, journalists crowding in front of our gate, scurrying along our fence—they even arranged for a helicopter to fly over our property and take pictures. ....To make things worse, our light chain-link fence had a single strand of barbed wire on top where the fence ran along the side of the road, to hook the pants of snoopers trying to climb over. This single strand of barbed wire the media now magnified into a “barbed-wire fence surrounding the entire property,” and that it was if I were willing myself up in a new prison, a “self-imposed gulag.” I did intend to sequester myself, not in a prison but in a tranquil refuge, the kind necessary for creativity in this mad, whirling world. But the press also picked up details from the locals about us having a pond, setting off the legend about my “swimming pool,” which immediately turned our supposed life within a prion into a “bourgeois lifestyle” in which the Solzhenitsyn family now intended to indulge. Ah, wretches, they were writing not about us but about themselves, revealing what mattered to them. We have been expelled from our country, our hearts are constricted, my wife’s eyes are never dry of tears, only work can save us—and that is our so-called “bourgeois lifestyle.”

Between Two Millstones is available at Amazon in both hardcover and Kindle formats.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Vermont Native American Timeline

At the end of this post is a newly added video of Vermont's State Archeologist, Jesse Robinson, speaking about Vermont pre European contact.

9,500 > Years ago Paleo-Indian Era (Stone Age culture) As the Laurentian ice sheet retreated north,  the first peoples entered VT around 12,500 year ago. Champlain Sea. Warmer than in other locations. Mastodon and mammoth. They traveled as well as traded-stone, which was from New York, Quebec, Maine, Pennsylvania, Ohio and other places. Small groups, less than 10.

3,000-9,500 Years Ago: Archaic Period. Warmer temps helped to shape many kinds of wetland from lakes and ponds to swamps and bogs. Champlain Sea shrunk turning from salt water to fresh water. Lake Champlain was likely lower than its present day level. Hardwood forests appear-beech, oak, ash and maple. Rely on more local stone in VT. Groups began moving to different areas for season. The presence of a large variety of woodworking tools in Archaic assemblages suggest that water crafts were used for travel, fishing, and probably other animal procurement activities. In the latter part of the archaic period, fruit and nut bearing trees began to grow and native populations expanded with communities being forming.  At the end, temperatures drop

Early Woodland 2,000-3,000: Preferred not to live in the higher elevations and spend most of their time in the warmer river valleys. Population decreases. Cemeteries from this period Pottery Bow and Arrow. Connected with people in Ohio and across the Northeast. These were spiritual people who were deeply connected to their ancestors and to the land

Middle Woodland 1,000-2,000 Temps began to rise and with it an increase in population. Once again using stone from far away places for stone tools. Dugout canoes have been found throughout the Champlain Valley. Native Americans in the region had developed a culture based on the selective borrowing of ideas and innovations from other people with whom they had come in contact over the past 9000 years. The people of the Woodland Period were becoming more sedentary in their living habits, and established substantial settlements on the floodplains of major rivers, such as the Winooski and Otter Creek. The subsistence patterns of prehistoric Champlain Valley residents gradually changed from mobile hunting and fishing parties to a dependence upon horticulture and the gathering of a greater diversity and quantity of wild plant foods.

Pre European Contact -1,000 Temps remained steady or slightly increased. Pottery expanded and see pipes for the first time-ceramics. Cultivation of crops-three sisters (corn, beans and squash). Agricultural tips were passed through trade networks. First existence of farming in New England occurs in VT in the 12th Century.
1535: Jacques Cartier (1491-1557) is first European to sight Vermont. Attempts to develop trade relations with the St. Lawrence Iroquois and other tribes living along the banks of the St. Lawrence River. The French attempt to establish a colony in the St. Lawrence Valley during the sixteenth century failed, although sporadic trade for furs in exchange for metal tools did occur between the French and the St. Lawrence tribes. By 1603, the diseases which the St. Lawrence Iroquois contracted from the French spread quickly throughout the Champlain Valley, decimating the native population. The struggle over French trade also caused great unrest in the Champlain Valley. The Mohawk Iroquois, who inhabited primarily the Mohawk Valley, became the dominant tribe from Quebec to Connecticut. By 1609 the Western Abenaki had retreated from the Champlain Valley in an effort to escape destruction at the hands of the Mohawk.

1688: 1688 - 1763 The French and Indian Wars between France and Great Britain for lands in North America consisting of King William's War (1688-1699), Queen Anne's War (1702-1713), King George's War (1744 - 1748) and the French and Indian War aka the Seven Years War (1754-1763)

1688: (1688-1699) King William's War (part of the French and Indian Wars) between France and the Wabanaki Confederacy and England and the Iroquois Confederacy. Peace Treaty made at Pemaquid. August 11,1693. and was ratified on Jan. 7. 1699

1702: (1702-1713) Queen Anne's War (part of the French and Indian Wars) between the French and Spanish colonies allied with the Wabanaki Confederacy, Mohawk, Choctaw, Timucua, Apalachee and Natchez tribes against the British colonies allied with the Muscogee (Creek), Chickasaw and Yamasee tribes.

1744: (1744–1748) King George's War (part of the French and Indian Wars) between the French colonies allied with the Wabanaki Confederacy and the British colonies allied with Iroquois Confederacy

1754: 1754 - 1763: The French Indian War is won by Great Britain

1775: 1783 The
American Revolution.

1776: July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence

1780: Last major Indian raid, led by the British, in Royalton

1812: 1812 - 1815: The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America's Independence

1830: Indian Removal Act

1832: Department of Indian Affairs established

1861: 1861 - 1865: The American Civil War.

1862: U.S. Congress passes Homestead Act opening the Great Plains to settlers

1887: Dawes General Allotment Act passed by Congress leads to the break up of the large Indian Reservations and the sale of Indian lands to white settlers

1931: Vermont approved its sterilization law. Eugenics. Poor and socially ostracized families were targeted for investigation of the three D’s (delinquency, dependency, and mental defect). These families usually lived “outside the accepted moral or social convention of middle class America” (Gallagher, p. 37). The three D’s were used to target the poor, the disabled, French-Canadians, and Native Americans. Women were targeted more than men. French-Canadians and Abenakis were seen as a foe and threat to the early colonial settlers of Vermont.  They represented “an insidious and continuous invasion” of Vermont and were therefore targeted (Gallagher, p. 45).  Studies done on degenerate family lines were often traced back to French Canadian or Native American ancestry and were used to target these groups (Gallagher, pp. 80-82). the last noted sterilization in Vermont occurred in 1957, between 1973 and 1976, approximately 3,400 Native American women, according to the General Accounting Office, were sterilized in the United States without properly obtaining consent (Dowbiggin, p. 181; see also Forbes 2011).

1969: All Indians declared citizens of U.S.

1979: American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed

Today: Vermont has a Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs  and recognizes four Vermont Tribes:
• Abenaki Nation at Missiquoi
  Koasek Band of KoasAbenaki Nation
Elnu Abenak
Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe 

Check out the following video of state archeologist, Jesse Robinson, speaking about Vermont prior to European contact.

Monday, October 1, 2018

CHS Briefs October 1, 2018

Please also check the Cavendish VT Facebook page for photo albums of various CHS activities.

Yes the new doors for the Museum are finally being hung! Things always seem to take longer than we plan on and as a result, the Museum has been closed for the last two weeks. We hope the doors will be working so we can hold our last program of the season at the Museum on Oct. 7- 1st Peoples of the Americas and Vermont. In the event that construction is still underway, we will post notices at the Cavendish VT Facebook page and CHS blog.

Special thanks to Bob Naess and Dave Stern for their ongoing efforts on this project. 

Carmine Guica Young Historians: Between taking the Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) 5th and 6th graders to Constitution Day  at Coolidge, RiverSweep and blueberry picking, the school year is off to a good start. October includes a special workshop on 1st Peoples for the 5th graders as well as the annual trip for the 6th grade to Sturbridge Village. For the first time we will be taking the 4th grade, along with a few students from Green Mountain Union High School, on the Fall Foliage Train History Tour.

Thank you to our incredible volunteers Doris Eddy, Bruce McEnneny, Peggy Svec, and Pang Ting. None of this would be possible without the contributions from Stein van Schaik and the McEnneny’s Blueberry Fund.

Solzhenitsyn:. While Margo Caulfied spoke at the Reading Solzhenitsyn: An International Conference at Northern Vermont University on Sept. 7, it was exciting to host so many conference speakers the following day in Cavendish.

Upcoming activities include:

• October 15: Publication of “Between Two Millstones, Book 1.”  Fast-paced, absorbing, and as compelling as the earlier installments of his memoir The Oak and the Calf (1975), Between Two Millstones begins on February 12, 1974, when Solzhenitsyn found himself forcibly expelled to Frankfurt, West Germany, as a result of the publication in the West of The Gulag Archipelago. Solzhenitsyn moved to Zurich, Switzerland, for a time and was considered the most famous man in the world, hounded by journalists and reporters. During this period, he found himself untethered and unable to work while he tried to acclimate to his new surroundings. There are passages on Solzhenitsyn’s family and their property in Cavendish, Vermont, whose forested hillsides and harsh winters evoked his Russian homeland, and where he could finally work undisturbed on his ten-volume history of the Russian Revolution, The Red Wheel.

• The Solzhenitsyn exhibit continues at the Vermont Historical Society Museum in Montpelier until October 20.

• November 15: Vermont Historical Society at the University Heights South, Room 133.  Presentation by Margo Caulfield “I Wrote and Waited": Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Life in Cavendish, VT

• Margo will also be doing a presentation for the Oshler Center for Life Long Learning at Dartmouth. Date to be announced.

Oct. 7 (Sunday): 1st Peoples of Cavendish Talk will focus on the earliest occupants of the land, dating back 11,000 years ago. It will include a discussion of how North America became occupied and evidence of first occupation in Cavendish. The talk begins at 2 pm.

If you can help with any of the following, please contact CHS; 802-226-7807 or PO Box 472, Cavendish, VT 05142

• Baby Boomers: Recently CHS acquired a fan from the 1950s and it has sparked a conversation that we have far more examples of life in 1800s Cavendish then we do from more recent times. If you have items you would like to donate, CHS is working on a “Life in Cavendish-Baby Boomer Style.”

• CHS is looking for new board members as well as volunteers who can help with various activities.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Progress is being made but the Museum is still closed

We regret that the installation of the new doors is taking more time than originally anticipated and the Museum remains closed.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Museum Closed for Door Repair

New doors are being installed in the Cavendish Historical society (CHS) Museum. Consequently the Museum will be closed on Sunday, Sept. 23. We regret any inconvenience. To arrange for a visit at another time, please call 802-226-7807 or e-mail