Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Young Historians Handout: Christmas Garlands

December 16. 2009

Dear Young Historians:

Today’s activity is decorating for a 1930’s Christmas. The motto “Repair, reuse, make do and don’t throw anything away” extended to the holidays.

A Christmas tree would be cut down in the woods. Children would help to decorate it with garlands made of paper. Paper doll and snowflake chains would also be made, and cut out snowflakes would be hung in the windows. Stringing popcorn was another popular activity.

If you could afford it, there were special Christmas movies to see. Two popular ones are still shown on TV. They can also be rented. These included: “Babes in Toyland” with Laurel and Hardy (1934) and “Scrooge” with Reginald Owen (1938)

We’ve included a story called “Christmas in the 1930s,” by Tomm Larson.[Available on-line at http://mymerrychristmas.com/2005/xmas30s.shtml] Share this with your family and friends. Notice things that you do that “Grandpa” did in the 1930s.

Some on-line resources for snowflake patterns and other ideas for garlands:

Paper Snowflakes Some of the patterns are based on William Bentley’s photographs. Bentley was called “The Snowflake Man” because he was the first person to photograph ice crystals from snow on his farm in Jericho, Vermont.

Popcorn Garland This can be a treat for the birds after the holiday season ends.

Paper Chains

If you like to fold and cut, try making a Christmas Tree with a star using the technique Kirigami

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Young Historians Handout-Recipes

We will now be posting the handouts we are distributing as part of the Young Historian's Program.

The Young Historian's are students in grades 3-6 at the Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES). This school year we are focusing on life in the village and farm of Cavendish Vermont, which includes the villages of Cavendish and Proctorsville.

December 2, 2009

Dear Young Historians:

Below are the recipes we made today. Try some with your family this holiday season.

Keep in mind that chocolate was very expensive, as were cereals. Many of the nuts used would have come from trees in the area. Because of the expense, these candies were a very special treat for the boys and girls of the 1930’s. They would be made at Christmas time.

Don’t forget that this coming Saturday, December 5, is the craft workshop at the school. We will be selling the candies at the workshop. If you can come and help that would be great. You can help show people how to make paper beads and gift boxes from cards. The workshop begins at 10 am and goes until noon.

Ting- A- Ling: This recipe was modified from the one that appears in the book Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish

- One pound of dark chocolate melted
- Two cups each of Rice Krispies and Cornflakes
- Two cups of nuts (in the book they had hickory nuts, walnuts, pecans or coconut).
Mix well, drop by the teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator to harden

One Bowl Fudge:
- Two packages (8 oz) Semi Sweet Chocolate
- One can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
Melt together.
- Add 2 tsp vanilla and 1 cup chopped nuts. We didn’t use the nuts since some of you said you couldn’t eat them because of braces.
Spread into a foil lined 8 inch square pan. Put in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

John Brown in Cavendish VT

The November 29 Rutland Herald, contains an article about John Brown in Vermont, ) including Cavendish.

Below is the portion of the article that pertains to Cavendish.

What Coffin only discovered six weeks ago, however, was that Brown made a visit to Cavendish in 1857, probably in hopes of securing some of the $20,000 the Vermont Legislature had approved to support anti-slavery settlements in Kansas. Although Vermont's governor at that time, Ryland Fletcher, was a devout abolitionist, he turned down Brown's request for some of the money at the Cavendish meeting.

Coffin tripped across a newspaper recounting of the visit in a microfilmed copy of the Rutland Herald from May 7, 1869.

The writer, who is not identified, described how Brown's physical appearance on that visit differed from the bearded photographs taken around the time of the Harpers Ferry raid.

"... Hair closely cut, beard neatly shaven, tight, stiff stock around his neck, no collar, or dickey, closely fitting swallow-tailed coat ..." the newspaper described. "As soon as it was known that 'John Brown' was stopping in our village, all manifested a desire to see and hear the man ... Notice was given that he would meet the people at the school house, and at the appointed hour an audience assembled.

"We introduced the modest and unassuming old man ... He went on and told the tale of his struggles with the despotism of slavery ... We little thought then how soon 'John Brown's body' would be mouldering in the ground, but his soul was even at that hour 'marching on.'"

"I thought, 'Wow,' Coffin said of the article's discovery. "It's an authentic account, there's no question because you couldn't make this stuff up. It's somebody in Cavendish who was working for the Herald."

Brown was raising money all over New England at that time. "I'm sure he had Harpers Ferry in mind then," Coffin said. "You can see what a celebrity he is here. People apparently flocked to see him, to meet him."