Friday, August 27, 2010

Young Historians/Proctorsville

Celebrating Proctorsville
The Cavendish Historical Society is pleased to announce that this fall, we will be focusing on Proctorsville. On September 12, there will be a walking tour of Proctorsville, starting at 1 pm in front of the Proctorsville War Memorial. Learn about an Inn with a ghost, the hotels that once graced Depot Street, see the homes that were built by the founder of Proctorsville, Capt. Leon Proctor, and much more. There are 16 stops on the tour. Copies of the tour, available on the 12th, will also be at the Cavendish Library, starting September 14. Be advised that there are some hills, so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.

For the month of October, there will be a pictorial display of Proctorsville in the Cavendish Library.

On October 10, the annual cemetery tour will take place at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Proctorsville at 2 pm. There will be a second guided Proctorsville Walking Tour that day starting at 1 pm at the War Memorial, which will include the Cemetery tour. Carmine Guica, one of CHS’s genealogists, will have information about who is buried in this Cemetery. If you don’t know the story of “Fire Bug Fitton,” Carmine will tell you about it when you visit the family grave plot.

Young Historians Program
The Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) in conjunction with the Cavendish Town Elementary School, will be offering a Young Historians program for students in grades 3-6 on Wednesday mornings from 11:30 to noon. Our focus this year is the 1940s. For the first half of the school year, we will be doing activities relating to Cavendish’s response to WWII. The second semester will focus on the changes that took place when the veterans came home. Funding in part for this program has come from the Cavendish Community Fund. If you are interested in helping with the program, or have stories or memorabilia from this era, please contact Margo at or 226-7807

Monday, August 23, 2010

Russell Family

The following is from Linda Welch, the CHS genealogist.

Rev. John Russell (5) { Noadiah (4), Noadiah (3), Noadiah (2), William (1)}, was born in Chatham, Connecticut, 14 Dec., 1751. He m. in Cavendish, 10 May, 1778 Lucretia Preston of Ashford, Conn. (b. Ashford, Connecticut, 19 Feb., 1762, dau. of Abial & Mehitable (Smith) Preston)

The marriage of Lucretia and John was the second recorded marriage in Cavendish, the first being that of Michael Coffeen on 14 April, 1778

When John was around 24 years old, he came to Cavendish with his brother, Noadiah. This was in 1771. That same year, John was elected the first town clerk and justice of the peace. With self study, he became an "old fashioned Baptist preacher" and was nicknamed, "John the Baptist." This name stuck with him, even in later years. We have no record that he was formally ordained, but he was well respected.

On 28 Oct., 1781, John Russell purchased Proprietor Mesheck Ware's original Right of Cavendish land, lying in the southeasterly corner of the "Mill Lot," so-called, south to the town line, etc. The seller was Daniel Cheney of Union (Windham Co) Connecticut, who was acting as agent for Mr. Ware. This parcel contained 312 acres of land altogether. (Vol. 1, page 107, Cavendish land records)

Lucretia's parents, the Prestons, had come from Ashford, Connecticut to Cavendish very early, but did most of them did not remain long. A deed dated Charlestown, NH, 29 Jan., 1773, shows Abiel Preston, 'then of Rockingham, Cumberland Co. NY, (which was Windsor Co., Vt.), paying John Church of Charlestown, NH, #11 for securing his hold on a 262 acre parcel of Cavendish land when Church went to NY state to receive a New York charter for Cavendish.

From the HENRY B. ATHERTON PAPERS; MEMORIES OF THE RUSSELL FAMILY, by E. E. Orcutt, Taftsville, Vt., 1879: "John Russell was born in Chatham, now Middletown Connecticut. And through all his long and useful life his advent must have been a reminder of "Merry Christmas," since it has been said of him by his children that he never was known to use a more rude or stern expression than: "It beats all that ever I saw, since the day that I was born." But his gentle manners and genial spirit did not make him shrink when duty called from encountering nature in her primitive wildness, or from successfully grappling with all the trials and difficulties attending the settlement of a new country. Accordingly while yet a young man, he left his native state and joined an older brother, Noadiah Russell, who had already as early as 1771, made Cavendish, Vermont his home. Here John Russell was of great service in forming the society of the new town, holding the offices of Town Clerk and Justice of the Peace for many years. Being as I was told by his son, Deacon Bliss Russell, late of Cavendish, the first town clerk and first justice of the peace. Thompson's Gazetteer to the contrary. And I have now a letter from Thompson saying that if he ever revised his Gazetteer, he would correct the mistake. But Thompson has since died and I take this opportunity to make the corrections that the history of the town of Cavendish may stand corrected. John Russell's higher office of Baptist preacher in those early times, was equally faithfully discharged. And it shows the characteristic activity and energy of those times that while he with his hands cleared the wilderness, planted an orchard and built him a home, his intellectual powers were called into requisition for the benefit of his townsmen; and his spiritual nature lacked not food, which he drew from the world of God for himself and distributed to his neighbors. In 1778 he was married to Lucretia. Her family were connected by marriage with John Coffeen "by whom," says Thompson, "the settlement of Cavendish was commenced in June, 1769, and at whose hospitable dwelling, thousands of our Revolutionary soldiers received refreshments." Mrs. Russell, though ten years younger than her husband, proved herself every way worthy the choice of so excellent a man. John Russell often preached at what was then called "Twenty-Mile Stream" as well as in his own neighborhood, and not long since I had the pleasure of hearing his sermons praised by one of his longtime ago hearers, a nephew of his wife. Esquire Russell was, for a short time, engaged in mercantile business in Cavendish and the "Prices Current" in New York in 1795 show that the wants of the times were then as well as now; "nails and tobacco."

But the cards for carding wool and flax are discarded and the generation is fast passing away that even remembers the day when they were the requisites of every household. It was said of Robert Burns that he was "too good a poet to be a good farmer," and it might equally be said of Esquire Russell that he was too much occupied with the welfare of his town to attend to amassing a fortune for himself, though he always, like Melancthon, kept open doors. And later in life he inherited quite a little patrimony from his father's estate in Connecticut. He was often away from home officiating at weddings and funerals or some difficulty between neighbors for which his quiet manners and good judgment eminently fitted him. He was no partisan. Where duty went, there he went and right was right in his eyes wherever found. He had no sympathy with crowned heads. He remarked when Napoleon Bonaparte was bearing sway, "His name is Bone - a - part, but he needed to bone the whole." History shows how such characters terminate their career, and no talents however brilliant, not enlisted in the cause of human rights, will win for their possessors the love of succeeding generations. John Russell was a man eminently beloved in his community as well as in his family. His children were made his equals in companionship, free and familiar in their happy intercourse with each other; they never feared to ask his advice or tell him their troubles, sure of wise counsel and affectionate sympathy.

Family Letters:
Cavendish, 14 Dec., 1831
To: Dr. and Mrs. Gray
From: Lucretia Russell
My children: I seat myself to write to you but feel myself incapable both in body and mind for my health is poor. I have no reason to expect to stay in this world long. This world is not my home. When I awake in the morning I say "bless the Lord O My Soul" for all His benefits that I am yet in the land of the living. I was glad to see a line from you but it is more agreeable to see ones' dear children face to face. Your sister Polly's health is very poor but we are in hopes her health will be better in the spring. Give my love to all your children. I remain your loving and tender mother -Lucretia Russell.

More from MEMORIES OF THE RUSSELL FAMILY, by E. E. Orcutt, 1879: "John and Lucretia were the parents of seven children. The first son that bore his father's name, John Jr. died when an infant of 17 months and though the father lived to be an octogenarian, he did not forget this little son ever. I have heard my mother, his youngest daughter [Eunice Gray] says the very last time she ever saw her father he spoke of "the little boy that died." The other six children, three sons and three daughters, lived to maturity; and all early gave their hearts of Jesus and led consistent Christian lives. Though John Russell has been called a "strict Calvinist" by some, he doubtless was. But nevertheless he was not a bigoted sectarian. When his youngest daughter thought proper to unite with the Congregational Church and first consulted her honored father with regard to the propriety of the step, he made no objects. When his second daughter, the present only survivor of the family, was under religious conviction she arose at midnight and expressed her fears to her parents that she had sinned away the day of grace. His reply is worthy of record for the benefit of others in similar doubts. He said, "no my daughter. If you had you would have no concern for yourself." He and his wife arose at that midnight hour and prayed with their daughter and in about one week she found "peace and joy in believing." The next day was Thanksgiving day and the happiest Thanksgiving day of her life. She lately assured me, and though now in her 83rd year, still looks back with thankfulness to the time when Christ spoke pardon to her soul. This faithful discharge of Christian duty on the part of the parents may have been the means God used to bring their children early to find a saving knowledge of Christ. And it is hoped its record may inspire other Christian parents with like faithfulness.

Their eldest daughter born in 1782, became the wife of Levi Jackman, Esq., who was many times the town's representative from Cavendish. After a life of usefulness, she died in Cavendish at the age of 70 years. The death of the eldest son in 1785, age 17 months was a blow to both John and his beloved wife Lucretia. They carried him to the cemetery and bid goodbye to him in body but vowed never to forget him in spirit. Sally Russell married David G. Perkins and at this date (1879) is the only survivor of her father's family. Bliss Russell, named for his grandmother Russell who was a "Bliss" was born in 1788 and many years was deacon of the Baptist Church in Cavendish. He died at the age of 72 years having perfect consciousness of the near close of life and sending loving farewell messages to his friends and family. Eunice Russell married a physician Dr. Gray. Always cheerful, affectionate and discreet, leaving the record of a well spent life, she died in Hartford at the age of 68 years in 1859. John Russell Jr. graduated at Middlebury College in 1817 and was married in 1818. He went West where his literary labors, identified with the development of his adopted state won for him a worthy renown. He died in Bluffdale, Illinois at the age of 69 in 1863. Elias Russell was born 15 May, 1796 in Cavendish. He was twice married and died in his native town, 12 Feb., 1868, age 62 years, the youngest of the band.

I have a few letters that have come down to me from Grandfather and Grandmother Russell, also some of Grandmother Gray's who was sister to the Rev. Aaron Bancroft, father of the historian and diplomat George Bancroft. Also letters from my Mother containing poetic thought and religious counsel and reflection worthy of publication. Also have quite a long correspondence of Uncle Dr. J. Russell's which are literary gems of rare value. Also many letters from his excellent and accomplished wife, and a few precious letters from Aunt Perkins whose husband was related to the distinguished singers of that name, exhibiting literary merit and religious experience. With some sweet mementos of the other members of that rare hospitable and loving Russell family, but the character of your Magazine forbids that I should lengthen this sketch by even brief quotations from the above mentioned sources. I know that a Genealogical record of the Russell family has been compiled in Middletown, Connecticut, and is now ready for the press."

Lucretia died 19 Jan., 1834 (age 72 years). Rev. John died at Cavendish, 1 Aug., 1836 (age 84).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

CHS Newsletter: Scribbler II Summer 2010

More Hawks Mountain Cannon Hikes
In the continuing effort to find out if there is a cannon on Hawks Mountain, dating back to the French and Indian War, Larry Lindbergh and Mitch Benoit recently took a hike and found the plaque and geodetic marker. The plaque reads, “This spot was occupied in 1875 as a station in the primary triangulation of the geodetic survey of the United States. It was reoccupied September 1921 by the Porter Telescope Makers of Springfield Vermont, who erected a tower and dedicated this tablet a year later. Latitude 43 degrees 22.1 minutes N Longitude 72 Degrees 34.8 minutes W.” According to the information we’ve received from Cavendish residents, who are no longer with us, the cannon was near the plaque. Because of summer foliage, it was difficult going. A hike is being planned after the leaves have fallen. If you are interested in participating, please e-mail or call 802-226-7807.

What Can We Pass On?
Because of my role as Coordinator with the Cavendish Historical Society (CHS), I’ve been in a unique position to study not only how people responded to the Great Depression in the 1930’s-that was the focus of the Society this past year- but am also collecting stories of how our town is being impacted by the current recession. In compiling the Cavendish Business Directory for May 2010, I couldn’t help but notice how many small home-based businesses are gone. Considering they are the backbone of our economy, that’s a very telling sign.

As co-director of Chronic Conditions Information Network, I spend quite a bit of time helping people deal with their respective health care crisis. The combination of the two roles has made me think a lot about our current situation.

Many are having a rough time. While the economic situation is a major contributing factor, so too is the aging of the “baby boomer” generation. It’s a “perfect storm” for frustration, anger, fear, anxiety and “just what is going to happen next”

I’ve been looking at things through a 1930’s lens. In Cavendish, people didn’t have a lot to begin with. If you worked in the mills, you had the risk of being laid off, but you could still tend a garden, hunt and fish, which certainly made things a bit easier than if you lived in a city. If all else failed, there were the wild blackberries and raspberries of August. I’ve met more than one Vermonter who refuses to eat berries as they constituted a large part of their diet in the 30s.

Life was hardly easy. People did what they could to help each other. Their ideas of renew, reuse and recycle make the best of our green living practices look shabby. Trying to live a 30’s lifestyle today isn’t realistic. However, we can learn from them just as future generations will learn from our experiences.

With that in mind, below is my take on thriving during these difficult times thanks to those people from Depression era Cavendish. What are your ideas? The more we collect, the more helpful it maybe to future generations. E-mail your ideas to or mail them to CHS, PO Box 472, Cavendish VT 05142.

• Turn off the TV and computer and only listen or read the news for about a half hour each day. In the 30’s there was no TV or computer. Most of the folks in our town only had a chance to listen to a little bit of radio in the evening. If you were lucky to have electricity, and not have to hook the radio to a car battery, you could listen to “The Shadow Knows,” and the birth of the Big Band. Keep in mind that our news today has the philosophy of “If it bleeds, it leads.” The more frightening and upsetting the story, the more it will make headlines and the various news programs will devote hours to it. You can make yourself nuts in short order on this stuff.

. • Cook. Avoid the processed foods and enjoy what’s appearing at our local farmer’s markets or from your garden. Share your extra with friends, family, and neighbors.

• Walk or ride a bike. Leave the car at home whenever possible. If you want more exercise you can help the Historical Society with their Cemetery Preservation project by cleaning stones. You’ll get a good workout, learn some interesting history, and help the town at the same time.

• Invest in your friends and neighbors and create social opportunities. When I interviewed Sophie Snarski, a fiddler, who graduated from high school in 1933, she said she played three nights a week. There were “kitchen hops,” dances that rotated among the various farmers, plays, movies, and town dances that took place weekly. Because they weren’t competing with TV, Netflicks and various activities in other towns, people turned out for events. When I first asked Sophie about the 30’s, she talked a great deal about the good times they had and how much better the community was connected than today. It was only when I asked specific questions about the depression did she relate how strapped her family was for money. In this difficult era she created positive memories that have lasted her a lifetime.

• Churches and the Grange played a major role in the lives of people in the 30’s. My take on that is join something. Those that belong to a church, Rotary or any other such group have a built in a strong social network. If there is a problem, people know about it and can help. Having a spiritual belief is very important for most people. It helps to support you through the rough spots.

• Do something enjoyable that engages you. It might be going to Six Loose Ladies on a Thursday night to work on knitting-again that social piece. However, anything that fully engages your mind, and gives your brain a break is going to make things a bit easier. Reducing cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in the brain is a real plus.

• Hang out with people that make you laugh.

• Less is more. Enjoy what you have and don’t obsess about what you don’t have. It’s not “stuff” that makes life worth living. Make time for the important things-a hot cup of tea with a friend on a cold winter morning; a hike up Hawk’s Mountain with your kids; a pot luck at a neighbors; helping an elderly neighbor with snow removal or putting in their garden; and watching for shooting stars on a warm August night.

• We’re all connected. The more we obsess about world issues (the 30’s had the Dust Bowl) and ignore the joys in our own community, the more challenging life becomes. Keep in mind that the joy and happiness we generate in our own lives, spreads among us and beyond.

• Warren Buffett probably said it as well as anyone when he responded to the question about how to measure success, "When you get to my age, you'll measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. That's the ultimate test of how you've lived your life."

• Be flexible and willing to change. Cavendish had to make a lot of adjustments in the 1930s, not only due to the economy, but also because the town was inundated with men from other parts of the country as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Some of these men stayed, married local women and helped the town grow in new directions.

Cemetery Preservation

Thanks to our volunteers and donations, we are working weekly to restore the stones in the seven Cavendish cemeteries. Memorial Day weekend, CHS held the first of what we hope will be an annual event of cleaning and righting stones. Our focus was the Hillcrest Cemetery in Proctorsville, since the town was holding their Memorial Day activities there. Next year, we will rotate to the Cavendish Cemetery on High Street.

In June, the students in grades 4 and 6 worked hard in the Proctor Cemetery. They raked leaves and scrubbed monuments. Several of the sixth graders are working with us this summer as part of the community service requirements for junior high. We hope to have grades 4-6 work with us in the fall and spring to help restore this cemetery.

While many people visit the various cemeteries, placing flowers on family and friends graves, few take the time to clean the marker. CHS in conjunction with the Cavendish Cemetery Commission held a workshop July 18 and plan more for September, to teach people how to care for the newer monuments. Interestingly, newer stones, with the rough cut areas, can be a lot harder to clean than older stones if left unattended. Recently, two volunteers worked for almost two hour cleaning a stone, which was less than 30 years old. Lichen and algae was growing on the “rough cut” areas and inside the lettering.

When visiting our cemeteries, don’t expect to see “bright white” stones. We follow the National Park Service’s guidelines on monument cleaning, whose first principal is do no harm. We do not use bleach. Our goal is to keep the stones preserved for generations to come.

CHS has developed a handout on monument cleaning, which is available from the Town office, the Cavendish Library, and the CHS Museum. It can also be obtained by e-mailing and writing “Monument Guidelines” in the subject heading.

Contrary to popular belief, purchasing a perpetual care plan doesn’t ensure the upkeep of the stone. Nationally, many cemeteries find these funds barely cover lawn maintenance, which has ultimately led to the abandonment of many old cemeteries.

Because our cemeteries are a reflection of our history, CHS is working to ensure that this doesn’t happen in our town. You can help us in this effort by volunteering and/or sending donations.

CHS Receives Cavendish Community Fund Grant
CHS is pleased to announce that we have received a Cavendish Community Fund (CCF) grant to help with the Cemetery Preservation Project and for our Young Historian’s Program, which begins in September at the Cavendish Town Elementary School. We will be focusing on the 1940’s this year.

Raffles to Benefit CHS
CHS has two raffles underway to assist with our funding needs. The first is an “instant wine bar.” First prize is a minimum of 25 bottles of wine, 2nd and 3rd prizes are a case of Woodchuck Cider and the 4th prize is a variety of “schwag” from Harpoon Brewery.

A Bargello quilt made by Carolyn Van Tassell, sister of CHS board member Bruce McEnaney, is also being raffled. Van Tassell, a former teacher of Family & Consumer Science at Springfield High School, has been quilting for 30 years. She teaches workshops throughout the state, including Fletcher Farm. She is owner of Fine Line Machine Quilting. Her quilts were recently exhibited at the CHS Quilt Show 4th of July weekend. The quilt is on display at Six Loose Ladies in Proctorsville.

Tickets are $5 a piece or 3 for $10. The drawing for both raffles will be October 17 at the annual meeting. You need not be present to win. Tickets can be purchased by mail by sending a check to CHS, PO Box 472, Cavendish VT 05142.

Cavendish Grange Hall Curtain Restored
Under the direction of the Vermont’s Painted Theater Curtains, a group of volunteers from the Cavendish Historical Society (CHS), worked with professional conservators to restore the Cavendish Grange Hall curtain on Friday, July 30.

Clyde (Puss) Bailey signed the curtain in 1951. It is believed that the curtain may be an older Crystal Arts curtain, since the central scene is similar to other curtains of this type. The local advertisements that surround the central scene of a pond and trees, include: P.K. Brown, Ludlow Insurance, Paul W. Adams, Mumford Drum Corps, Bixby’s Dairy, Spaulding’s Restaurant, Specialty Press, Tom’s Taxi, Gileris Market, Ludlow Grain & Supply and Windsor National Bank.

The curtain was installed at the CHS Museum in 2007, when the Grange was closed. The curtain can be seen at the Museum on Sundays from 2-4 pm.

Thank you to the CHS volunteers Bob and Cooper Naess, Wendy Regier and Mike Pember for a job well done.

Cavendish Historical Society Board
Dan Churchill
Jen Harper
Cheryl Leiner
Gloria Leven
Bruce McEnaney
Mike Pember
Gail Woods

Upcoming Events
Please note that the Duttonsville Reunion was cancelled for this year but will be part of activities planned for summer 2011.

September 12 (Sunday): Walking tour of historic Proctorsville village. Meet at the Proctorsville Green at 2 pm.

September 22 (Wednesday): Young Historians begins at the Cavendish Elementary School for the 2010-2011

October 10 (Sunday): Walking tour of Proctorsville and Hillcrest Cemetery Tour. Note the walking tour begins at 1 pm on the Proctorsville Green. The Hillcrest Cemetery Tour, led by Carmine Guica, will take place at 2 pm at the Cemetery.

October 17 (Sunday): Annual meeting. More information to follow

November 27 (Saturday): Annual Holiday Fair at the Cavendish

If 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.

Name: _______________________________________

Address: _______________________________________________

Phone Number: _____________________ E-Mail: _____________________________

Membership Level

__ Individual Member $10 ___ Senior Member 65+ $5 ___ Sustaining Member $500
__ Household Member $15 ___ Contributing Member $250

___ I would be interested in serving, as a volunteer .I would be interested in serving on the following committee(s):

__ Program Planning __ Fundraising __ Building (Museum)
__Archives __ Budget ___ Young Historians

Donations are always welcome and can be designated as follows:

__ For general purposes __ Educational Programs __Publications
__ Archeological Activities __ Museum & Archival __ Special Events
__ Rankin Fund __ Williams Fund __ Young Historians
__ Other (please specify)
___ Cemetery Restoration

Friday, August 13, 2010

Joshua Parker Green/Loom Restoration

We are currently restoring a loom thought to be made by Joshua Parker Green in the Civil War era. Our goal is to have a "sheep to shawl" demonstration next summer using local sheep, a spinning wheel in the Museum and the loom. You can stop by during Museum hours-2-4 pm on Sunday, to watch our progress.

A great grandfather of board president Dan Churchill, we wanted to learn more about JP Green. To that end, CHS genealogist Linda Welch was kind enough to send us the following information about him.

Joshua Parker Green(6) {Isaac(5), Isaac(4), Isaac(3), Eleazer(2), William(1)}, was born at Plymouth, Vermont 30 Aug., 1822. He was known by all as "Parker" Green. He m. 1st at Ludlow, 26 Jan., 1856 Nancy (Johnson) Green (his brother James' widow). After giving him five children, three of whom died in infancy, Nancy died of 'brain disease', 27 April, 1878. Parker m. 2nd, Widow Phoebe (Gould) Russell (b. Shrewsbury, Vt., 30 Dec., 1826, dau. of Chester & Hannah Gould, and widow of Alonzo Russell of Shrewsbury, who died 18 Oct., 1870). Phoebe died of paralysis in Cavendish, 7 Nov., 1887 (age 59).

The newspaper reported of Phoebe: " Mrs. Green was one of a family of ten children- seven boys and three girls- six of whom are now living. her son, A. N. Russell of Hartland and her two daughters, Mrs. W. W. Philbrick of Plymouth Union, and Ella J. Russell of Hartland, were present with her towards the end. She was taken in apoplectic fit on Friday morning, becoming unconscious and remaining in that condition until Monday noon when she died." Her funeral was held at Plymouth Union, with Rev. G. Wright of Shrewsbury officiating. and her remains taken to Shrewsbury for burial. "She was a kind and affectionate wife and a loving mother."

Parker m. 3rd in Chester (at the residence of Mr. Hall Brewer, by Rev. H. B. Tilden), 5 Oct., 1890, Sarah Jane (Hall) Orcutt of Sherburne, Vt. (b. 1825, dau. of James & Rebecca Hall).

Parker had quite a large family himself. He and his first wife, Nancy moved from Plymouth to Twenty-Mile Stream in Cavendish, where they bought a large farm on 5 Dec., 1856. This farm was known as "Green Acres."

-Twenty-Mile Stream, 1 Feb., 1876: "J. P. Green has killed four pigs, the four past years that ranged from nine to nine and one half months old, weighed when dressed, 412, 440, 465, and 404 pounds, respectively. In the year 1873, he killed a heifer two years and 7 months old that weighed when dressed, 765 pounds. He also has a flock of sixty sheep that have averaged to shear nearly six and one-half pounds of good, well, washed wool each year, one half of the number raised lambs each year, and in raising 137 lambs, did not loose a lamb until after they were a year old."

-6 Nov., 1891: "Elwin J. Parker has sold his farm to Parker Green." -4 Aug., 1893: "We saw a horse pitch fork in operation Tues. on the farm of J. P. Green, and were favorably impressed with its work as a labor saving implement. Walton A. Green informed us it would do the work of three or four men in unloading and placing hay in the upper part of the barn." -30 Nov., 1894: "Miss Ellen McCullough, a woman about 65 years of age, and who seemed to be without home or friends, died very suddenly on 19 Oct., at the home of Parker Green." -Proctorsville, 15 March, 1895: "Parker Green, who has been sick for a long time, was able to come to the village last Thursday, the first time for two months. He came to meet his sister at the depot, Mrs. Cheney, from Massachusetts, who had come to visit him." -9 Nov., 1900: "J. P. Green and Mrs. Florence Haven of Proctorsville visited their relatives, Mrs. Randelia Pierce and Mrs. Ruth White at W. R. Simmons in Reading last Tuesday."

Sarah Jane died at Cavendish of a disease of the heart and liver, 1 April, 1899 (age 74).

After his third wife's death, Parker moved in with his son James. -Proctorsville 2 April, 1908: "J. P. Green, who is in his 86th year, who has not for the past years done any active work on his farm, has busied himself making many useful and ornamental articles of wooden ware, such as spoons of various sizes, several sizes of stands, clothes sticks, paper knives, knives and forks, wooden knitting needles, canes with the handles made from the root, showing many odd designs. His latest is cutting out little mustard spoons which are neat and pretty in shape." -3 Sept., 1908: "Mr. Wesley Archer of Rutland came down to visit with James Green for the day and took the old gent for an auto ride on his 86th birthday." - 10 March, 1910: "Parker Green was taken with a dizzy spell last Sunday morning and fell to the floor, bruising himself quite badly, and is now confined to the bed." - 24 March, 1910: "Parker Green has so far recovered from his fall as to have his clothes on Tuesday." -17 Nov., 1910: "Parker Green had a severe attack of heart failure Monday and at his writing is very low."

Parker died at his home on Twenty-Mile Stream, Tuesday afternoon, 10 Jan., 1911 (age 88).

From his obituary; "Mr. Green was a hard working man and after he became too feeble to work out doors he busied himself making wooden implements such as paper knives, knitting needles, spoons, butter ladies, clothes sticks, canes, milking stools, light stands, etc. he has made over thirty different kinds of utensils since he was 80 years old. He had requested that the following hymns be sung at his funeral: 'Shall We Gather At The River", and "Pilgrims' Farewell" which were sung by Miss Nellie Haven Johnson of Proctorsville. For nearly a quarter of a century, Mr. Green had driven the same faithful little mare which seemed to have almost human understanding in being so gentle and good to stand for him to get in and out of the carriage after he became old and feeble It was also his request that if 'Nellie' outlived him, she should draw his remains to their last resting place, which she did. There is not a person now living between Proctorsville and Bridgewater who lived there when he bought the farm in 1856 where he has since lived. Since the first of last May there have been five persons buried in Twenty-Mile Stream Cemetery, all old neighbors an former residents of this place. There were Mrs. Charles Witherell, Mrs. Wm. Smith, Mrs. Ozro Spaulding, Mrs. P. K. Spaulding, and now Joshua Parker Green. They were all over 80 years old. Mr. Green being the oldest."

A TRIBUTE TO J. P. GREEN (by J. Ashton Spaulding, Amsden, Vt., 23 Jan., 1911): "I have known Mr. Green all my life, having lived within plain sight of his home until I was 37 years old. He was of rugged Revolutionary stock, his grandfather, Issac Green served seven years in the Revolutionary army, losing a finger at Bunker Hill. On his maternal side he was descended from Capt. Joshua Parker of the Continental army. Mr. Green began life as a poor boy and succeeded in making himself a comfortable home. When he bought the farm upon which he died it was a rocky and comparatively rough farm and in many places banks had been plowed up until Mr. Green in plowing them down found old sod trees feet below the ten top of the ground Some of these places one could not drive a cart and oxen on, and now those same places can be mowed with a machine. He made a yoke some 8 feet long especially for plowing in these places, plowing them diagonally, turning the furrows off down the hill and then harrowing them across and down, until now these pieces have a gradual slope. He also at all convenient times dug out and blasted out the numerous stones, until about 1876 he bought a stone puller with which he pulled out stones, blocking them up so when a little snow came he hauled them to the bank of the stream where he placed them on brush and in the bank to keep it from breaking off. Some of these stones were so big it took two yoke of oxen to draw them down hill, while others of these stones taken out with the puller had to be blasted. After a while, he got to using dynamite for blasting many of these big stones, some of them 15 feet long, until now I don't think there are two acres of the mowings but what cane be cut over with a machine and without a stone, but what a machine will pass over. There were also numerous wet places and swailes which he ditched out until now there is but one swale and perhaps one and one-acres of wet untillable land on the mowings. He took down old walls and took the small stones to put into the bank of the stream, and replaced them in these walls by big stones, some of which were eight and ten feet long. All the surplus stones he had ample room for to protect the banks of the treacherous 20-Mile Stream, balding them from either side down hill. I have known him to haul them on an ox sled, taking one half cord a load. Finally he got the banks of the stream so thoroughly protected that it now has to take the straight and narrow path. All of the choice stones suitable for use in ditches or for stone posts of doorsteps he always saved out. In the 1870s, he replaced the old and poor set of buildings with an entirely new set of more convenient buildings. He built a thoroughly substantial set of buildings that in their every part showed his thoroughness in all his farm operations. In the buildings of his barn he had the cellar wall laid in the fall before he built the barn. He himself fitted the place for each bottom stone and he got the most perfect barn cellar wall ever laid in Cavendish. He had never failing water from a spring that is boxed with slabs of soapstone. In my opinion, Mr. Green, taking all things into consideration ,was the best farmer that ever lived in Cavendish, and if many more farms on the hills and in the valleys of dear old Vermont had been peopled by men like Joshua Parker Green, they would not have worn the God-forsaken aspect they do today. Mr. Green was also prominent in the building of the little white schoolhouse on Twenty-Mile Stream in 1861 and he was the last person living in the district that lived there at that time. Mr. Green's farm is one of the few that at the present time are being worked by the sons of the men that spent all their life and strength in improving it."


1. James Parker, b. 8 Nov., 1857.
2. Waldo Amos, b. 29 Jan., 1863 ....... died of the 'bloody pimples', 28 July, 1863
3. Norris, b. 10 May, 1866 ....... died of typhoid fever, 16 May, 1866
4. Nora, b. 10 May, 1866 [twin] ....... died of typhoid fever, 19 May, 1866
5. Walton Amasa, b. 21 Sept., 1868

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hawks Mountain Cannon

For many years, a rumor has circulated that during the French and Indian War a cannon(s) were left on Hawks Mountain. This summer, various members of CHS have been making hikes up the mountain and talking to various people about any information they have about the cannon. Several people reported that the cannon was near the geodetic marker. Ken Slater forwarded the following information in this regard:

I read with interest your short article on searching for a cannon on Hawks Mountain. I thought I would share with you what I know. As Webmaster for the Springfield Telescope Makers, I'm quite familiar with the plaque, placed in 1921, one year after Russell W. Porter started his Telescope Making classes at J&L in Springfield, and two years before the formal founding of our club on December 7, 1923.

As Porter was the navigator and mapper on several artic explorations in the late 1890's to 1910's, he had a great interest in the geodetic survey work (in fact, he cajoled the geodetic survey people to place a geodetic survey marker in front of our clubhouse on Breezy Hill several years later). So he lead the club member up Hawks, found the geodetic survey site, and they erected a tower on the site so they could triangulate from Breezy Hill and other spots.

There are photos of this group on Hawks Mountain in Bert Willard's biography of Porter. In our archives we a few more photos, and some journals. I am sorry to tell you, if there was a cannon near the plaque (and the photos show that area to be much more open than it is today), there has never been a mention of a cannon, which one would think might get photographed or written about.

I have also been up to visit the plaque, and I have never stumbled across a cannon. Good luck to you, but I suspect if there is a cannon up there, it is not anywhere near the plaque.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dr. Spafford Cavendish 1879

Linda Welch, the Historical Society's genealogist, submitted the following:

Dr. George Spafford came to Cavendish in 1879. He lived right next to the Universalist Church. He was quite a socialite and often hosted and attended cultural events in the area. This one took place while Glimmerstone was owned by F. W. Ely. (pass it around).

NEWS: --Cavendish, 29 Aug., 1879: "For a quiet little place whose mills are burned, and business gone (as our rival towns tell us), we manage to have some very enjoyable times, quite up to the level, perhaps than most ambitious localities. It is very fortunate for us that Dr. Spafford's family love music and flowers, as well as pills and patients. Thursday night of last week, Mrs. Spafford gave a quiet little entertainment. The inmates of 'the Fourteen Gables,' as your editor has named F. W. Ely's residence, which has that number by actual count, were there as well as others. Of course Mr. & Mrs. G. W. DeLano of NY sang solos and duets, and were heartily encored. Mrs. H. Clay of Boston, sang a solo or two and some pieces with others. Mrs. Stiles Bent rendered a voluntary on the piano with such skill and beauty that an encore called her back when she gave the grand 'Old Oaken Bucket' in a most charming manner and to the delight of all present. The parlor, hall, porch, and door yard were filled with attentive and appreciative listeners, some from Proctorsville. Saturday evening essentially the same company gathered at General Davis' [the Red Brick House] Miss L. M. Kendall played most of the accompaniments and at Dr. Spafford's request, rendered one of the Chopin's waltzes in a manner that compelled the most enthusiastic applause. The DeLanos, Mrs. Clay, and Mrs. Spafford sang, of course, to the delight of all. Mr. DeLano's humorous piece, "Old Grimes Cellar Door" was called for on each occasion. Mrs. DeLano's "Entreat Me Not To Leave Thee" was especially gratifying. Mrs. Dora B. Smith of Boston, gave two specimens of her ability and skill as a reader. Her selections were humorous, but they were recited in a most perfect manner. She is an elocutionist of rare talent and excellent culture and it is too bad that we have not had a public reading from her while on her vacation. As the week waned and the Sabbath drew near, the entertainment broke up, not without a slight feeling of sadness, as several of the artists were to leave town Monday. We cherish a slight felling of pride over these unpretending, but highly enjoyable entertainments."