Friday, September 30, 2011

Cavendish Semiquincentennial: The 150th Anniversary/Other News

This Sunday, Oct. 2, is the last day the Cavendish Historical Society Museum will be open, 2-4 pm, for the season. Stop by and see the 250 year timeline.

The 250th Anniversary celebration takes place Oct 7-10. Events are as follows:

Oct 7 (Friday): Community Dance, 7 pm at the Cavendish Town Elementary School in Proctorsville. Yankee Chank will be playing a variety of music-contras and squares with Mark Sustic as caller (the dancing of our first settlers); and hot Cajun/Zydeco dance tunes. Given our recent situation, could it be any more fitting to have a Louisiana inspired dance band? Les Bon Temps Roulet! (Let the Good Times Roll)

Oct. 8 (Saturday): Parade on Depot Street in Proctorsville starts at 10 am. We may have an abbreviated parade, but it will be inspired. The grand marshal is Sandra Stearns historian and author of “Cavendish Hillside Farm 1939 to 1957.” A variety of activities will take place as the parade ends at the Proctorsville Green (alternative location is the school). Look for games from the 1700’s that people of all ages can enjoy, food, face painting and much more.

Oct. 9 (Sunday): The Proctorsville/Cavendish churches will be holding an open house/reception at their respective churches from noon until 2 pm. At 2 pm, the authors of “The Inventor’s Fortune Up for Grabs,” Suzanne Gay Beyer, granddaughter of Olin Gay and John S. Pfarr, will be talking about their book at Crows Bakery on Depot Street in Proctorsville. There is a very interesting connection between Cavendish and the popular wristwatch expansion bracelet. This is the iconic American story of the underdog coming from behind to prevail. Please note that the location may need to change if Crows Bakery is not fully operational by that Sunday. The school will be the alternative location.

Oct 10 (Monday): The churches will be sponsoring a pot luck supper at 5 pm at the Cavendish School in Proctorsville, followed by a discussion on the history of religion in Cavendish.

The 150th Anniversary of Cavendish celebration had to be rescheduled to August 1912, due to a smallpox epidemic. Angie Kingsbury wrote to her sister, Marietta, on August 16, 1912 about the parade and events:

I am sending a list of the floats etc. which was printed in the last Tribune. No. 1 was drawn by an ox team the man representing John Coffeen driving the oxen. One person was barefoot and they all looked rather dilapidated. The next to come along was two men riding oxen. They didn’t have any yokes or anything on. ..No. 4 was a man dressed as they did in colonial times-powdered hair, cocked hat & all the fixings-riding on horseback. He looked exactly like George Washington. …No. 5 was an old, old green wagon. No. 7 were men on horseback painted red. A float with evergreens on the bottom covered with cotton to represent snow & two Indians sitting beside an old iron kettle and a bower of evergreen….The Rebekah float, which took first prize, was all white. …The horsback riders were few & the bicycles weren’t so very wonderful. There were quite a few autos. Gay’s took first prize. That was all covered with green & flowers & some little girls around with one perched on the back of the seat holding pink lines that were hitched to the shield in front. Murdock’s was second prize & was draped with golden rod. Fletchters was third & was decorated with sunflowers. The horribles [people dressed in costume] were plentiful. ….Sandford Emery got first prize for being horrible. He drove a scrawny horse hitched to a dilapidated wagon the wheels didn’t go together very well and were patched up boards and he was rigged as an old fat woman, wore a mash(ed) and new fashioned hat and an old cotton dress & brown umbrella with the ribs all sticking out as a sunshade. He had a bundle in his arms for a baby & was labeled “votes for women.” …There were two lineal descendents of Capt. Coffeen there. A man & a woman. The woman made a fine speech. It didn’t take her more than two minutes. The man spoke quite a while… Rev. Hough read an original poem. There were more speakers…

Allen M. Fletcher was to give the closing address at this celebration, but since it was late and beginning to rain, he wisely made just a few short remarks. “Chubb Hill Farm and Cavendish, Vermont: A Family and Town History” by Barbara B. Kingsbury

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