The Cavendish Historical Society's accepts tax-deductible contributions to help preserve our history. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org 802-226-7807 or PO Box 472 Cavendish, VT 05142 The CHS Museum is located at 1958 Main Street (Route 131) in Cavendish.
Today, Dec. 11, is the birthday of Alexksandr Solzhenitsyn, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1970, and spent 18 years (1976-1994) in exile from Russia living in Cavendish, VT. While here, he wrote the “Red Wheel.” Solzhenitsyn died in 2008 in Russia.
For many generations now, children and adults alike have enjoyed the
books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who described what early pioneer life was like
in the late 1800s. Many in Cavendish are not aware that we have our own Laura
Ingalls Wilder in the form of Sandra Stearns. Her book Cavendish Hillside Farms
1939-1957 describes what it was like growing up
on a East Hill Rd farm in Cavendish, attending the Center Road School, the one
room school house on the corner of Town Farm and Center Roads. Below is an
excerpt from her book
As Christmas time approached
our excitement grew. There would be parties at school and church. About a week
before the big day, Dad we kids would venture into the forest to find the
perfect tree. Every year we seemed to find the perfect one, though we had cut
it the previous year. In later years Junior and I were allowed to choose and
bring home the tree by ourselves. Often the perfect specimen in the forest
proved to be sadly lacking in the living room. But Mother never said a word and
cheerfully praised our selection. I can honestly say that after it was loaded
with decorations it didn’t look so bad.
nail together a two-by-four stand and it was set up in the window in the living
room. In the early years we didn’t have electricity and my parents felt that
candles were too dangerous. The candles were put on the tree but never lit. The
tree was trimmed with glass balls, metal twisted strips for icicles, and
knitted and crocheted ornaments my mother made. Heavy foil garlands were draped
around it before the delicate tinsel we have today became common. We made paper
chains and cut out countless paper snowflakes to enhance the scene.
Mom always made fruitcake, maple sugar cakes and popcorn
balls. When I was twelve or so she started cutting and decorating special
Christmas cookies. A box was given to each family of cousins, with plenty left
for us to enjoy. Christmas, today, must have decorated cookies!
morning found the tree decked out in knitted mittens, hats and scarves. My
mother had been working late at night for weeks.
always had an orange in the toe, paper dolls, coloring books and crayons, some
candy and gum, pencils and a banana sticking out of the top. Once or twice we
received the dreaded stick and piece of cola for being bad. Mom always produced
the desired items we had expected after we had sworn to reform.
Hillside Farms 1939-1957
by Sandra Field Sterns makes a wonderful holiday present. To purchase a copy, contact
email@example.com or call 802-226-7807. A copy
can also be purchased by sending $10, plus $5 for shipping and handling to PO Box
472, Cavendish, VT 05142. Checks should be made payable to CHS. Because of holiday mail, order early.