Thursday, January 19, 2012

Scribbler Winter 2012

Happy New Year!

Annual Meeting
As we begin this New Year, the Cavendish Historical Society starts a new tradition of holding its annual meeting in January or February. Given the flood damage and the 250th Anniversary, the board voted to move the annual meeting until after the first of the year. The more it was discussed, the board concluded that it would be a good idea to make this a permanent change. Not only is fall, foliage season, a very busy time of year, but by switching to the first of the year, the financial report will be easier to compile as CHS operates on a calendar year.

The Annual meeting will be held on February 12 (Sunday) at 5 pm at the Cavendish Town Elementary School in Proctorsville. The meeting will include a pot luck supper, election of board members, discussion of upcoming activities and a screening of “Life in Windsor County.”

Life in Windsor County
Life in Windsor County” is the seventh county documentary produced through collaboration between Johnson State College students, Professor Bill Doyle and Vince Franke of Peregrine Productions, LLC. For this documentary, JSC student intern Matt Daubenspeck worked with Vince to interview 17 local residents, including CHS board member Bruce McEnaney, to hear their memories of Vermont’s biggest county covering events from its earliest settlers through the sheep craze, machine tool industry and stories of life in the first half of the 20th century. When blended with over 250 historical images, their stories provide new and unique insight into Windsor County’s past.

Upcoming Events
As 2011 was the 250th anniversary of Cavendish, we did not focus on the other important anniversary of that year-the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. We will have a variety of postings on the CHS blog (see address above) about various aspects of Cavendish’s Civil War history.

For many years, CHS held a plant sale and other activities on the Saturday before the 4th of July on the grounds of the Museum. In the last five years CHS expanded this to a town wide event, calling it Old Home Day and holding various activities in different parts of the Cavendish village (Stone Church, Cavendish Green and Museum). This year CHS plans to return to its original format back on the Museum grounds. More information will be available in the spring and summer editions of this newsletter as well as the CHS blog.

February 12 (Sunday): Annual Meeting, 5 pm Cavendish Town Elementary School, Proctorsivlle VT. See article above for more information.

April 14 (Saturday): Phineas Gage presentation for the Okemo Valley Historic Chamber to Chamber Tourism Exchange.

June 2 (Saturday): Reception for the opening of the Cavendish Floods Exhibit.

June 3 (Saturday): CHS Museum opens for the season, 2-4 pm.

June 30 (Saturday): CHS Summer Fest, featuring annual plant sale, live and silent auction and local vendors. This event will be held on the grounds of the Museum.

July 15 (Sunday): “Lotions, Potions and Notion-18th through mid 19th Century Folk Cures.” 2-4 pm at the Museum.

July 28: 2nd Annual Town Wide Tag Sale.

Cavendish Historic Timeline 1955-1960

Other portions of the Timeline are in the 2011 issues of the Scribbler II, all of which are on-line at the CHS blog.

1955: Cavendish Historical Society established. Atherton Bemis is the first president.
- Cavendish Town Office built in its current location on High Street in Cavendish.

1956-1957: Physician serving the Cavendish/Proctorsville area dies. Two fatal car accidents occurred and Cavendish found they could not rely on Ludlow for medical coverage. Community leaders meet with the University of Vermont Medical School about the situation. They were advised to equip a medical office and then solicit for a physician. Kenwood Mills, who purchased Gay Brothers Mills and its holdings in 1951, donates the stone building to help form the new Black River Health Center. Members of the community donated their time to renovate the building. Workers at Kenwood Mills had $1 a week withheld from their pay to help establish the Health Center. Dr. Eugene Bont and Dr. Lawrence Bixby set up practice.

1957: Kenwood Mills, formerly Gay Brothers Woolen Mill, once the leading employer for the town is sold and closed by the new owners.
- Passenger and freight train service no longer available in Cavendish.
- Art Briggs is elected Fire Chief for Fire District #2 (Cavendish). With his experience fighting fires in WWII, he creates a well organized group and legally incorporates the Fire Department. An active Auxiliary is formed. Prior to Briggs arrival, Cavendish stored fire fighting equipment at various locations in town and depended heavily on Fire District #1 and the Gay Brothers Mill for putting out fires.
- Hawks Mountain Fire, which started on the Cavendish side and spread to Perkinsville. The National Guard had to be called for help. The fire started on May 7 and wasn’t fully extinguished until May 11.

1960: The new Proctorsville Elementary School building opens. Duttonsville School is still open, but will close in 1971. As the Cavendish village students enter the school in Proctorsville, the school becomes known as the Cavendish Town Elementary School.
• Cavendish Population 1,223, the lowest since 1910.
• New Route 103 extension added, no longer requiring traffic to go down Proctorsville’s Depot Street to a stop light, where drivers turned left for Ludlow or right for Cavendish. Depot Street becomes a town highway and no longer a state highway.

Cavendish Historical Society Board
Dan Churchill
Jen Harper
Gloria Leven
Marc Miele
Bruce McEnaney
Joseph Pasquerello
Mike Pember
Gail Woods

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+ $ ___ 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 --–– Cemetery __ Hands on History

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 __ Hands on History
__ Other (please specify) __ Cemetery Restoration

President’s Report 2011

When we started planning for activities in 2011, we knew that we’d be very busy. After all, it was the 250th Anniversary of our town plus it was the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. However, we had no idea what was in store for our town, and how important of a role the Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) would play.

On Aug. 28, Cavendish became an “island town,”-access to us was very difficult-thanks to Tropical Storm Irene. In the true spirit of Cavendish’s first settlers, the people of Cavendish organized themselves. Everyone helped neighbors, provided shelter, rebuilt and kept people informed.

Unique among historical societies, CHS has recognized the importance of keeping track of current activities, and therefore, is one of the sponsors of the Cavendish Update. This is an electronic news format, which is available by email or online []. As part of the 250th activities, a Facebook page was established to help people remain current about what activities were taking place and when.

Little did we know that this electronic outlet was one of the few ways we had to communicate. This was used by the community not only to keep people informed about what was open, but people posted who needed help, road conditions, and what services they had to offer.

Many CHS members were involved in running the shelter and in the recovery process. However, one of the most frequent requests we received, particularly from the National Guard, who were repairing our roads, was for information about the 1927 flood. In case we needed a reminder of why we think the work of a historical society is important, one only needed to see the Guard poring over the articles written by Olin Gay about the events of 1927.

In true pioneer fashion, CHS played an important role in seeing that our 250th anniversary was honored in October. No, we didn’t have all the events we planned, and our parade was reduced in size and scope. However, we hope that our actions will provide courage to future generations, much as knowing the details of how people in 1927 coped has encouraged us.

Because of the flood recovery, as well as the 250th anniversary, the CHS board felt it was too much to try to hold the CHS annual meeting in October. As we discussed it, we thought that making a permanent shift to January/February provided us with an opportunity to provide a better annual report, since CHS operates fiscally on a calendar year.

Finances are tight, and CHS continues to work at cost containment. We wouldn’t be able to do this without the incredible support of our volunteers. This is a great time to renew your membership, make a contribution or donate your services.

In keeping with requests, we are planning a Cavendish Flood exhibit for 2012, as well as recognizing the impact the Civil War had on our town.

Cavendish Historical Society: Financial Report 2011

Income, Endowments & Checking Account 1/1/11-12/31/12
Donations 3,066
Events 2,038
Town 1,800
CD Rollover 2,996
Williams CD 20,891
Rankin CD 4,483
Checking 4,695
Interest 373

Total 30,069

In-kind contributions were provided by Doug Haskell in the repairing & reglazing of the Museum’s windows.

Expenditures 1/1/11-12/31/11
Contracuals 7,200
Printing & Reproduction 161
Event Expenses 169
Postage and Shipping 418
Utilities 338
Museum Restoration 250
Other 201
Total 8,737

Income for 2011 once again reflects the impacts of economy. The 2011 annual year end campaign has raised less money, not only becomes of the economic situation but also because flood relief was their charity of choice this year. However, through the support of incredible volunteers, we are maintaining our buildings, offering a wide variety of programs, and playing a critical role in preserving our town’s history, while holding down costs. In fact, as can be seen in the table below our expenditures in 2011 were 59% ($8,737) of the first nine months of 2009 ($14,614) and less than $1,000 over the first nine months of 2010.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tree at the Museum Comes Down

After numerous discussions by the Historical Society Board, it was agreed that the tree next to the Museum had to come down. Large limbs were falling off after every storm and because the center of the tree had rotted away, it was just a matter of time before a limb fell on utility wires or onto the roof of the Museum. Instead of biting our nails during storms worrying whether "this would be the one" that damaged the Museum or surrounding property, the board voted to have it removed. The tree is being removed today. We will miss it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cavendish Historical Society Annual Meeting Feb. 12

The Annual Meeting for the Cavendish Historical Society has been changed from October to February. This year’s meeting will take place on Feb. 12 (Sunday), 5 pm at the Cavendish Town Elementary School. This will include a potluck supper plus a screening of “Life in Windsor County,” featuring CHS’s board member Bruce McEnaney. The video includes the 250 year history of the region, along with photographs and stories. FMI: 226-7807 or