Monday, February 24, 2014

The Gram: Proctorsville Grammar School Newsletter

The Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) recently received a copy of “The Gram,” a newsletter produced by the Proctorsville Grammar School and labeled Vol.II No. 2. 

Some of the names associated with the publication include Lillian Place, Eileen Pickett, Beth Sheehan, Howard Parker (Grade 4), and Vesta Shaw. Some of the “sponsors” include: The Handy Market; Wells Market; “If you need a barber see La Plante;” U.S. Savings Bonds at Post Office; Coal and Wood John Smith; Meals Lawrence’s Restaurant; Rooms Meals Excellent Food New Proctor Hotel; If  a carpenter you need-Joseph Punalla can do the deed; Service thru the__years, Service Now, Xmas goods Pollard’s Store; Visit the Texaco Station.

CHS believes the date of the publication is most likely fall 1937. With the closing of Black Bear Mill in Proctorsville that year, Bill Lawrence opened Lawrence’s Restaurant in the Fraternal Building (today Village Clippers). He closed the eatery in 1941, which was replaced by Mae’s Restaurant. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Prior to her death in 2011, Sophie Snarski (former Cavendish village post master) talked about her job working at Gay Brothers Mill. She explained that she was a “drawing-in girl,” and was given a chance to work in the same position at the large mill in Lowell, Mass. So what was a drawing-in girl? In the biography for mill worker and organizer Harriet Hanson Robinson, the following description of a Drawing-In girl was provided Drawing-in girls drew in the threads of the warp through the harness and the reed, making the beams ready for the weaver's loom. (The warp is the thread that runs lengthwise in a fabric. The harness raises and lowers warp threads on the loom. The reed is a movable frame that separates the warp threads.) Though it required skill and a nimble and steady hand, this job was not very demanding. Since the drawing-in girls were paid by the piece, not by the hour, they could work at their own pace. If they chose to read, they could.

Learn more about Vermont and local history at the upcoming Cavendish Historical Society Annual Meeting, Feb. 23 (Sunday), 5 pm at Cavendish Elementary School in Proctorsville. A pot luck supper will be at 5 pm. The film Freedom and Unity: The Vermont Movie- A Very New IdeaPart One will be shown at approximately 6 pm. The film explores the roots from which the future state of Vermont grew. Samuel de Champlain steps into
a canoe, paving the way for Yankee immersion into native culture. We look at early settlement, native peoples’ resistance, and the little-known history of African American settlers. Pioneer rebel Ethan Allen leads the struggle for independence, resulting in Vermont’s radical constitution- the first to outlaw slavery. Finally, Vermont’s heroic role in the Civil War reminds us that, despite occasional missteps, Freedom & Unity— Vermont’s state motto—continues to chart the state’s course into the present. In the event of snow, the meeting will be rescheduled. For more information 802-226-7807 or