Friday, January 30, 2015

CHS Annual Meeting and Irish Hands On History Workshop

The Annual Meeting of the Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) will take place on Saturday, Feb. 28, 5 pm at Gethsemane Episcopal Church’s Parish Hall, located off Depot Street in Proctorsville.

The evening activities will include a potluck supper, followed by a short meeting and a Hands-on-History Workshop, starting at about 6:30. The workshop will feature a brief history of the Irish in Cavendish and an opportunity to make a St. Brigid Cross and various Celtic knots. 

The Irish had been coming to America well before the “potato famine,” but immigration picked up considerably in the 1840s. Many came to Vermont and Cavendish from Canada and by 1850, the largest foreign-born group in the state were the Irish. Considered the lowest of the low, the men built the Vermont railroads, while the women worked in the mills and on the farms. It was the Irish in Cavendish that established the Catholic Church in Proctorsville.

The St. Brigid’s Cross is made by the Irish on February 1 and placed on the door inside the house to protect against evil, fire and hunger. The distinctive cross, made from woven rushes, dates back to the 5th century.

The Celtic knot, sometimes referred to as the mystic knot or the endless knot, appears frequently in Irish art and ornamentation. During the workshop, participants will learn how to draw one style of knot and create another with paper.  

This event is free and open to the public. For more information: or 802-226-7807

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

One Room Schoolhouse Activities

Tarbell Hill One Room Schoolhouse in Cavendish
The Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) recently conducted a program for the Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) third graders on one-room schoolhouses. In addition to making their own chalkboards, the directions provided below, which they will use for math classes the next few weeks, the students also played “baseball” and “Sevens.” Special thanks to workshop volunteer Pang Ting and to Bob Naess who supplied the wooden boards the students used

Make your own chalkboard: Mix 1 part non-sanded grout to 8 parts paint (1 Tablespoon to ½ cup latex or acrylic paint) and paint a piece of plywood. It’s better to do two coats if possible. After it’s dry, lightly sand. While any color paint can be used, to get a more traditional “chalkboard” color, use black and white paints.

Hand Clapping Game “Sevens”