Thursday, February 19, 2015

Scribbler II: Winter 2015

Upcoming CHS Events

• February 28 (Saturday): Annual Meeting, 5 pm at the Gethsemane Episcopal Church Parish Hall, located off of Depot Street in Proctorsville. Please bring a dish for a potluck supper. Following the dinner and a short meeting, there will be a Hands on History community workshop on the Irish in Cavendish. The workshop will include making a St. Brigid’s cross, a traditional activity that takes place among the Irish in February, as well as learning to draw and make various Celtic knots. This event is free and open to the public.

• May 31 (Sunday): Opening day of the Cavendish Historical Society Museum. The museum will be open every Sunday from 2-4 pm until Columbus weekend.

• June 27 (Saturday): Annual plant sale at the Museum grounds.

• July 25 (Saturday): Fifth Annual Cavendish Town Wide Tag Sale

• Sept. 13 (Sunday): Annual Phineas Gage Talk and Walk, 2 pm at the CHS Museum.

For more information about these and other events, please use the contact information listed above.

Dating Your Cavendish Photographs
Have a picture of Cavendish and not sure about the date? Here are some tips to help get you started:

• The type of photography used can help to date a photograph. For example, Daguerreotypes were common between 1839-1870, while cabinet cards were popular from 1866 to 1906 and the Tintype was used from 1856 to the WWWII era. Check the Internet to learn more about dating your photograph.

• Check the back and front of your photograph for the photographer’s imprint, which will often list the location of their studio. Check on line for the various lists of Photographers, which will give you the years the studio was operational.

• Check the setting of the photograph. If it was taken in one of the villages, electric poles were installed in 1909 in Cavendish village and Whitesville. Route 131 in Cavendish was paved in the 1930s and by 1940 it was possible to drive to Springfield on paved surface. However, areas east of Cavendish on 131 were not paved until the 1950s. If your photograph has a car or two in it, and you don’t know the year, check on-line. Look for household items, street signs etc. The Cavendish Historic timeline is available on line at our blog and can offer other information to help with identification.

• Photographs from the 19th century were formal affairs, so hairstyles and clothing can provide important clues. Pay attention to waist size and styles, necklines, skirt lengths and widths, dress sleeves and fabric choices. Keep in mind that while people wanted to look their best, Cavendish was not a wealthy town so styles would not have changed as rapidly as they would have in cities. There are a variety of websites that provide information and photographs of fashion by decade.

Preserving Your Photographs for Future Generations
 With the arrival of smartphones, Instagram, e-mail and Facebook, more photographs are taken and shared today than at any time in history. How many times have you said, “Let me show you the pictures” and then spent five minutes searching your phone saying, “I know they’re in here somewhere.” If you can’t find them now, how will your descendants find them 100 years from now? Even if you don’t think they will be interested, chances are a future great grand child, niece or nephew will enjoy seeing your photographs.

CHS receives photographs all the time. Those without identifying information are just not useful. This is particularly true for many portraits. Help future historians and genealogists by labeling your photographs today.

Step I: Label all your photographs, print or otherwise. Identify who the people are in the photograph; when, where and why it was taken and other information about the event. If you have prints, store them in archival quality sleeves and books. These materials are easily available on-line and in stores.

Step 2: Identify where you are keeping all your digital photographs- camera, computers, websites and movable items such as CDs and memory cards. Make sure all of these pictures are labeled as noted in step 1.

Step 3. Edit-which photos are the most important and best capture a person, place or event. No one is going to appreciate sifting through 100 photographs that look pretty much the same.

Step 4: Organize the photographs by giving descriptive file names. Create a directory/folder on your computer and store photographs there. Be sure to follow Step 1.

Step 5: Make copies and store in several locations. While a copy can remain on your computer, tablet or laptop, back up with DVDs, CDs, portable hard drives, thumb drives or Internet storage. Store copies in different locations, including where you keep your important papers. Check photographs at least once a year.

Step 6: Every five years, upgrade photographs to current digital technology. The eventual replacement of technology is inevitable. Just as one would have difficulty finding the equipment to play a wax cylinder from the late 1800s, so too will your descendants find it difficult to deal with a CD, which is already being replaced with iCloud.

President’s Report for 2014

The Roman statesman Cicero summed up the importance of why we study history and the need for organizations like the Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) when he wrote, “History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illuminates reality; vitalizes memory; provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity.”

Through community support, grants and volunteers, CHS continues to serve as the keeper of town history by providing the following:

• Maintain a half million dollars worth of town property (Museum and Stone Church) including interior, exterior and grounds. These two properties are among the oldest buildings in town.

• On going restoration of gravestones in Cavendish Cemeteries. This past year summer the Revolutionary Cemetery was cleaned. The sixth grade students participate in this program, which we believe helps to reduce the type of cemetery vandalism that occurs in other towns.

• Workshops and programs for every student at the Cavendish Town Elementary School throughout the school year, with the goal that by the time students graduate, they know their town’s history and have a sense of stewardship. In December, every grade participated in Russian Christmas, where students learned about early immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe who came to work in the Gay Brothers Mill.

• Websites that are used by people all over the world. Almost 27,000 users have logged onto the CHS blog, with the areas of most interest being the Civil War era, Phineas Gage and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The new Pinterest website on Historical Cavendish and Researching Your Cavendish Roots are also very popular. We continue to post photographs of Cavendish on Facebook, not only to learn more town history, but also as a way to keep those who have left, for college and jobs, connected.

• An increase in tourism. This past year we had visitors from France, Russia and Canada to see the Solzhenitsyn exhibit and many come from surrounding states for the annual Phineas Gage walk.

• Changing exhibits and programs at the CHS Museum, which is open from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus weekend.

• Continuing source of information- genealogy as well as historical- for residents, business and those interested in various aspects of Cavendish history.

                                      Cavendish Historical Society Board
Dan Churchill
Jen Harper
Bruce McEnaney
Kem Phillips
Gail Woods

Margo Caulfield Coordinator
BECOME A MEMBER, RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP, DONATE: 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+ $5  ___ 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       

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