Thursday, September 17, 2015

Chapter 28 Memoirs/Cavendish Post WWII.

This is the last chapter of Coming to Vermont (Cavendish): Memoirs of Philip Tiemann The added feature pertains to post WWII Cavendish and includes what happened to Philip and Isabel.

If you have appreciated the serialization of the Tiemann Memoirs, you can show your support by sending a donation to the Cavendish Historical Society, PO Box 472, Cavendish, VT 05142.

On Oct. 11, the Annual CHS Cemetery Tour will be to the Center Road Cemetery where the Tiemanns are buried, complete with stones from the Windy Hill property. Meet at the CHS Museum at 2 pm.

For the prelude and links to all of the chapters go to Coming to Vermont (Cavendish): Memoirs of Philip Tiemann.  

On January 15, 1941, I changed from farmer's blue jeans to the Army olive drab for a year's extended active duty. The year stretched to more than five before I again put 'on civvies.

Crammed into this period were enough experiences for a lifetime, most 'of them satisfying but a few, Inevitably, not. At Fort Riley, after brief refresher training, I helped to receive and then train the first contingent of cavalry replacement recruits under the Selective Service Act. In August, foreseeing the end of the cavalry, by my own application I was transferred to the Armored Force and went to the Replacement Center at Fort Knox, Kentucky, to spend over a year as company com­mander and battalion commander (major) training more and more troops. It was a life I enjoyed to begin with, but was not to my liking after we entered the war.

Then unexpectedly . as such things seemed usually to happen to me-I was assigned to the 10th Armored Division in training at Fort Benning, Ga., which, following maneuvers in Tennessee, was slated soon to go to Europe. At this time I was a lieutenant colonel and due to command a tank batt­alion. But no such luck. Again with great suddenness I was sent on "tem­porary duty" to Headquarters 2d Army at Memphis to act as an assistant Army Inspector General. This was the low point; I felt completely frustrated and out of place and was unable to do anything about it. Except, finally, in order to make an uncertain status secure, a transfer to The Inspector General's Department, which I accepted with the best grace I could, It wasn't what I wanted yet it was no come-down (the I. G. Department is top-drawer) and I saw more of the Army than would have been pos­sible under any other circumstances, It involved trips over half of the United States as the "eyes" of the Commanding General, making inspections and investigations and rendering lengthy reports. Then in the spring of 1944 while away from Headquarters I received orders to return post haste, This could mean only one thing, I had been assigned to the cadre of the newly activated 8th Army, which was to prepare immediately for overseas movement, Not to Europe, as I had fondly expected, but to New Guinea in the Pacific, from whence the American 6th and 8th Armies would take part in MacArthur’s return to the Philippines, As an Army Inspector I roamed widely before being transferred to the 43d Infantry Division as I. G. With this fine combat outfit I participated in the liberation of Luzon after making an amphibious landing at Lingayen Gulf.

While I was in the States the family was with me as much as possible, The children’s education was the governing factor. They came out to meet me at Fort Riley in a fine new Nash, which Isabel had somehow managed to negotiate and we spent a most pleasant week seeing the country on the way to Fort Knox. After a couple of exceedingly hot months there in "quarters" (a euphemism for two tiny rooms in a converted barracks) Isabel located a comfortable apartment in near-by Louisville where the family spent the winter . and where we were together the Sunday when the fateful announcement of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor came over the radio. This of course changed the entire picture and intensi­fied training. But I was able to secure a short leave, just as the children’s school ended and we all returned to Windy Hill, the family re­maining for the summer.

In the fall I secured nice quarters on the main Post at Knox and they came down again,. only, within six weeks, to be uprooted for the transfer to Fort Benning, There we were well off in­deed, in a commodious house on the main Post with pleasant surroundings, the only difficulty being that the division training area was situated several miles away,- a relatively minor matter. We had a happy winter together.

Wyeth graduating from high school in Columbus, and than we again went home. I rejoined the division in the Tennessee maneuver area. The family found a place in Brattleboro where the girls could go to school. That fall Wy was inducted into the Army, having persuaded them to waive his defective vision, - I saw them all at Easter and again briefly before going overseas, - The next fall Isabel and Joyce went to Boston Isabel to train as an occupational therapist,- and Ann commenced two years at Green Mountain Junior College in Poultney, Vermont.

What had in general been a very fulfilling period of service was marred at the end when I became ill and was evacuated back to the States, But this was in July of 1945 after the campaign had ended. Following long recuperation in several hospitals with brief visits with the family I had the satisfaction of being promoted Colonel, given terminal leave, and was finally relieved from active duty in May, 1946,

My government service was not entirely over, however. My health still was uncertain, and not having energy enough to resume farming I accepted a temporary position with the Office of Price Administration, working out of Montpelier. This proved most unsatisfactory, partly because I was unwell but more because the work was not in my line. The agency had outlived its usefulness, and some of the time we did not have enough to do to justify drawing our pay. It was a relief when it came to an end in December.

In the meantime the family had to do some adjusting. Isabel was heading the OT department of a hospital in Providence. Joyce was with her, going to secretarial school. Ann still was at Green Mountain. Wyeth came back in April following service in the combat engineers in both Europe and the Pacific, and was discharged at Fort Devens. After taking some summer courses in Providence he entered Norwich University.

We all spent Christ­mas together in Providence, Then it was arranged so that Isabel and Joyce remained in Providence until Joyce graduated in June, and I came back to Windy Hill to work on the house, During the spring I installed elec­tric wiring, and the power line at last came thru; so when the family reassembled for the summer we had more comfort and conveniences than ever before. This homecoming in 1947 was what really brought the war period to an end.

Hampshire Sheep
Cavendish Post WWII:  When Philip Tiemann returned to Cavendish, he began raising pure-bread Hampshire sheep for breeding stock. This proved to be more profitable than his earlier subsistence farming.

He had been a selectman in 1941 and soon became active again in community affairs. Isabel died in 1958 and Tiemann died in 1969, having written these Memoirs in 1966.

Electricity final came to the back roads of Cavendish in the late 1940s. The Center School, which the Tiemann children attended, was wired for electricity in 1947, with most of the houses along the Center Rd receiving power in 1948. One of the last areas to be wired was the Knapp Pond area. Jim Hasson, a WWII Seabee, reports that they didn’t have electricity until 1949.

While most of Cavendish’s servicemen returned, the prosperity of the first half of the 1940s was replaced with significantly fewer job opportunities. Neither the mills nor the machine shops needed more workers and in fact slowed down considerably from the feverish war years. Many veterans were content not to return to the mills and machine shop jobs. The noise of the Gay Brothers Mill was considerably, with the clack of the looms being heard up and down the village streets. Deafness was a common risk for those who worked any length of time in the weave room. 
Gay Brother's Mill

Gaymont Mills in Ludlow, owned by the Gay Brothers and managed by L. Stearns Gay of Cavendish, was sold in 1950. In 1951, the building was purchased by General Electric and a number of Cavendish residents went to work there. That same year, Gay Brothers Mill closed and was sold to F.C. Hyuck and Sons and renamed Kenwood Mills. This mill lasted until 1957.

The ranks of the American Legion swelled with the returning veterans. The Legion bought the Opera House (now Crows Bakery) in Proctorsville  and the vets went about the business of “catching up” on the life they missed.


Because sports team was a big part of the community, in 1948, Dr. H.J. Greven deeded his eight-acre filed to the Proctorsville Fire Department. Volunteers put in a baseball diamond, bleachers, and more to create a community recreational field, which remains in use to the present day.

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