Sunday, July 31, 2016

CHS Briefs: August 1, 2016

Where does the summer go? It’s already August and the nights are starting to feel a little cooler. While we look forward to tomatoes and harvesting lots and lots of zucchini, apple season isn’t far off and with it the changing leaves.

Levon-First Blueberry Picker-The more you pick
the more it benefits CHS.
What’s New
• It’s time to Pick Blueberries!: Once again, thanks to the generosity of Bruce and Betty McEnaney, half the proceeds from picking their organic blueberries, ($3 a pint) goes to the CHS program at CTES. Last year the 6th grade spent the day at Sturbridge Village thanks to blueberry pickers. Located at 354 Miner Rd, just over the Cavendish line in Chester off of Smokeshire (part of Cavendish at one time), lock in your GPS and head for some of the best blueberry picking ever. 

Righting Stones in the Cavendish Village Cem.
• Cemetery Work: Thanks to two different youth groups, grave stone cleaning and righting stones has taken place in the Cavendish Village Cemetery throughout the month of July. The last group from Hope Church, King of Prussia, PA, was responsible for righting 60 stones! Cleaning of head stones is best done when it’s not so hot so expect more work to continue in the fall. These volunteers are getting rid of the orange mold once and for all. Thank you!

• Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Writer Who Changed History, The newest publication from CHS is now available at the Book Nook in Ludlow and the Norwich Bookstore in Norwich. As stores are being added, they are being listed at the book’s website. Don’t forget that every purchase helps fund the Solzhenitsyn project. Either purchasing from Create Space or directly from CHS provides the best return. The book is also available from Have had several book signings and it’s been interesting to hear stories from people whose lives, and those of their families, were impacted by the Gulag. 

2016 Plant Sale
The Annual Plant Sale: Many thanks to our gardeners, Kem and Svetlana Phillips, Pieter van Schaik, Lou Choiniere, Bruce McEnaney and Moonlite Meadows Farm (best compost ever) for incredible plants at this year’s sale. The mock orange was a real hit. Discussions are already underway about what will be “the plant” for next summer’s sale. We’re also considering a possible fall sale of  plants that are best transplanted in September/October-e.g. peonies, azaleas. These will be made immediately available for sale and will not be wintered over. Will have more information on this by the end of August.  

Pang Ting digging at test pit
The tip of a projectile point found by Pang
• Archeology: Several members of CHS are participating in a archaic and woodland Indian archeological dig in West Haven, Vt. This past week, Cavendish resident Pang Ting uncovered a tip of a projectile point. Arrangements are being made with the archaeologist heading up the dig, Dr. Matthew Moriarity,  to take the 6th graders for a day of digging.  If you are interested in being a volunteer for the South Champlain Historical Ecological Project  call 802-226-7807 or e-mail 

Dave Stern using dental tools to remove the last of the 10 coats of varnish on the Museum doors.
• Museum Doors: The CHS strippers have been hard at work meeting weekly to take off the 10 coats of varnish off the doors for the CHS Museum. The goal for August is to have them retrofitted for the entrance and painted. Fingers crossed that we’ll have them installed by the time snow flies.

• Stone Church: While we have some leads on a timber framer to do the work in the belfry, we still haven’t signed a contract. This is very concerning as this will be the second construction season that has come and gone without being able to find someone to do this work. We have contacted Vermont’s Historic Preservation and they too have been unable to help us.

What’s Coming Up
Jazzie and Abbie making potholders with Dan Churchill, CHS President, watching
Murdock Mill
• Woolen Mill Exhibit coming in August: Focusing on the woolen mills, there is a “hands on history” component. Thanks to a donation from Patty Dodge, we have enough wool strips to make a braided rug. Whether you like to braid or sew, everyone can participate. Other activities include potholder making and creating fabric pin holders. The Summer CHS Newsletter will feature a timeline on Cavendish’s mills.

• School Programs: With the start of school just a few weeks away, we’re developing workshops and activities to help our CTES students learn their town’s history though hands on activities.

• Cleaning the Civil War Monument: We’re meeting in August to discuss the cleaning of the Civil War Monument that stands in front of the Museum. It requires special equipment to reach the top but before we make arrangements for a bucket loader, we need to do some tests on the condition of the monument. One of the big questions is how badly has it been damaged by acid rain and if there is “spalling.” Acid rain” speeds weathering, resulting in stones being permanently damaged, as it leaves a rough, pitted surface, making writing and art harder to distinguish. Unfortunately, once the marble is "spalling,” the recommendation is to replace the stone as it's almost impossible to repair.  

• September Activities: A busy month for CHS, we will be running a day long candle dipping workshop at the VT Golden Honey Festival on Sept. 10. The 11th is the annual Phineas Gage Walk and Talk.

For any of the items below, please e-mail or call 802-226-7807.
• Honeycomb: If you have extracted honey from your hives, we’d love to have the comb. Need it by the beginning of September.

• Marketing Assistance: Do you have experience in marketing? We could use your help with the book distribution.

• Strange, Ghostly and Eerie Cavendish Stories: We're collected stories about all things spooky, eerie, strange and ghostly in Cavendish. If you have a tale to tell, we want to hear it. Look forward to a Cavendish haunting this coming Halloween. 

• Board Members/Volunteers: Want to have a more active role in CHS? Become a board member. There are also numerous volunteer opportunities.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pick Blueberries for Your Health and to Help CHS

Levon-First Blueberry picker of the season!
Besides being sweet and wonderful, blueberries are associated with the following benefits: healthy bones; lowers blood pressure; wards off heart disease; prevents cancer; improves mental health, and fights wrinkles.

Once again, thanks to the generosity of Bruce and Betty McEnaney, half the proceeds from picking their blueberries, goes to the Cavendish Historical Society's (CHS) program at CTES. Last year the 6th grade spent the day at Sturbridge Village thanks to blueberry pickers.

Located at 354 Miner Rd, just over the Cavendish line in Chester (use to be part of Cavendish at one time) off of Smokeshire, lock in your GPS and head over for some of the best blueberry picking ever.

Please do what you can to advertise and by all means go pick the best blueberries in VT. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Week 3 of Museum Doors

Dave Stern using dental tools
Ten coats of varnish is a lot to remove from the doors being prepared for the Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) Museum. It's now down to using dental tools to get at the last bits of varnish hiding away in the molding. "It needs to be as clean as possible for the primer and paint to stick," says Dave Stern, who is heading up this labor intensive effort.

Bruce McEnaney, Cavendish Asst. Town Manager and CHS board member, stopped by this week to discuss hinges and latches which will be historical accurate to the door and building.
Conferring with Bruce McEnaney about the latch.

One more day of touch ups will have the doors ready for Dave to modify. It won't be long before painters are needed for the next phase of the door renovation.
"Really, we're still not done?" wonders CHS volunteer
Kem Phillips.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

CHS Strippers in Action

One of two doors that will replace the
current CHS Museum door. This is before
the varnish has been removed
Work began today-July 5-on preparing the doors for the Cavendish Historical Society's (CHS) Museum. Under the watchful gaze of woodworker Dave Stern, Margo Caulfield and Kem Phillips worked together figuring out the best technique for getting rid of varnish.

The doors are from an architectural salvage depot and were once housed in a church. Once they are stripped of their varnish, they will be reconfigured for the Museum entry way and ultimately painted. When completed and installed, the appearance will be very similar to the doors that were original to the building.
Kem Phillips and Dave Stern 
Dave Stern trying another removal technique

In 1834, church doors (the building was constructed to be the Cavendish Baptist Church) would have been solid and not contain paint. It's not clear when the double doors were either modified or replaced with ones that had panes of glass. This may have been done when the building served as the Town Hall.
Museum with double doors and concrete steps

If you are interested and have the time to strip paint and help work on the doors, please call 802-226-7807 or e-mail