Thursday, August 31, 2017

CHS Briefs September 1, 2017

Em Benoit volunteering on the dig.

In celebration, CHS is sponsoring a trip to the archeological dig site we’ve been participating in for the last two summers on Saturday, Sept. 16. We will meet at 9 am in front of the Museum and will be car pooling to W. Haven, VT. Learn more at the CHS Blog.

The Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) 4th grade class will be visiting the dig in October and will also have an opportunity to work with the archeologist Charlie Paquin. Charlie has been working with CHS over the years and will be showing the students how to “flint knap,” the art of making stone tools. The students will have a chance to try their hand at “atlatl” throwing, which is how early man in Cavendish would have hunted.

Blueberries!!!: Yup, the season is still holding but it wont last too much longer, so head over to the McEnaneys organic blueberry patch for "Pick your Own." Proceeds from the picking goes towards the CTES 6th graders trip to Sturbridge Village.  The McEnaneys is located at 354 Miner Rd. just over the Cavendish line in Chester off of Route 103. Turn right on Smokeshire and follow the road over 4 bridges. After the last one, you’ll see the sign for Bruce’s Berries and Miner Rad. Thank you Bruce and Betty for your ongoing generosity. The kids love this trip, which takes place this year on Oct. 27.

Museum: Thank you to Carl Liener for all of the lovely signage he’s been doing for the Museum. It looks great. Unfortunately, we’ve found two leaks in the Museum ceiling and are having them checked out.  

Carmine Guica Young Historians Program: August is when we meet with the teachers and plan for the year ahead. It’s going to be a busy year, but thanks to the generous endowment of Stein van Schaik, we have some amazing activities planned including a 4th/5th grade trip to Plimoth Plantation.  The 6th grade will once again participated in RiverSweep on Sept. 11. They learn a lot of history about the river as well as the all important lesson of the importance of stewardship. Each year at Christmas time, CHS celebrates the holiday by holding a daylong series of workshops at the school based on the heritage of people who have settled in Cavendish. This year we will be celebrating the Polish, many of who came to work at the Gay Brothers Mills. Lots of planning is underway to not only include traditional crafts but also to prepare various dishes that would be enjoyed at holiday times.  If you have stories or traditions you’d like to share, please e-mail or call us (numbers below).

While a lot of our programming has been at the elementary school, we are now working with the middle and high school students at both Green Mountain Union High School and Black River High School.

Sept 9 (Saturday). Honey Festival at the Golden Stage Inn in Proctorsville. CHS will once again be doing candle dipping with beeswax.

Sept: 10 (Sunday): Annual Phineas Gage Talk & Walk-Met at the Museum at 2 pm. Wear comfortable walking shoes for walking. The accident site is a little over ¾ of a mile from the Museum.

Sept. 16 (Saturday): Visit to the Archeological Dig site in W. Haven, VT. Meet at the CHS Museum at 9 am.

Oct 8 (Sunday): Ghost Walk in Proctorsville. Meet, 2pm at the War Memorial in Proctorsville, which is on Route 131 (Main Street) close to the Proctorsville Fire Department and Village Clippers

If you can help with any of the following, please contact CHS; 802-226-7807 or PO Box 472, Cavendish, VT 05142

• Do you like to paint? CHS has painting projects both at the Museum and at the Stone Church.  Fall is a good time to get outside and take advantage of the good weather.

• CHS is looking for new board members as well as volunteers who can help with various activities.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Visit to W. Haven Archeological Dig Site: Sept. 16

Galick Farm where the dig has been taking place.
Arrow head found during the dig the CTES 6th graders participated in.
In honor of September being "Archeology Month," the Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) will be sponsoring a trip to the West Haven, VT site of the South Champlain Historical Ecology Project (SCHEP) dig where we have been providing volunteers for the last two years. This is also the site where the Cavendish Elementary School 4th and 6th grade classes visit.

An open house is being held on Saturday, Sept. 16. If interested in participating, meet at the CHS Museum at 9 am. We will carpool to the site-a little over an hour from Cavendish. In addition to seeing the site, there will be a display of artifacts found some of which date back to the Paleo Indian period, more than 11,000 years ago.There will be plenty of opportunity to explore that area.

The South Champlain Historical Ecology Project (SCHEP) is is a collaboration between the Vermont Archaeological Society, Castleton University, The Nature Conservancy, the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, and the U.S. Forest Service designed to document long-term human-environment interaction in the southern portion of the Lake Champlain Basin. 

The dig takes place at the Galick Site (VT-RU-71), a large Pre contact campsite  and historical farmstead in West Haven, VT. Located on the historic Galick Farm property, it is part of  The Nature Conservancy’s Helen W. Buckner Preserve at Bald Mountain. 

The Buckner Preserve is one of the most biologically diverse settings in Vermont and is home to many of the state’s rare or endangered species, including the timber rattlesnake and the five-lined skink, and yes we've seen both this summer. 
Timber Rattlesnake that showed up one afternoon where we were digging.

The southern end of Lake Champlain is also an important crossroads for long-distance transportation, with the northern terminus of a historical portage and later canal route to the Hudson River located just to the south at Whitehall, NY.  This constellation of features made the Galick Farm area an important location in the early history of Vermont and a rich setting for a wide range of settlement and subsistence activities throughout the Precontact and Historical eras.

The Galick Site was first identified as a potentially important Precontact site in 1969 by Richard Passino.  In the 1970s, Dean Snow and students from SUNY Albany excavated a dozen shovel tests at the site as part of the Lake George Project.  More recently, personnel from the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation identified other sites on the Galick Farm property.  In addition, numerous archaeologists and 20th century visitors examined the large collection of artifacts William Galick and his family had found on their farm.  Although no exhaustive inventory was made before the present, notes on the collection by Passino and others indicated an extensive and long-term Native American presence in the area.

Investigations in 2016 included the excavation of 78 Phase I shovel test pits across an area of approximately 5,500 m2 and the analysis of several thousand artifacts.  SCHEP also began the process of cataloguing the extensive William Galick Collection.

If you have questions about this event, please e-mail or call 802-226-7807. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

CHS Provides Opportunity to Watch the Solar Eclipse

A total solar eclipse will occur next week, on August 21, and it will be the first one in 38 years to be visible from the mainland U.S.  No matter where you are in the US, you can see it. In Cavendish we can expect to see 70% of the solar eclipse.

 In preparation, on Aug. 20 (Sunday), the Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) will hold a workshop from 2-4 pm at the Museum (1951 Main St.  Cavendish) where you can make pinhole viewers and learn more about the solar eclipse.

Please note that. NASA warns that sunglasses or homemade filters do not provide sufficient eye protection and can contribute to eye damage. Five manufacturers have certified their eclipse glasses, which meet NASA’s criteria:
• Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
• Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on them
• Are less than three years old and have no scratches or wrinkles

You can also go to the NASA website and download their pinhole template for free. Watching the following video will give you lots of other safe ways. 

On Aug. 21 (Monday), from 1:15 to 3:00 (or later depending on interest) CHS will have various devices including glasses (thank you Kem Phillips for donating) which meet NASA standards, pinhole viewers and special welding mask, set up in front of the Museum so people can safely view the eclipse. Young children will need to use the pinhole viewers.

In other parts of the state, various astronomy groups are hosting viewing opportunities including:
• Green Mountain Astronomers will be hosting an eclipse day event at the Castleton University by the observatory. Estimate for Castleton is 1:23 first contact, 2:42 largest coverage, 3:55 last contact.
Montshire Museum, Norwich, VT 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Scribbler II Summer 2017


Craig Rankin's Plant List
In spite of incredibly nasty weather, the annual Cavendish Historical Society Plant Sale went on as usual. A very special thank you to: the Tings of Moonlite Meadows for once again supplying the best dirt ever; Svetlana and Kem Phillips, Lu Choiniere, Margo Caulfield, Pang Ting and Pieter van Schaik for transplanting and caring for so many plants. Sale day, though it was a wet and rainy mess, was greeted with a knowledgeable plant sales team, particularly Svetlana and Pieter. Thanks Bob Naess for making sandwiches and putting up a tent so everyone stayed dry.

Craig Rankin would be thrilled to know that the sale continues and that plans are already underway for next year-mock orange and dahlias.


For the third straight year running, Bruce and Betty McEnaney have opened up their amazing organic
blueberry farm for general picking ($3 a pound). Located off Smokeshire at 354 Miner Rd, just over the Cavendish town line in Chester, it offers some of the best views in VT. The money raised from the "pick your own" is used to fund the Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) 6th grade trip to Sturbridge Village. We have a big class this year, so we need lots of picking if we're going to make this trip possible.


The Museum is open on Sundays from 2-4 pm and other times by appointment. Activities are free and open to the public.

August 20 (Sunday): Solar Eclipse Workshop. Make a pinhole projector for safe viewing of the eclipse. 2pm at the Museum

 August 21 (Monday): View the solar eclipse (it will be a partial eclipse) starting at 1:30 pm at the Museum. Maximum viewing will be at 2:41 pm. We will have a variety of devices for viewing. Please note that children 3 and under will only be able to use a pinhole viewer.

Sept. 9 (Saturday): Honey Festival at the Golden Stage Inn, off Depot Street in Proctorsville. CHS will once again provide an opportunity for visitors to make hand dipped beeswax candles. The festival hours are 10-4
Sept. 10 (Sunday): Annual Phineas Gage Walk and Talk. CHS Museum, 2pm.

Oct. 8 (Sunday): Proctorsville Ghost Walk-meet in front of the Proctorsville War Memorial, 2pm.  


If you travel along route 131, you may have noticed a structure in Cavendish Village and wondered what it might have been? Root cellar is a common thought.

It turns out that this this was a burial vault constructed in 1828 by Jonathan Atherton Jr. Two of the Athertons were buried there until they were reburied in the Cavendish Village Cemetery on High Street. 


Each year at Christmas time, CHS celebrates the holiday by holding a daylong series of workshops at Cavendish Elementary School based on the heritage of people who have settled in Cavendish. This year we will be celebrating the Polish, many of whom came to work at the Gay Brothers Mills.

“..In 1908 the mill at Cavendish needed more workers than it was able to find roundabout. Some Polish people had drifted into Springfield, Vermont, looking for jobs. But it was slack there. A power company was building a dam in the Black River Gorge and the Poles heard that laborers were being taken on, but by the time they got there the demand had ceased. As long as they were in the neighborhood they thought they might as well inquire at the mill in Cavendish, and there three of them were hired at once. They sent word to friends, who came to join them.
At first there was some show of hostility in the town. Vermont was for Vermonters, Americans, went the grumbling; no call for Vermonters to put up with any foreigners coming in.
But the Poles showed themselves so quickly to be good-working folk, diligent, thrifty and above all, clean, that people in the village soon fell into the way of treating them just as neighbors. “Mornin’ Isaac,” they’d say, casually, at the Post Office or the general store. And “That’s a fine rose in your garden, Tony-don’t know’s I ever saw the variety hereabouts.”
In the mill the Poles took naturally to the work. Two of those first Polish employees are bosses now, and good ones. Isaac, who was among that first three, still works in the picker room. And when anyone in town can’t get a lawn to grow just right under needle pines, or has trouble with a mulch, usually it is Tony who comes along and helps to straighten things out.

The Poles married in Cavendish and now a second generation works for the Gays too. In school the children of Polish extraction have continuously taken a lion’s share of prizes, which makes a bond between them and the environment and way of life in New England. When you have lived for years in a town, and your children have been born there, gone to school and married there, it becomes though you had really never anywhere else. During the World War period no one in Cavendish, ever had finer Victory gardens than the Polish mill people, and that included the children and their school gardens. And the Polish men, women and children have taken their fair share in social and civic events. The celebration of a Liberty Loan quota oversubscribed; or a Red Cross drive; ....
Hardly anyone in Cavendish remembers their Polish neighbors without recalling the incident of Tony’s daughter, Mary.
It was before the first World War and Mary was just beginning to learn to talk. Word came from her grandmother back in Vilna that she would like to have Mary for a visit, so her parents sent her over with some friends.
The war broke out and it was impossible to get Mary back to American. Not until she was twelve or thirteen were her parents able to arrange for her to come back. And even then there was an enormous amount of red tape. Her parents were absolutely bewildered. They followed what amounts to an informal village custom and took their problem to the Gays. Leon Gay decided that the most effective way would be to work through the Red Cross, getting passport, tickets, identification papers and so forth. For Mary’s people it all became a dream, of the great day Mary would arrive.
But, instead, a dreadful thing happened. Instead of a little girl being met by her parents and their friends at a certain train, there came a telegram, which said, “Mary dead Tuesday.”
Mary’s parents were simply beside themselves. But to Leon Gay it seemed that there was something queer about all this. A healthy child does not just die without warning. While he set in motion ways of checking every step of Mary’s journey from Vilna, he instructed the telegraph people to verify the message.
A few hours later a telegraph company clerk reported sheepishly, “There was an error in transmission-the message reads ‘Mary arriving Tuesday.’ “ Excerpt from “Neither Wealth Nor  Poverty: The History of the Woolen Mills of Gay Brothers 1869-1944,” by Janet Mabie pages 85-87

While we are assembling various projects for the students to do, if you have Polish Christmas traditions you’d like to share with the students-such as recipes, crafts, gifts etc.-please forward them using the contact information at the beginning of the newsletter.


Thanks to a generous donation from Stein (Ernestine) van Schaik, the Carmine Guica Young Historians Program is off to an incredible start.

Stein came to Cavendish as an eight year old from Holland. The youngest of a large family, she grew up on Chambers Rd in Cavendish. In making her bequest, Stein explained that the Cavendish schools were her introduction to America and in turn she hoped that the endowment would help to launch today’s schoolchildren in becoming the life long learner and educator that she has become.

Having lived on six of the seven continents, Stein now lives in Florida, but spends a portion of the summer here. Having been a teacher and a principal, as well as being bilingual in Spanish, Stein has been incredibly helpful in planning some of the “hands on” activities that CHS provides as a way of teaching history. This summer we’ve had lots of interesting conversations about immigration as well as some new ideas for the 5th graders Dias de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) annual workshop.

Thank you Stein for making such a difference in our kids’ education as well as helping to keep alive the memory of Carmine Guica who would be  thrilled.


Redfield Proctor
The name Redfield Proctor is well known in Cavendish.  Born in Proctorsville in 1831, Redfield Proctor married Emily Jane Dutton, ending the feud between the Proctors and the Duttons of Duttonsville (today Cavendish village). His achievements were considerable, 37th US Secretary of War, US Senator from VT, 37th Governor of VT to name a few.

So why would a new cannabis venture name itself after Redfield Proctor, who was a well-known conservative in his day? Could it be that the president Stephen Martin of Quechee, VT, who also runs ABVaporizers, is naming the company after Proctor’s son Redfield Proctor, Jr?

Redfield Proctor, Jr.
Like his father, Redfield Jr. served as Governor of VT as well as in the Vermont House and Senate. A graduate of MIT in mechanical engineering he was a prominent business man- executive at Vermont Marble Company, president of the Clarendon and Pittsford Railroad and served on the board of directors for various groups including Boston’s Shawmut Bank and the United States Chamber of Commerce. Could his civic work as a member of the Vermont Sanitarium Board, which took care of people with tuberculosis, be responsible?

The company “Redfield Proctor” has been awarded funding as a “start-up in stealth mode focused on efficiency in the cannabis industry.”  So were one or both of the Proctors secretive in their business dealings? Or could it simply be that Redfield Proctor is a well-known name in Vermont?

Don’t have an answer but when you hear Redfield Proctor in the future it may not be the former Governors of VT.


CHS is working with various groups in Vermont-Historical Society, Humanities, and the Russian Department at the University of Vermont-to plan activities throughout 2018 as a celebration of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s 100th birthday on December 11, 2018. Among the activities planned include a special proclamation signed by the Governor in January/February made possible by our local state representative Annmarie Christensen and our state senators-Nikitka, McCormick and Clarkson.

There will be an exhibit at the Vermont Historical Society Museum in Montpelier, which will focus on his time spent in Cavendish, where he was writing “The Red Wheel.” Various lectures, book discussions groups and more will be taking place in Cavendish and throughout the state.


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    __ Carmine Guica Young Historians

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                             __ Solzhenitsyn Project
__ Other (please specify)                   __ Cemetery Restoration        __ Preservation Projects

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

CHS Briefs August 1, 2017


Please also check the Cavendish VT Facebook page for photo albums of various CHS activities.

We didn’t do a brief in June, since the 1st corresponded with the release of the Spring newsletter, and when July 1st rolled around we were up to our elbows in plants and dirt for the annual plant sale. The Summer newsletter will be out shortly, but in the mean time, here’s what we’ve been doing and some dates to put on your calendar.


Blueberries!!!: Once again the McEnaneys have opened up their amazing organic blueberry patch for "Pick your Own." Bruce, CHS board member and blueberry expert, says they are the best ever thanks to all the rain. Proceeds from the picking goes towards the CTES 6th graders trip to Sturbridge Village. It's a large class so pick early and often. The McEnaneys is located at 354 Miner Rd. just over the Cavendish line in Chester. It's  off Smokeshire, which is off route 103. Thank you Bruce and Betty for your ongoing generosity. The kids love this trip. 
Stone Church: Thanks to Pieter van Schaik the powder post beetle problem has been taken care of. Whew!

Museum: Doors will hopefully be installed in August. During the torrential rainstorms this summer we’ve discovered two leaks in the Museum, which need more investigation.

Annual Plant Sale: In spite of a weekend with non-stop rain and storms, we did incredibly well and we’re already preparing for the 2018 sale. A very special thank you to Svetlana Phillips, Pieter van Schaik, Bob Naess and Margo Caulfield for braving the elements that weekend. Thank you to Kem and Svetlana Phillips for the many hours of transplanting and tending to chestnut trees and so much more; the Tings of Moonlite Meadows for the best compost ever, and particularly to Pang for helping with transplanting; Lu Choiniere-we love the diversity of your plants and it’s a real pleasure spending the morning working with you as we learn a lot; and to Tim Calabresse for the pots and carriers.

Carmine Guica Young Historians Program: We just received a significant endowment for this program, more about will be in CHS’s summer newsletter. In August, we will be meeting with each of the teachers at CTES to discuss programming that fits with their grade’s history curriculum.

Emory Benoit screening

Archeology: CHS continues to provide volunteers to the South Champlain Historical Ecology Project.  This summer, we had a 16 year old Cavendish student who spent several days on the dig to see if she’d like to pursue a career in this field. The first day on the dig, she had a chance to see a timber rattlesnake and take some incredible pictures. On her second day, she found pieces of woodland Indian pottery. In 2018, once again our 4-6 grades will have an archeology experience. We can always use volunteers for lab or field work.

Solzhenitsyn’s 100th Birthday: 2018 will be the 100th birthday of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. We’ve been meeting with the VT Historical Society, VT Humanities Council, Univ. of VT’s Russian Department, state representatives and various interested people. Lots of ideas are being discussed, but we have various activities confirmed including a proclamation from the Governor and an exhibit about his life in VT at the VHS Museum in Montpelier.  

August 20 (Sunday): Solar eclipse workshop-learn what a solar eclipse is and make projectors that can be safely used to watch the eclipse.

August 21 (Monday): Solar eclipse viewing at the CHS Museum. Will be setting up at 1:15 pm with peak viewing at 2:42. We will have a variety of ways for people to view the partial solar eclipse. Children 3 and under will only be able to use the pinhole method.

Sept 9 (Saturday). Honey Festival at the Golden Stage Inn in Proctorsville. CHS will once again be doing candle dipping with beeswax.

Sept: 10 (Sunday): Annual Phineas Gage Talk & Walk-Met at the Museum at 2 pm. Wear comfortable walking shoes for walking. The accident site is a little over ¾ of a mile from the Museum

Oct 8 (Sunday): Ghost Walk in Proctorsville. Meet, 2pm at the War Memorial in Proctorsville, which is on Route 131 (Main Street) close to the Proctorsville Fire Department and Village Clippers

If you can help with any of the following, please contact CHS; 802-226-7807 or PO Box 472, Cavendish, VT 05142

• Do you like to paint? CHS has painting projects both at the Museum and at the Stone Church.

• CHS is looking for new board members as well as volunteers who can help with various activities.