Sunday, November 12, 2023

THE SCRIBBLER II: Fall 2023 Newsletter

The Cavendish Historical Society Newsletter


PO Box 472 Cavendish, VT 05142



Fall 2023  Vol. 17, Issue 4




The holidays are rapidly approaching and the Cavendish Historical Society is trying something new this year. We’re hosting a special event centered around Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” 


Written as a social commentary on the deplorable conditions for the poor, Dickens selected this format as being far more appealing than a tract, which many would have ignored. Cash strapped from his American tour, Dickens thought this was a good way to raise money for his growing family, and besides this was the right time of year for a good ghost story. 


As it was, Dickens didn’t make much money from the sale of his book-the binding was very expensive-but he left the world a richer place, with an endearing yearly tradition. Given the events of the last four months, his messages of charity and hope are quite appropriate. 


CHS’s Dickens’ Christmas Carol takes place on December 17, Sunday, at the former Crows Corner Bakery on Depot St. in Proctorsville starting at 3 pm.  It will feature a variety of workshops, including wreath and ornament making, hot chocolate tasting, mince pies and maybe best of all, Cavendish ghost stories told round the hearth (more like a bonfire) in the evening. More information will be posted around Thanksgiving and will be part of the Dec. 1 CHS Briefs.




In October, the K-2nd grade students at Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) visited the one room school on Center Rd and the Tings’ Farm on East Rd. The 1st and 2nd graders were being read Sandra Stearns’ book, “Cavendish Hillside Farm 1939 to 1957.” The students not only visited the school Sandy attended, but they “walked her home,” as the Tings’ Farm (called Morse Farm at the time) on East Rd is right next to Sandy’s childhood home.


We were thrilled to have Hollis Quinn give us a guided tour of the one room schoolhouse. Hollis was a first grader at the school and his mother, Jane Quinn, featured in Sandy’s book,  was one of her teachers. Because the students enjoyed learning about Sandy’s childhood not only from her book but also the field trip, we thought people might enjoy learning about Halloween and included an excerpt at the CHS blog. Very popular, we've included another chapter, in keeping with the winter months ahead. This excerpt is from Sandy’s book, “Mud, Snow, Still We Go.”


We, today, have become pampered rural citizens. We expect our roads to be plowed and well sanded so we can come and go at any time without effort on our part.


This was not the way of life when I was growing up. A major snowstorm meant we would be “motor vehicle” stranded for 2 or 3 days at a time, until the old “Oshkosh” had time to open all the main arteries, working down to the less traveled roads. It did not cancel anything. Dad waded through the snow to and from work on the third shift at Gay Brothers Mill. We trod through the snow, sometimes waist deep to school each day. Jan, and later Don Ackley, being taller broke the trail and I floundered along behind. When the weather was below zero we bundled up in several layers of clothing, and with scarves over our faces, trekked to school. By the time we reached the Morgan Bridge, I would be frozen. “I’m going home,” I cried. “You might as well go on to school. You’re over halfway now! Jan would coaxingly reply. I have never remembered to check the distance on my speedometer, but I think it was a fib. Never the less, I continued on. 


Outings with the car or truck were sometimes exciting. If it was snowing, chains might be installed before we left home. Most times, however, we knew the main road would be practically bare, at least in the middle, so we slid and slithered down to Belknap’s Sawmill. Driving on the bare tar quickly wore out a set of chains. The nearer we drew to home on our way back, the more anxious we became. Would we make it back up the hill? We never approached the hill directly. The corner by Ackley’s (now Don and Rita Elliot’s) [corner of Brook and East Roads] was turned. Then we backed across the bridge to get a start on the hill. Dad shifted into first, then into second as we gathered speed to attack the hill. What a glorious relief if we made it on the first try. Often this was not the case. Down the hill we backed, slipping and sliding. This time we backed across the bridge and around the sharp corner. Dad stepped on the gas more firmly and we shot up the hill, chewing our way up bit by bit. Sometimes we needed a third try. How heartbreaking to reach the top of the hill by the big rock and not have quite enough momentum to carry us over the top. Mom and we, kids, would disembark and gather up the perishable groceries, just in in case Dad didn’t make it on the last try, and carry them home. Dad would reverse to the bottom once more and put on the chains. Usually this would be enough to get the vehicle home. ….


During mud season Dad usually left the truck at Belknap’s and we walked home carrying whatever we had. If the shopping had been extra large, I was allowed to drive the horse and wagon back down to pick up the supplies. We knew the road was bad and never complained. Often some of the family would take a shovel and turn the water into the ditches, etc. Visitors didn’t know so much about road conditions and often tried to drive through. Dad has a single whiffletree and chain handy during mud season for towing out stranded motorists. I often rode the horse to the mired vehicle while Dad walked. As I grew older I went alone. One end of the chain was wrapped around the bumper (in those days a bumper was built to last) and the other end was  attached to the whiffletree and tugs of the harness. Away we would go, the horse and I, pulling the car onto solid ground. Grateful drivers were thankful to be able to continue on their way and often pressed me to accept a token of their appreciation. I loved mud season and the profit I reaped from it.


Copies of “Cavendish Hillside Farm 1939 to 1957” are available in time for holiday gift giving by sending a check for $15, plus $5 shipping and handling to CHS, PO Box 472 Cavendish VT 05142. To pick up a copy, call 802-226-7807 or e-mail





While cleaning in the Museum, we came across a booklet that was written by Genevieve H. Koziol-Moore in August 2001, that was prefaced with, “This narrative is offered to provide a bird’s eye view of the Polish American persona and culture contributing to the fellowship of the community. My sincere thanks to Kamilia/Wanda Wirzbicki who initially approached me to record the data, to Sophie Antoniewicz-Snarski who motivated me to do it and Linda Welsh who became the catalytic agent to facilitate it. I appreciate Sophie’s editing of the draft and informative/sequence corrections for authenticity.


The daughter of Anthony and Mary Koziol, Genevieve was born October 23, 1921 in Proctorsville and died at the age of 90 in Chester, NY. She graduated from Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing in 1943, served in the US Army Nurse Corps, ETO from 1944-45 and acquired a BS and MA degree in Nursing Administration from New York University in 1964 and an MPS in Health Services Administration from the New School University in 1994. Her activities focused on reorganization, upgrading and updating sophisticated nursing services as Nursing Director in 5 hospitals and multiple departments in a Health Center as Assistant Executive Director. She pioneered, coordinated, and integrated safety, legal, business practices and positive mental health approaches in facilities throughout Rockland, Orange and Sullivan counties. 


Mill Housing

Koziol-Moore’s parents immigrated to the U.S. when they were both 14. Anthony was employed at the nearby woolen factory, where he started being trained as a loom fixer. He met Mary Cijka and married when they were both 18.  They  lived and worked in Proctorsville. From then on the family moved every time Anthony left one mill to go to another for better remuneration or because production had decreased. At one time, the family moved 3 times in Proctorsville to be closer to employment. When I was born, we moved to Ludlow as Dad was working at the Jewel Brook Mill.


Dad acquired a job as an automatic loom fixer in Cavendish, at the Gay Woolen Mill so we moved to Cavendish. The owners of the mill provided 3 buildings across from the mill which had 4 and 5 room apartments at reasonable rates ($1.00 per week) for employees at the mill. Most of these were occupied by Polish families. It was known as “the block” and became an insular Polish community where only Polish was spoken. 


Polish customs were observed on Holidays. The group was a stoical one but eagerly responded to any event like a birthday or a christening party to celebrate. A few of the White Russians (displaced Poles in Russia) were always there with an accordian and their fancy Cossack dancing. From habit, they talked White Russian, which the Polish children misinterpreted to be intentional. Food was available at Perkin’s Store, Anna Percy’s Store, a milk farm and migrant farmers selling vegetables and fruits. 


The children were called “Square Head” by the rest of the community, implying they were mentally deficient. In response as the children started school speaking only Polish., they attempted to excel to eliminate the stigma and ramification of the name-calling. As they learned English they came home and taught their folks. ….Our parents were interested in knowing the derivation of the town name, Cavendish. Research in the library indicated that it was probably named after Lord Cavendish of England by the early English settlers. However, the derivation we as children preferred was based on local folklore: When early settlers and Indians lived together, one day an Indian was walking on a path by the cosw pasture when he saw that a calf had gone through the fence and had fallen in a ditch. He quickly ran to the farmer in the corn field and said in broken English, pointing to the path ‘Calf in dish.’ From then on the hamlet was called Cavendish. 


The night of the flood that gutted the southern portion of Cavendish by the overflowing Black River from Ludlow, leaving a gully was a memorable night. Word came through that water by the dam in Ludlow was rising and it was uncertain if the dam would survive. We were instructed to pack knapsacks of only important items and to proceed to Olin Gay’s home on the hill behind the block. [The house owned by the Bonts until 2021] The thundering sound of the river and the line our refugees with flashlights following the path to safer terrain was awesome. The Olin Gays met us at the door to their huge living room and served us hot chocolate, coffee, sandwiches, cookies and doughnuts in front of their fireplace with a roaring fire. It was like being in a palace compared to our apartment without a bathtub. We stayed there until the rain abated and it was safe to return. However, no one could sleep as the thunder of water roaring down the fields towards Whitesville, where the night before it had excavated the Prokulewicz home and others, was prohibitive.


The Poles attended evening classes to learn English and naturalization requirements. There was much revelry periodically, with dinners served in the Ludlow and Proctorsville Grange Halls. The food was cooked by the women and then reheated in the hall kitchens. Usually after the dinner there was polka dancing. The young girls danced with each other, learning the steps by watching the adults. During the summer there were Polish Picnics at the Ludlow Soapstone Mine site attended by Poles near and far. Polish people love to eat, drink and be merry. A dancing platform was constructed, a live polka band officiated and the men cooked hotdogs, corn, hamburgers, kielbaszi and served sodas and beer. On occasion, street fairs were held in Proctorsville with dancing on the road in front of the school and fireworks in the evening. 




With the new school year comes a new program for Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES), a Young Historians Club after school for students in grades 3-6. We’re thrilled to have Gloria Leven as an integral part of the program. At a hundred years old, Gloria is “witness to a century.”


She grew up in Huntington, W VA, where her father, I. Ben Romer, was the manager of two departments stores-Huntington Dry Goods and Bradshaw-Diehl. When asked her about life during the Depression, she explained her father’s position keep the family well cared for. However, she had vivid memories of those in need and how her mother would help them.


Students are amazed that a candy bar, such as a Baby Ruth, was five cents and that there really was such a thing as “penny candy,” some of which was two pieces for a penny. 


Gloria answers all the questions the students have, be it favorite Hollywood stars-she loved Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers-to what was it like to go to school. 


Gloria went to a one room school house from first through six grades. From there she attended what she called “a real school.” Ultimately she graduated from Ohio State with a degree in social work. Her father was very clear that it was important for her to have a career and make her own living, and to do that, she needed to go to college.




One of the many events cancelled this summer thanks to the floods, was a hike to the quarry in Proctorsville. In response to questions we received about the quarry, in 1836, the Black River Marble and Soapstone Manufacturing company was established for extraction of the green serpentine rock -Verde Antique. The original quarry was located on the Black River, near Winery Road at a place formerly called Hart’s Bend. It was moved to its present location, off of Twenty Mile Stream Road in 1931 when Antonio Moriglioni operated the Quarry until the local mill owners squeezed him out of business during World War II. With the mills, and other area businesses having military contracts, they needed the power and viewed the quarry as a “luxury item,” and not necessary for the war effort. In 1989 the Ruby brothers, from Fair Haven, attempted to open the quarry but did not have the necessary equipment. In the late 1990’s Vermont Quarries (owned by an Italian company) bought a 20-year lease to remove stone. The quarry was worked for 3-4 years and then ceased. During this time, stone was shipped for cutting to Italy, Spain and Brazil. 





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               __ Young Historians                  __Publications

__ Archaeological Activities                _ Museum & Archival             __ Special Events

__ Rankin Fund                            __  Williams Fund                    __ Solzhenitsyn Project 

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



Monday, October 30, 2023

Ghosts and Goblins from Cavendish Hillside Farm 1939 to 1957 by Sandra Field Stearns

With the current trend of “Trunk or Treat,” costumes from WalMart, “nothing tooooo scary,” and games of “bobbing for apples strictly prohibited because of germs,  it’s interesting to look back on how the Cavendish Center Rd School, corner of Center and Town Farm Roads,  celebrated Halloween in the late 1940s. The chapter  Ghosts and Goblins is from Sandra Field Stearns book “Cavendish Hillside Farm 1939 to 1957.” 

 Sandy wrote the book about her Cavendish childhood to help people, particularly her children and grandchildren,  remember, understand and appreciate things that were “just the way they were” to us who lived them. The book was published in 1995 and is available for sale from the Cavendish Historical Society. The cost is $15 plus $5 shipping and handling if required. Checks should be sent to Cavendish Historical Society, PO Box 472, Cavendish VT 05142. For more information call 802-226-7807 or e-mail


Each year the Center School had a Halloween party. Our greatest joy was to be invited to Cliff and Marion Johnson’s home to explore their attic looking for our attire. High button shoes, red flannelled long johns and dresses and hats from years ago were abundant there. Marion was always good for a unique costume herself. An unknown student always appeared and only by the process of elimination and observance of a missing person were we able to identify her.


Corks were burned and rubbed on our hands and faces to darken them. Lipstick was used liberally and we wore it for days before it washed off completely. Pillows were stuffed everywhere in our costumes making humped backs, roly-poly bellies, extreme fannies and bouncing cleavages. We wore our dad’s boots and shoes, the bigger the better. Our teacher, Mrs. Pickard, often dressed up as a gypsy and would tell our fortunes by the lines in our palms. Costumes were judged and prizes were awarded.


Apples were floated in a large tub of water and we bobbed for them. Faces were dunked under the water, trying to push the apple to the bottom, where we would be able to get it between our teeth and rise triumphant with our prize. The best way to snare the apple was that way, but much time was spent turning it into just the position you wanted. Usually it promptly rolled back whatever way it wanted as soon as your hand hands were eliminated from helping. Apples or donuts were suspended from the ceiling by strings. Our hands were tied behind our backs, and we attempted to consume the dangling food as it swung back and forth It was a neighborhood party and everyone, young and old, was involved. 


The older students made a ghost walk outside, around the building. It was real dark so a rope was used to guide the “unsuspecting” parents thru our horrible moans, rattling chains, clanging pans, crazy cackles and wolf howls. The route and the noise never changed much from year to year, but our loyal parents made our efforts worthwhile. They fulfilled their role of scared participants and we were delighted with their shrieks of fright!


One year we were invited to attend and participate in the large Halloween party at Duttonsville in the Town Hall [now. the current Museum]. We had never been trick or treating and most of us were too bashful to try. I, for one, felt lost among all those unknown kids and did not enjoy myself. It was decided after that to continue our own party.


A special treat for the kids was our “Find the Right Shoe Game” for the parents. Wives were taken out into the hall. They each removed the same shoe from their foot. These shoes were placed in the classroom in a pile. One at a time, our mothers would poke their foot around the door while keeping the rest of their body out of sight. The husbands had to decide if that was their wife’s foot, then pick out the right shoe and see if it fit. We were kept in stitches by how often our fathers couldn’t tell their wife’s foot, much less fined the right shoe.


Another favorite contest was pie eating. Contestants of all ages were seated at a table with their hands tied behind them. A piece of pie was placed on a plate in front of each one. Using only their mouths they gobbled and smeared pie from ear to ear as they tried to be the first to finish their piece. Of course blueberry was the chosen flavor because it up so nicely. Another contest was to see who could eat a whole pie in the same manner in the shortest time.


As we grew tired, cider and donuts were shared by everyone. Our hopes for haunting had been fulfilled for another year. 

Friday, September 1, 2023

September 2023 Briefs

 If you have questions or would like to volunteer with CHS, please e-mail or call 802-226-7807.


Upcoming Events

• September 9 (Saturday):

 10-4 Honey Festival at the Golden Stage Inn (Depot St. and 103 in Proctorsville. CHS will once again provide an opportunity to make a beeswax birthday candle. New this year will be a chance for people to make a beeswax seal. Started in the middle ages, seals were used to provide a level of security to a document or letter. The wax seal would also help to verify the sender's identity, with most families putting their initials in the stamp.


• September 10 (Sunday): Annual Phineas Gage Walk & Talk, begins at 2 pm with the talk at the Museum, followed by the walk. Please wear comfortable shoes.


• October 8 (Sunday): Last day the Museum is open for the season. 


Events in the Planning: These are events we are working on and will have more information about them in the October Brief.


• Samhain/Dia de los Muertos Celebration:
 October 28. Reviewing for the Phineas Gage talk, reminded us of the Irish who were building the railroad at the time of Gage’s accident. They would have been celebrating Samhain, the Gaelic festival that marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or “darker half” of the year. Many of those traditions are the roots of our current Halloween traditions. 


Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and Samhain share a common belief that at this time of year the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest and spirits travel to visit loved ones. While aspects of Dia de los Muertos are rooted in the Aztecs, it has been heavily influenced by the Danse Macabre of Medieval Europe. Both traditions celebrate with food, altars and particular crafts. 


• Christmas Ghost Walk in Proctorsville: December







Wednesday, August 16, 2023

CHS Summer 2023 Newsletter

 This is a special edition of the newsletter. While we want to make note of one of the Cavendish Historical Society’s (CHS) most dedicated members, Gloria Leven, we also want to document the historic activities of the July 2023 floods. 

Unfortunately, activities we had planned for the summer, several hikes and more, will have to wait until next season. However, it is safe to hold the Annual Phineas Gage Walk & Talk on Sept. 12 (Sunday) at 2pm. We will begin at the Museum with the talk. It’s about ¾ of a mile to the accident site, so please wear comfortable shoes.




A component of the CHS Young Historians program, Preserve and Serve, has students from Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) providing an array of community services including fall and spring chores for both town gardens as well as for neighbors. In early June, the CTES 6th grade went to Gloria Leven’s house to rake, prune, plant and prepare for the summer. Gloria was a month shy of her 100th birthday. She was so pleased she wrote the following note:


Dear Margo & Robin & all wonderful kids and helpers-

What can I say?

Your cheerful, happy giving of your selves to clean up my yard and work together to make my backyard lovely and cared for is beyond my thanks.


The fun of giving is so beautiful!


I have no words to tell you what it means for me to see children happily working and realizing what their giving is such a wonderful learning for them-to be helping others!


All my thanks to all the kids-and to the lovely adults!




Gloria Leven


Before the students arrived, Gloria wondered how she was so lucky to have people helping her. I assured her that we were returning the favor as for so many years Gloria gave of herself, whether it was for CHS, the school or the library, she has been Cavendish’s #1 volunteer. 


A special thanks to Dr. John Rice, who drove the bus with the students to Gloria’s and stayed to help prune, rake and motivate.


They say a picture is worth a thousand words and we’ve gathered various photographs to do just that.   The drone shot by Allen Clark gives a good indication of the flooding of Cavendish village. While Mack Molding was surrounded by water, the mitigation measures taken after Irene helped them reopen within a day of the event, versus the month or more after Irene. However, they didn’t “drain the swamp” before someone decided to go kayaking in the parking lot. 


With 98% of Cavendish in the Black River watershed, not only did the River come roaring through the villages, but brooks, streams, and other tributaries of the River caused incredible flooding. And it just wasn’t confined to July 9-10. Flash floods continued for the next several weeks. Roads that were put back together, once again washed out. 


While Irene was considered a once in a 100 year flood, these events, thanks to climate change, are more likely to be once every 5-10 years, with potentially shorter intervals.


According to Time Magazine, The extreme flooding unusually occurred as El Nino, a climate phenomenon, has begun. Across the northern U.S. and Canada El NiƱo typically brings warm, dryer temperatures, while the southern U.S. faces greater precipitation and flooding. A slow-moving storm system stuck between Greenland and Canada and incoming tropical moisture from the south were the main cause of this week’s storms. However, the extreme rainfall is also indicative of greater changes caused by climate change. Flooding will only become more common as the atmosphere becomes warmer, causing the air to hold greater moisture and thus create more precipitation.



A good day for kayaking

Sign by Lily Calabrese
July 9 was preparation day for the town crew, fire departments and shelter team. Sleep wasn’t coming easy, as both fire departments bedded town for the night at their respective stations, and cell phones were constantly beeping with updates. At one point, phones literally screamed, a sound few had ever heard before, as the flood warning was in full alert.


By 6 am, water rescues were underway and the Cavendish Shelter, located at the Cavendish Baptist Church, was in full swing. 


Quickly filling up, everyone was welcome including dogs and cats. At one point, it appeared the Church’s parking area was going to flood. Cyrus Gross, all of 15, dug a trench to re direct the water with his father’s tractor. 


On July 11, the Cavendish Update reported, So many people have stepped to the plate and are helping in the most unbelievable ways. Our first responders-Cavendish and Proctorsville Fire Departments-are doing an incredible job at rescue and keeping people safe. The shelter crew is keeping people fed and housed. The town office is answering calls and helping to guide help where it’s needed. Most of all thank you to the people of Cavendish for keeping it together and doing what we always do-take care of one another. If you have to have this kind of emergency, there is no better place to be than Cavendish. 

Outer Limits

While lots of pictures were being taken during the rain, it wasn’t until the morning after that the extent of the damage could be seen. Fortunately there was no “Cavendish Canyon” and the repairs made after Irene held . However, 131 between Brook Rd and the intersection of 131 and 106 was wrecked and had to be closed. As of Aug. 15, it’s still closed, with no date for re-opening.


Depot St. by Train tracks


Depot Street once again was hard hit. Train tracks were twisted. Debris was everywhere and homes that had been damaged in Irene seemed to have had more damage than from that tropical storm. 


House on Depot

Having been through it before, people knew that the first order of business was to drain the basements, clear out the muck and begin mold remediation. However, this turned out to be easier said than done. The constant rains created conditions that were not conducive to drying out. Further, many properties not impacted by Irene, were dealing with flooded basements, damaged driveways and roads along with overflowing culverts. Few in Cavendish were spared one issue or another.


"Irene lasted for about 24 hours. It was raining one day. It was a Sunday afternoon, and then I think it was Monday, we woke up... the sun was shining. And we went out to look at the damage and we were able to get to work immediately, said Gov. Phil Scott. Unfortunately, it started raining on Sunday July 9th and continued throughout July 10th. 




Store Manager Steve 

Once again the people of Cavendish rallied. Not only did the shelter remain open for two weeks, but it’s currently serving as the base for the Mennonite Disaster Relief teams that have come to help restore and rebuild in the Okemo Valley. 



Cyrus & Rodney walking Depot St.

In the two weeks the Shelter was open, over 2,000 meals were provided. Unlike Irene, where it was three weeks before power and water were restored, the water system held and power was restored within 21 hours town wide. Consequently, instead of coming to the shelter for meals, many wanted to stay home and work. Meals were delivered to homes, work crews and even the flaggers. As one of the women flaggers on Route 131, when asked if she needed anything, noted. “I’ve got Rodney.”


Originally from Cavendish, Rodney now lives in Tinmouth, VT. He came almost daily  for about 10 days delivering breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with drinks and snacks. Some will remember  Cara Tyrrel and her daughters pulling their wagon on Depot filled with food and water following Irene. Once again Cara and her daughter Caroline were pulling a new wagon in the Depot Street area. 


Store Manager Steve (Steve Jobrack) kept customers happy by helping them shop for the right items they needed for cleaning, as well as food, snacks and other items. However, his buttoning skills left a bit to be desired, as he modeled a shirt someone had donated.

Store in the Pews

Because the Shelter store took up the pews of the Baptist Church, Sunday service was held at the Cavendish Stone Church, just across the street. Abe is definitely a pulpit preacher.  
Abe Gross at the Stone Church


Mike helping out 



 McNamara, as he did after Irene, was lending a hand where ever it was needed. His nickname this time was “Mr. Clean,” as he never left the shelter without loading up his truck with cleaning supplies. His daughter Kelly made the most incredible meals for the shelter - no one will ever forget her amazing breakfast sandwiches. Diane, who is Cavendish’s Town Clerk, was manning the phones while her family was in the kitchen and on the streets.  


Since Abe Gross is the pastor of the Cavendish Baptist Church it wasn’t surprising to see his entire family involved in all aspects of running the shelter, be it laundry, meals, cleaning, dog walking, making beds, answering phones, stocking the store, answering questions and more. Cyrus hasn’t slowed down a minute. If he’s not on the tractor, he’s helping to hang dry wall in some of the homes where he tore it out. 

Many have responded in so many different ways. One of my favorites was the Goodman’s setting up their pizza truck in front of their house on Depot St. treating their neighbors and community. The concert series continued, though several of the concerts were held on school grounds. Even the annual Tag Sale happened but  was held over two days because of the rain. 


As we pass the one month mark of the flood, this recovery is much different than Irene. Property owners and Ludlow have sustained a lot more damage than in 2011. Many thought they’d never see another such event in their life time after Irene. Now there are comments about climate change, hazardous mitigation, buyouts, moving and the concern of what the fall hurricane season will bring.  The Black River, as photographed on August 14, continues to flow through our town where we are Vermont Strong, Cavendish Safe.

View from Mill St. Bridge



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               __ Young Historians                  __Publications

__ Archaeological Activities                _ Museum & Archival             __ Special Events

__ Rankin Fund                            __  Williams Fund                    __ Solzhenitsyn Project 

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