The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. - Anaïs Nin

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Today In Local History


Last Saturday, our estimable and worthy grand juror, called upon our inn-keepers, saloon-keepers, wholesale dealers, and small retailers, without distinction of age or sex, and warned them not to sell any more ardent spirits, ale, lager beer, or other intoxicating drinks, assuring them that if after that day any mother’s son of them should be found violating the laws of the State, in such cases made and provided, they should suffer all the pains and penalties for such disobedience.


It is desirable that the records of the several schools should be fully and accurately kept. It is only from the data furnished by such statistics that the character and condition of our public schools can be known.


Fuller Battery is recruiting to 75 men and is to have four guns. F.S. Brackett & Co. are to make the uniforms, which are patterned after the 5th Massachusetts Battery. The helmets are of the Prussian pattern surmounted by a red flowing plume, a style now coming largely in use with American artillery companies.


We are requested to say that none of the present board of selectmen wish to be considered as candidates for re-election.


The Vermont Wheel Club boys, to the number of an even dozen, went on a “stag racket” to Winchester, N.H., Tuesday evening, with Liveryman Higgins as pilot. Mine Host Richards gave them a supper of the sort his hostelry is famous for, and they came home convinced that they had had the best kind of a good time.


The warrant for this year’s town meeting will contain an article for building a new lock-up, one to see if the town will make an appropriation for the proposed soldiers’ monument, and to see if the town will refund its debt for a long term of years at 4 per cent interest.


The Good Will club had a progressive lotto party at the rooms last Saturday evening which was well attended, and, in the way of a good time, was a great success. The number of peanuts, of which members of the club became unwilling possessors in the course of the game, varied from 15 to 145, the unfortunate holder of the largest number receiving many expressions of sympathy and “good will.”


The estimated town expenses for the coming year are placed at $21,736.43. The selectmen state that “40 cents on a dollar each year for four years will pay all annual expenses and the entire town debt.”


Liveryman Higgins made the hearts of the young folk on High street glad Wednesday afternoon by giving them a complimentary ride about town.


Brattleboro’s long-talked-of board of trade became a reality last evening at a meeting in festival hall, which was attended by upwards of 200 citizens, including many of the representative business men. The object is to obtain the organized efforts of the citizens for the better promotion of business interests, growth and general prosperity of the town.


The Whetstone Hosiery company has this week turned out its first pairs of men’s hose, and its product may hereafter be obtained of the local retail dealers in men’s furnishing goods. The company is under the management of Arthur Pigeon and his son Ernest.


Maj. Beck’s boarding house on Linden street is hereafter to be known as “The Colonial.”


The Estey Guard will attend the inauguration of President McKinley.


E.R. Thayer, the town hall janitor, who is one of the special policemen, had two bones of the hand fractured in the melée at the Brooks House last Thursday night.


Princess Theatre and apartments burn

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Brattleboro Citizen Police Communications Committee Meeting Agenda

The Brattleboro Citizen Police Communications Committee (CPCC) will meet on Monday, December 28, 2015 at 5:30pm at the Brooks Memorial Library in the community room.

Jan Anderson
Executive Secretary
Brattleboro Town Manager's Office
(802) 251-8100


1886 Advertisement for N. I. Hawley

Hawley sells clothes. Each season he goes to New York City to find the latest and greatest fashions and best prices for his Brattleboro customers. He returns with a new load, tells us all what he has for sale, and we buy it from him.

Here is his complex advertisement for December 1886. Get your holiday goods and staple supplies!


An Extra Special Selectboard Winter Holiday Thing

An annual tradition since 2007, An Extra Special Selectboard Winter Holiday Thing captures the spirit of both the holidays and the selectboard, regardless of who is currently serving.

Presented in glorious Sock-o-rama.


Faraday Cable

1888: Seventy-seven feet of Faraday cable have been added to the telephone circuit this week to take the place of the wires which run from the switch-board in the exchange to the large standard on Harmony block. This makes a total of 481 feet of the cable in use.

Essentially, this means they are replacing bare wires with insulated wires and a multi-wire system.   That's the nutshell version; it took a lot of research and technological advances to get there.  A lot of that work was spurred on by the effort to lay a transatlantic telegraph cable, which finally succeeded in 1866, and made use of Michael Faraday's research into electromagnetism and induction.


BCTV Schedules For The Week Of 12/21/15

BCTV channel 8 schedule for the week of 12/21/15 

Monday, December 21, 2015

12:00 am Vermont Humanities Fall Conference 11/14/15

1:30 am Hunger Mtn Coop Workshop Series: Living Tiny Conversations with Lisa Rochelle

2:50 am 1st Wed: Face to Face with the Emotional Brain

4:00 am A Retrospective on Vermont Environmental History

5:20 am Rights & Democracy Summit: Building an Economy for People & the Planet


Brattleboro Time Trade Listings - Week of Decemeber 20

Brattleboro Time Trade: Exchanging services, creating connections, strengthening communities, one hour at a time.  See below for more exciting Upcoming Events and learn what Time Trade can do for you!

How Time Trade Works: You do something for someone and earn time credits for your "bank," which you can then put towards someone
else doing something for you! It's that simple - and amazing!

This week's fabulous listings, brought to you from Solstice Eve:

OFFERS (i.e. things people could do for you):

Home Arts and Crafts Projects
Learn to Stack a Round Woodpile
Pet Care in Your Home
Paper Leaf Collection Bags
Brattleboro Food Coop Member Hours
Time Credits for New Member Recruitment! Last week!


Crafting for the Homeless

Crafting for the Homeless 

Come join Brattleboro Area Jewish Community, Congregation Shir Heharim on Sunday afternoon, January 3rd, from 1:00-3:00 pm, to craft items for the homeless population in the area. Using traditional crafts, we will make hats, scarves, blankets and sleeping mats from yarn and fleece fabric.

All you need is enthusiasm and interest--techniques will be taught and projects will use basic techniques and simple patterns. This event is suitable for adults, teenagers, and kids old enough to sit still and participate. Kids younger than 12 will need to have an adult in attendance with them. If you want to, you can take projects home to work on between meetings. 


Habayyah - Schabayya

A Christian professor from Wheaton College has been censured for wearing a Habayyah in solidarity with her Muslim counterparts. The College claimed she violated their “evangelical Statement of Faith." by publicly stating that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God”.

The irony (and ignorance) of this is that she was literally correct.

Allah translates directly to “the God” or more correctly, “THE God” (In the sense of the “one and only”). Arabic Christians and Arabic-speaking Jews also refer to God as “Allah”.


1885 Advertisement for F. E. Drown

Mr. Drown is excited to share the news of holiday sales of soles. He has good goods!

In this ad, we see a cannon exploding with shoes and slippers, blasting them to residents of Brattleboro and all of Windham County. Trade is "booming," of course. Get it?


Brattleboro Senior Meals Weekly Menu - December 21 to December 25

Brattleboro Senior Meals Menu December 21 to December 25


December 21 - Red Flannel Hash

Green Beans


Apricot Pudding


Light & Shade: Cyanotypes and Drawings by Tom Fels at Mitchell - Giddings Fine Arts, January 7 to February 7, 2016.

Light & Shadow: Cyanotypes and Drawings by Tom Fels will be on view at Mitchell • Giddings Fine Arts, in downtown Brattleboro, from January 7 to February 7, 2016.

A public opening for the exhibition will be held on Thursday, January 7, from 5-7 PM. An artist talk is scheduled for
Friday, January 22, at 7 PM.

Works on display include large cyanotype prints from the Arbor and Catalpa Series from 2011 to 2014, and a selection of smaller minimalist drawings from the Linea Series of 2014. Concurrent with this exhibition, several of Fels’s large drawings from his recent Classics series are included in the biennial Open Call show at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.


Weekend Creativity Series: Julia Child's Buche De Noel

Creativity comes in all flavors. This week it involves chocolate, baking, and Julia Child.

Watch this episode to see how common items such as flour, sugar, and eggs can be creatively combined to make an edible yule log.


Brattleboro Selectboard Special Meeting Agenda - December 21

The Brattleboro Selectboard will hold a special meeting on Monday to discuss budget matters and police and fire facility plans.

I don't plan to cover this. Consider it my gift to the board - a week free of close scrutiny. (Anyone reading this is qualified and welcome to write this meeting up, of course. A gift for me?)


Brattleboro Christmas and New Year Closings

In observance of the Christmas holiday:

All Brattleboro Town offices will close at 12:00 noon on Thursday, December 24, and will be closed on Friday, December 25, 2015, with the exception of emergency services.

Brooks Memorial Library will open at 9:00am and close at 12:00 noon on Thursday, December 24, and will be closed on Friday, December 25. It will resume normal hours on Saturday, December 26.

Parking is free at all metered spaces and in the pay-and-display lots from 12:00 noon on December 24 through December 25. Parking enforcement will resume normal hours on Saturday, December 26. All other violations will be enforced.


1888 Advertisement for Ambrose Knapp Horn Blowing

Ambrose Knapp has some business news to share this holiday season. A new partnership has been formed between Knapp and Santa Claus.

The text says that "they expect by their joint efforts to give everybody a good time," and warn us "Do not let anyone deceive you into believing that Santa Claus is in any way invested in any other stock or store."


US Media Worships Republicans

If one looked at recent major media, one conclusion that could be reached is that only Republicans are running for office. There are endless stories about Trump, Carson, Cruz, Rubio, Bush, Graham, and the others. They get headlines and air time for simply existing. They get featured on Sunday political shows, and discussed and promoted by the Washington insiders and elite, as if nothing else was happening. All republicans are "serious candidates" even if they have no visible support.

One might think that Democrats no longer exist. But this is silly. Vermont's Bernie Sanders just broke a record for having 2 million online donations, more than any other candidate ever. He also just picked up the endorsement of an enormous union, the Communications Workers of America. And poll after poll show that he would trump Trump at the polls.


The Brattleboro Historical Society Presents: This Week in Brattleboro History Podcast

It was 116 years ago this week that Booker T. Washington came to Brattleboro...


Forbidding Entry

So the Donald wants to forbid entry to the US by Muslims? So much for the First Amendment.

Hardly an original proposal.

Did you know that Jews are forbidden entry to Saudi Arabia by the laws of the Kingdom? Foreigners wishing to work in the kingdom have to sign an affidavit stating that they are not Jewish. I was required to furnish a letter from a clergyman corroborating that fact.


Exhibit of Tom Fels Cyanotypes at MGFA

Light & Shade: Cyanotypes and Drawings by Tom Fels will be on view at Mitchell • Giddings Fine Arts, in downtown Brattleboro, from January 7 to February 7, 2016. Works on display include large cyanotype prints from the Arbor and Catalpa Series from 2011 to 2014, and a selection of smaller minimalist drawings from the Linea Series of 2014. Concurrent with this exhibition, several of Fels’s large drawings from his recent Classics series are included in the biennial Open Call show at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.

Tom Fels’ cyanotype series stem from his lengthy engagement with a single subject: a tree in his garden and its dappled shadows. These’ cyanotypes are cameraless photographs, popularly called “sun prints” or “shadow prints.” There is no negative; each is unique. The prints are life-sized, 1:1 scale renderings of their natural subject matter. The cyanotype is an early process of great simplicity and unique color (a deep blue, cyan). Typically, the method has been employed to produce silhouettes – of leaves, for example, as in the botanical illustrations of the pioneer British photographer Anna Atkins (1799-1871) – but the same process was also used to make photographic prints from negatives, as well as architectural blueprints.


1887 Emerson & Son Advertisement

You will want to get down to Emerson & Son on Main Street this 1887 holiday season to take advantage of the great deals they are offering.

Bargains include rocking chairs priced $1 to $6, an easy chair for $5, a sled for fifty cents, easels, ottomans, work boxes, music racks, and more. Get an entire parlor set for $30 if you have the money.

$1.50 buys you a foot rest and a portable desk can be had for a dollar.

With such good prices, I wonder if this store will be able to last?


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