This week BAMS students traveled to Burlington to present our podcast to the Vermont Alliance for Social Studies Conference at the Hilton. Ethan and Ira Allen were sketchy land speculators during the 1770's, as well as, Vermont independence heroes. This is the story...
This Week in Brattleboro History - James Conland, Rudyard Kipling and Captains Courageous
Orly Munzing, Dwight Miller and the genesis of Brattleboro's Strolling of the Heifers.
Released November 24, 2016.
Produced by BHS trustee, Joe Rivers and his students at the Brattleboro Area Middle School.
Vermont Public Radio's Brave Little State show just published (online with audio) their latest installement, which begins in Brattleboro's Locust Ridge Cemetery, with yours truly. Check out the episode and enjoy the story!
VPR Link here.
From today in history 11/2/16:
The Main street canal has been dredged out this week, about six inches of deposit being scraped up and carted off. Common report has it that a charter for the “Brattleboro Canal company” is being drawn up and that its passage will be asked of the legislature permitting navigation to be opened between the Vermont National bank corner and the junction of No. Main and Asylum streets.
We refuse absolutely to repeat the remarks about the condition of the street crossings which the letter carriers have made to us the past week. They are all good boys, and if they grew profane when they saw the mud half-way up to their knees they were excusable and it will never be set against them as a sin.
This article continues in the vein of my previous piece, Chain Reactions. The events described in both happen in roughly the same timespan, yet this one looks at impacts individuals can have. These articles share a common theme, that being; what are among the greatest assets of our country have come about as byproducts of our worst behavior. This is less a case of finding a silver lining, I prefer to see it as recognizing a lotus emerging from the muck.
We know plenty about Henry David Thoreau’s famous retreat, and his legendary wanderings. However were it not for the meeting and influence of his Penobscot friends, Joe Aitteon and Joe Polis, Thoreau’s time at Walden pond might have been a singular episode rather than the start of a lifelong obsession. It was these friendships that took HDT from admirer of Nature to avid student, from a pastoral pastime to a central compulsion.
Rich Holschuh serves on the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs and spends his nights and weekends investigating the story of Brattleboro and its peoples, dating to a time 12,000 years before William Brattle was even a twinkle...
In this podcast, Rich talks about his work uncovering the history of Brattleboro's first peoples and reconnecting modern peoples to that heritage.
135-65 Million years ago, shallow seas covered much of what would later be constellated as the Southern States. More specifically, the ancient North American coastline corresponded with what is now termed the Mississippi Delta. As a result, the soil there, in a fairly narrow crescent, was particularly fertile due to the deposits of chalk and other alkaline elements. So fertile, in fact, that cotton production flourished to a greater degree there than anywhere else on the planet.
Early Vermont histories portrayed this area's aboriginal peoples as transients who occasionally passed through southern Vermont, en route to and from Northern New York and Canada, but were ultimately not residents of the area and therefor had little claim on these lands.
In this podcast Joe Rivers and his intrepid band of middle school historians show that those early Vermont histories were very much mistaken.
The founding of a nation-state must decide where its powers belong. In a nation where the dichotomy of centralization and decentralization proponents exists it is confronted with black or white propositions that actually create shades of gray tugging on both trends.
The United States Constitution was written to be a strongly centralist document with a smattering of decentralist characteristics. Some of the founding members thought that it lacked balance until the Bill of Rights satisfied their arguments against ratification.
It's not often that something happens that cries out to be corrected and then, in a matter of days, it is. I'm not talking about Vermont's GMO law either (which Congress mooted within the month) – no, I'm talking about Indigenous Peoples Day which has been proposed, here and elsewhere, as a less racist and more fair alternative to traditional Columbus Day. Unfortunately, honoring native American people was not something the Selectboard could get its collective mind around and Indigenous Peoples Day lost here in Brattleboro by a vote of 2-3. But just when you thought all was lost, along comes Governor Shumlin with a state-wide proclamation of Indigenous Peoples Day, signed, sealed, and delivered. What do you know, we get to celebrate Indigenous People's Day after
In the spring of 1909, the completion of a new hydro-electric dam in Vernon created at 28 mile long lake, from Vermont's southern boarder with Massachusetts to Bellows Falls, as waters began to back up and subsume much of the river-adjacent countryside. On average, the water level rose 30 feet and eventually flooded more than 150 farms. Among the lands subsumed by permanent flood waters were a series of petroglyphs sites near the confluence of the West River and Connecticut River dating from a precolonial epoch, in the lands now known as Brattleboro, Vermont.
In August of 2015, after a 30-year search, underwater explorer Annette Spaulding found one of the petroglyph sites, subsumed in 1909 and unseen by persons for over a century.
Many circuses came to Brattleboro, thanks to the train. At the link below there is more information about the life of Pentland the famous clown, who was mentioned in the Today in History Column.
Here is the original post that Chris posted from a newspaper from that time.
Lent’s Great National Circus which exhibits of the Island to-day is one of the oldest established as well as one of the most extensive exhibitions extant. Joe Pentland is the clown."
I saw the Today in History Column had a mention of a Belva Lockwood Burlesque, and thought that other readers would be interested in knowing that Belva was a famous advocate of women's rights in her day, and that men in numerous towns created Belva Lockwood burlesques, where they would mock her, apparently by dressing up in drag, and mocking her, as near as I can make of it from reading old books that have been digitized.
Here is the wikipedia biography.
Five years ago, this week, a freak-show hurricane cum tropical storm called Irene, dropped unprecedented amounts of rain on the state of Vermont. Brattleboro's many waterways swelled beyond their banks, including the Whetstone Brook, which crept, uninvited, on to Flat Street, creating a brown, muddy lake, damaging buildings and closing business.
BHS Trustee Joe Rivers spoke with Boys & Girls Clubs interim director, Ricky Davidson, about the day Irene visited ruination upon Brattleboro, the damage no one saw coming, and the equally tremendous swell of community spirit and generosity that aided a remarkable recovery.
Photo by and courtesy of Peter LaMorder
Ten years ago this week the Brattleboro Farmers Market announced it would purchase the old Creamery property in order to expand the Market. Have you ever wondered about the land where the Market is located? Here's a bit of it's history...
In 1977 the world was a different place, local car mechanic Henry Diemer reflects on the changes in Brattleboro and in the automotive world...
Nine years ago a naked skateboarder was stopped by police and warned that he could be fined $25—not for nudity---but for skateboarding on a Brattleboro sidewalk. Here's the story...