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Welcome to iBrattleboro!

Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

History


History section

The Hinsdale Bridge: An Audio History from the Brattleboro Historical Society

Plans for a new Brattleboro-Hinsdale Bridge are in the works. Here's some history on the subject...

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First Wednesdays - Nothing to Fear, But Fear Itself: FDR and the New Deal

From 1929 to 1939, the US experienced the longest and worst economic depression in its history and the first in which the federal government acted decisively to reverse it. Join us on October 4, 2017 at 7 pm as UVM History Professor Emeritus Mark A. Stoler discusses how Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal changed the government’s role in the economy and affected the lives of Americans in ways that are still with us today.

This program is underwritten by: University of Vermont Humanitites Center

Statewide underwriters include:

National Life Group

Alma Gibbs Donchian Foundation

Vermont Department of Libraries

Institute of Museum and Library Services

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The Full Story: Brooks Memorial Library Celebrates Building's 50th Aniversary with All-Day Party on September 23rd

For centuries, Brattleboro has enjoyed a love affair with books.

“Since 1842, Brattleboro readers have been privileged to borrow books,” begins the 1965 prospectus for a new modern, $560,000 library building on Main Street that would open on September 23, 1967.  It’s your 50th birthday, Brooks Memorial Library building!

In celebration, the Trustees of Brooks Memorial Library, the staff and the Friends of Brooks Memorial Library are throwing a big party for the public on Sept. 23 — the very day the library opened fifty years earlier!

The library itself goes back even further. It is named after one of Brattleboro’s most colorful characters, George J. Brooks, who gave the town its first library building way back in 1887. Brooks was described this way in the prospectus: “(The money) was given by a bachelor who spent his boyhood in Chesterfield, N.H. clerked in stores in Brattleboro, farmed in Illinois and made his fortune in a wholesale paper business on the West Coast in the “gold fever” years, the building Mr. Brooks constructed and presented to the town was described as ‘beautiful and commodious.’ At its opening it housed a collection of about 5,000 volumes. The impressive dedication ceremonies took place on Jan. 25, 1887, a month after the town’s benefactor died unexpectedly of a heart attack, a draft of his dedication speech on his desk.”

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Brattleboro History Radio - Episode 100 - Addison, Fort Dummer and the Next Generation

In this episode we tell the history of Brattleboro from day 1, discuss the historiography of Brattleboro from its inception to today, and introduce a few future historians… All 4 minutes.

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That Time the World Champion Celtics Played in Brattleboro

In 1957 the Celtic legends Bill Russell, Bob Cousy and Sam Jones played in the Brattleboro High School gym. Art Freeman remembers them well, but also remembers unsung hero, power forward Jim Loscutoff. Here's the story...

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Field Trip

The scene is the Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tennessee. For those unaware, in addition to its nickname as the birthplace of rock and roll, and being the largest city on the Mississippi River, Memphis is named after another Delta city, the ancient capital of lower Egypt, a mighty dynasty long since vanished into oblivion. Most notably, Memphis is where Martin Luther King was shot. That exact spot being the setting for this encounter. 

King was killed on the balcony of Room 306 in the Lorraine Motel, and as you can see from pictures, something is frozen in time there.  Strikingly, the Civil Rights Museum is built into the Lorraine Motel. Its galleries mushroomed from the original motel, now one of the more intense curatorial excursions you can take in this country concerning the plight of African Americans.  

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BHS Podcast e99 - The Guilford Street Ski Tow & The Origins of Living Memorial Park

The Guilford Street Ski Tow began in 1938. It was one of the 1st three ski tows in New England and led the way as nearly 700 community and neighborhood ski areas sprang to life in Vermont alone. In the intervening years 620 of those once-thriving community ski hills have closed, but the Guilford Street Ski Tow remains.

Here's the origin story of Brattleboro’s favorite ski hill and subsequent creation of a 4-season, Living Memorial Park, to honor all those who served in the second world war.

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First Wednesdays at Brooks Library: The Indian World of George Washington

The upcoming Vermont Humanities Council's First Wednesday lecture will discuss how George Washington handled his interactions with Indian peoples. Join us on Wednesday, May 3 at 7 pm at Brooks Memorial Library. Dartmouth College professor Colin Calloway will look at the first president's relations with Indian peoples and consider how Native American nations and lands shaped the man who shaped the republic.

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Brattleboro Historical Society Podcast e98 - Robert Wesselhoeft's Water Cure

In 1840 Dr. Robert Wesselhoeft moved to Boston from Germany. He was publicly humiliated by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes and driven from town. Wesselhoeft moved his family to Brattleboro and opened a "Water Cure"...here's the story...

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Avant-Garde: The Four of Us and the Single Issue Movement

As a longtime marijuana activist, I took an informal review of the state of marijuana in Vermont when I came to Brattleboro almost ten years ago. Evidently, marijuana was a very popular drug of choice and commonly used. But I never dreamed that down the road four guys would help to create a refuge from the storm of prosecutorial madness for personal-use possession of marijuana.

In early March 2010 the Brattleboro Reformer published a photograph of Daryl Pillsbury holding a large sign during Election Day that said “Legalize Marijuana.” There was no article.

By itself, it was electrifying.

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Brattleboro History Podcast e91 - Mary Shiminski I Love You!

In 1974 Mary Shiminski broke up with her boyfriend, Bert Salva. What followed inspired poetry, art and song. Here's the story...

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Historical Society Podcast - Anna Marsh and the Brattleboro Retreat Origin Story

Anna Marsh witnessed the horrors of mental health care in the early 1800's through the tragic experiences of a friend and a family member.

Here's the story of the origins of the Brattleboro Retreat as researched by Maggie, a BAMS student...

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BHS Podcast e85 - When History Happens Over the Weekend: A BAMS 7th Grader Marches in Washington

Windham County women have long been involved in the fight for Women's Rights. Here's the story of Ada, who marched in Washington this last weekend, and Clarina Nichols who argued for women's' rights before the Vermont legislature; two women separated by close to two centuries, united in the cause of justice...

 

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BHS Podcast e84 - Starting at Quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, Brattleboro's Joe Shield

According to the website Fansided, Vermont's greatest college quarterback of all time is Brattleboro's Joe Shield. Here's his story...

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The End of Free VY Calendars

Everyone who moved to southern Vermont in the last few decades was treated to a free calendar. It was sent out each year by Vermont Yankee (and later Entergy) and featured old photos from historical societies in the area.

These calendars contained the required safety information for the nuclear plant about emergency notifications, iodine tablets, special alert radios, evacuating the area, shelters, what to do with pets, siren testing, and a message about how radiation is natural and accidents unlikely.

The final calendar (unless one shows up soon) was sent out in 2016. Sure, it contains mini-calendar in the back for 2017 and 2018, but it was the final full calendar sent.

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Brattleboro History - The Hollows

There are murder mysteries and strange names associated with a few small hollows in our region... here are a couple of stories...

Produced by Joe Rivers and his students at the Brattleboro Area Middle School.
Released January 12, 2017

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Woman's Educational and Industrial Union

From Today in History 1894:

Many people will learn with regret that the women in charge of the “Woman’s
Educational and Industrial union” have decided to give up the work and close the room in Ryther building February 1. The union has been very useful in helping women to help themselves.

Looks like the parent organization existed until quite recently in Boston.

http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/ww/weiu.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_Educational_and_Industrial_Union

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Bubble Party

From today in history, 1885:

The Ceres club will give a “bubble party” next Thursday at Miss Minnie Pettee’s.

Apparently it was quite the fad in the 1870s-80s, among adults more than children!

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Not The First Brooks House Fire, Apparently...

From Today's Local History, 1879:

On Tuesday night at 11 o’clock it was discovered that fire was working under the flooring of the fourth floor of the Brooks House, about midway of the house. Lines of hose were carried up to the third and fourth stories, holes cut in floors and partitions, the house thoroughly drenched, and after upward of an hour’s work the fire was soaked out.

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Ethan and Ira Allen at the VASS Conference

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...

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