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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 section

The Brattleboro Historical Society Presents: This Week in Brattleboro History Podcast - What Is Sauce for the Goose...

Brattleboro Historical Society trustee Joe Rivers and his BAMS student historians investigate selective enforcement in 19th century Brattleboro.


1886: Largest Block of Dummerston Granite, Now Missing

An item in iBratt’s Today in Local History sent me on an Internet hunt on this lazy New Year’s Day.
Dummerston’s big block of granite landed just south of the Basketball Hall of Fame until 2008.

The largest piece of granite ever quarried at Dummerston, and the largest one, probably, that ever passed through Brattleboro was brought down on Monday [likely Dec. 28, 1885]. It was 12 feet long by 9 feet 6 inches wide, and 6 feet thick. It went to Springfield, Mass., where it will form the top step of the new jail entrance.


The Brattleboro Historical Society Presents: This Week in Brattleboro History Podcast - The Decline and Fall of Vermont Yankee

Joe Rivers and his history students at Brattleboro Area Middle School discuss the closure of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, which began one year ago this week


1887 Advertisement for I. B. Thorn

For our final December historical advertisement, let's see what I. B. Thorn has to offer downtown on Main Street, across from High.

Thorn is thinking ahead. Not only does he offer Christmas gifts, but also gifts for the New Year. It's "the finest display of holiday novelties ever seen in town," after all. Not bad for a drug store.


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!


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.



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?


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."


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...


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?


1883 Advertisement for Van Doorn & Son

Another in our series of old December ads from the Phoenix.

This is for that popular downtown store in the Crosby Block, Van Doorn & Son. Have you been there recently?

This holiday season they are offering special bargains on silverware, as well as decorated tea, breakfast, and dinner sets. They also have fancy wares and novelty items, and both hanging and table lamps.


Cheney & Clapp 1881 Advertisement - Holiday Bazaar and Christmas Museum

In December 1881 we see an ad for Cheney & Clapp announcing their store as a "Holiday Bazaar and Christmas Museum," which is quite a boast.

They can make the announcement, though, because of the wide range of items available for you to buy from them, including Teaching Bibles for the teachers out there that you know, a "bewildering variety" of cards from the best makers, diaries, books, statuary (who doesn't need a statue?) and work baskets. They also have dolls and toys.


1889 Advertisement for Mexican Feather Cards

It is the Christmas fad this year, after all, so why not stop downtown and pick up a Mexican Feather Card for someone you love? They are very affordable, and everyone wants one.

While there, you might consider a celluloid booklet or two as well.

At Geo. A Briggs & Co.'s, for the 1889 holiday shopping season.


1869 Advertisement for Clark & Willard, Druggists

Here is an ad that tells us much about its time and place. It's December 1869, and Clark & Willard have opened up at a new location. They have holiday goods, confectionery and fruit, and unsettled accounts to announce.

The new location is a result of a fire at the previous location, and the ad uses quite a bit of valuable space to mention a reward for returning a "valuable cat."


Sleighs & Carriages - 1874

Continuing our look at December advertising in Brattleboro, we now check in with an ad from a newspaper in 1874.

Mr. J. T. Hildreth on Elm Street in Brattleboro is offering deals on sleighs and carriages. You can stop in to get a new one, or bring in your current model for a tune up and some repairs. Buggies also available.


Testament of Santa Claus, 1881

Ever wonder where Santa buys his watches, clocks, jewelry and plated wares? In Brattleboro, of course, at the store owned by U. W. Frink at 10 Main Street, opposite the Brooks House. You’ll recognize it by the gilt letters on the door.

This clever ad appeared in December of 1881 in the Vermont Phoenix. Instead of simply listing items for sale, it comes in the form of a testimonial from Santa Claus himself who explains that Mr. Frink is reliable and offers free engraving.

Mr. Claus, we are informed, will make Mr. Frink’s his headquarters for the holidays.


The 1876 Christmas Season - Cheney & Clapp Advertisement

Cheney & Clapp ran a bookstore in downtown Brattleboro in the 1800's. They specialized in books, periodicals, and paper goods, but if you look at their Christmas advertisement in the Vermont Phoenix for 1876, you can see they have a lot of other items.

The ad is a bit hard to read, but you can see items such as Alphabet Blocks, Brushes, Collar & Cuff boxes, Checkers, Dominoes, Drums, Flutes, Easels, Faber pencils, Hymn books, Iron toys, Jerusalem Olive wood, Knife baskets, Mottoes, Microscopes, Necessaires, Puzzles, Pocket Knives, Razors, Rubber Toys, Sycamore goods, Transparent Slates, Teacher's Bibles, Watch Stands, and Zoetropes.


The Pre-Christmas Toymaking Rush


S.A. Smith & Co. begin running on 12 hour time today. The men go into the factory at 7 o’clock and work until 9 at night, with an hour at noon and another hour out for supper.


S.A. Smith was a toymaking company in Brattleboro from the late 1800s through the early 1900s:



American Legion Post 5 Honors Soldiers Killed in Action in Vietnam: PFC Joseph Rhuben LaRose

On Saturday, November 21, Brattleboro’s American Legion Post 5 will honored local soldiers killed in action during the Vietnam War.

A ceremony, at the post home on Linden Street, included students from Brattleboro Union High School reading the names and a brief biography of each of the 11 men, followed by a brief address by Dr. Robert Tortolani, a combat battalion surgeon during the Vietnam War.

The soldier biographies, along with family photos, are being posted on the Brattleboro Historical Society website and here at iBrattleboro.

Today we remember PFC Joseph Rhuben LaRose.


iBrattleboro Poll

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