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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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Ye Olde iBrattleboro Archive

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Search the first decade
of iBrattleboro archives
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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013


History section

Killed by A Horse's Kick: Coincidence or Karma?

Major John Arms, leading early citizen and proprietor of Brattleboro's notable gathering place known as the Arms Tavern (at the present Retreat farm) died from the kick of a horse on March 6, 1770. This is the very same day, 12 years before in 1758, that Captain Fairbank Moor and his son Benjamin were killed in an attack by Abenaki warriors at their cabin just a few hundred feet away (Brattleboro's first settler outside of Fort Dummer). John Arms came from a family of frontierspeople and Indian fighters. Coincidence?


History of Brattleboro's Main Street - Presentation

The Brattleboro Historical Society invites you to learn about the history of downtown Brattleboro.

Joe Rivers & Bill Holiday will present the History of Brattleboro's Main Street on Friday, August 7 from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM at the History Center on Main Street, Brattleboro.

All are welcome.

(Pictured: Ford Sales & Service at Main and High St., Brattleboro.)


Marriage Equality Wins!

The Supreme Court of the United States has declared that LGBTQ couples are now free to marry in all 50 states. This is huge!

A long, bitter and frustrating fight for equal rights has culminated in a victory. This is a wonderful day worthy of much celebration! Thank you SCOTUS for making the right decision.


From The History Sidebar, WOW


Carl Ridle, a boy 14 years old, stole a tub of butter from J.W. Frost & Co’s store, and the next day carried it to Mr. Haynes produce store and offered it for sale. He was sentenced to the reform school for the
remainder of his minority."

Times have changed, fortunately.  Still so much more to accomplish, though, in addressing crime and punishment.


Corporatists - The Men Who Stopped Time

Did you know that wealthy men are corporate men; and that poor men are also corporate men?

The first corporate man was an Abbott who ran a monastery. He considered his shareholders, namely the owners (the church), the physical plant (monastery) and the workers (monks and deacons), important enough to their continued success to devise a means to protect them all from liability. He did this by “incorporating” his monks into entities.It was royalty and aristocrats who took it a step further. They wrote and enacted laws for a chartered body to become a “corporation.” They then wrote the trade laws and granted exclusive rights to those chartered companies.


First Wednesday at Brooks Library: The Duel: Aaron Burr vs. Alexander Hamilton

Join us for First Wednesday on 6 May 2015, 7 pm - 9 pm for The Duel: Aaron Burr vs. Alexander Hamilton. Was it murder or suicide when the vice president of the United States killed the first secretary of the treasury in a duel? Willard Sterne Randall, award-winning biographer of Hamilton and five other Founding Fathers, tells this fascinating story.

Location Library Main Room. For more information contact Brooks Library by phone at 802-254-5290 ext 0, by email at info@brookslibraryvt.org, or on the web at brookslibraryvt.org. Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301. The event is free and open to the public. 


Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly (May 5, 1864[1] – January 27, 1922) was the pen name of American journalist Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman.[2] She was also a writer, industrialist, inventor, and a charity worker who was widely known for her record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days, in emulation of Jules Verne's fictional character Phileas Fogg, and an exposé in which she faked insanity to study a mental institution from within.[3] She was a pioneer in her field, and launched a new kind of investigative journalism.[4]


Fun Video About 20th Century Hairstyles


Original Enigma No. 1, Another Word Puzzle From 1837

Alright, enigma fans. Here is another, from today's Phoenix in 1837. This one is noted as "Original Enigma No. 1," for what it is worth. Put on your thinking caps and try to solve this if you dare:

"Original Enigma, No. 1

I am a word of eleven letters, — and the title of a periodical in the United States.

My 2, 6, 5, 8, 4, 10, 7 and 1 is the name of a distinguished Indian chief.


Enigma, A Word Puzzle From 1837

I know that many of you like word puzzles. Here is one found in an 1837 copy of The Phoenix newspaper. Can you solve it? (The answer was not published with the puzzle. I may find it in coming weeks. I may not.)



I am a word of twenty two letters.


1886 Boiler Explosion on Frost Street

This was quite a story, on April 16, 1886. It had it all — an explosion, death, and destruction. The Phoenix devoted a full column to it, and even provided a small illustration showing the path of the flying boiler. I'll get you started with the introduction to the story, and then provide a link if you'd like to read the full account.


"Last Tuesday afternoon at about 20 minutes past three the boiler at J. A. Church’s general wood-work factory and grist mill on Frost street burst with a terrific explosion, the result of which was the entire destruction of the one-story engine-house attached to the main shop, the partial wrecking of the rear portion of the main building, serious injury to R.D. Brown’s barn, the killing of a valuable horse, and the shaking up of things generally in that vicinity.


Estey Organ Company Exhibit At 1893 World's Fair

Today, in 1893, the Estey Organ company was putting the finishing touches on their organs to be shipped to the World's Fair in Chicago. The Phoenix reported on it thusly:



The Estey Organ Company’s Exhibit

A Description of the Beautiful Instruments Comprising their Display

Today the finishing touches are being put to the large and beautiful exhibit of instruments which the Estey Organ company are to send to the World’s Fair at Chicago, and it is the present plan of the company to have the organs en route to their place in the great exhibition to-morrow. Many workmen are very busy upon them, and our glance at the instruments was necessarily hasty and imperfect, but a short chapter of notes will be of general interest.


Brooks House Annunciator


The old annunciator at the Brooks House, which was on the French system now generally discarded, and which was injured by fire several years ago, has been replaced by a new gravity-drop system of the most approved kind. All the wires run upon the surface instead of in the walls as heretofore, and are brought into an annunciator of 100 drops.

an·nun·ci·a·tor (ə-nŭn′sē-ā′tər)


One that announces, especially an electrical signaling device used in hotels or offices to indicate the sources of calls on a switchboard.


The Millerites


The third of April has passed, yet the earth, in this region at least, is wrapped in snow instead of fire, as some of our friends, the Millerites, have predicted. So far from burning up, we have been in great danger of freezing to death.

It's often interesting to look up the back-stories behind the old historical articles.

William Miller, a self-taught preacher, believed that the end times and Second Coming would happen on April 3, 1843. When that date passed, he just kept revising his predictions.  Many followers gave up all their possessions in anticipation of being called to Heaven with the faithful.  Sounds like another preacher that was in the news in recent years!


Today In Local History

The daily local history sidebar is one of the most interesting features on ibrattleboro, and seems to be seldom commented on. Those abbreviated items often leave me wondering about the details.

Today we read: 

1878: The 90-cent dollars have put in an appearance as pocket pieces.

What could that be about? 

About a month ago, this item ran:

1887: Samuel Simkoveze, the well known Jew peddler, is about to open a clothing store in the basement of Vinton’s block.


Brattleboro in the Vietnam War Era: A BHS Oral History Project

The Brattleboro Historical Society is putting together an ORAL HISTORY of the Vietnam War Era and is seeking Brattleboro area people - veterans to anti-war activists - to come forward to share experiences.  If you have an interest in participating contact Bill Holiday at -



The Great Blizzard of 1888

On March 16, 1888, The Phoenix ran the following report on the Great Blizzard of 1888, which had happened just a few days earlier.


"Snowed Under.

Brattleboro’s Experience with a Dakota Blizzard.

40 in. of Snow in a 90-mile Gale.

Sights, Scenes and Incidents in Brattleboro on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.


Madame Sherri: Theatrical, Eccentric, Flamboyant

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Brattleboro AAUW presents: The Theatrical, Eccentric, Flamboyant Madame Sherri, a talk by Eric Stanway on Tues., March 17 at 7 p.m. at the Brattleboro Historical Society History Center at the Masonic Temple, 196 Main St., Brattleboro.

Stanway is author of “Madame Sherri: The Special Edition,” an expanded biography of the diva of the 20’s who scandalized the locals for years before succumbing to poverty and dying in a Brattleboro boarding house, leaving her castle in the woods of West Chesterfield, N.H., to crumble to ruins.


Living Whist

Those who follow This Day In History on a regular basis might recall a couple of mentions of members of the community rehearsing to perform as cards for an upcoming entertaining exhibition of "Living Whist." Well, you will be pleased to know that the event was a success.

Below you'll find the almost complete account of the event as told in the Phoenix on March 3, 1895. (The scanned newspaper was torn in one place, so I copied as much as was available.)

If we have any whist players, perhaps the game could be explained a bit?


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