"Too few people understand a really good sandwich."  - James Beard

User login

Who's online

There are currently 0 users and 241 guests online.

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.

Find iBrattleboro on:

 Twitter YouTube

Search the Archives

Ye Olde iBrattleboro Archive

Use the pulldown to choose desired number of results.


Search the first decade
of iBrattleboro archives
at Archive-It.org
Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013


History section

The Brattleboro Historical Society Presents: Slideshow of Main Street Through the Years

Joe Rivers presents his slideshow, Brattleboro's Main Street Through the Years, at the Brattleboro Historical Society's annual public meeting, 16 November 2015.

This video was created using the actual slides and a recording produced for archival purposes, rather than public release. We mention this by way of a disclaimer, because the audio isn't always great, and for that we apologize. The presentation, however, was great and we thought our gentle viewers would forgive a few seconds of spotty audio in its reproduction.

The slideshow was created and presented by BHS trustee Joe Rivers. You'll also hear the voices of John Carnahan, Bill Holiday and many other in the audience of this well-attended, annual public meeting of the Brattleboro Historical Society.


The Brattleboro Historical Society Presents: This Week in Brattleboro History Podcast - West River Railroad and Robert Burns

BHS trustee, Joe Rivers, and his band of young historians at the Brattleboro Area Middle School examine the West River Railroad and Robert Burns.


The Brattleboro Historical Society Presents: This Week in Brattleboro History Podcast - Island Park Flood of 1915

It was 101 years ago this month that Island Park weathered its worst ice flood!

BHS trustee, Joe Rivers, and his band of young historians at the Brattleboro Area Middle School examine the fraught relationship between Island Park and the Connecticut River.


First Wednesday Lecture Series : Allen Koop The History of Health Care in the US

Dartmouth professor Allen Koop will discuss the history of America's troubled, promising, and unique health care system in a talk at Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro on February 3 at 7 pm. His talk, "The History of Health Care in the US," is part of the Vermont Humanities Council's First Wednesdays lecture series and is free and open to the public. Koop will discuss how America's health care system has been shaped not only by developments in medicine but also by social forces, economics, politics, and historical surprises.

Koop graduated from Dartmouth College and then earned his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. He teaches courses in the History Department at Dartmouth College, primarily on 20th century European history and on the American health care system.


The Brattleboro Historical Society Presents: This Week in Brattleboro History Podcast - Ex-Slave Jacob Cartledge

BHS trustee Joe Rivers and his group of young BAMS historians investigate ex-slave Jacob Cartledge.


Myra Goodwin

According to Wikipedia:  "Myra Goodwin played the leading lady in Sis, an 1885 production of the 14th Street (Manhattan) Theatre." 

Wikipedia link

Pintrest link

Google News link

Google Books link

Lawrence History Center link


The Brattleboro Historical Society Presents: This Week in Brattleboro History Podcast - Wearing Toilets?

It was one 120 years ago this week that a fancy dinner party at the Brooks House was attended by 125 of the most prominent citizens in Brattleboro, and a local paper reported to each attendee wore extremely rich and handsome toilets.

Eh, toilets?

BHS trustee, Joe Rivers, and his history students at the Brattleboro Area Middle School answer this riddle with a story of history and etymology, on this week's edition of This Week in Brattleboro History.


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.


iBrattleboro Poll

The amount of confidence I have in local (not national, not state) media to get the facts right...