Mount Island Announces the Lucy Terry Prince Prize

If you are not a poet, but know someone who might be interested, please re-share. This prize honors the life of Lucy Terry Prince who was an orator, activist, and first known African American poet in the U.S. This prize is being judged by celebrated poet Major Jackson who has authored five books of poetry collections and received a range of fellowships. Any individual who is a poet of color hailing from or living in a rural place is welcome to apply.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Rental Housing, Day Work, Sustainability

Brattleboro Selectboard

The Brattleboro Selectboard held their only meeting of July. Despite objections from many landlords, the board approved a new rental housing inspection program, and despite numerous statements of support they put off deciding on how best to deal with issues of sustainability.

New tax rates for FY20 were set, a 3-month day work pilot program was funded, Groundworks received $100,000 for housing, and more.


Great Brattleboro Movies at Brattleboro Historical Society

Yesterday I popped in the River Garden to see the Brattleboro exhibit we helped design with BHS, and was met with a surprise. The historical society has been given a treasure trove of old Brattleboro films.

This is a new project for them and they are just getting started. Bill Holiday explained to me that they had been given a big box of family films, and are currently in the process of having them digitized. The goal is to get 4k transfers for high-quality digital use. A few test reels were on display and they were amazing.


Newfane History Survey

The Moore Free Library and Windham County Historical Society are looking into creating a program to record, preserve, and share people’s stories about Newfane.

Answering these few questions will help give us direction as we shape the project.


Great Exhibit About Brattleboro

There is a fabulous exhibit about Brattleboro in the Vermont Historical Society Museum in Montpelier.   The exhibit, titled Brattleboro-The Defining Decades, 1870-1920, has been produced by the Brattleboro Historical Society , the Estey Organ Museum, with installation design by Chris Grotke.


iBrattleboro Animated Christmas Calendar

Time once again for the animated, interactive, Brattleboro-centric, advent-ish calendar, featuring different scenes and local facts, sponsored by no one. The iBrattleboro Christmas Calendar.

While it is continually popular, we were debating whether to bring this back again this year. The Christmas Calendar is built in Flash, an ancient programming tool that is fading away. iPads and many other devices just don’t allow it anymore.


A Brattleboro History Exhibit

I thought it might be fun to tell you about a project (in-progress!) I’m working on with the Brattleboro Historical Society. It’s an exhibit all about Brattleboro that will be on display at the Vermont Historical Society in Montpelier, from August to January.

BHS hired me on to do exhibit design and project manage, two things I enjoy doing. I also love Brattleboro history.


Let’s Look At Today in History

One of the popular features of iBrattleboro is the old stories featured in Today in History. For the most part, these are taken from the Vermont Phoenix, a Brattleboro newspaper that thrived in the late 1800’s.

On the old site, we loaded them all into a sidebar. This time around we’ve kept a sample of them on the homepage, but given them their own section of the site.

You can get to the page by clicking on the Browse menu, then Today in History.


Representative Town Meeting in Brattleboro – Part 1: Its Origins and Adoption

Why does Brattleboro have Representative Town Meeting? Why not a regular, open Town Meeting like the rest of Vermont? These questions led me on a search through old newspapers and town records to look at Brattleboro’s town meetings in the 1950’s to see if there was some obvious answer. It turns out, there was no single reason that led to the “representative form of government” in Brattleboro. There were many factors, personalities, and coincidences unique to Brattleboro that contributed to its adoption.

Arguments made in favor of representative town meeting were sometimes specific to Brattleboro, such as outgrowing the public meeting hall. Other times they were more lofty, arguing that representative government would be more fair and better able to deal with complex issues, while giving voters a greater say in how the town operates.