January Thaw

This is all from memory and after 45+ years it is not all that good but:

It was January 1976, and I was on Christmas break from VTC at my parent’s house here in Brattleboro.  I drove an old Dodge Dart and was able to get it started on cold mornings by putting a drop light under the hood overnight to keep the battery warm.  During the first week or two of January we went for a spell of 4 or 5 days with the daytime high temperature staying below zero.  I think it was 5 days.  I remember this because my friend Mark was living in Putney and called me each morning for help to get his car started. Each morning I would start my car, drive to Putney and jump start his car.  I think an old VW Beatle.


Juneteenth is a federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It marks the anniversary of an announcement by the Union Army on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas.

The holiday has been celebrated annually on June 19th in various parts of the United States since the 1860s, broadly celebrating African-American culture.

The day was first recognized as a federal holiday in June 2021, when President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law.

1916 Tech Mystery in Downtown Brattleboro

As I sometimes do, I was reading the old newspapers of Brattleboro and came across this little bit of tech news from 1916 in the Phoenix. It’s a story of a mysterious sound that was interfering with a downtown Brattleboro business.  Vaughan & Burnett had a jewelry store on Main Street and were innovators in that they installed special equipment to accurately set clocks and watches.

Today In History – Samuel Wells

Events for Nov 27
At a secret session, the United States Congress ordered the arrest of Col. Samuel Wells forcing him to flee Brattleboro.

Seems that Colonel Wells, an early developer of Brattleboro and a loyalist to the King, had to escape to Canada during the Revolutionary War.

Historical Info Appreciated

I just wanted to pop in to thank Chris for continuing to run the Historical events. I read them almost daily and enjoy them very much. I’m young enough that some of the “olde tyme” terms are unknown to me, so I look them up, adding to the vast array of almost useless knowledge I carry around in my head. When I looked up ‘peripatetic’ today, it struck me that a thank you was in order, so thank you!

Vermont’s Harris Hill Ski Jump Releases Commemorative Historic Book for its 100th Anniversary

Brattleboro, Vermont (November 16, 2021) — Harris Hill Ski Jump, home of New England’s only Olympic-sized, 90-meter ski jump, is kicking off its 100-year anniversary with the publication and release of its history, “Harris Hill Ski Jump, the First 100 Years.” The 120-page soft cover book is narrated in a storytelling cadence by Vermont-based journalist Kevin O’Connor.

This book chronicles the colorful history of Harris Hill Ski Jump in Brattleboro, a celebrated winter sporting event that has attracted athletes and spectators from near and far for 100 years. The history is told in a photo-rich, engaging story format. It is broken up into segments through the years and features many aspects of Harris Hill including a colorful background on its founder Fred Harris, the history of the jump’s coveted Winged Ski Trophy, how Harris Hill helped pave the way for women in ski jumping and much more.

Online Auction To Benefit The West River Railroad Museum

The West River Railroad was established in 1880, ran from Brattleboro, Vermont, to South Londonderry, Vermont, and was discontinued in 1936. The Newfane Depot was one of ten on the line and had been used for different purposes through the years until the Historical Society of Windham County was given the opportunity to purchase the Depot in 2014.

The Historical Society set about to restore the Depot and make it a museum for the West River Railroad. The Museum opened in 2017 and has been open every year to the public free-of-charge on weekends from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.


Today is September 11th, AKA 9/11, the 20th anniversary,
Let us take a few moments to reflect on this day of tragedy and the many innocent people who gave their lives.
I don’t pretend to know what really happened that day, but it’s different from the “Official Story”.

Vietnam Moving Wall Public Forum at the Brattleboro VFW

Tuesday September 7th, the Brattleboro VFW located at 40 Black Mountain Road is proud to host a Vietnam Wall Memorial question and answer forum where the public is invited to attend. There will be speakers to offer their perspective on the Wall, then a question and answer session after their presentations. All are welcome to attend. We ask that people are respectful during this time, and realize some emotions may run high.

Wonder What This Is About…

Today In History
Events for Jul 23
“Committees from neighboring towns and from Springfield and Weathersfield, assembled in convention at the house of Colonel Sargent in Brattleboro for the purpose of concerting measures to protect themselves and their constituents from the indignities to which they were subjected by the authorities of Vermont.”

A Good Time To Die

Today In History, April 28:

Coffins. A Very Large Assortment of all sizes, at A. Van Doorn & Sons, at reduced prices.

Does anyone else find it strange to advertised that there is a large supply of coffins at bargain prices? I would think that no one will be induced to purchase a coffin because the price is good, but that a person would only buy a coffin if it is needed, at whatever price it might cost.

“Town… Voted to get Mr. Reeve’s fire wood by rate.”

Today In History is on of the most interesting  ibrattleboro feature, even though it is almost never mentioned in stories or comments.

The April 3, 1775 news report fascinates me, even though I only have a hazy notion of its meaning.  I wonder if anyone can translate the 1775 language to make it more understandable in 2021:

Doctrine of Discovery of 1452

Watching this video is the first time during my 75 years (during most of which I have thought of myself as an informed person) that I have heard of the Doctrine of Discovery of 1452, even though it provided the ideological justification for colonialism and the enslavement of indigenous people.

Because this Doctrine was issued as a Papal Bull, it became the guiding principal for all European countries.

Times Change

From the 1950’s film “White Christmas”
• What would be a novelty up here in Vermont? (Bing Crosby)
• Who knows? Maybe we could dig up a Democrat? (Danny Kaye)
• They’d stone him (Crosby)