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”.
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.
August 22, 1873
“The night blooming cerus belonging to Mrs. Hines, on Green street, bore five blossoms on Wednesday night of last week.”
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.”
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.
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:
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.
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)
The 2021 Putney Historical Society Calendar is now available at the Putney General Store and the Putney Coop! Lots of wonderful photos from the Corser collection of turn of the 20th century glass plates. Only $15 and they make great gifts for everyone!
The Brattleboro Colonels’ mascot is again being questioned. As it currently exists, it is a cartoonish characterization of a southern colonel, along the lines of something you’d see at a fried chicken franchise. It should be retired and replaced.
That said, the current version is not quite what was originally intended.
Joe Rivers, local history teacher and a president of the Brattleboro Historical Society, explained that for the first half of the high school’s existence there was no sports team name or mascot. “When the school was located in what is now the municipal center the sports teams were just known as Brattleboro. The sports editors assigned nicknames, often associated with the last name of their coach, but there was not an official name until 1950.”
President Calvin Coolidge once said “The business of America is business”. He really meant it. Everything else is window dressing.
There’s an elite class of business people who control things (and have forever). Their interests dominate all others. They can’t be voted out. (Most of them work behind the scenes and hold no office at all). Money is speech. All we can do is roll with the punches.
On this day in 1856, was born Nikola Tesla, whom Albert Einstein called “the smartest man in the world”.
(I graduated from North Country Union High School Newport, Vermont 50 years ago this June. The following is a letter to my old classmates. In March I called my old school to see if a 50th reunion was planned and the school secretary told me that due to lack of interest the reunion committee had been discontinued some time ago. “People don’t seem to care about their 40th and 50th reunions so much these days”.)
Growing Up in Vermont
Growing up in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s was an exhilarating experience! Being born only six years post World War II, I found that life in America was a special privilege. We had been ushered into the greatest generation imaginable! In reality rural Vermont of the North East Kingdom was my home but America of the 50’s was booming and moving. Moving fast away from old traditional values.
I was looking though old Brattleboro newspapers for mentions of slavery. Most of the articles are op-eds on slavery in the South, but I came across this mention of Brattleboro’s “only living ex-slave” – Mr. Jake Cartlidge. He was a Brattleboro resident for over 40 years, and this story is about trying to help him get some extra pension funds. (A warning that the newspaper used the n-word discussing his time as a slave, while quoting a slave buyer.)
From the Vermont Phoenix, Dec 6, 1912
“Town’s Ex-Slave In Need Of Funds
Efforts to Secure More Pension for “Jake” Cartlidge
Born in Slavery, Sold on the Block, Beaten by Cruel Taskmaskers – Served Pennsylvania Regiment
(The following story was written last year to share with many that were remembering the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock. Niflaah and I went to the 30th anniversary held at the Griffiths Air Force base in Rome, NY. The 30th ended in a riot as prices were very high, numbers of portable toilets were unsufficient, hot shade and no shade on an airforce base. Today the search continues as we all want to escape the crumbling societies of today 2020.)
75 Years ago (May, 1945) the United States, Great Britton, The USSR, and Allies emerged victorious over Fascism in Europe; Nazi Germany surrendered. While the price was high (hundreds-of-thousands of American soldiers dead, tens-of-millions more around the world), no one can rationally argue that the sacrifice was not needed. This was, after all, a Just War; one of the few which lacked any moral ambiguity. We were on the side of right, engaged in a historic battle against evil incarnate. Fascism had to be crushed if we were to not enter a new dark age of barbarism equipped with ledgers and death camps. The drum beat of war had to be answered as no other response was capable of overcoming this existential threat to liberty.
Coming out of the Great Depression, my Grandfathers and Great Uncles, like countless others, served in the U.S. Army during the war. The Greatest Generation did their part and are owed a debt that can never be repaid. With victory we won a reprieve from the horrors of Fascism for generations to come. But the ghosts of Nazism were never completely exorcized from our consciousness – this hatred, born out of social alienation, fear, and economic pressures, still persists. Charlottesville reminds us that the twisted vision of Nazism still lurks in dark places, waiting to emerge if our collective will grows weak and if not beaten back through physical force. The xenophobia proclaimed, at times, from the White House, and the camps on our southern border, where even children are caged, also gives form to real concerns that Fascism can again infest the highest halls of state power (and will grow if left unchecked).
“The people in Building 27 are scared!”
OK, let’s calm down, let’s relax. Let us put aside fear, as we have nothing to fear, anyway.
For here is a story from grandpa’s owns memories:
My family lived in Beach Haven Apartments from when I was five until we moved out from there to our own, 3-bedroom, semi-attached, cookie-cutter home located at 46-05 216th Street, Bayside 61 – Queens, NYC, NYS.
Here’s a bit of historical news from the Brattleboro Phoenix, January 3, 1919. Most of the print space around this time was spent on news of the war in Europe, but this tidbit highlights a local issue. It’s a story that suggests the influenza epidemic was winding down a bit in Brattleboro, but also gives some numbers and information for how it had progressed.
I recently had the honor of hosting BCTV Open Studio with Lenny Derby, Vermont Chapter president of Vietnam Veterans of America. Lenny is spearheading an effort to bring the Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall to Brattleboro in September. This is a very important undertaking and deserves the support of the community. Please watch the show and find a way to support this worthy endeavor. Thank you.