This Week in History
10 years ago:
The Wilmington Beautification Committee unveiled a preliminary concept plan for a small village park on the site of the old bank building at the corner of Route 9 and South Main Street. The “pocket park” packed a lot of features into the small space, including a pergola over a riverside walkway and seating area, a small greenspace, and an “oratory nook.” The artist’s rendering of the concept looks remarkably similar to the completed park.
15 years ago:
Dozens of volunteers organized by Wallace Burbank-Hammarlund, executive director of the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center, helped shepherd spotted salamanders safely across roads at various points around Windham County on several damp nights in April. Every spring, the salamanders make the journey from their regular habitat in the woods back to the pools and ponds where they were born to procreate. According to Burbank-Hammarlund, “The spotted salamander is the most charismatic of all the salamanders. They’re the highlight of our program.”
20 years ago:
Christy Mihos, owner of Christy’s convenience stores, sold 132 of his stores to 7-Eleven, including two stores in Dover. Mihos had purchased the Dover stores, along with several others in New England, from Grampy’s Corner Stores several years earlier.
Whitingham School Principal John Doty was appointed to the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ Technology Committee. The newly formed committee was charged with advising member schools on the uses of technology in education.
In Wilmington, a group of residents planned to meet at the Wilmington Middle High School to discuss the feasibility of a multi-town community center at the former Green Meadows School on Stowe Hill Road.
25 years ago:
According to a piece on the history of Halifax, the town is the second oldest in Vermont, and was once under consideration for the state’s capital because of its large population. In 1810, the town’s population reached 1,758, but by the mid-1800s, the population began to decline. Today, there are about 1,000 fewer residents than there were in 1810.
Green Mountain Bank announced that it would close its West Dover branch. According to bank management, the branch was opened amid the rapid growth of the 1980s, which “fueled too much optimism” about future deposits at the branch.
35 years ago:
A late season storm dumped two feet of snow on the valley over two days. According to Mount Snow’s marketing manager, Bruce McCloy, the snowfall resulted in the best ski conditions of the season, and brought the snowfall total to 140 inches.
Wilmington business owner John McLeod sought an Act 250 permit to expand his woodworking facility on Route 9. With the expansion, McLeod hoped to double his workforce by hiring 40 new employees. But the District Environmental Commission indicated they would probably limit the amount of new hires to 24, because of restrictions on sewer capacity.
40 years ago:
Wilmington Selectboard members adopted an interim flood hazard area bylaw. Had the board failed to adopt the regulations, owners of property in the flood hazard areas would have been ineligible for the national flood insurance program. The town was still recovering from severe flooding that occurred about two years earlier.
Mount Snow ended their best season on record, open for 154 days of skiing.
45 years ago:
Nancy and Andy Anderson were the new owners of Dunn’s General Store in West Dover. Andy Anderson credited Gladys Boyd, who “came with the store,” for helping the family hold the business together. Anderson’s son Billy Anderson ran the automotive repair garage that came with the business. Anderson said the company’s tow truck was his son’s pride and joy.
Dover Town Manager Jim Laseter announced the appointment of former New York City Police officer Jim Brennan as the town’s new police chief. Brennan, who had been living in Dover for more than a year and a half, replaced Bruce Anderson as chief.
50 years ago:
Mount Snow vice president and Dover Selectboard member Richard McLernon were appointed to Gov. Phil Hoff’s Council of Economic Advisors to research the concept of a “rural city.” McLernon said a rural city is a community with “its own economic base” that exists independently of large population centers. The planned city of Reston, VA, was cited as an example.