As the Lions Club’s Christmas tree chairman, Allan Bartlett had selected and delivered a Christmas tree to the town of Whitingham for display in Jacksonville Village for 27 years. Bartlett selected the best trees he could find, scouring the local farms for a full, round balsam about 30 feet tall. Bartlett said property owners were always happy to participate, and often donated the trees.
15 years ago:
Wilmington held one of its most successful tax sales in years, turning over 30 properties, including 25 of the over 600 Haystack parcels that had been in delinquency since 1999. Town treasurer Laurie Boyd said some of the properties had enough interest from buyers to prompt a bidding war.
After another study of several Route 9 bypass options, a draft environmental impact statement was released that recommended studying two options. One of the options would include a tunnel under Stowe Hill for Route 100 traffic going toward Mount Snow. The tunnel would reduce ski traffic in the village.
20 years ago:
The Vision 2000 group hoped to energize the area with their Light up the Valley campaign, encouraging people to light up their homes and businesses along Route 100 from Wardsboro to Halifax, and on major side roads such as Dover Hill Road. The committee specified a preference for clear lights, as opposed to colored lights.
The school district could be “devastated” if voters insisted on cutting per-pupil spending to match the state’s new $4,739 per-pupil block grant under Act 60, according to superintendent Dr. M. Peter Wright. At the time, Wilmington’s per-pupil cost was $7,274.
25 years ago:
Mount Snow held a “Haystack Media Day,” to showcase Haystack Mountain to members of the skiing press. About 40 ski writers from around the Northeast spent the afternoon skiing at the resort, and were entertained at a private party at the Haystack Base Lodge in the evening. Mount Snow had recently purchased the Haystack Ski Area.
Wardsboro faced a space crunch in their school, with a projected increase of 11 students for the next year, including 22 new kindergarten students (11 sixth-graders would be departing in June). Board members discussed, and rejected, leasing a portable classroom – noting that the state mandated that the town provide a single building for all of its students by 1994 or risk losing accreditation.
30 years ago:
Economic growth in the valley was so great that businesses complained of a shortage of employees. There were 48 employment opportunities listed in The Deerfield Valley News’ classified section. Local contractors said they were forced to turn down work because they couldn’t find enough employees. The federal minimum wage at the time was $3.35, but one builder said he would start general laborers at $7 per hour, “and if they can get the coffee order right, they’re worth $8 an hour.”
35 years ago:
Mount Snow’s newly renovated summit building was scheduled to open during the Christmas holiday week. The new facility offered a full cafeteria and seating for 250 people. The new 7,000-square-foot building also featured complete restroom facilities and a deck overlooking the North Face and Somerset Reservoir.
Brattleboro Memorial Hospital was set to receive a CT scanner, one of the first in the region. BMH would share the scanner with hospitals in Greenfield, Turners Falls, Northampton, Holyoke, and Westfield, MA.
40 years ago:
The Fireside Delicatessen re-opened under new management in Wilmington. The new deli was located in the building now occupied by Far Beyond Woodworking. The building was renovated in the last few years as it still sported the Fireside Deli sign. Owners Debbie Littler and Rise Albert had lived and worked in the valley for the previous three years.
Sue and Peter Carroll were presented with the key to the city of Worcester, MA, during a party at his Matterhorn Lodge.
Deerfield Valley Health Center trustees were about $23,000 short of the $87,000 they needed to build an addition to the center. The group had collected about $54,000 in contributions and pledges after a fundraising campaign that lasted more than a year, but estimates for the cost of construction continued to rise throughout the year. Trustees secured a bank loan to ensure construction could begin, but they planned to continue fundraising efforts.
50 years ago:
A medical facility was completed at Haystack. Construction on the new building began only a month-and-a-half earlier, on November 1. The building was connected by a breezeway to the new Haystack Ski Patrol and ski instructor lounge.
Haystack also offered sleigh rides with Bill Brown, of Wilmington. For summer sleighing (in parades) Brown invented a “snow machine” that sprayed a stream of white confetti to simulate snow. The rig was featured in a number of parades, including the Bennington Battle Day parade and the Eastern States Exposition.
Lynne Mathews, of Wilmington and Atlantic Beach, NY, was appointed secretary and receptionist for Haystack Mountain Ski Area.