This Week in History
10 years ago:
Chittenden Bank closed its Dover satellite branch. People’s United Financial, Chittenden’s parent company, was closing 20 branches in New England, and eliminating 420 jobs.
Four teams of Twin Valley Middle School students were preparing to compete against 20 other teams in the first Jr. Iron Chef competition in Burlington. The “cook-off” included teams from around the state, competing for one of three awards – best in show, most creative, and best use of local ingredients – in each age category. Twin Valley’s Jr. Iron Chef program was headed up by local chef and Twin Valley Food Service Manager Lonnie Paige. One of Twin Valley’s teams took best in show, and their program continued to dominate in following years.
15 years ago:
The Vermont Environmental Board denied an Act 250 appeal by a West Dover property owner, ruling that his million-dollar home built on a high ridge in Dover created too significant an environmental and aesthetic impact. The property owner was appealing his after-the-fact Act 250 permit application for approval of a three-bedroom residence with attached apartment, stables, garage, barn, and an 1,800-foot road. The project triggered an Act 250 review because it was constructed above 2,500 feet elevation.
20 years ago:
Whitingham resident John Harvey, 54, was honored by Gov. Howard Dean and Sen. Patrick Leahy for learning to read 42 years after he dropped out of the sixth grade. According to Whitingham Librarian Beverly Cable, Harvey “slipped through the cracks” of the education system in the 1950s, when he attended a neighborhood school on Route 8 in Whitingham, just over the line from his home in South Readsboro. “The teacher acted like I wasn’t even there, just my shadow,” Harvey said. Harvey was motivated to learn to read, in part, so that he could pass the written exam to get his license.
25 years ago:
Mount Snow declared the second year of their three-year lease of Haystack a success. According to Mount Snow Vice President Bruce McCloy, business was up substantially over the previous year. According to surveys of Haystack customers taken over the year, at least 40% of them had never skied at Haystack before. According to Haystack manager Gina Tortorice, more families visited Haystack thanks to several family discounts over the season.
A Massachusetts youth who was in protective custody after it was reported that he was suicidal escaped from police and jumped up on the Route 9 bridge in Wilmington Village, threatening to hurl himself into the river. After attempted negotiations, the boy plunged 25 feet into the water. Police fished him out of the river, unharmed.
35 years ago:
John Morgan, of Pufferbellies North Country Fair, was honored by the Deerfield Valley Health Center trustees for raising an enormous amount of donations over the previous three years. In the most recent year he had raised about $10,000 - $2,000 more than the $8,000 he raised the year before.
A federal judge issued a restraining order barring tandem axle tractor-trailers from using Route 9. Days earlier, Gov. Richard Snelling said “Any federal official who designates Route 9 between Bennington and Brattleboro as being safe for double (trailers) is out of his or her cotton-picking mind.”
Tara developer Eugene Ettlinger agreed to build an access road from “Club Tara” to Route 100. The road was never built, but would have intersected with Route 100 somewhere between the Andirons property and the Tara tennis/racquetball court.
40 years ago:
Tom and Sally Schrader bought the O.O. Ware store from Phil Ware. The couple, from North Adams, MA, pledged that they wouldn’t make any significant changes to the popular downtown store (later to be the Wilmington Home Center) and keep the same staff. The couple said the help of Edith Maynard, who had been with the company for 20 years, and Laurie Boyd was “invaluable.” Phil Ware stayed on after the sale to train the new owners.
For sale: 1954 Willys CJ3 with plow, metal cab, 36,000 original miles. Front end okay. $350. Call 464-934X and ask for Bob.
45 years ago:
The Southern Vermont Dispatch, a sister publication to the Mount Snow Valley News, published its debut issue. The smaller newspaper included some of the same news articles that appeared in that week’s Mount Snow Valley News, along with features and news from the towns of Stamford, Halifax, Readsboro, and Whitingham. Featured on the front page of the first issue was Wallace Dolle, who claimed to be the last farmer in Stamford. Dolle grew up on the farm in Stamford and, when he returned from the Korean War, he followed in his father’s footsteps. What happened to all the other farmers? Dolle said “Most of the old people just died off. Most of their kids want to work just eight hours a day.”
50 years ago:
Gov. Phil Hoff appointed Old Ark Lodge owner Pete Horton to the Vermont Travel Information Council – the group that would soon begin implementation of the new state law that prohibited off-premise signs. Lawmakers’ aim in passing the bill was to ban all billboards from the state. The council was tasked with devising rules for informational and directional signs.