This Week in History

Floods coursed through downtown Wilmington, reaching the deck of the Route 9 bridge. Note the former bank in the photo, which burned down years later.

10 years ago:
Dover officials were pursuing a program through the Vermont Telecommunications Authority that would bring high-speed internet to East Dover.  The VTA’s Backroads Broadband program would connect 10,000 Vermont residents in areas that were lacking service.  Dover was working with FairPoint Communications on the project.  
AlliSports, the promoter of the Winter Dew Tour, pulled the plug on its ongoing deal with Mount Snow to host the annual event with a year left on their contract.  According to AlliSports, Mount Snow’s 18-foot halfpipe wasn’t earning any praise from Dew Tour athletes, who wanted a 22-foot halfpipe considered the standard for “high-level events.”
15 years ago:
An environmental court judge approved a plan to create a children’s overnight camp at Lake Raponda on the condition that the applicant also receives state approval for water, waste, food, and lodging facilities at the proposed camp.  The decision was made on an appeal of a Wilmington zoning decision. Property owner Tim Gore proposed the camp, which would run eight weeks in the summer and offer campers a “primitive camping experience” through weeklong sessions focusing on camping, forestry, and nature exploration.  Campers would also use Lake Raponda for swimming and boating activities.  Second-home owners Edward and Phyllis Lashins filed a number of appeals in opposition to the camp on behalf of neighbors of the proposed camp.  One of the appeals was eventually heard by the Vermont Supreme Court, which remanded the decision back to the zoning board for a new hearing. Neighbors said they were concerned about noise from the campers.  
20 years ago:
Floods ravaged the valley, wreaking havoc from Wardsboro to the Massachusetts state line.  Within just a few hours the Deerfield River peaked at 16.5 feet on the marker at the Parmelee & Howe building in downtown Wilmington. Water descending from the hillsides flowed through John McLeod’s factory and showroom on Route 9.  Several roads in Chimney Hill were washed out when the torrent became too much for culverts to handle.  Gov. Howard Dean toured the damage.
25 years ago:
A severe windstorm pounded the area, knocking down trees and power lines throughout the valley.  Thousands of valley residents were without power, some for more than 48 hours.  The winds were so fierce, many residents believed a tornado had touched down, but according to meteorologists, no tornado was recorded by weather instruments.   The outage caused some to panic, and Christy’s (now 7-Eleven) employees had to call the police twice to break up fisticuffs at the gas pumps as visitors lined up for fuel to get home.  
Highland Games at Mount Snow brought Scottish culture to the valley.  Festivities included marching pipe bands, sheepdog demonstrations, sheaf tossing, stone put throwing, and caber tossing.
30 years ago:
After their house was vandalized and burglarized for the fourth time, a Whitingham couple organized a community meeting to discuss what to do about a rash of such incidents in town.  Over the course of about a year, more than 40 homes had been robbed and vandalized in what neighbors believed were related incidents.  One house had been burglarized six times.  State police said arrests in the burglaries were imminent.
35 years ago:
At a groundbreaking ceremony for Seasons condominiums at Mount Snow, Gov. Madeleine Kunin said there was a need to strike a balance between the need for development and environmental concerns.  Mount Snow Vice President and General Manager Chris Diamond recalled past confrontations and problems, and agreed that Mount Snow, along with the Kunin administration, was anxious to “tone down the decibel rating.”
40 years ago:
The Wilmington School Building Committee recommended a $1.9 million renovation and addition to the 1950 brick section of Wilmington High School.  An option considered, and rejected, was to demolish the wooden structure and replace it with a new addition.  Other options considered and rejected were to close the high school and tuition students out, sharing school facilities with Whitingham, and moving grades seven and eight to Deerfield Valley Elementary School.  A special town meeting was scheduled for later in the month.
The Dover Selectboard reimbursed a local resident for the cost of replacing a tire that was ruined at the dump during a particularly rough mud season.   
45 years ago:
The Wilmington Bicentennial Committee used some of their funds to insulate Memorial Hall.  The group was engaged in numerous fundraising efforts, including a quilt raffle and the sale of stationery with a drawing of Memorial Hall on it.  The committee abandoned plans to raise money by offering carriage rides through town after encountering insurance problems.
The Dover Bicentennial Committee was holding a barbecue at the Andirons to raise money.  For $3, local residents and visitors were invited to enjoy a traditional barbecue and entertainment by local musicians.  


The Deerfield Valley News

797 VT Route 100 North
Wilmington, VT 05363

Phone: 802-464-3388
Fax: 802-464-7255

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