This Week in History (1/5/22 - 1/12/22)
10 years ago:
Valley businesses were celebrating a well-timed snowstorm that dumped 16 inches of snow on the valley just in time for the holidays. Mount Snow’s Dave Meeker said “The timing of the snow was tremendous, and in a time frame where we always anticipate a lot of business. Having a fast majority of the terrain open and knowing we would be able to provide a really good product to a lot of people is something that just makes our job a lot easier.
A Windham Superior Court judge loosened check-in restrictions for John Grega, who had been released from prison pending a retrial after serving 18 years for the murder of his wife at a Dover condominium. He was released when DNA testing of evidence cast doubt on his guilt.
15 years ago:
A New Year’s Eve fire at a Greensprings condominium unit threatened to spread to other units in the same building. But firefighters from Dover and five surrounding communities managed to bring the blaze under control and limit damage to just one unit. Key to the departments’ success was an aerial attack by three ladder trucks, from Dover, Stratton, and Brattleboro. An investigation begun the following morning determined that the fire started when the occupants placed ashes from their fireplace in a trash bag and put it on their front porch. Damages were estimated at over $300,000.
20 years ago:
GMP, in partnership with California wind turbine company Enexco, planned to expand their wind-powered generating site in Searsburg. John Zimmerman, of Vermont Environmental Research Associates, said that new regulations affecting power companies in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island made the power generated from renewable particularly lucrative. Some of the turbine sites proposed were on Green Mountain National Forest land.
25 years ago:
Local pols predicted that changes prompted by Act 60, passed in the previous legislative session, would dominate much of their discussion during the upcoming session. Rep. Wendell Coleman and Sen. Nancy Chard said an electric restructuring bill allowing other utilities to operate in the state would also “generate” discussion. (They did not intend the pun.) Sen. Peter Shumlin said a downtown revitalization bill was a priority. The bill would reduce sprawl and address environmental and economic barriers that prevent restoration of empty downtown buildings around the state.
30 years ago:
Several local residents were asked to give their predictions for 1993. Kathleen Corliss predicted that Elvis would be spotted on Mount Snow’s North Face, and that Ford would start marketing flying cars. Lenny Williams predicted Bill Clinton would make Rush Limbaugh his chief of staff, and that a McDonald’s would come to Mount Snow. Bill Sargent predicted that Vermont landfills would be placed on the National Registry of Historic Places and be required to take “old-fashioned garbage,” and that aliens would visit the Grand Union produce section during Presidents Week, but would end up going to Hobson’s Choice. Buddy Hayford predicted that Vermont would defeat New Hampshire in the Lions Twin-State Soccer Cup.
40 years ago:
The valley started the year with no natural snowfall and unseasonably warm temperatures. Mount Snow only had 11 trails open, and hoped to have three more open by the weekend. But one inn owner said most of her guests were cross-country skiers – they changed their reservations to a later date hoping the season would eventually bring enough natural snow to ski on. The manager of one condo association said she received at least 25 calls from people looking to reserve the tennis courts.
45 years ago:
Haystack Ski Area’s ski patrol was headed up by Brian Horrigan, and staffed by six full-time people (including Larry Bills, Penny Horrigan, and Dennis Marchegiani) and 75 volunteers. All ski patrol members were required to be certified in advanced first aid and emergency care by the Red Cross. Horrigan had worked at Haystack for 11 years, and previously worked as a ski patrol member in Berchtesgaden and Garmisch Partenkirchen in the heart of the Bavarian Alps of Germany.
50 years ago:
Wilmington Selectboard members warned the owner of a Higley Hill mobile home park to comply with all health standards, or the board of health would take action to close the park. According to one board member, the park’s septic system had been “polluting” the premises for a year and a half. But board members acknowledged that the park owner had taken many steps to address the town’s concerns during that time, including reducing the number of mobile homes in the park from 45 to 15.
55 years ago:
Rod and Ione Williams of the Inn at Sawmill Farm won first prize in the valley’s holiday lighting contest for their huge Christmas tree bedecked with red and green lights. Second prize went to the Sitzmark, and the Twin Silos’ decorations garnered a “special mention.” The best-decorated private home went to Carl Adler.
The Grand Union grocery store (located where the Family Dollar Store currently stands) was renovated. One of the new features was a colonial-style façade. Store manager Bernie Dwyer noted that the aisles were widened and shopping space had also doubled, a new meat cutting room and meat cooler were added, and the parking area was enlarged.