This Week in History (6/17 - 6/24)

Les Otten
Les Otten

10 years ago:
The state legislative apportionment board was considering breaking up House districts represented by Rep. Ann Manwaring and Rep. John Moran. The proposed shift was connected to a loss of population in the two districts according to the 2010 census. Although Moran’s home town of Wardsboro gained 46 people according to the census figures, other towns in the district lost residents. Wilmington, the largest town in Manwaring’s district, lost 349 people – 16% of the town’s population.

15 years ago:
The state approved Readsboro as a designated village. Readsboro planning and selectboard officials, as well as the Readsboro Hometown Redevelopment Committee, sought the state recognition to help accelerate the revitalization of the village.

20 years ago:
Whitingham brought the first Wings program to the valley with the help of a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, a federal program authored by Vermont Sen. James Jeffords. The Wings program, which has expanded to include several other school districts in the valley, has opened up a world of extracurricular programs to local youth.

25 years ago:
The US Department of Justice approved a merger between SKI Ltd. and LBO Enterprises, on the condition that the new company, American Skiing Company, sell two of its New Hampshire resorts, Cranmore and Waterville Valley. American Skiing Company owner Les Otten expressed disappointment at the ruling, suggesting that industries that are involved with “discretionary spending” shouldn’t be subject to such stringent antitrust action.
The District 2 Environmental Commission issued an opinion that Mount Snow was in violation of their Act 250 permit by allowing mountain biking on ski trails. Mount Snow vowed to challenge the opinion.

30 years ago:
Wilmington was facing an end-of-year deficit of $219,000 for the first time in nearly 30 years. The deficit was blamed entirely on delinquent taxes, $146,352 of which were attributed to Haystack. Wilmington’s town manager estimated that a tax increase of 9 cents would be needed to balance the books. The state was facing a $50 million deficit.
Hungry valley residents could get two cheeseburgers or two steamed hot dogs at Grampy’s convenience store for 99 cents.

35 years ago:
Jennifer Fitzgerald, her sons Colin, 10, Barry, 6, and Brian, 5, and her daughter Kathleen, 9 months. all finished the seventh annual Deacon’s Den Road Race. Kathleen, in a stroller, beat her mother “by a nose” in the 6.4-mile race.
Dover voters approved a tax increase of 9 cents in a surprise move. Some of the increase was due to a change in appraisal strategy – listers had intended to appraise condominiums at a higher rate but discovered that they were already being assessed at a fair rate. A portion of the increase was to pay for a new kitchen at Dover School.

40 years ago:
After a US Army Corps of Engineers study recommended repairs at Lake Sadawga, the state proposed draining the lake to reconstruct the west dike and construct concrete and stone stabilizers on the main dam.
Le Petit Chef moved from its location at the West Dover Inn to a building on Route 100 near the Dover town line.

45 years ago:
Peter Carroll’s round “cheese house,” across the road from the Cupola in West Dover, was holding its grand opening. Carroll said he got the idea for a cheese shop after he went shopping in Manchester with a group of seniors staying at his Matterhorn Lodge. Not only did the group spend a lot of time in a cheese shop there, they spent a lot of money.
Green Mountain Beach Committee members were meeting to discuss how to address a voter initiative made at Town Meeting. Voters decided to return the beach to the sole use of Wilmington residents. When the property was purchased in the 1930s it was posted as restricted to Wilmington residents. Committee members proposed issuing metal tags to residents.

50 years ago:
Haystack constructed a large “tower-like” sign at the corner of Route 100 and Coldbrook Road, and asked the town to take ownership of the structure. Under the state’s off-premise sign law, or “billboard law,” Haystack would likely be ordered to remove the sign. The state might not order the town to remove the sign, Haystack officials believed. Selectboard members hadn’t yet made a decision, but Wilmington Town Manager John Plonski said the odds were not good that the town would establish such a precedent.

100 years ago:
The Deerfield Valley Times reported that the New England Power Company was preparing to build a dam across the river in Somerset, just below the ledges on Somerset Road. “From (there) the water is to be conveyed in a 10-foot pipe to some place down the stream – rumor says the Medbury place or the Heather place.”
One man was killed and another was badly injured when they were electrocuted while working at the New England Power plant in Florida, MA. The two men were enveloped by an “electrical flash,” according to the report, that stripped the clothes right off their bodies. The two men were rushed to North Adams by train, where one of them died.
W.M. Vogel, of Wilmington, wrote in to advise “If the party or parties who called at my cooler Tuesday night and relieved me of hams, lard, and sausage will ask for the key next time they come, it will save me the expense of buying new locks.”


The Deerfield Valley News

797 VT Route 100 North
Wilmington, VT 05363

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

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