This Week in History
10 years ago:
A church in Washington, DC, found 34 rock maple chairs manufactured at the Readsboro Chair Factory. According to an inventory card in church records, the chairs were part of a special order of 150 chairs commissioned in 1942. At the time, each chair cost $5. Parishioner Al Slaughter contacted the Readsboro Historical Society to learn more about the factory and how the chairs were manufactured. Slaughter and other parishioners who were refinishing and restoring the chairs remarked that the craftsmanship and quality were “incredible.”
Wilmington Selectboard members backed a federal grant to rebuild the Anchor Restaurant. The popular restaurant was destroyed in a fire two months earlier.
15 years ago:
The Deerfield Valley Elementary School Band almost tripled in size thanks to a “revitalized” instrumental music program. After budget cuts in the 1990s removed instrumental music from the elementary school budget, band became an after-school activity and instrumental lessons were paid for by parents. The funding was restored in response to the merger of Wilmington and Whitingham’s middle and high schools.
A Halifax woman found a tick- and louse-ridden flying squirrel taking shelter in her barn. Although the tiny, gliding, nocturnal squirrels are rarely seen, state wildlife biologists said they’re actually quite common in Vermont. After delousing, de-ticking, and a little rest and recuperation, the squirrel was released back into the wild.
20 years ago:
A strike at the Hostess snack food company left the valley’s sugar addicts jonesing for their Twinkies. Some store managers had to deal with angry customers who were demanding the cream-filled snack.
Advocates of a state plan to reconstruct a portion of Route 9 in Wilmington and Searsburg were pleased with a ruling by the District II Environmental Commission to limit the scope of the project’s Act 250 hearing.
25 years ago:
In a last-minute, come-from-behind victory, Readsboro’s seventh- and eighth-grade spelling team defeated several other teams from around the region to advance to the Vermont State Championship Spelling Bee.
Wilmington School Board members struggled to find $40,000 in cuts made by Town Meeting voters. Board members and school administrators debated whether the school’s DARE officer should be eliminated, or whether an elementary school teacher should be eliminated.
A bill that would have created a statewide education property tax was “pronounced dead” after having languished in a Senate committee for weeks. Democrats blamed Republican Lt. Gov. Barbara Schnelling, who was planning a run for governor.
30 years ago:
The Dover Selectboard decided to petition the District II Environmental Commission to revoke a land use permit held by Grampy’s convenience store after five years of repeated permit violations. The board claimed the owners of the store entered into an agreement to conform to new sign regulations five years earlier, but failed to lived up to the agreement. Dover’s planning commission was also investigating allegations of permit violations at Grampy’s.
Wilmington Selectboard members cut $14,200 from the general fund, and school board members cut $61,419 after Town Meeting voters limited all budget increases to 6.9%.
35 years ago:
East Dover Fire Department members raised the roof, literally, for East Dover resident Raymond Johnson. After Johnson’s house was damaged in a fire, community members came together to tear down the damaged roof, haul it away and, before the weekend was over, complete a new roof.
40 years ago:
The Wilmington and Dover school boards met to explore the possibility of a merger. Dover school board member Sandy Barber said the two board’s philosophies were the same. Under the proposal, elementary students from the two towns would attend Deerfield Valley Elementary School, middle school students would attend Dover School, and high school students would attend the high school in Wilmington. At the time, Wilmington was under pressure from the state to upgrade its facilities at a cost of $500,000.
50 years ago:
The Fabulous Farquar, a five-piece band that called Fat City and The Other Way home, were back in town for St. Patrick’s Day after a tour of the western states. Mount Snow Valley News editor Ed Pickett said the Farquar were valley folk heroes who “have come to stand not only for the entertainment they produce, but for a mood, an atmosphere, a condition of camaraderie in the valley that has evolved into a force so strong as to almost be termed a movement.”