The March meeting, the first of the year, was the organizational meeting for deciding programs, hikes, trips for the year. The selections are reflected in our schedule on the last page for the coming months.
Since the Society planned to hike to the Steam Mill in May, the April program explored part of the defunct Town of Philadelphia annexed to Chittenden in order establish who may have once occupied buildings where cellar holes are now found along the way to the Steam Mill.
The program was “Influence of the Proctor Family in the development of Chittenden.” This prepared us for our hike to Boiling Spring on June 13, located on lands owned by the Town of Proctor for protection of the Kiln Brook watershed. Also we learned that Redfield Proctor donated the land for Mt. Carmel State Forest, and that the Proctor Marble Co. was instrumental in the building of Chittenden Dam.
John LaFountain showed slides of his sanctioned metal detecting finds in England. Some of his interesting finds are in British museums and date back to the Iron and Bronze ages. John helped us identify the coin shown at the upper right as a Spanish — not English — silver coin used before U.S. had currency.
We are pleased to announce our annual summer Ice Cream Social to introduce community members to the Chittenden Historical Society and invite them to join us as members. Our mission is to preserve, and share our rich town history. During the Ice Cream Social we also present a monetary award to the annual Barstow student winner of the Muzzy Davenport Award for outstanding work in local history, and the recipient shares their project with us.
In our yearly programming, we plan field trips and hikes to explore the town’s early history, and we plan historical programs for our monthly meetings. In addition, we collect and preserve photos, artifacts, buildings, oral histories, genealogies, and historical accounts of town places and events.
Renovation of the 1833 Grange Hall is one of our projects. This summer we are happy to announce that walls in the main level are at last being closed with sheetrock. A grant from the Walter Cerf Community Fund is helping make this possible. Photos below show the work in progress. Remaining to be done are trim work, including some original wide-board wainscoting, installation of light fixtures, refinishing the floors, HVAC and a new front porch and handicap ramp. Although the main level will not be in finished condition, we expect that it will be available for use on a limited basis in the Fall. The lower level was finished and available for town use and rent since 2009.
This spring we waited out the weather and took two hikes. On May 31 we hiked to the remains of the Steam Mill, built in Chittenden by Charles Reed Holden in 1868 and visited nearby cellar holes and area mines. On June 13, a group of nineteen hikers visited Boiling Spring, the source of Kiln Brook. Beginning in 1904 that brook provided the pristine drinking water for the Town of Proctor for over 100 years. In 2014 Proctor changed to well water. The light areas in the spring show where the underground springs bubble up.
Jessica Orluck, daughter of Ms. Jennifer Orluck of Chittenden is the 2015 Muzzy Davenport Award. She will be our guest of honor at the Ice Cream Social on July 14 at 7:15 at Town Hall. Join us to meet her.
- The Chittenden Historical Society meets on the second Tuesday of the month, March through November at 7:00 pm at the Society on Holden Road (or otherwise posted). ￼Visitors and new members are welcome!