Events & News

Events

Join us in celebrating a 49-year tradition—our Annual Strawberry Festival! Strawberry lovers are invited to the Historical Society building on the Green in Middletown Springs for delicious strawberry shortcake made with fresh Vermont berries, homemade biscuits, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, with a choice of iced tea, lemonade, or hot coffee. 
This year’s new exhibit, Dana S. Carpenter (1863-1940): A Man for All Seasons, will feature many items from the MSHS Collection that have never been displayed before.

Events 2024

Maple Festival Raffle by Mail

February 9 – March 13

Maple Festival

Sunday March 17, 1-4 p.m.  (Maple Raffle drawing at 3 p.m.)

Strawberry Festival

Sunday, June 23, 2-4 p.m.

Annual Meeting

Sunday, September 15, 2-4 p.m.

Museum Open House

Sunday, October 6, 2-4 p.m.

Exhibits

New This Season

Dana S. Carpenter (1863-1940): A Man for All Seasons

Ongoing

The Montvert Hotel and Mineral Springs

Middletown Baptist Pastor Sylvanus Haynes

Middletown Springs History Timeline, 1770-1970

News

Self-portrait photograph of Carpenter with his camera and tripod reflected in a mirror at the Montvert Hotel, from a glass plate negative, c. 1890.
Dana Carpenter used a dry plate wooden field camera to photograph the people and places of Middletown Springs at the turn of the 20th century. On display is the rear standard with glass plate holder from his Anthony & Scovill camera, c.1890.

Snapshot from New Exhibit

Dana S. Carpenter (1863-1940): A Man for All Seasons

Dana Carpenter used a dry plate wooden field camera to photograph the people and places of Middletown Springs at the turn of the 20th century. On display is the rear standard with glass plate holder from his Anthony & Scovill camera, c.1890. Exhibit viewers interested in the history of photography will find this exhibit label of interest:

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, American manufacturers, such as Rochester Optical Company, Burke & James, and Eastman Kodak, played a significant role in the development and production of field cameras. Field cameras, also called view cameras, were known for their large glass plate negatives and the ability to make precise adjustments for focus, perspective control, and depth of field. Used to take black and white still photographs, the cameras featured bellows for focusing, tilts, swings, and shifts for perspective control.

The gelatin or dry plate photographic process was introduced in the 1870s. Dry plates are pieces of glass plate that are coated with a gelatin emulsion that is allowed to dry. When exposed to light, the plate will capture an image. Because the exposures required abundant light, they were most often used outdoors. For the same reason, shutter speeds were timed for a second or more to provide adequate light exposure for the relatively slow-reacting chemicals on the negative. People posing for their pictures were required to hold their expression for 20 seconds, which explains their often sober appearances.

The dry glass plate negative made for a much more practical process than the earlier wet plate process as the plate could be transported, exposed and then processed at a later date rather than having to coat, expose and process the plate in one sitting as was the case with the wet plate negatives

In 1884 George Eastman, of Rochester, New York, developed dry gel on paper, or film, to replace the photographic glass plate so that a photographer no longer needed to carry boxes of glass plates and toxic chemicals around. Dry plate negatives were still widely used into the 1920s when the convenience of gelatin silver paper negatives and celluloid roll film replaced them.

Dramatic Reading of Lucy and Hazel Grover Diaries from 1907 now on YouTube

To extend the experience of the MSHS Museum exhibit, Childhood in Middletown Springs, 1850-1920, which closes after the Maple Festival on March 17, the Society has featured on its new YouTube channel the dramatic reading of the childhood diaries of Lucy and Hazel Grover written in 1907.

On January 1, 1907, Lucy Grover (14) and her sister Hazel (10) began diaries in identical composition books. They lived with their parents, Will and Katie Grover, who owned and operated a farm in West Tinmouth about four miles south of the village of Middletown Springs. Their journals give a rare view of Vermont family farm life at the beginning of the 20th century and document children’s work, education and play—themes that ran through the Childhood exhibit.

Young local actors Anya and Ellie play the parts of Lucy and Hazel, respectively. Their performance was under the direction of Melissa Chesnut-Tangerman, a partner in Theatre in the Woods summer camp in Middletown Springs. To see the video, visit the Society’s YouTube channel

Poster for the Dramatic Reading from Lucy and Hazel Grover Childhood Diaries.

Office Space in Historical Society Available for Rent

Since the Town Office has moved to its new building, its former office space in the Historical Society building on the green has become available for rent. Are you thinking of expanding or relocating your office-based business?

Rented as the Town Office since 1980, the 440 sq. ft. space was remodeled in 1998 and subdivided to create a secure room with an antique fire resistant safe. The main room has built-in shelving and a mini-split heating and cooling system. Interior doors provide access to the building’s accessible restroom and an alternate accessible entrance from the rear of the building. The office is wired for an optional security system through Countryside Lock and Alarm.

The monthly rent is $500, which includes heat and electricity. A lease and security deposit are required. For more information, call Pat Hemenway (802-235-2421) or David Wright (802 235-2376).

Website Editor Volunteer Needed

Volunteer site editors update content and introduce new content. Our webmasters Sally and David Caras offer personal training support and a comprehensive online mshsvt.org manual for our volunteer Social Media Committee. The MSHS website is the kingpin of our social media outreach. Please join this star committee and help us shake things up!

Screenshot of training manual website featuring page from Justamere Farm brochure.
The online training manual, part of free training for volunteers on the Social Media Committee.