Maple Festival Raffle by Mail
February 9 – March 13
Sunday March 17, 1-4 p.m. (Maple Raffle drawing at 3 p.m.)
Sunday, June 23, 2-4 p.m.
Sunday, September 15, 2-4 p.m.
Museum Open House
Sunday, October 6, 2-4 p.m.
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.
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).
Vermont Historical Society’s Andrew Liptak Interviews MSHS’s Mary Lou Willits
Mary Lou is curator of Fancy Goods: Hats and Fashion Accessories, 1850-1950, showing at the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier now through February 24. Andrew is PR and Guest Services coordinator for the Vermont Historical Society.
Can you briefly describe the exhibit? Fancy goods were designed to appeal to taste or fancy rather than to what was essential. The primarily ornamental fashion items in this exhibit document what residents of Middletown Springs considered fancy goods. The 37 items, which date from 1850 to 1950, were donated to the Middletown Springs Historical Society collection by local families.
Why did you choose to create this exhibit? Around the turn of the 20th Century, Julia Adams operated a millinery and fancy goods store in the Middletown Springs Historical Society building, formerly known as the Adams House. Julia’s photo with members of her Sunday school class sitting on the steps of the shop beneath the sign “Mrs. S.C. Adams Millinery & Fancy Goods” inspired this exhibit.
What is most exciting for you about this exhibit? I am most excited about the public exposure these exhibit items will have. I think about the people who made or designed them, the men and women who wore them, and the family members who saved them. Our collections team has worked for over 30 years to catalogue and carefully house the items that have come under our care. This part of the collection is having its day to be seen and appreciated in the light.
What would you like people to learn/know about the exhibit and what it tells us about Middletown Springs? The exhibit interpretation puts these Fancy Goods examples in the context of rapidly changing fashions in the United States from 1850 to 1950. While none of the clothing, hats and accessories displayed are extravagant, they still indicate that in rural Middletown Springs people were keeping up with popular fashions, even if it meant altering what they had.
What is your favorite piece/object in the exhibit and why? While I love all the hats and fashion accessories, my favorite object in the exhibit is a framed pastel portrait of the late Kay Avery, a resident of Middletown Springs, that was painted by artist Mary Seymour in 1928. She is posed in a lovely soft green sleeveless chiffon dress with a draped ruffle on one side, and she is wearing a long string of white pearls. Her red hair is cut in a bob style, so fashionable in the 1920s. Note: Kay Avery (1908-2005) was one of the founding members of the Middletown Springs Historical Society back in 1969.
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!