Monday, January 15, 2018

January 2018 Newsletter

January 2018 Newsletter
From the President . . . Rosanne “Bunni” Putnam
The petition: We have the 360+ signatures we need to be on the March Springfield Town ballot
for our special funding request. Now, if you are a Springfield voter, we need you to be sure to go
and vote. This money is critical to continuing to preserve the historical collection.

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Things to do: There is a never ending list of things to do beyond cataloging and maintaining the
collection. We have the January, February, and March monthly programs lined up. With the goal
of drawing new visitors, we will be hosting the monthly Chamber of Commerce mixer in February.
Then, to help celebrate their 105th Anniversary, the Hospital has asked us to prepare a program
describing The Springfield of 1913 and 1914, when the original hospital was formed and opened.

The collection: Bill Lashua delivered seven boxes of negatives to us (about 14,000). They are
primarily photographs his father, Bernie Lashua, took of machines, etc. at J &L. John Hunter, who
is a J&L retiree, has agreed to review the archive to see what it actually contains. We really
appreciate John’s willingness to take on this massive project.

New equipment: To help facilitate viewing negatives, with the funds from a grant from Vermont
Telephone, we have purchased a new 14 x 18 inch “light table.” This is a vast improvement over
holding the negatives up to the ceiling light.
Also, as the result of a grant from the Bryant Foundation, we have purchased a professional grade
photo and negative scanner. In addition to the recent Lashua donation, we have 1000s of other
negatives, both film and glass slides, some as large as 8” x10”, which we will now be able to view
and document. Some of the glass slides are over 100 years old and due to their age some of them
are dirty, so we plan to contact the glass slide archivist at the Vermont Historical Society (met her
a conference in October) to see if we can, or should, clean them.

Monthly Programs
January 20: The Railroad Doctor, Edward Sanborn French.
Mr. French came to Springfield in 1920 to save the Springfield Terminal Railroad. He stayed and
built a large home on Summer Street. Walter Wallace, railroad enthusiast, will relate French’s
interesting life story which included becoming president of the B&M Railroad, serving on the
board of the Federal Reserve, and later becoming president of J & L. This is a fascinating story of a
local man who, up until now, had literally disappeared into the pages of the town history.

February 17: Shem Kentfield, Tory, and his Gun.
Kentfield was born in 1750 in Northampton, MA. He joined the Continental Army in 1775, and was in Charlestown, NH by 1780. Then his life took a turn and he became a Tory. Eric Bye, historian, will
present the story of Mr. Kentfield and how he met his ultimate demise with the written approval of George Washington. The Whitney family, who acquired his gun when Kentfield was captured near Tory Hole, has donated it to the society and it will be on display at the program.

March 17: The Hurricane of 1938.
Eighty years ago in September, a massive hurricane came up the East Coast. Normally skirting the coastline, hurricanes are not generally not much of a threat to interior New England. This hurricane, however, came up the Connecticut River. The society has recently discovered, in its archives, many Springfield photographs of the aftermath of this storm. Hugh Putnam will present this program describing the storm and showing many never before presented photographs.

Hope you have your copy! They are still on sale at the usual places. If you come to the Historical Society to buy it, we will give you a 2017 Calendar (for the pictures) free.

Gearing up for Benches
An Appeal from Springfield on the Move
Do you have any old gears or other metal artifacts that came from the machine tool businesses in
our town? Springfield On The Move (SOM) is working with an artist and metal worker to create
benches for Springfield’s Downtown that embrace our machine tool heritage. The project will use
items from the factories that once thrived in Springfield to create the frames for the benches.
Informational signs about these companies are also being planned. If you have items to contribute,
contact Buddy Dexter at the following e-mail address -

New Display Cabinets: The wall cabinet on the left (which contains our wonderful
collection of Springfield Souvenir Pottery) and the display cabinet on the right (with the dresses)
are the two new cabinets we were able to purchase with the funds from a generous grant from the
Windam Foundation.

Changing Exhibit
We will be changing some of the displays at the end of the month so we can focus on the
businesses of the town for the February Chamber Mixer. Therefore, the Joe Henry paintings will
be coming down and some of the other items on display will be changing. So if you have not seen
the current display, be sure to come by before the end of the month or you will miss them.

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Quilt Raffle Fund Raiser: “Glowing Stars”
Priscilla Petraska, of Chester, VT has very generously donated this beautiful and vibrate quilt to the society as a fund raiser raffle. These photographs really do not do it justice--you really need to see it in person. It is on display at the Society. It measures 63” square and has a donation value of $355.
We have a few tickets left. The ticket price is $5.00 each and we are limiting the number of tickets to 100. So be sure to get your ticket before they are gone. If you want to enter by mail, send your check with a note “for the quilt” and we will fill out a form for you. When the last ticket is sold, we will draw the winner who will then be notified directly and it will also be announced on our website, Facebook page, and in the newsletter following the drawing.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

June Program

Join us on June 10th at 2pm for a special program, "The Things They Carried: Weapons, Uniforms, & Equipment of WWI," presented by historians Myric McBain and Cori Santagate.

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Myric McBain has been writing and lecturing on American military history and material culture since 1996, preparing hands-on, interactive presentations for schools, civic groups, and homeschool cooperatives. He has worked as a consultant to numerous local and regional history museums, including the Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the Fort at No. 4 Living History Museum in Charlestown, New Hampshire.
After serving nine years in the Air Force Security Forces (including a tour as a rifleman in Afghanistan in 2002), Myric was selected to be the Historian for the 122d Fighter Wing, receiving his formal training in the Air Force’s Aerospace Historian program. In that role, Myric researched and wrote historical reports for the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell Air Force Base, the National Guard Bureau in Washington D.C., and the Joint Forces Headquarters in Indianapolis.
Myric received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Taylor University in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and a Master’s Degree in Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Myric lives in New Hampshire with his wife Jennifer.

Cori Santagate was born and raised in Norther New York and has been involved in living history for the past thirteen years. He received his Bachelor's Degree in history from SUNY New Paltz in 2009. Cori worked at the Fort at No. 4 Living History Museum in Charlestown, New Hampshire as a historical interpreter and educational guide for local school groups before pursuing a career in law enforcement.
Cori's interests and expertise in military history ranges from ancient Rome through the Second World War. He has developed historical impressions of soldiers and sailors from numerous time periods for educational displays and demonstrations.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

May Program

Please join us on May 20th, 2017 at 2:00 PM as historian and re-enactor Richard Tucker presents, "Hell is a Hole in the Dirt: The Evolution and End of Trench Warfare"; a talk on fighting styles of WWI. 

Rich is the chairman of the Board of Directors for the Living History Association of Vermont. He has a BA in US History and a Masters in military history from Norwich University. This program coincides with our current exhibit, "Springfield, Vermont in WWI and the Spanish Influenza." Take some time before or after our program to explore the exhibit and learn about the role of Springfield, Vermont during the First World War and the impact of the Spanish Influenza. 

Photo credit, Joani Jasset of A Timeless Collection

We are open Saturdays from 1 to 4 PM, or by appointment by calling the Putnams at (802) 886-8430 or one of the other board members.

65 Route 106, No. Springfield, VT
PO Box 313, Springfield, VT 05156

Monday, March 6, 2017

Please Vote YES on Article #29!!

Please Vote YES on Article #29!!

Just a reminder to our Springfield members and friends:  the Springfield Art & Historical Society’s request for special funding will be on the Springfield Town Ballot again this year.  This request is the same as last year, $9,500.  In the bigger scope of the total town budget, this is not a large amount of money but, to the Society, it makes a huge difference in what we can do to improve, protect, and display the town’s history.  So once again we ask Springfield voters to please vote YES on Article #29.  We will be at Riverside voting day, if you have questions.  

Lee pewter on display at the SAHS

Friday, March 3, 2017

March 2017 Newsletter

Friday, September 30, 2016

September 2016 Newsletter

September 2016 Newsletter

The Springfield Art & Historical Society would like to say thank you to the community for the over-whelming support of our yard sale Saturday. Basically all of the items in this year’s sale were donations and we raised over $800 for the Society! This was even better than last year’s sale. We were also pleased to have the opportunity to give first time visitors a tour of our new space and we received the same comment, “I did not realize how much room you have here—this is very nice.” We also received a few more donations to the historical collection: a Bryant lab coat, Fellows service pins, and an Avon Theater, WWII Saving Bond Booklet.

October 15, 11 AM to 5 PM, Annual Meeting/Open House 
We will be displaying our quilt collection. And to compliment our current display theme “Agriculture,” our program, at 2 PM, will be Wolf Peaches, Poisoned Peas, and Madame Pompadour’s Underwear: The Surprising History of Common Garden Vegetables by Rebecca Rupp. Common garden vegetables have long and fascinating histories. Science and history writer Rebecca Rupp will discuss the stories behind many of them including the much-maligned tomato and potato, the (mostly) popular pumpkin, and Vermont’s dynamic duo of kale and Gilfeather turnip. Find out why a lot of us don’t like beets, how a 17th-centry pirate named the bell pepper, how carrots won the Trojan War, and how George Washington was nearly assassinated with a plate of poisoned peas. 
We will have light refreshments and our programs are free and open to the public. Donations are always welcome.

January 21, 2 PM: The WWII Observation Posts in Springfield
For the meeting in January, we are going to gather together as much information as we can find on these sites. We started off with four verified observation posts, the Dutton farm, the Whitcomb farm on Highland Road, the MacKenzie farm on South Street, and the Stevens’ on Skyline Drive. Also people seem to think there were sites on Craigue Hill, Elm Hill, and Breezy Hill, but those have not been confirmed yet. We also know there were sites in Baltimore and Chester. But the other day we received a call from Seattle Washington regarding another site in Springfield.

David Jenks, who was a young boy during the war, recalls that his mother would take him to a site that he believed was near where he lived on Furnace Street. He believed it was there because his mother did not drive and he does not remember being picked up. He described the site as being an old school bus chassis but without the cab (the Dutton photograph reminded him of it). He said there were pictures of airplane silhouettes and a phone—all the right stuff. But the strangest part of it was that he thought the chassis was in a tree and they had to go up steps to get into it. Now if anyone remembers anything about this site, please let Hugh Putnam know (802-886-8430 or ). Hugh is also reviewing our Springfield Reporter newspaper collection but there is not a lot written about the sites because it was very hush-hush.

2017 Historical Photograph Calendar
The 2017 Historic Photograph Calendar is almost ready to go to the printer. We have upgraded the paper and plan to have it available by the October Open House. We are pleased with the sponsor response. This is an important fund raiser for the Society, so remember the calendars make nice Christmas gifts, particularly for people living out of town, and still only $10 a piece. The calendars will be available for purchase at the Society and the following eight area businesses: Around the Corner Barber Shop, Bibens Ace Hardware, Riverside Restaurant, Springfield Co-op, Springfield Town Office, Tina’s Hallmark, Woodbury Florist, and Young’s Furniture and Appliances Store.

Horace Brown Print Raffle 
While we are on the subject of fundraisers, don’t forget we are raffling off a large (30” x 30”) print of Horace Brown’s oil painting, The Long View. Horace Brown was born in 1877 and came to Springfield in 1903 to take over the family estate, “North Mowin,g” off Fairground Road. He was an impressionist painter and well known in art circles and active in town affairs. He died in 1949.

It is a very, attractive, serene painting. The Society’s framed copy of the print is on display. Tickets are $2 each or 3 from $5. If you would like, you can send a check and we will put your tickets in the drawing. The winner will drawn at the Open House in October.

A New Mural
If you have not been to the Society lately, you have not seen the large 2-piece, mural of Springfield hanging in the hallway. It measure about 30”H by 14’ 6”L and makes up a panoramic view of the square, taken about 1915. This is a generous donation from Don Barcome and it formerly hung in the truck stop at Exit 7. Apparently due to renovations, they had to find a new home. We are so glad that new home is at the Society.

SHS High School Yearbooks
We are trying to expand our collection of Springfield High School yearbooks. These are very useful for identifying people in “old” pictures. If you have one, or come across one, please keep us in mind. So far we have copies of 1953, 54, 57, 58 (in poor condition), 59, 60, 63, 64, 66, 70, 72, 77, 84, 2007. Some of the copies have a lot of writing, so if you have a cleaner copy, we would be interested in it.

Think of us when you shop on
An easy way to support SAHS: AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support SAHS, at no cost to you, every time you shop at When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, selection, and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to your chosen charity. From your web browser simply go to before you begin shopping and select a charitable organization (SAHS, we hope) to receive donations from your eligible purchases.



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