Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Richard Lee: Pewterer - Article from "The Vermont Journal"

BY DONNA ALLEN
The Shopper
SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Ron Patch gave a dynamic presentation on Richard Lee: Pewterer to a standing room only crowd at the new location of Springfield Historical Society in North Springfield on Saturday. 
  After being introduced by Bunni Putnam, President of the Springfield Historical Society, Patch told the crowd that he was thrilled to help the Society move the collection from the Miller Art center to their new location. For the first time in 45 years the Lee pewter was removed from behind the glass. Patch had wanted to see and handle the pewter for years and now had his chance. This was the first time he had handled the collection. He took detailed close-ups of the different Lee hallmarks – a makers stamp or brand - and other details. 
  The collection included numerous pewter porringers, basins, ladles, plates, a few brass ladles and one skimmer, all marked R. Lee, Richard Lee or RL. Scholars have yet to determine which marks are Richard Lee Sr. and which are Richard Lee Jr.
  Pewter is a soft metal made of several alloys. The base metal is tin combined with copper, antimony or bismuth. The tin content is 95% or more. Pewter has existed since the days of the Egyptians and in the 18th century it was widely used for utilitarian items around the world.
  Richard Lee Sr. and Richard Lee Jr. were two pewterers in Springfield, Vermont. Richard Lee Sr. was born in Scituate, Massachusetts in 1747 and died in North Springfield, Vermont in 1823. Richard Lee Jr. was born in Rehoboth, Massachusetts in 1775. The elder Lee was an itinerant pewterer working in several New England towns including Springfield, Vt. and Grafton, N.H. and in Massachusetts and Rhode Island from 1773-1823. He is best known for his varied porringers, but he also made flatware, although much less frequently plates and teapots. A porringer is a small bowl from which soup, porridge, bread and milk can be eaten. His son Richard Jr. also worked in Springfield for about 20 years.
  “The Lee pewter collection was donated to SAHS by the estate of Mark LaFountain in 1969. LaFountain was an early collector of colonial antiques and is known to have done business with Wallace Nutting. LaFountain’s collection was sold at auction at his home in Springfield in 1969. To this day it is one of the finest collections to come to market in New England,” said Patch.
  In the Springfield Historical Society collection are two engraved teapots hallmarked “Lee & Creesy.” Much information has come to light since the days of the pioneer collectors. 
 The Springfield Historical Society is open Saturdays, from 1 - 4 p.m. They are located in the Cota & Cota building on Rte. 106 in North Springfield. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. Phone:
802-886-7935
or call Putnam’s at 802-886-8430
- See more at: http://www.vermontjournal.com/content/richard-lee-pewterer#sthash.SiPQUivh.dpuf



The Richard Lee collection back behind glass at the Springfield Historical Society.
Photo by Donna Allen - See more at: http://www.vermontjournal.com/content/richard-lee-pewterer#sthash.SiPQUivh.dpuf

BY DONNA ALLEN

The Shopper

"SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Ron Patch gave a dynamic presentation on Richard Lee: Pewterer to a standing room only crowd at the new location of Springfield Historical Society in North Springfield on Saturday.

  After being introduced by Bunni Putnam, President of the Springfield Historical Society, Patch told the crowd that he was thrilled to help the Society move the collection from the Miller Art center to their new location. For the first time in 45 years the Lee pewter was removed from behind the glass. Patch had wanted to see and handle the pewter for years and now had his chance. This was the first time he had handled the collection. He took detailed close-ups of the different Lee hallmarks – a makers stamp or brand - and other details.

  The collection included numerous pewter porringers, basins, ladles, plates, a few brass ladles and one skimmer, all marked R. Lee, Richard Lee or RL. Scholars have yet to determine which marks are Richard Lee Sr. and which are Richard Lee Jr.

  Pewter is a soft metal made of several alloys. The base metal is tin combined with copper, antimony or bismuth. The tin content is 95% or more. Pewter has existed since the days of the Egyptians and in the 18th century it was widely used for utilitarian items around the world.

  Richard Lee Sr. and Richard Lee Jr. were two pewterers in Springfield, Vermont. Richard Lee Sr. was born in Scituate, Massachusetts in 1747 and died in North Springfield, Vermont in 1823. Richard Lee Jr. was born in Rehoboth, Massachusetts in 1775. The elder Lee was an itinerant pewterer working in several New England towns including Springfield, Vt. and Grafton, N.H. and in Massachusetts and Rhode Island from 1773-1823. He is best known for his varied porringers, but he also made flatware, although much less frequently plates and teapots. A porringer is a small bowl from which soup, porridge, bread and milk can be eaten. His son Richard Jr. also worked in Springfield for about 20 years.

  “The Lee pewter collection was donated to SAHS by the estate of Mark LaFountain in 1969. LaFountain was an early collector of colonial antiques and is known to have done business with Wallace Nutting. LaFountain’s collection was sold at auction at his home in Springfield in 1969. To this day it is one of the finest collections to come to market in New England,” said Patch.

  In the Springfield Historical Society collection are two engraved teapots hallmarked “Lee & Creesy.” Much information has come to light since the days of the pioneer collectors.

 The Springfield Historical Society is open Saturdays, from 1 - 4 p.m. They are located in the Cota & Cota building on Rte. 106 in North Springfield. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. Phone:
802-886-7935
or call Putnam’s at 802-886-8430

    The Vermont Journal News Ron Patch"

- See more at: http://www.vermontjournal.com/content/richard-lee-pewterer#sthash.SiPQUivh.dpuf
BY DONNA ALLEN
The Shopper
SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Ron Patch gave a dynamic presentation on Richard Lee: Pewterer to a standing room only crowd at the new location of Springfield Historical Society in North Springfield on Saturday. 
  After being introduced by Bunni Putnam, President of the Springfield Historical Society, Patch told the crowd that he was thrilled to help the Society move the collection from the Miller Art center to their new location. For the first time in 45 years the Lee pewter was removed from behind the glass. Patch had wanted to see and handle the pewter for years and now had his chance. This was the first time he had handled the collection. He took detailed close-ups of the different Lee hallmarks – a makers stamp or brand - and other details. 
  The collection included numerous pewter porringers, basins, ladles, plates, a few brass ladles and one skimmer, all marked R. Lee, Richard Lee or RL. Scholars have yet to determine which marks are Richard Lee Sr. and which are Richard Lee Jr.
  Pewter is a soft metal made of several alloys. The base metal is tin combined with copper, antimony or bismuth. The tin content is 95% or more. Pewter has existed since the days of the Egyptians and in the 18th century it was widely used for utilitarian items around the world.
  Richard Lee Sr. and Richard Lee Jr. were two pewterers in Springfield, Vermont. Richard Lee Sr. was born in Scituate, Massachusetts in 1747 and died in North Springfield, Vermont in 1823. Richard Lee Jr. was born in Rehoboth, Massachusetts in 1775. The elder Lee was an itinerant pewterer working in several New England towns including Springfield, Vt. and Grafton, N.H. and in Massachusetts and Rhode Island from 1773-1823. He is best known for his varied porringers, but he also made flatware, although much less frequently plates and teapots. A porringer is a small bowl from which soup, porridge, bread and milk can be eaten. His son Richard Jr. also worked in Springfield for about 20 years.
  “The Lee pewter collection was donated to SAHS by the estate of Mark LaFountain in 1969. LaFountain was an early collector of colonial antiques and is known to have done business with Wallace Nutting. LaFountain’s collection was sold at auction at his home in Springfield in 1969. To this day it is one of the finest collections to come to market in New England,” said Patch.
  In the Springfield Historical Society collection are two engraved teapots hallmarked “Lee & Creesy.” Much information has come to light since the days of the pioneer collectors. 
 The Springfield Historical Society is open Saturdays, from 1 - 4 p.m. They are located in the Cota & Cota building on Rte. 106 in North Springfield. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. Phone:
802-886-7935
or call Putnam’s at 802-886-8430
- See more at: http://www.vermontjournal.com/content/richard-lee-pewterer#sthash.SiPQUivh.dpuf

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Winter Newsletter - 2015/2016

For the January program we will be changing our “Antique Technology” display; so if you have not seen it be sure to come by. Our next display will be featuring “winter” including winter paintings and photographs.

Monthly Meetings: On the third Saturday of the month at 2 pm, we will have scheduled programs. Here is the line-up for the first four months:

Jan 16: We will discuss the 13 historical pictures in our 2016 calendar.
Feb 20: Ron Patch will talk about our Lee pewter collection.
Mar 19: Scott Andrew Bartley, professional genealogist, will discuss his current research project, Early Vermont Settlers to 1784 and also how you go about researching your early ancestors.
Apr 16: Author Aimee Fogg will discuss WW2 soldiers buried in foreign American cemeteries
such as Henri- Chapelle, in Belgium, as well as other foreign WW2 cemetery sites.

2016 Calendars: They are available at Bibens’ Home Center, Images, Young’s Furniture, the Co-op, the Around the Corner Barber, the VAULT, Cota & Cota and the at Society. The cost is $10. This calendar has some great historical pictures of Springfield and is the subject of our first program on Jan. 16th. It is a nice gift for Springfield folks who have moved out of town. Also for sale, we have The History of Springfield Vermont by Richard Keith Barney ($15). This is a 726 page book documenting Springfield’s history through the Springfield Reporter. It is very interesting reading, Images of America: Springfield by Rosanne “Bunni” Putnam ($21.99), a pictorial history of Springfield, 128 pages, 215 photographs (also available at the library), The Blue Sox Book by Hugh Putnam ($20), the history of Springfield’s “semi-pro” baseball team between 1925 and 1944, and Toonerville Trail bookends ($10 a pair), these are actual pieces of the old trolley tracks from Charlestown to Springfield. These and many other items are available for purchase.

We want to acknowledge and thank our high school Interns who, under the leadership of Emily Stringham and John Swanson, did a very nice job decorating a tree for this year’s Springfield Garden Club “Festival of Trees” using old fashioned style decorations and old photographs.

We are always pleased to receive new items to add to our Springfield history collection. However, we received two donations of particular interest. Two inlayed wooden boxes were part of a recent donation from Caye Nemkovich Ellison of Ludlow. They are of particular interest because imprinted on the front is “Slack’s Champion Plant Vigor, manufactured by Slack Fertilizer Company, Springfield, Vt.” The Slack Fertilizer Company was actually located in North Springfield, but moved to Gloucester, Massachusetts in 1885; that would make these boxes in the neighborhood of 150 years old.But beyond that, it is very possible that the boxes were made by the Martin Box Factory, also located in North Springfield at that time. The Box Factory was known for making decorative and jewelry boxes. The factory burned in 1883, it was rebuilt and burned again in 1893. This donation brings to light a completely new piece of Springfield history.

Our second acquisition is a donation of seven books by Scott Andrew Bartley for our research library. These books include Vermont Families in 1791, Vols. 1 and 2; State Papers of Vermont, Vol. VII; Vermont Newspaper Abstracts; Walpole [NH], As it was and as it is – 1749 to 1879 (2);Vermont Place Names; Windsor Country Vermont Probate Index 1778 – 1899; and the Transcription of the State Copy of the 1850 Federal Census for Springfield VT; plus an exceptionally nice copy of Hubbard & Dartts’ 1895 The History of Springfield Vermont.

In other exciting news, we recently heard from the Springfield Town Office that we have gathered enough signatures on our petition to be placed on the spring 2016 Annual Town Meeting Ballet. We would like to ask the Town of Springfield for $9,500 to assist in the preserving, maintaining, and displaying for the public, the history and art of the Springfield, Vermont. This money will form the base for our $18,000 per year rent at our new location.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Changing Locations

Some of you may have noticed the "For Sale" sign out front this summer.... Yes, the Miller Art Center has been sold.


What happens when you have the most iconic, three-story, Victorian house in town donated to you to be used as an art and historical center? You get very excited and think it is just the best thing that could ever happen to you. Now fast forward sixty years. The tile roof needs repair, the brick needs to be re-pointed, the wooden trim is rotting, there is a tree growing out of one of the chimneys because we have not been able to afford to run the heat in the winter for several years, one of the walls of the Carriage House is collapsing, and we have no funds to fix any of the above problems or any of the other smaller problems, like plumbing and wiring. After much discussion, last year the trustees voted to put the house on the market and hoped someone would fall in love with it and be able to afford to restore it to all its former beauty. 

In the meantime, we began a search for a place to house three-floors of town history and art in case someone actually made an offer to buy the house. The security of the collection and what the society could afford were our criteria. Accordingly we had to eliminate the very old, wooden buildings on Main Street from our list of possibilities. Other places we visited were either too expensive or needed a lot of structural work that, once again, would leave us with no financial cushion.

Well we did get an offer from a Connecticut couple who love the house and want to turn it back into a home--their home. They are excited that so much of the original interior has remained intact. It is the best thing that could happen to the house. It needs a lot of love and work—we all loved it, but we do not have the money to do the work.



Now fast forward.

We have officially and completely moved out of 9 Elm Hill (The Miller Building) and passed papers to the new owners! We hope everyone will respect the privacy of the new owners now that the Miller House and grounds are no longer open to the general public. We have relocated four floors of possessions in about three weeks time. It was a huge task but we made the deadline!

We negotiated a lease with Cota & Cota and have moved to the former Probate Court Office on Route 106 in North Springfield. The space is smaller than we would like but it is newly renovated and ready to move in. It has good visibility and parking, and we can operate year-round. The rent is closer to what we can afford but we are going to need to raise about $18,000 per year to become an active society and not just a warehouse for Springfield’s artifacts. 


THANK YOU to all those who volunteered their time, we could not have done it with out you. Now we are laying out our new space and working on putting all of these things in their new locations. We have a much smaller space so it is going to take time. 

We don't expect to be officially open until our Annual Meeting, scheduled for Saturday, October 17th. More details will be announced as we work our way to this new and exciting deadline. 

Please note the changes to our contact information. We have a new physical address and phone number.

Our new physical address is

65 Route 106,
North Springfield, VT

Our new telephone number is
802-886-7935

Our mailing address remains the same:
PO Box 313,
Springfield, VT 05156

However, we are currently closed while we relocate into this new space.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Grand Army of the Republic - Jarvis Post No. 7, Springfield, Vt

Picture of Jarvis Post No. 7, Springfield, Vermont (Photographs courtesy of Heather Fullam)

Back row - left to right
    E. Weatherby, - , Geo. Pearsons, Dave Fairbanks, Oscar Parkhurst, Amos Gould, Joshua ?, A. O. Coburn, H. H. Conger, -, King

Middle row - left to right
    Long, Meacham, A. W. Stickney, O. E. Waite, W. H. H. Putnam, William MCin(tosh?), Charles Whipple

Front row - left to right
    -, -, Charles Herrick, William Sparrow, W. S. Allen, Dexter Lockwood, R. S. Herrick, H. H. Phillips, Merrel Bailey, William Gage, ?
Names on back of photo

Charles Jarvis (1821-186
Jarvis Post No. 7 in Springfield, Vt was "named after Major Charles Jarvis and organized August 21, 1868, the following officers being elected: Commander H.W. Floyd; senior vice-commander, T. R. Proctor; junior vice-commander, Adin H. Whitmore; sergeant-major Edwin D. Hatch; adjutant, J. Wood Hastings; quartermaster, L. A. Pierce; surgeon L. M. Tuttle; chaplain E. N. Dean. The Post was disbanded in 1874, and was re-organized in July 1884, with the following officers: W. H. H. Slack, commander; W. H. H. Putnam, S.V.C.; William Sparrow, J.V.C.; A. O. Coburn, adjutant; William M. Lewis, quartermaster; S. Grow, chaplain. Meetings are held first and third Wednesdays of the month and present membership is seventy-eight. The officers elected in 1888 were: Commander, C. Sparrow; S.V.C., Justus Dart, J.V.C., C. C. Johnson, adjutant, A. W. Stickney, quartermaster, D. B. Lockhart; chaplain, Adelbert Allen." (Aldrich 1888?, 451)

        Major Charles JarvisMajor Charles Jarvis was born in Weathersfield, August 21, 1821. At the age of nine years, he was placed under the tuition of Solomon Foote at Castleton, Vt., and afterwards attended Exeter Academy. He was a student of Vermont University at the age of fourteen years, being the youngest member of his class. Graduating in 1839 he began the study of law in the offices Leverett Saltonstall and Judge Ward of Salem, Mass., but relinquished his studies and returned to Weathersfield on account of the death of his only brother, William. From this time he devoted himself to his parents, relieving his aged father from the weight and care of business, and settled his estate after his death.

        Feeling it his duty to devote himself to the service of his country, he raised a company for the Ninth Vermont Regiment in March, 1862, and he was chosen captain. The regiment was captured at Harpers Ferry and paroled in the strictest manner and ordered to Fort Douglas, Chicago. On account of the absence of his superior officers the command of the camp devolved on Captain Jarvis.

        In June, 1863, the regiment was ordered to Yorktown, Va., and Captain (now Major) Jarvis received a furlough and returned home. He was soon ordered to Boston Harbor to take charge of the Vermont conscripts, but rejoined his regiment at Yorktown early in October, 1863. The regiment removed to New Berne, N.C., and subsequently to Newport Barracks, N.C., and on December 1, 1863, while on an expedition Major Jarvis was mortally wounded. Major Jarvis was never married." - By Mark Felone

        Source: Aldrich, Lewis Cass. "History of Windsor County, Vermont. Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., publishers. 1888?, p 992.

http://suvcw.org/garposts/index.htm

The Grand Army of the Republic Badge. Authorized by Congress to be worn on the uniform by Union veterans - Source
Reverse of the Grand Army of the Republic Badge - Source


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Children's Clothing - Red, White, and Blue

The Springfield Art and Historical Society has a wonderful collection of children's clothing. Those who attended our vintage fashion show back in October 2011 will certainly agree. The collection consists of infants caps, christening  gowns, and everyday clothing from the mid 19th century up to the 1960s.

Children's clothing on display during "250 Years of Fashion - A Vintage Fashion Show" October, 2011
Each piece of clothing was beautifully constructed in its time with great care, even those made in the 20th century by machine. When viewed, each piece seems absolutely unique. However, there will occasionally be found in other collections very similar pieces. Take for example a little blue and white check gown in the SAHS collection.

Our gown dates approximately to the late 1870s or 1880s. One of kind? Not exactly. Take a look at this selection of children's clothing recently sold by Augusta Auctions. See anything familiar? 


These lovely little dresses date between 1850 and 1875. A close up of the blue and white check can be seen here. The white embroidery on the middle child's dress is very similar to the embroidery on the SAHS blue dress seen in the above picture. Blue and red appear to have been popular colors for children's clothing.

When looking at an original dress, it is often hard to tell if it was worn by a little boy or a little girl. The child in the photo seen below is most likely a little girl as she is shown will a doll. However the shape and style of her clothing is very similar to those pictured above. Up until the early 20th century, boys wore dresses until they were potty trained.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

An Award Winning Book

Has anyone read "The Entrepreneurs and the Workers of the Soot: A History of the Foundry in Springfield, Vermont" by Alan and Donna Jean Fusonie? We would love to hear your feedback. 


THE ENTREPRENEURS AND THE
WORKERS OF THE SOOT
A HISTORY OF
THE FOUNDRY
 IN SPRINGFIELD, VERMONT

 By Alan E. Fusonie and Donna Jean Fusonie

          This well researched and documented book provides a picture of the development of the foundry businesses in Springfield, Vermont, and its eventual long-term relationship to the local machine tool industries.

The authors also focus on the untold story of the forgotten Foundry workers in Springfield, Vermont.  There were generations of them, spanning one hundred and fifty years, and they performed some of the dirtiest yet important metal work in the industrial development of the town.  From the early use of water power on the Black River to the significant employment of immigrants during the first half of the twentieth century, the story of the Foundry business is set within the events of the time.  Springfield eventually became the leading industrial town in the state of Vermont with national and international connections.

Copyright © 2013 by Alan E. Fusonie
First Edition, First Printing, July 2013



In November 2013, this book received the "Award of Excellence for Publications" from the League of Local Historical Societies & Museums. The book is now in the process of being nominated for a national book award, "Publications Category - Leadership in History Awards for the American Association for State and Local History."

Copies of the award winning book may be purchased for $29.95 each at Black River Books and the Edgar May Health and Recreation Center in Springfield, Vt and at Misty Valley Books in Chester, Vt., Springfield Library, Vermont Historical Society or direct from Springfield Art and Historical Society c/o Ken Stringham kstringham@vermontel.net. 802-885-5265.



Thursday, October 10, 2013

SAHS Authors Forge New Book!

Forget swag; for many in 1880s Springfield, Vermont, it was all about the snath. Snaths, or scythe handles, and the fittings that joined those handles to the cutting head were one of the many products produced at the Springfield foundry, the subject of a new book published by the Springfield Art and Historical Society.

"A History of the Foundry in Springfield, Vermont" by longtime SAHS board members Alain E. Fusonie and Donna Jean Fusonie combines historical research, period photos, catalogue reproductions and Vermont gumption into a story like exploration of those the authors call "The Entrepreneurs and the Workers of the Soot."

This well researched and documented book provides a picture of the development of the foundry businesses in Springfield, Vermont, and there eventual long-term relationship to the local machine tool industries. On sale now at the Miller Art Center; available soon for online purchase. For more information, including bulk retail pricing, call board member Ken Stringham at 802-885-5265.

Stop by our booth at the Vermont Apple Festival this Saturday. Meet Alain E. Fusonie, author of "A History of the Foundry in Springfield, Vermont" and purchase a signed copy!




The Springfield Art and Historical Society will be open for one more day, Saturday October 12th from 11:00am to 3:00pm. This will be the LAST opportunity to view our 2013 historical exhibit, "Returning Fire! - The 150th Anniversary of Springfield, Vermont in the Civil War." After Saturday we will be closed for the season. Our annual membership potluck dinner and meeting TBA soon.



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