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.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Article in the Eagle Times - Our Civil War exhibit

Article in the Eagle Times 6/21/13

"Museum brings back exhibit for Civil War anniversary"

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Art & Historical Society held its annual First Night Reception yesterday, reopening the downtown Miller Art Center for the summer season with the return of a display honoring the town’s involvement during the Civil War.
The festivities marked an exhibit titled “Returning Fire” that explores the role of Springfield citizens and solders during the Civil War. Within the latest Miller Art Center display, first brought to Springfield in 1998, is several new items for 2013 including reading materials and a presentation sword.
Emily Stringham, a member of the society’s board and the textiles curator, said some of the items are also on loan that are different from the initial exhibit. The 150th anniversary of the Civil War prompted the return of the historical artifacts dating back to the 1860s.
It is also the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and there was a sizable amount of Springfield soldiers (and Vermonters in general) who took part in the three-day conflict outside of the Pennsylvania town where more than 23,000 soldiers on both sides died.
“It is a really important part of Springfield’s history and there’s a lot of different towns all over the state that are trying to tie into the anniversary. And we thought Springfield played an important role and we ought to be contributing to the anniversary also,” Stringham said.
Society President Jim Chlebak and his family’s brass trio set the tone for the evening with an arrangement of music from the era. A list of Civil War veterans from Springfield has been placed on the wall, along with uniforms, medals and information on the town’s history with the underground railroad and the 3rd and 16th Vermont regiments.

Left: Maddi Macie and Makenna Goodrich model Civil War era dresses at the First Night Reception at the Miller Museum in Springfield Thursday evening. Top: Bob Swanson from Springfield looks at part of the Civil War display. Middle: Tim Vanzandt from Springfield looks at part of the Civil War display. 
PAUL HOWE PHOTOS Left: Maddi Macie and Makenna Goodrich model Civil War era dresses at the First Night Reception at the Miller Museum in Springfield Thursday evening. Top: Bob Swanson from Springfield looks at part of the Civil War display. Middle: Tim Vanzandt from Springfield looks at part of the Civil War display. PAUL HOWE PHOTOS

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Open for the Season - New Exhibit

The Springfield Art and Historical Society will be open for the season beginning June 20th! Our hours of operation are as follows. Thursdays 6:00pm - 8:00pm, Fridays 11:00am - 4:00pm, and Saturdays 11:00am - 3:00pm. Our regular admission is $3.00, free for members and veterans.

We are looking for volunteers for our Friday and Saturday hours. If interested please contact us at

"Returning Fire" -  The 150th Anniversary of Springfield, Vt in the Civil War.

Please join us Thursday June 20th from 6:30pm - 8:00pm for the opening reception of our newest exhibit

Come and celebrate the role of Springfield's citizens and soldiers during the American Civil War. Learn about Co. A of the 3rd Vt that was raised in town, the 16th Vt at the Battle of Gettysburg, the Underground Railroad and more!

Admission for the reception is free. $3.00 suggested donation. Light refreshments will be provided.

List of guest speakers and times TBA
Colonel Horace W. Floyd Springfield, Vt. Colonel of the 16th Vermont Volunteer Infantry

Photo source - Dewey Jones Photograph Collection
Third Vermont Infantry
Wheelock Graves Veazey
Wheelock Graves Veazey was born in Brentwood, New Hampshire on December 5, 1835. He set up his law practice in Springfield, Vt in 1860. When the Civil War began he joined Co. A of the 3rd Vt which was formed in Springfield. He was quickly promoted to the rank of captain. In September of 1862, Veazey helped to raise the 16th Vt Regiment. As colonel of the 16th he lead his men at the battle of Gettysburg. Col. Veazey received the Medal of Honor for his actions during that engagement. His official citation reads: "Rapidly assembled his regiment and charged the enemy's flank; charged front under heavy fire, and charged and destroyed a Confederate brigade, all this with new troops in their first battle."

Col. Veazey died in 1898 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Today in History - Houghton & Simonds Garment Shop

Today in History - Spring fashions for March of 1912, brought to you by Houghton & Simonds' Garment Shop located in Brattleboro and Springfield, Vermont.

This lovely advertisement from a March 22, 1912 issue of the Vermont Phoenix is announcing an "Intensely Interesting Display" of spring garments for women.

Vermont Phoenix., March 22, 1912, Page 3, Image 3 - Source

Vermont Phoenix., March 22, 1912, Page 3, Image 3 - Source
 Beautiful hats.
Vermont Phoenix., March 22, 1912, Page 3, Image 3 - Source
 A stylish little purse and parasol.
Vermont Phoenix., March 22, 1912, Page 3, Image 3 - Source

Friday, March 8, 2013

2013 Membership Drive

Greetings everyone! It's that time of year again, time for our annual membership drive. Below you will find our membership letter from the board of trustees. We are facing difficult times financially. Your support this year is more important than ever. Thank you.

March 7, 2013
Dear Members, Interns and Friends of the SAHS,
Your support of the Springfield Art and Historical Society is an invaluable resource for
our town and for those whose connection to Springfield is an important part of their lives.
The collections, internship program, guest speakers and exhibits have served generations.
Since January 1st of this year, I serve as SAHS president. I am joined by fellow officers
Jim Fog, vice president, Susan Fog, secretary, and Christine Chlebak, treasurer, as well as
the Board members, curators and program coordinators listed below.
Our charge, to guide the organization and implement its mission of service, has never
been more challenging. When my fellow board members and I began our service in
January of this year, we found ourselves with funds insufficient to meet our financial
obligations through the next 6 months, let alone heat our building through the winter.
Disbanding the society and ceding our collections seemed our most realistic options.
This Board of Trustees, however, did not sign on for such a future. Like you, we believe
our collections, our interns, and our programs
belong, in every sense of the word, right
here in Springfield.

Here's what we've done so far.
To start, the Board met every week throughout January to devise, implement and monitor
a plan of fiscal responsibility and practical action. On advice from Rick Kerschner,
director of preservation and conservation at the Shelburne Museum, we turned our
thermostat as low as it could go, and finally, asked Board member Ken Stringham to
replumb our water lines, drain them and shut off the heat completely, all while
monitoring humidity to avoid risk to our collections. Intern coordinators John Swanson
and Emily Stringham moved their activities off site for the season. We have suspended
Internet service. While maintaining low-wattage lighting vital to security, we have
extinguished all other outside illumination.
These sacrifices are significant, but alone they won't be enough.
At the suggestion of Ann Cousins from the Preservation Trust of Vermont, I have
contacted the Vermont Community Foundation for guidance and support in securing
emergency funding. Christine Chlebak is organizing our financial books so we can
confirm our 501c3 status with the IRS. Last Friday, Ann herself visited the Miller Art
Center with a panel of preservation experts from around the state to verify the condition
of the building and to propose options for establishing financial stability. Their
conclusion was that our collections are safe in the Miller building, for now, but that the
cost of maintaining the mansion may one day force us to relocate within Springfield.
Know that if we do, it will only happen with assurances that both the historic value of the
Miller property and the opportunities provided by any new location would meet or
exceed the demands of our mission. We have, in fact, visited sites that would actually
increase dramatically both visits to our collections and program opportunities for our
members and the public.
Here's how you can help.
Your input, your volunteering, your good will, and your donations and membership dues
are the rock on which we build. Your memberships and donations are by far our largest
source of income. Despite this and our pressing need for funding, we on the Board have
waited until now, mid-March, to contact you, because we wanted first to be sure your
dollars would be used as you intended, to ensure the protection and availability of our
collections and services, even as we move ahead with our website, digitization and
fundraising initiatives.
In the coming weeks I will be reaching out to as many community partners as possible,
but before that we must get our own finances in order and with your help, we can. With
your support, the Springfield Art and Historical Society will serve for generations to
come, creating a legacy itself worth mention in the history of Springfield. Please give
Jim Chlebak, President
Jim Fog, Vice President
Susan Fog, Secretary
Christine Chlebak, Treasurer
Alan Fusonie, Board Member
Lisa Murray, Board Member
Mimi Stringham, Board Member
Emily Stringham, Board Member/Textiles Curator/Intern Coordinator
Ken Stringham, Board Member/Art Curator
John Swanson, Library Curator/Intern Coordinator
Teresa Janiszyn, Artifacts Curator/Intern Coordinator



PLEASE MAIL TO Springfield Art & Historical Society, P.O. Box 313, Springfield, VT 05156

INDIVIDUAL $20.00 __ FAMILY $35.00 __ DONOR $50.00 __  SPONSOR $100.00 __ OTHER $______




E-Mail address_____________________________________________________________________________
THANK YOU!     QUESTIONS CALL (802)-885-2415

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Did You Know? - Springfield Dog License

Did you know? The cost of dog license in Springfield, Vermont was only $1.00 in 1891. 

This image was shared with us by one of our members, the original document sold on Ebay last year. We currently do not have funds available to purchase items for our collections. However, if you come across Springfield items for sale on Ebay, Etsy, or other online sites please please feel free to share links or images with us.

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