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West River Railroad Museum plans grand opening on Oct. 14

The station is located on Cemetery Hill Road in Newfane Village. Parking for the event is around the Newfane Common. See the Historical Society’s website for updated information: www.historicalsocietyofwindhamcounty.org.

NEWFANE—The Historical Society of Windham County will host a grand opening of the West River Railroad Museum on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Three years ago, the Historical Society of Windham County purchased the former Newfane railroad station to save a historic landmark and to preserve a piece of Vermont history that would otherwise be lost forever.

Since that time, the society has been restoring the station, which includes the old Depot Building and its associated Water Tank House, both of which were built in 1880 under the auspices of the Brattleboro-Whitehall Railroad, later called the West River Railroad.

The Historical Society’s extensive collection of West River Railroad artifacts, manuscripts, photographs, and documents will be housed in the new Railroad Museum. The restored Railroad Station will provide a visual and accessible presentation for a broad audience, as well as an engaging teaching tool for educators and parents, according to a news release.

During its operation from 1880 to 1936, the West River Railroad played a critical role both economically and socially.

In 1905, the narrow gauge was replaced with standard gauge tracks and around the same time, the Newfane depot was expanded to accommodate the increase in freight traffic. However, due to frequent accidents and weather related disasters including the Flood of 1927, the West River Railroad became infamous as “36 Miles of Trouble.”

The last train rolled down the West River Railroad in 1936. Since then, the station was in private hands until it was purchased by the Historical Society of Windham County in 2014. The station is a contributing resource in the Newfane Village Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The station property also preserves a section of the proposed West River Rail Trail along the railroad bed that extended 36 miles from Brattleboro to South Londonderry.

The Grand Opening of the West River Railroad Museum on Oct. 14 will begin at noon with a ribbon cutting, followed by tours of the restored Depot and Water Tank House, exhibits of the West River Railroad, telegraph demonstrations, refreshments, and music by Colin Blazej and Friends. The event will honor all those who have generously helped in the restoration of the Newfane Railroad Station and the realization of the West River Railroad Museum.

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Tamara Stenn
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Tamara Stenn (Brattleboro, Vermont, US) says...

Thanks for writing this Elayne. I was thinking the same thing myself. The silence we received from the hospital is quite deafening. Unfortunately we\'ve had to continue working with the hospital as other (minor) heath issues come up.

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Judith Skillman
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Judith Skillman (Newcastle, US) says...

Excellent and informative writing about the media and about the state of our nation. We must support the press speak truth to power, now more than ever before.

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Ruby Bode
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Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

We are also obliged to criticize the press when they merely echo the lies of the powerful. In this case, much of the press has taken a side, not just against the policies of the President, but against the election itself on behalf of the parties of war and Wall St. Just as the US has in the past agitated in other countries for coups against democratic outcomes they don’t like, much of the press, including this editorial, is now agitating for a coup here at home.

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Peter Ford
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Peter Ford (Dallas) says...

Nailed it - Thank you.

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TB Smith
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TB Smith (Ba, Oklahoma, US) says...

The divisiveness brought on by this shamefully poor excuse for a president has been once again, borne out by this article, and the responses to it .. his most devoted followers are the most gullible and easily swayed sheeple since the \"Kool-Aid party in Jonestown\" ... those who stand up the most fervently to this dictator \"wanabe\", will , inthe end, see him and the fellow purveyors of his garbage rhetoric like FOX News, Alex Jones, Breitbart, etc., crumble and be dumped like stale crackers (pardon the pun) .. we must impeach this tyrant before too much damage is done, either from within or outside our borders.

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Ruby Bode
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Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

So it’s OK that access to outlets that simply recognize Trump as President is indeed being shut down? But isn’t that exactly what this editorial is against? Should outlets that cheered on Obama’s wars and love of Wall St have likewise been shut down? Only John Birch Society–inspired screeds against Trump indicate the “legitimate” press?

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Ruby Bode
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Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

TB Smith’s comment in apparent support of the us-vs-them tone of this editorial illustrates why so many people distrust so much of the press (although, again, it appears to be only pro-Trump and anti-imperialist outlets that are actually being shut down): They are promulgating hysterical claims about fascism, Russians, and “crackers” not in the interest of the people, but wholly on behalf of the neoliberal/neoconservative program of Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama to deny Trump the Presidency and even remove him from office – not democratically, but by coup if necessary. That makes the press rather anti-democratic and, indeed, against the people.

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Amelia Stone
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Amelia Stone (E Dummerston, Vermont, US) says...

Kudos to the Boston Globe for encouraging newspapers across the country to remind us all of the value of a free press, and to the Commons for hearing that call. The NYTimes article, A Free Press Needs You, concludes with the following: \"If you haven’t already, please subscribe to your local papers. Praise them when you think they’ve done a good job and criticize them when you think they could do better. We’re all in this together.\" Today I plan to subscribe.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #429 (Wednesday, October 11, 2017). This story appeared on page D1.

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