Around the Towns

Halifax Historical Society to meet

HALIFAX - “Growing up in Halifax in the 1940s and 1950s” will be the topic of discussion at the annual meeting of the Halifax Historical Society on Friday, July 13.

Six people who grew up in Halifax during those years (Wayne Courser, Lewis Sumner, Charlotte Miner, Jeannie Hardgrove, Lucile Rice and Lillian Brigham) have agreed to participate, and more may also decide to join. Input from anyone will be welcome.

What has changed about Halifax, and what is the same? Did children in the pre-Internet, pre-cell phone, pre-TV era have more fun? Did they work harder? What was it like to live in Halifax during World War II?

The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Halifax Community Hall in downtown West Halifax. It will begin with a short business meeting to elect officers.

Everyone is invited to this meeting, member or not, Halifax resident or not. The meeting will be preceded by a potluck supper at 6 p.m. Bring a dish to share.

Athens Brick Meetinghouse hosts open house, plant, and bake sale

ATHENS - The Athens Brick Meetinghouse will host its first summer weekend open house on Saturday, July 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The meetinghouse will be open for visitors to tour and learn more about this interesting 1817 building. There will also be a bake and plant sale, with all proceeds going to support continued renovation and upkeep of the building.

The Athens Brick Meetinghouse is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is historically significant to the Windham County region, and particularly the other twelve towns - Grafton, Rockingham, Townshend, Londonderry, Weston, Chester, Acton, Springfield, Landgrove, Windham, Putney and Mt. Holly - which constituted the “Old Athens Circuit.”

Preachers from Athens traveled out to these 12 towns to perform religious services. Quarterly meetings with the Methodist congregants from these towns often lasted two days at the Athens Meetinghouse, which came to be known as the “Mother Church.”

The building was reopened to the public last fall after completing significant stabilization work made possible in part with grants from the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, and the Windham Foundation.

Originally erected to serve the spiritual needs of the residents of Athens and surrounding towns, the large open sanctuary which boasted a high pulpit, box pews, large galleries and a handsome chandelier, was divided into two stories - the lower continued to be used for worship services, while the upper, a large hall, served the town's civic needs through the 1970s.

The Athens Meetinghouse is located on Meetinghouse Road in Athens, just off Route 35. Admission is free, donations are accepted, and all are welcome.

Chicken barbecue time in Windham

WINDHAM - The Windham Community Organization's annual Chicken BBQ and Raffle begins promptly at 5 p.m., on Saturday, July 14, at the historic Windham Meeting House, 26 Harrington Rd., on the corner of Windham Hill Road.

They will be serving up Walter Woodruff's own “Special Recipe” barbecued chicken cooked over a wood fire. Baked beans, potato salad, green salad, homemade sweet breads, corn bread, and for dessert, homemade strawberry shortcake topped with fresh whipped cream, are all included for the price of $10 for adults, $5 for children, or $25 for a family.

Come early and try your luck on a raffle of crafts created by talented Windham artisans, and enjoy music by Windham musicians. Look for the big tent outside the Windham Congregational Church/Meeting House. All proceeds benefit the Community Organization.

'Defend Our Future' gala at BMAC

BRATTLEBORO - On Saturday, July 14, from 7 to 10 p.m., at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, 10 Vernon St, join Defend Our Future for a benefit gala for this nonpartisan group that is educating and empowering young people to advocate for action on climate change and take environmental policies into their own hands.

Vermont Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman and Senate Majority Leader Becca Balint will join with environmental leaders for a night of community celebration and fun.

Gala-goers can look forward to a night of live music, catered treats, and a photo booth. There will be a cash bar with beer and wine from Windham Wines.

This fundraiser will be the first of its kind for Defend Our Future, and all proceeds will be used to expand the campus organizing work that Defend students and staff do in their communities. Through hosting educational events, meeting with elected leaders, and organizing voter registration and education drives, their teams are helping to develop environmental activists across the country.

Tickets come in three levels: silver ($25), gold ($35) and platinum ($50). In addition to admission, gold and platinum sponsors will receive a special gift. Tickets can be purchased on the Defend Our Future website at All gifts to Defend Our Future are tax-deductible.

Deadline nears for Rockingham's 2018 Old House Awards contest

BELLOWS FALLS - Nominations will close Monday, July 16, for property owners who wish to participate in the Rockingham Historic Preservation Commission's 2018 annual Old House Awards contest.

Residents may enter their own properties or nominate someone else who has recently improved the appearance of a historic house or building in their neighborhood or the town.

The awards are designed to celebrate property owners in Rockingham who are maintaining and restoring their historic homes and commercial and industrial buildings. There will be awards in multiple categories, with brass plaques distributed to the winners.

Eligible properties are older homes and businesses that have been renovated, painted, or otherwise enhanced on the exterior in the past five years. Properties must be located within the town of Rockingham. To qualify, properties must be at least 50 years old.

To nominate a property, email [email protected], or write to: Rockingham Historic Preservation Coordinator, P.O. Box 370, Bellows Falls, VT 05101. All nominations should include the property's address and the owner's name. Photographs will be greatly appreciated. Winners will be announced in August.

Beaver expert gives talk at Brooks Library

BRATTLEBORO - Jennifer Lovett is giving a talk entitled,“Beavers: Our allies in a changing world,” on Tuesday, July 17, at 7 p.m., at Brooks Memorial Library. She is a Protect Our Wildlife Advisory Board member, a conservation biologist, and the author of Beavers Away!, the story of the 1948 Idaho beaver parachute drop.

Lovett will focus on beavers' ability to mitigate effects of climate change and how their role in our landscapes has never been more important. The talk will run about 45 minutes and includes slides and discussion of beaver biology, family structure, and their historical role in North America. This is a family-friendly event.

Toni Ortner, Tim Mayo, and Terry Hauptman read their work at Putney Library

PUTNEY - Stop by the Putney Public Library on Wednesday, July 18, at 7 p.m., to hear three well-known Vermont poets: Terry Hauptman and her rhapsodic poems that incorporate many cultures both past and present; Toni Ortner's new work, which confronts the social, economic and political crises of our times; and Tim Mayo's intense love poems.

Ortner's three new books are Fractured Woman and End Rhymes for End Times (Word Tech Communications), and Giving Myself Over to J.S. Bach (Kelsay Books). She has had 24 books published and is host of the Write Action Radio Hour on WVEW-FM in Brattleboro, where she interviews writers and they read their work.

Mayo's second volume, Thesaurus of Separation, was a finalist for both the 2017 Montaigne Medal and the 2017 Eric Hoffer Award. He lives in Brattleboro and works at the Retreat.

Hauptman's newest book is The Indwelling of Dissonance (North Star Press of St. Cloud). She is the author of three previous books Masquerading in Clover, Rattle, and Hearing Thunder.

Putney Public Library is located at 55 Main St. in Putney. This event is free and open to the public.

Artists and crafters wanted

TOWNSHEND - The annual Grace Cottage Hospital Fair Day Art and Craft Show/Sale is Saturday, Aug. 4, on The Common in Townshend.

This one-day show and sale is one of the attractions at The Grace Cottage Hospital Fair, an all-day fun and fund raiser for Grace Cottage Hospital. It is housed in the vestry of the Townshend Church, adjacent to the other fair activities on The Common.

The Fair Day Art/Craft Show and Sale is always an eclectic assortment of arts and crafts ranging from fine-art originals and prints, photography, jewelry, fiber, and fabric crafts, “almost perfect” pottery and glass, and more from many well-known area artists/crafters.

An admission fee isn't charged, but all sales are subject to a 25 to 30 percent consignment fee. Contact Lauri Miner at 802-365-4194 for more information.

Also, Hospital Fair Day - held annually for almost 70 years - is on Aug. 4, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., with free admission, free parking, free pony rides, free entertainment, an all-day auction, 18 bargain booths, a wide variety of food, all-day Bingo, and a $1,000 hole-in-one sponsored by People's United Bank.

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