Starksboro Historical Society, Baldwins Pond, Starksboro, Vermont (SHS in VT)

Starksboro Historical Society

Starksboro, Vermont 05487

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Meeting Minutes

January 26, 2006

Starksboro Historical Society Meeting
January 26, 2006
Starksboro Town Offices, 7:05-8:45 pm

Present: Emma Lou Craig, Sarah Adams, Kevin Hanson, John Burbank, Susan Malloy, Martin Lewis, Robert Stokes, Cynthia Kling, Olive Phillips, Elsa Gilbertson, Ruth Beecher

1. MINUTES from 9-29-05 were approved with the addition of the November 4th, 2005 event, featuring a potluck dinner and slide show featuring the Painted Curtain, was considered to be our November meeting.

Sarah Adams reported that we have 3 lifetime members, and 3 new members for a total of 12 members with $610 received in dues. We currently have $423.59 in the bank. Expenses paid include $75 to the Secretary of State to become incorporated (which we now are, according to Emma Lou!), $25 to the church for the November 4 potluck, and _____ for supplies needed for the Vt History Expo exhibit.

We decided that we will have our Annual Meeting each January.

We reviewed the by-laws that Emma Lou and Sarah pulled together. We were very fortunate to have their thorough legwork, because reviewing the by-laws was quick and easy. Few suggestions for minor wording changes or additions and notification of typos were all that was needed. Emma Lou offered to take these suggestions and edits, and draft another copy for final review and approval at our next meeting. Thanks, Emma Lou and Sarah!

Kevin Hanson, through a tip from a Starksboro resident, bought a series of Starksboro photographs on eBay. Kevin took these photos, 2 small albums and tin types from the 1870's, and scanned them all onto a disk. Kevin shared the albums and some of the tin types using white gloves provided by Elsa. Elsa shared a book called Caring for your Collections.

After oohing and aahing over the photos, discussion ensued regarding the following:

  • Do we want to make the disk of photos available to others? Kevin mentioned several interested folks. Yes.
  • Do we want to authorize Emma Lou to purchase archival boxes to store/preserve these photos properly? Yes.
  • Do we want to allow use of these photos on the Meetinghouse website? Yes.
  • Do we want to check with the Town Clerk to see if we can store the photos in the Town Vault? Yes. (Emma offered to do this)
  • Do we want to lend the photo albums to area classrooms? No. Perhaps in the future we will have a place for schoolchildren to come and view the albums.
  • Elsa mentioned the need to start a file or book listing accessions with donors and purchasers.
  • Special thanks to Kevin for all his work in acquiring the photos, scanning them to disks, and putting them on websites for public viewing!

John Burbank, a self-proclaimed spy, joined us from the Bristol Historical Society. He shared more photo albums full of Starksboro folks, including the Bickford family and others. John mentioned that these albums belonged to Bertha Hanson and that our Society could have them. Thanks, John -- we like spies like you! Elsa mentioned that we need to have letters of agreement/deed of gift to document where these albums came from for future researchers. She will get copies of these letters to Emma Lou. Kevin offered to scan these photo albums as well.

Cynthia and Olive attended this conference in October at the Statehouse in Montpelier. The keynote speaker was from Hildene. Cynthia and Olive went to interesting workshops on fundraising, collections care, and school performances (writing plays, and impersonating a logger).

We missed the deadline to submit for this year, which was Jan. 6. John said that the Bristol Historical Society is sitting it out this year as well. Elsa mentioned that due to the large costs of hosting this event, the Expo is starting to charge $100 for exhibits. Elsa also shared an upcoming workshop on how to create exciting Expo exhibits on Feb. 25 in Grafton, and Feb. 28 in Barre. If interested, email or fax 802-479-8510 (sorry, no phone # was listed).

Emma Lou received a copy of Starksboro's charter! Everyone expressed interest in receiving a copy. Emma offered to make copies (for distribution at our next meeting?) for all interested parties.

10. MAPS
Emma Lou wondered if folks have old Starksboro maps. Ruth mentioned that the Sheldon Museum in Middlebury has a new collection available on CD Rom [1857 Walling map of Addison County. The CD Rom has the whole map, individual town maps and a 2004 version of each, and costs $30]. I missed what others were saying about this, with all the side discussions!


  • Interviews of Starksboro folks: Sarah and Emma Lou have interviewed Gerald Heffernan, Hilda Orvis, and Charley Thibault. Martin offered to interview Bernard Hurlbert. Elsa and Emma Lou will be attending a conference on Oral History at the Vt. Folklife Center in February.
  • Kevin's technology projects: Starksboro Historical Society now has a link on the Starksboro Meetinghouse website. Kevin included images from the Baldwin family, with lots of kids and dogs. Another technology project is that Kevin scanned the Bidwell photos, and will now scan the Bickford photos.
  • Brown Hill Reunion: Cynthia mentioned that it was a success last summer and she hopes to do it again this summer. This reunion was captured on video.

Saving Starksboro's Stuff: Elsa mentioned the need to store things, such as the Vermont Life magazine article on Dave Mason, and other important documents related to Starksboro. Discussion ensued regarding possible places to store our collections. We settled on the upstairs of the Town Offices, with a 2-drawer file cabinet already donated by Emma Lou! Kevin offered to talk to Gerald Heffernan to see how they sort and file at the Bristol Historical Society. Others offered to help sort items once a system is in place: Ruth, Cynthia, anyone else?

Cynthia shared that Paul Theroux, who wrote a book and visited Cape Wrath, had interesting information about Cape Wrath, the scene on our Painted Curtain: wrath was a Viking term that meant "turn around!" or "go back!" More information is available at the Starksboro Public Library.

Emma Lou wondered if meetings should be a program, such as Kevin talking about the photo albums. John mentioned that in Bristol, they have member meetings from May through September, with their Annual Meeting in October. They have speakers at meetings, with many of their speakers coming from within their society. For instance, John researched and presented information regarding the Eddy guy who made matches in a factory in Bristol. Outside speakers are available through other organizations such as the Vermont Humanities Council with topics on many things, from art and music to history and more. Bristol had a guy from Waterbury talk about the airplane crash on Camel's Hump, and Langdon Smith talked about arrowheads.

A discussion ensued regarding the Civil War as a topic, with a possible collaboration between us and the Starksboro Meeting House. It was also mentioned to possibly collaborate with the Starksboro Public Library's Bertha Hanson History Series, which occurs in April/May. Elsa offered to ask Don Wickman to be a Civil War speaker, possibly at our May meeting. He compiled and edited a book called Letters to Vermont from Her Civil War Soldiers to the Home Press.


  • Regarding the photograph that Robert shared at our last meeting, John mentioned that Bristol has a photo from 1941 of a Mason family reunion, complete with labels.
  • Emma Lou asked Martin, as a new member, what he would like to see in our organization. Martin is very interested in preserving oral history through interviews, with the rich history of what life was like in the past. Other folks to interview were mentioned, including Roland Shepard and Larry Shepard.
  • Sarah mentioned that our dues are $10.00 for regular membership, and $150 for lifetime membership, with anything in between always welcome. Thanks to John who joined us tonight, and to all others who have joined!
  • Please add John Burbank's email address to your SHS email addresses:

Our next meeting will be at the Town Offices, at 7 pm, on March 23rd. We are now on a regular schedule of meeting every other month on the 4th Thursday.

Respectfully submitted, Ruth Beecher

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