Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Alex M. Williams, Photographer with Roots in Waterford

Alex M. Williams is one of the names in the Memorial Garden at the Lower Waterford Congregational Church. A gifted photographer, Alex died at age 52 in Burlington, Vermont, in 2014; his parents, Dr. Russell and Lois Williams, live in the White Village.

Because there is no online site showing Alex's work, his parents graciously allowed these framed items to be photographed. Their detail is elegant and astonishing, and something to bear in mind as we enter the season of lilies in our Vermont gardens.

After attending New England College and the University of Vermont, Alex lived in London, England, and then in Boston for a time, during a seminal period for the Boston rock music scene. Alex shot live music, did album covers and band photos. Early "Mission of Burma" promotional photos are credited to Alex. Then in New York City, Alex assisted at photo studios, freelanced with print publications such as DETAILS, and photographed artwork for such artists as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, and Julian Schnabel.

In Vermont, he worked with photographer Didier Delmas and at Photogarden on College Street and Jager Di Paolo Kemp Design of Burlington. Samples of his work, especially in Vermont, would be welcome, to add to this brief note.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Farewell to Waterford's Friend, Robert Heath Goss

Waterford Historical Society board member Lynn Troy provides a rolled-up panoramic photo of the construction of the Comerford Dam to genealogist Bob Goss (center), who offered to have the photo professionally enhanced to show more details. At right is another WHS board member at the time, Charles McMahon. Photo taken at the Davies Memorial Library by Helen C. Pike.
 The Waterford Historical Society lost a good friend and researcher last month with the death of genealogist Bob (Robert Heath) Goss on March 20, 2017. Bob's retirement choices led him into genealogy and into preserving the records of cemeteries across Vermont. In particular, he took the records compiled for Waterford's cemeteries years ago by Eugenia (Genie) Powers, and updated them, adding more details and descriptions. His awareness of the town's past added to our discussions of place names like "Copenhagen" (near today's Waterford Springs), as well as changes that came from reshaping the Connecticut River with two major dams.
About three years ago, Bob Goss discovered that Waterford resident Lynn Troy had a stunning panoramic photograph of the construction of the Comerford Dam, which changed so much in Waterford during 1930-1931.  Lynn recalls, “Bob had the panorama picture of the Comerford Dam (which I had received from a friend and [in the photo here] am giving him rolled up) touched up by a professional photographer.  He then returned the much improved finished picture to me and I had it framed.  The final product is a gift to WHS from both of us.  It is in the library now waiting for a discussion with [library director] Jen as to where to hang it.” Lynn adds, “He was a delight to work with and I enjoyed knowing him for the brief time I did.”
Bob was born in Barnet, Vermont, in 1934. His parents were Dean Abbott Goss (1901-1957) and Della Maud (Heath) Goss. His mother's family does not appear to be connected to today's Waterford Heaths. However, his father's family goes back for generations to the years when Waterford was settled by nonindigenous people: Levi Goss, one of the first to settle here, was Bob's great-great-great-grandfather; subsequent generations were Locke, Francis, Charles, and Bob's father, Dean.
Almost any search of Waterford's cemetery records will turn up Bob's work for generations to come. His attentive documenting of our history and his clear joy in preserving it ensure that we will remember both his work, and his generous spirit.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Memories of Fifty Years Ago -- and Before ... in Waterford, Vermont

At the small district schoolhouse, when Waterford had one-room and two-room (and even four-room) schools. Courtesy of Vivian Davis, who is one of the students here.
Stories of the "old days" from the people who remember what happened -- these are the treasures that the Waterford Historical Society's spoken history team gathers from area residents, on video, in pictures, and in voice recordings. And now you can watch and listen to Waterford, Vermont, residents share their memories, at the group's channel on YouTube. Hope you can make time to visit really soon -- just click here to see what's available!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Time to Chat About Waterford, Vermont, History! (but Note Weather Changes Possible)

Young trees surround the Adams-Babcock Cemetery.
Waterford Historical Society program calendar for 1st half of 2017.

WHS meets at The Davies Memorial Library unless noted otherwise.

Wed., Feb. 22, 6:30 PM: Annual Meeting. Membership votes on officers. Members also share their discoveries and board of directors shares update on archives work. NOTE: may be rescheduled if weather severe.
Tues., March 7, 8 AM to noon:
It’s Town Meeting Day!
Come help us ID photos! Pick up a membership form & a copy of this program calendar for a friend or neighbor. Read about all we accomplished in the Town Report!

Wed., March 22, 6:30 PM:  Garden memories! Heirloom seeds! Old-growth rhubarb! Butternuts! Come share.

Wed., April 26, 6:30 PM:
National Poetry Month!
We’re teaming up with the Davies to offer a night of poetry reading out loud from Waterford poets present and past. Limericks, quatrains, free verse – all forms welcomed!
Poems to be submitted at Town Meeting 3/7 to help us determine the rhythm and flow for a memorable evening.
Location: to be announced later.

Sat., April 29, 9 AM to 1 PM: Davies Library Spring Book Sale and Congregational Church rummage & artisanal food sale.

Sat., May 6, 9 AM: Green-Up Day project at the Hill Cemetery on Higgins Hill Road (Gingue Farm). Rain? We’ll reschedule.

Wed., May 24, 6:30 PM: Author-poet and one of our founding members, Beth Kanell, talks about her research on Waterford’s Revolutionary War veterans.
Sat., June 17: 4th annual joint fund raiser between WHS and Congregational Church in Lower Waterford features a series of mini documentaries of Waterford residents and a return of the tasty Rhubarb Café. 
Time: 6:30 PM. Location: village church.
Tkts: $10; $5 for children under 12.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wrapping Up January, Planning for April -- and Waterford Poetry!

This poster, provided by Helen Pike, one of the planners of a new April event, says it all!

To get your poetry to Library Director Jen D'Agostino, e-mail it to davieslibraryvt@gmail.com or mail them to the Davies Memorial Library, PO Box 56, Lower Waterford VT 05848 -- or deliver it in person, for the added pleasure of a visit to the state's last "honor system" library at 111 Lower Waterford Road.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Waterford's Northeastern Speedway

The Caledonian-Record printed for January 6, 2017, included a pair of photos in the sports/racing section that apply to Waterford's own Northeastern Speedway. For connections to more information on the historic track, click on this earlier post and follow the embedded links to related material.

Bill Labadouche confirmed today that the noted photographer of the track's heyday, Norm McIver, has passed away, and so has regional racing historian Cho Lee, who carried on from McIver. We hope that Mr. Labadouche may be able to provide more Northeastern Speedway materials here in the future. Meanwhile, here are today's photos (thank you, Dave Kanell, for the scan):

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Taking Care of Your Old Barn -- The Why, the How, the Person Behind the Book

Studying a local barn with Curtis B. Johnson (center).
The Waterford Historical Society appreciated a visit from Curtis B. Johnson as October wrapped up. Curtis is the author of the very useful guide "Taking Care of Your Old Barn: Ten Tips for Preserving and Reusing Vermont's Historic Agricultural Buildings." The entire contents of the book is now available online, which makes it easy to access this information: http://www.uvm.edu/~vhnet/hpres/publ/barnb/bbtit.html

Before his evening presentation, Curtis toured four of Waterford's classic barns: from the Koeppel (Bonnett) barn, to the George Bullock barn, to Mary Florio's linked barns, to the very posh "Locust Grove Farm" large barn (just across the town line) and its humble partner out in the field, perhaps Waterford's oldest standing barn.

Then came the presentation, which focused on the history of Vermont barns and how to identify the kind and age of the structures we see around us.

What would Waterford be like without its historic barns? Let's not find out ... instead, visit our ongoing Barn Census here.

Meetings of the Waterford Historical Society resume after the snowy season, and there are work groups gathering in the meantime. For more information, contact president Donna Heath or leave a message at the Davies Memorial Library (davieslibraryvt at gmail dot com and 802-748-4609.
Barn designed by Frank Bullock.

More Waterford history and great stories of a community working together: click here.