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.