Bill Gladski's Memorial Day Speech, Pittsford,
VT 2011 (thanks to Ken Lizotte's Post)
Pittsford Day on June 25 was a great success -- more sun than rain and
not as many people, but the children and parents there were obviously having
a ball. Congratulations to Randy Adams and his volunteer hosts. Below are a
catalogue of photos submitted by Stephen Belcher. Enlarge the pictures by
clicking on them. Captions by Peggy Armitage.
4062 Barb Pearsons (red cap), Barb and retired
town clerk Gordon DeLong chat beside Marble Valley Grange and
4044 Charla Helton of PBCG serves 250th Town
birthday cake by Odell and Carol Johnston of Creative Cookery
4037 Pittsford Business Community Group booth
4023 Anne Pelkey, Jane Orvis, Peg Armitage set
up our publications for sale
Anne Pelkey, Peg Armitage, Jane Orvis
savor the Johnstons' birthday cake
PHS members Joe Gagnon, Emerson Frost
visit our booth
4030 Kids get to operate hoses on the Fire
4020 Volunteers Anne Pelkey, Jane Orvis unpack
vintage photo albums in Historical Society booth
Our booth displayed 1980s photo albums of local people and homes, Society
books, and maps thatattracted a steady stream of visitors, including new
residents in town. Jane Orvis, Steve Belcher, Anne Pelkey and Peggy Armitage
enjoyed the visitors and slices of Odell and Carol Johnston’s two
fantastically decorated Creative Cookery cakes served by the Pittsford
Business Community Group.
On Sunday August 28 we will join the PBCG and Lothrop School to celebrate
the laying of the school’s cornerstone 100 years ago. Festivities take place
on the playgrounds, and tours of the school and our museum in Eaton Hall
will be available.
The next members’ meeting will be at the Congregational Church fellowship
rooms Sunday September 18. Society President Ernie Clerihew will talk about
his collection of old Ford cars; you may get a short spin around the
grounds! This program is open to the public, followed by a potluck supper at
6 p.m. Please bring a dish to share.
We will loan photos related to the Town Charter to the Library for their
Oct. 12 program.
Our annual meeting on Sunday October 16 will feature the 250th anniversary
of Pittsford’s charter signed in 1761 by NH Royal Gov. Benning Wentworth.
Great Gifts to the Museum from members and friends:
From Ron Smith: Dr. H.H. Swift’s records of local births and deaths that he
attended in late 1800s and early 1900s, bought at a flea market; also a sign
for O’Boyle’s Thrifty Market on Arch Street (1940s -1950s);
From Joyce Meade: Items from the former Baptist Church parsonage and Julius
Randall’s cobbler shop in the Village; also a 1910 photo of Corrine
(Randall) Denison in her wedding dress;
From Christine Maseroni: A tiny little Psalm Book with Hymns inscribed
“Jona. Tilson and Charlotte Wood, February 8, 1813” (their wedding day),
found in a wall during repairs to the Maseronis’ house at Pittsford Mills.
From Patrick E. O’Brian: his delightful semi-autobiographical novel about
his summers spent on his grandfather Alec Paul’s farm, above the Cooley
covered bridge on Elm Street. Patrick’s mother, Helen (Paul) O’Brian, was
Alec’s daughter! You’ll find the “Paulsons” in the novel. Patrick will visit
us with his book in late August. He hopes to find relatives and old friends
in Eaton Hall reopened for the season April 12 and will continue on Tuesdays
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until mid-November. In addition it will be open Sundays 1
to 4 p.m. from July 3 to October 10th.
This year will be unusually
busy, with two major anniversaries added to our customary calendar of
At the Governing Board’s first
meeting in February, Charla Helton, representing the Pittsford Business
Community Group, suggested possible town-wide events to commemorate two
important dates in our town’s history: laying the cornerstone for the
Lothrop School building 100 years ago, and the 250th anniversary of our Town
The Board agreed to join with
Lothrop School officials in celebration of its anniversary on August 28. The
School and our Museum will be open to the public, with commemorative
exercises on the school grounds followed by an ice cream social.
New Hampshire Royal Governor
Benning Wentworth signed Pittsford’s charter, granting land of six miles
square to Ephraim Doolittle and 63 others on October 10, 1761. The Board
voted to feature the event during our Annual Meeting in October.
The full calendar follows:
April 3 - 5:30 p.m. First members’ meeting
May 30, 12:30 - Memorial Day ceremony, Eaton Hall open house, refreshments
June 25 - Pittsford Day, Recreation Area Noon-4 p.m. & 6-9 p.m. Vintage photos
July 16, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Tag & Bake Sale, Eaton
Aug.28 - Times to be announced: 100th anniversary laying Lothrop School cornerstone; open house, ice
Sept. 18, 5:30 p.m. Member meeting, Ernie
Clerihew’s old cars
October 16 - 5:30 p.m. Annual Meeting; Town Charter’s 250th anniversary
The Memorial Day speaker will
be retired US Air Force Colonel William Michael Gladski, a Pittsford native
and Otter Valley Union High School graduate with a bacheler’s degree from
St. Michael’s College in Colchester, VT.He now divides his time between the McDevitt/Gladski homestead at
Pittsford Mills and another home in Beavercreek, Ohio.
A Fortunate Find on eBay
Last summer Peggy Armitage spotted
a stereoscopic view labeled “Havre de Grace, Maryland” on eBay, listed at
$35.00.Peg thought it was a
wooden bridge, and might be a picture of the wooden railroad bridge Nicholas
M. Powers built over the Susquehanna River between March and October of
1866.She asked Bill Powers (no
relation to Nicholas M.) to check it out; if Bill agreed that it looked to
be wooden, it could be the only photo of the Pittsford bridge builder’s
Bill Powers bid on it and got it.Before giving it to the Society, he showed it to his friend in
Brandon, Blaine Cliver, a railroad buff and former resident of Maryland.Here’s what Cliver wrote: “The Havre de Grace Bridge crossing the
Susquehanna River, built of wood.I believe it is a railroad bridge.It may be that the photo was taken while under construction since it
is not covered, which protects the wood from deterioration.It is a combination Town/Burr truss.
ge was completed in 1866... In 1906, the wooden bridge was replaced by an
adjacent steel structure in use today.The piers of the wooden bridge are still to be seen when one travels
between Washington and Philadelphia by train.
“The wooden structure was
reinforced with steel around 1880.I don’t see any of the reinforcing in the image, so I would assume
the photo is pre-1880.”
great-grandson Alf Strom-Olsen lives on the Powers home farm in Clarendon.Alf donated a photocopy of what is surely a steel bridge to the
Society for our N.M. Powers exhibit at a Vermont History Expo in Tunbridge,
although we knew it probably wasn’t the bridge his ancestor built.Most of that exhibit is on display at our museum.Nicholas Powers wrote often to his wife from Maryland in 1866 with
news of his progress.His
letters are in the Vermont Historical Society archives in Barre, copies of
which we have in our exhibit. Thanks to Bill Powers, we now have the
Recent News from Eaton Hall
We have been given first
refusal to purchase a collection of 19th century documents including letters
and a business ledger that appear to have belonged to Dr. A.M. Caverly,
together with a number of rare postcard views of Pittsford.Curator Anne Pelkey estimates that the items of greatest historical
value would cost about $250.
Because time is of the essence, the Trustees voted to authorize Anne to
spend no more than that amount, while soliciting one-time donations from our
members for that purpose alone.
Please make your tax-deductible contribution payable to Pittsford Historical
Society and send it to Doris Hoare PO Box 187, Pittsford, VT 05763, and
Since 2003, Museum all
accessions from 2003 to the present have been recorded in a Past Perfect
computer program designed specifically for museums.Stephen Belcher is now transferring to the Past Perfect format all of
our hand-written records from 2003 back to our founding in 1960.When completed, the location and description of objects and documents
in our collections will all be more accessible to researchers, and we will
be able to answer e-mailed inquiries in much greater detail.
President Melanie Clerihew is continuing Junior History Club activities for
Lothrop School 3rd and 4th graders through the remaining school year.With a few memberships still available, Melanie urges interested
third and 4th graders or their parents to call her at 483-6871 for details.Club members will conduct tours of the Museum and the Lothrop School
on the August 28th centennial anniversary of laying the school’s
Membership chairwoman Doris
Hoare is pleased to announce the names of three visitors who became new
members this year: Deborah Plimmer, great-granddaughter of Standage Gordon
Johndroe, principal of Pittsford High School in 1911, the year the
cornerstone for the Lothrop School was laid by storekeeper William B. Shaw.Johndroe and his new bride boarded at Shaw’s home (next to his brick
store at Pittsford Mills).
David and Faith Beckley also found a great deal of information about her
ancestors, Colonel Benjamin Cooley and Peter Sutherland.
Soon after January 1 of
2011 Doris Hoare mailed letters to all members reminding them that
membership in the Society extends over a calendar year. Your dues support
the annual operating expenses of Eaton Hall. If you haven’t already done so,
we urge you to renew your dues for this year, and thank you.
Remembering a Faithful Citizen
We note with sorrow the passing of
Ruth Wimett on March 18, 2011. For many long years both Ruth and her late
sister Alice were two of our most generous and steadfast supporters. Our
sincere sympathy goes out to their family.
The Society welcomes new members: David and Judith Petrie, Greg Sharrow, Bob
Hooker, Charles and Micha McCuin, David Blittersdorf, and Margaret Boothby.
Membership in the Society extends over a calendar year. Your dues support
the annual operating expenses of Eaton Hall. Please send your check, payable
to Pittsford Historical Society to: Doris Hoare, PO Box 187, Pittsford, VT
05763. We thank you for your continued support.