Pittsford Historical Society, Inc.
Box 423, Pittsford, VT 05763
PHS News Letter, March 2013
Wendell Noble and Charlie Thompson, members of the Vermont Automobile
Enthusiasts, will treat us to “Vermont Auto Roads - Early 20th Century,” an
hour-long Power Point presentation. The program is an outgrowth of last
summer’s five-day tour of the greater Rutland region -- including our Museum
and the New England Maple Museum -- by owners of over two hundred Ford Model
T cars and trucks. It’s full of interesting information and aspects of early
motoring in Vermont.
A potluck supper at 5:30 p.m. and a brief members’ meeting will precede the
7:00 p.m. program in the Congregational Church hall on the Village Green.
Please bring a dish to share. Grownups and children interested in the
history of Pittsford or vintage vehicles are welcome to attend, but
donations are appreciated. Bring a friend, and photos of your family’s old
cars, or the cars themselves.
2013 Calendar of Events
Museum Opening Soon
The Museum will reopen for the coming season on Tuesday April 2nd. The hours
are 9 am to 4 pm;. Other days may be arranged by appointment. Call (802)
483-2040 to leave a message, or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Since the thermostat is set at 55 degrees all winter, Curator Anne Pelkey
and volunteer helpers -- Rebecca Davenport, Barbara Poljacik, Stephen
Belcher -- have taken advantage of mild days to catalog artifacts and
documents recently given to the Museum by members and friends.
Bob & Jane Welch, David Chapman Honored in Town Report
The Pittsford Town Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012 is
dedicated to Bob and Jane Welch and David Chapman. Bob Welch is our
immediate past president, and Jane is our correspond-ing secretary. Over
many years they have spent countless hours putting our archival records in
order for the benefit of all who come to look for -- and usually find --
their Pittsford ancestors.
Congratulations and many thanks to Bob and Jane!
Dave Chapman had retired and was serving as a town lister when he was
suddenly taken ill and died in May, 2012. He had fond memories of going to
grade school in Eaton Hall. Saying “We can’t let this good old building go
downhill,” Dave volunteered to help buildings and grounds chairman Fred
Harvie stabilize Eaton Hall with Lally columns in the basement.
One hundred years ago, the new brick-and-marble school building opened its
doors to Pittsford High School students. It became the Lothrop Elementary
School in 1961 when grades 7-12 moved to Otter Valley Union High School.
Lothrop staff, teachers and students are already planning activities leading
up to a day-long celebration on Friday, May 31. It includes tours of the
school, the Saltash Serenaders, square dancing, walks back in time, games,
ice cream, and a memory corner. Cars from the past 10 decades and an old
fire truck will also be on display that day. Under the guidance of Vice
President Melanie Clerihew, her Junior Historians will mesh their plans with
those of their schoolmates.
The Memory Corner needs anyone who attended or taught school at Lothrop
before 1983 to preserve their memories through oral histories conducted by
students and teachers. For more information or to make an appointment to
record your memories, we urge you to email Stephanie Sherman,
firstname.lastname@example.org or Jan Ryan, email@example.com, or call the school at (802)
On the 50th anniversary of Pittsford artist Hilda Belcher’s death, Stephen
Belcher will present an illustrated program featuring Hilda Belcher and her
mother, Martha Wood Belcher following a potluck supper on Sunday, June 16.
Steve is Hilda Belcher’s great-nephew and Martha Belcher’s great-grandson.
Since retiring to the family home in Pittsford, he has been organizing these
two women’s letters, newspaper clippings, photographs and their paintings
found in the house.
Eaton Hall Weatherization Update
Stage One of weatherizing Eaton Hall, completed late last year, resulted in
a gratifying reduction in fuel oil consumption. According to Keyser Energy,
we burned 664 gallons between Sept. 1, 2012 and March 15 this year. That’s
240.6 fewer gallons than the 904.8 gallons consumed in the same period a
year ago. So far we’ve saved $794 for fuel oil in this heating season. We
also earned a $1,614 rebate from Efficiency Vermont and a generous rebate
from Absolute Comfort, the Middlebury contractor, resulting in a final cost
of about $2,500 for Stage One.
This year we are seeking donations from our members and local friends to
complete Stage Two by air sealing and insulating the first and second floor
outer walls. By contracting for the $8,800 estimated price, we can qualify
for $4,078 in rebates, thereby reducing the total cost of the project from
$16,200 to about $12,000. If you can help, please make checks payable to
Pittsford Historical Society Inc. and mail them to Terri Davis, Treasurer,
PO Box 423, Pittsford VT 05763. Anonymous donations are welcome, and thank
2013 Officers & Trustees
At last year’s annual meeting the current officers and trustees were
reelected with one exception: new trustee Mark Mooney replaced Ernie Brod,
who retired at the end of his second year. Mark is a Pittsford native and
1961 graduate of Pittsford High School. Now retired, he and his wife Nancy
live in Middlebury.
It’s always a sad duty to report the recent passing of Lois (Hofmann)
Blittersdorf, Delia (Walker) Phillips, Gussie (Spaulding) Smith and Hope
(Adams) Shannon, all very active women in Society and Town affairs. Lois
served four terms as our president, helped bring the purchase of Eaton Hall
to a successful closing, led the drive to designate the Village Green,
Pittsford Mills and Florence neighborhoods as state and national historic
districts, and headed Pittsford’s celebration of Vermont’s Bicentennial in
1991. Delia was the Florence post-master for 33 years, then a clown beloved
by young and old. Gussie, a Pittsford native, spent some 20 years copying
Pittsford’s vital records for our archives. Hope, born in Pittsford, was one
of our most longstanding members. She lived in Johnson City, TN for 20 years
and died there at age 99.
Pittsford Fire Department Chief Tom Hooker announced that the Memorial Day
parade will step off at 12:30 pm Monday, May 27 from the Village Green,
proceed down Route 7, turn onto Pleasant Street and end at the Firehouse on
the corner of Pleasant and Arch Streets. The ceremonies will take place
there. This plan shortens the time that Route 7 is closed to traffic, and
provides more shade for marchers and viewers. The guest speaker will be
announced later. The Museum will be open, but we will serve refreshments at
It’s time to set aside things for our annual Tag & Bake Sale at Eaton Hall.
Anne Pelkey is in charge of setting up. Rebecca Davenport and Barbara
Poljacik are in charge of home baked foods and preserves. NOTE: the Food
table is usually sold out by noon. We accept china, glass, table ware,
kitchen utensils and cookware, table and bed linens, window dressings, toys,
sporting equipment, books, holiday decorations, jewelry and accessories,
vintage collector’s items, new clothing, note cards and stationery, yard
goods, sewing, knitting and needle work kits, potted plants, garden tools
and small furniture.
We ask that things be in salable condition. Small appliances are OK if they
are in working condition. Please, no used clothing, condensed Readers
Digests, textbooks, dog-eared paperbacks, or large furniture. To request a
pickup call (802) 483-2040 and leave a message.
Chief Tom Hooker and Assistant Chief Butch Shaw invite everyone to help
celebrate the 65th anniversary of the fire department’s founding in 1948.
The day-long event will take place at the firehouse on Saturday August 17.
It will have music by Satin and Steel and end with fireworks.
Photos of Pittsford War Veterans Sought
Museum volunteer Steve Belcher is compiling a photo album of Pittsford war
veterans to be viewed on Memorial and Veterans Days. He hopes readers will
loan their photos of military men and women long enough for him to scan
them, especially veterans of recent and current conflicts. Steve’s phone
number is (802) 483-2852.
2013 Officers and Trustees
All phone numbers are in area code 802
President Ernest Clerihew 483-6871
Vice President Melanie Clerihew 483-6871
Recording Secretary Rebecca Davenport 483-6531
Corresponding Secretary Jane Welch 483-9539
Treasurer Terri Davis 483-9597
Peggy Armitage 483-2108
Mark Mooney 388-2944
Barbara Poljacik 483-6604
Immediate Past President Bob Welch 483-9539
Museum Curator Anne Pelkey 483-6178
Membership Chair Stephen P. Belcher IV 483-2852
Newsletter Editor Peggy Armitage 483-2108
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: (Welcome to the new Membership Chairman)
Stephen P. Belcher IV. Send dues to
Stephen P. Belcher IV
PO Box 423
Pittsford, VT 05763
We thank you for your continued support.
Town, State and Zip
Please check amount enclosed:
Single $15_____ Family $20 _____ Contributing $25_____
Sponsor $50_____ Life Member $200 (per person) _____
A 501(c)(3) organization