Pittsford Historical Society

Pittsford Historical Society Inc. News - March 2013

Eaton HallMuseum Hours:
Tues: 9 am–4 pm; Apr. 2 – Late Fall;
Located in Eaton Hall, 3399 US Route 7.
Address mail to:
PO Box 423, Pittsford, VT   05763
(802) 483-2040

Curator: Anne Pelkey 483-6178
Membership: Doris Hoare 483-6470
Newsletter Editor: Peggy Armitage 483-2108. peggy.armitage@gmail.com

Pittsford Historical Society, Inc.

 PO Box 423, Pittsford, VT 05763    802.483-2040    www.pittsfordhistorical.com


PHS News Letter, March 2013

 Spring Members’ Meeting & Program Sunday, April 21, 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 peggy.armitage@gmail.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.

Lothrop School Observes Centennial Celebration May 31, 2013

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, ssherman@rnesu.org or Jan Ryan, jryan@rnesu.org, or call the school at (802) 483-2242.

June 16 Members’ Meeting Features Pittsford Artists

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 you.

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.

In Memoriam

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.

2013 Memorial Day Ceremonies

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 the firehouse.

Tag & Bake Sale is Saturday July 20

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.

Pittsford Fire Department’s 65th Anniversary

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.


Street/Apt. #

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 since 1960