Pittsford Historical Society

Pittsford Historical Society Inc. News

Eaton HallMuseum Hours:
Tuesdays from 9 am to 4 pm, and by appointment. Current special exhibits include a carry-over from last fall, on World War I, and we are adding another exhibit on the 1961 Pittsford High School Class ‘M’ Basketball Championship (See Newsletter below).

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: Steve Belcher
Newsletter: Steve Belcher, spbelcher4@myfairpoint.net 483-2852

Pittsford Historical Society, Inc.

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


Newsletter - Spring 2019

Museum Schedule

Eaton Hall (3399 US Rte 7) will be opening in early April for its usual Tuesday hours (9-4). Current special exhibits include a carry-over from last fall, on World War I, and we are adding another exhibit on the 1961 Pittsford High School Class ‘M’ Basketball Championship (on which more below). The Museum can also be visited on request; contact Anne Pelkey (Curator) or Steve Belcher (Membership) for an appointment. Contact information at the end of the newsletter.

Schedule of Events

6 April
Members’ Meeting: 2-4 pm.
Potluck desserts, Fellowship Hall of the Congregational Church. Please note that this meeting is on a Saturday, to accommodate the speaker’s schedule.
Brian Kamuda, third generation owner of Kamuda’s store at the heart of Pittsford, will talk about the store’s history and operations. Please bring a dessert to share.

Memorial Day, May 27th
The PHS will join in the parade from the Library down Arch St. to the Fire Station for the ceremonies. The speaker will be Dave Trombley, former Selectman who has stepped down from the Select Board, and is a Vietnam veteran.

9 June
Members’ Meeting, time TBA
: Fellowship Hall of the Congregational Church
Reg Charbonneau will talk about maple-sugaring.

13 July
Tag-and-Bake Sale
, 9:00-2:00 at Eaton Hall

Contributions will be welcome. All those objects that don’t bring joy (courtesy of the Marie Kondo show) ...

Pittsford Day has been set for August 17th in the afternoon, at the Fire Station on Arch St.

Society Activities

Basketball: Commemorating the Pittsford High School Championship of 1961
Kevin Thornton deserves all the credit for deciding that the Pittsford High School Class ‘M’ Basketball Championship needed to be commemorated. He mobilized local resources to finance reproduction of the original uniforms and to produce poster-size photos of the 1961 team. In January a photo op was arranged in the Lothrop gym, that reunited four team members and associates: Dave Churchill and his wife Jeanie, Jack O’Flaherty, Mark Mooney, Bob Greeno, along with Ed Wheeler (team manager), Fletcher Conway representing her deceased husband Jim (Dooner) Conway, Andi Ryan (wife of Mike Ryan), and Audrey Allaire (daughter of coach Bob Sharrow) (see page 4). Audrey brought with her the basketballs from the semi-final game and the championship. The trophy also passed into the possession of the PHS at this time, and will be exhibited in Eaton Hall.

In February, Otter Valley HS dedicated two of its basketball games to the cause. On February 4th, the women played the Proctor High Phantoms; outside the gym was a nice exhibit of materials from the 1961 team: photos, uniforms, and the balls. This event commemorated the Brandon Bisons. A notable visitor to the exhibit was Phil Marks, whose interest-sparking comment, as he examined the photo of the 1961 team, was “I played with or against all of those players.” The underclassmen of the Pittsford High School of course played with the returning Brandon team as Otters once they all started attending the OVUHS.

On February 15th, the men’s team, wearing Pittsford Panther uniforms, played Mill River. Again there was an exhibit outside the gym. This time, the members of the 1961 team were present, along with Mary (Patch) Bushey, who had been the mascot of the cheer-leading squad. They were honored with white roses at half-time.

The commemoration, alas, did not bring success to the Otter Valley teams; they lost both their games. Our thanks to all those who participated, and particularly to the sponsors who helped recreate uniforms: G-stone Motors, Winning Image Graphix, the Brandon Recreation Department, Bill Moore of the Town of Brandon, and others.

Iron Industry

The Vermont Historical Society and Fox 44 collaborate on a series of spots about local history in the Champlain Valley. On March 7 Steve Perkins of the VHS, Amanda Thibault of Fox 44, and a cameraman named Steve came down to Eaton Hall for a piece on Pittsford’s iron industry. On March 5, Barb Willis, Ivy Dixon, and Anne Pelkey were busy wiping down the Society’s nice collection of Granger stoves, while Steve Belcher collected and scanned materials to share with the visitors. We discovered that most unfortunately the cassette tape of the recording made by Peg Armitage in 1959 of an interview with Pat Mooney, one of the last people to work at the Furnace, had been lost, perhaps while the tape was being transcribed. We do still have the transcription of the tape.

Bill Powers and Steve Belcher spoke on camera, and when the brief interview was done the camera-man spent some time capturing footage of the stoves from various angles and of the Exhibit Room in general. The spot has now aired and been transferred to Facebook by some users. It can also be viewed at:
(or simply try a google search for ‘Pittsford Iron Industry’ and the video should pop up near the top of the list).


The town has placed marble slabs along the corridor of the Denison Office building, on which to affix labels bearing the names of Pittsford veterans. Anne Pelkey, Barb Willis, Ivy Dixon, Rebecca Davenport, Tom Browe and Shelly Williams (the town librarian, who has amplified an earlier list of veterans with on-line research) are examining the lists and attempting to verify names – the family habit, in earlier generations (and does it continue?), of naming children after earlier members leads to confusion. Bill Powers contributes online research in veterans’ records. It is a delicate operation, threading its way through the criteria for inclusion. The team would like to hear from anyone who has a name to include.

Town Notes


February decided to remind us what it could deliver, and the last weeks of the month were marked by severe cold. Despite February, however, the days are getting longer, the sun is moving north (should the Village Farm erect a Stonehenge-like solar calendar?) and mud has emerged. On the second day of spring, March delivered a heavy snowfall, ranging from 8-15 inches depending on elevation; the fall was unpredicted but expectable. Cardinals are now in breeding plumage; robins, grackles, starlings, and red-winged blackbirds have returned. Anne Pelkey reports that a bobcat came to bask on her sunlit porch for half-an-hour. Anne and Hank watched it from inside.

Town Meeting

Per Helen McKinley, Town Clerk, 93 registered voters attended the Town Meeting; attendance was increased by non-voters. Butch Shaw and Stephanie Jerome (State Reps.) and Cheryl Hooker (newly elected to the state Senate) spoke to the voters, and their message was reassuring. The Legislature is still in session, so a later newsletter will report on the final actions.

The Town business was presented, and its budgets approved with little discussion. At the end of the meeting, Clarence Greeno spoke about the sewer issues, since there was a new bond vote scheduled for the following day: the plan is to replace the pumping stations now located near the dump (Transfer Station).

The voting, the next day, was unexciting. Something over 400 ballots were cast. No races were contested, and many offices had no candidate: Grand Juror, Moderator, Town Agent, and Library Trustee. On the Select Board, Joe Gagnon was unopposed, as was David Mills (replacing David Trombley). The Select Board will appoint persons to the vacant positions. There were, of course, write-ins for many of those positions, but the threshold is a minimum of 30 votes for the same candidate, and none of the write-ins reached that number. All the budget items were approved.

Pittsford Historical Society Directory

Pittsford Historical Directory Spring 2019


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