Pittsford Historical Society

Pittsford Historical Society Inc. News

Eaton HallMuseum Hours:
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 www.pittsfordhistorical.com   802-483-2040
A 501(c) organization since 1961

Summer  2020



Given the preventive measures against Covid-19 currently in force, all scheduled events, including the opening hours of Eaton Hall, are subject to change. We shall do our best to provide a two-week notice of any changed dates.

Museum Schedule: Eaton Hall

The Museum has resumed its regular opening hours (Tuesdays, 9-4). We expect visitors to wear masks (provided, for those not already equipped). Off-schedule visits can be arranged in advance; contact Curator Anne Pelkey or Steve Belcher for access. (Contact info below).

Society Activities

Our planned schedule of Member Meetings has been disrupted and remains subject to change. However, we have hopefully rescheduled the following events:

25 July, The Tag and Bake Sale: 9:00 am-2:00 pm. At Eaton Hall.  Donations, to be tagged or eaten will be gratefully accepted.

Date TBA: The 60th anniversary of the Pittsford Historical Society, to be celebrated with a cook-out at Eaton Hall. Probably in September.

Date TBA: The Belcher House Visit (probably a Sunday afternoon in September). Celebrating the 140th anniversary of the construction of part of the house and the legacy of two Pittsford artists. NB This visit involves climbing up and down stairs and exposure to cat dandruff and other allergens. It also seems likely that visitors to the house will be admitted in groups at staggered intervals (there will be refreshments and exhibits to examine while waiting).

October, TBA: The Annual Members’ Meeting.

Members will elect the officers of the board. Michael Dwyer will talk on genealogy and DNA research.

Town Events: The town of Pittsford has cancelled the August Pittsford Day celebrations and also the Halloween season Haunted House. In the case of the Haunted House, the issue was the amount of preparation for the event long before the actual dates.

Manna, or unexpected gifts

We have held an unscheduled tag sale by the residence of Ivy Dixon (near the Congregational Church). A newly formed couple was downsizing, and Adrian Oulette was very generous in offering the PHS the overflow. The sale was held over two days, both unfortunately hot by Vermont standards, and was successful, netting over $1,400. All the plants on offer were taken. The same cannot be said for the ceramics, glass-ware, and video-tapes. Some of the ceramics were marked ‘Made in Occupied Japan,’ which dates them and certainly makes them objects of some historical interest. But Tom Browe, who masterminded the whole sale, checked their value on the internet and found that it had dropped steeply from its former highs.

Town Notes for the Out-of-Staters

Vermont stands out in New England for having apparently controlled the spread of Covid-19 cases. Gov. Scott ordered a shut-down for March 15th – the last public event in Pittsford I have heard of was a guitar concert in Maclure Library on March 14, as a benefit for the Village Farm. Gov. Phil Scott is now, as he describes it, turning the spigot gently. The state is close to the bottom of the charts in infections and deaths. Rutland County has recorded only one death. Gov. Scott has distinguished himself by his collaboration with the medical authorities, and by his trustworthy weekly press briefings.

            This has not come without pain across the state and in Pittsford. Many Vermonters are in need. Food distribution centers, staffed by the National Guard, have seen very long lines of people waiting in cars. Many businesses face an uncertain future. Dairy farms have gone bankrupt. The state is suffering from the effective freeze in economic activity. This is particularly pronounced in the tourism industry.

            Zoom has become the medium for public meetings, as elsewhere.

            Some of you may have seen the internet meme of the Vermont version of social distancing: the profile of two persons separated by a cow. It has been suggested that in Pittsford the barrier should be two sheep, but the thought has not caught on.

Library: Maclure’s inner doors have been closed to patrons (they just announced plans to re-open at the start of August). The outer doors offer access to the lobby, where personalized deliveries of books stand in bags labeled in thick black marker. The Library has also been coordinating with the Pittsford Food Shelf, to allow pick-ups from the lobby, and the librarians (some on a reduced schedule, and some furloughed) have been busy packing the food-stuffs.

Kamuda’s: The store was quick to offer online ordering and curb-side delivery, while also restricting access to the store itself. They put out a tent at the entrance  to shelter customers awaiting entry (many customers, of course, disrupted this system by sitting in their cars, which made it impossible for a new-comer to recognize priority). The check-out counters were marked by the hanging plexiglas. An unconfirmed report says that they have done well, in part because they were so quick to offer the curb-side service.

Schools: Lothrop held a peculiarly organized graduation ceremony, with canopies at different spots on the school grounds. The students leaving Lothrop received copies of Pittsford’s Second Century. Otter Valley also had to make do with a distanced ceremony. Pittsford has recognized the local OV graduates with banners attached to the telephone poles, running from Colburn Bridge up to the area of the Congregational Church. Brandon, of course, did the same further north.

The Natural World: Spring was mild, although with a snow-fall in May. Seasonal occurrences (lilacs and other blooms) are coming on schedule. Robins are defending their nests. Starlings are tending to extremely noisy young. Some birds may be on a second breeding cycle – the male red-winged blackbirds are vivid as they fly, flashing their shoulder patches. Wildflowers are abundant – phlox in particular. Frogs are very loud in certain places.

It has been some years since I landed a native brook trout in our streams – they are smaller than other trout, with orange markings along their sides, just above the belly. It was a pleasure and a reassurance to spot two minnows with the native coloring on Sugar Hollow Brook, above the former location of Kendrick Dam.



Pittsford Historical Society Board of Directors 2020-01-01


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