VT Historical Society Saving VTs Treasures

On March 4th, the Vermont Historical Society (VHS) announced the final stage of its Saving Vermont’s Treasures campaign.

In her remarks at the event celebrating the launch, VHS President Sarah Dopp noted that March 4th, in addition to being the 220th anniversary of Vermont’s becoming the 14th U.S. state, was also a &#8220punny&#8221 call to action for VHS to &#8220march forth,&#8221 in the final leg of our $900,000 capital campaign.

The campaign, which had raised $815,225 as of March 4th, needs $84,775 more to reach the $900,000 goal. President Dopp noted that the remaining $84,775 &#8220will be the hardest part of the campaign.&#8221

The Saving Vermont’s Treasures campaign will create three new gallery spaces for rotating exhibitions at the Vermont History Center in Barre, allowing Vermonters and other visitors to explore new aspects of Vermont’s heritage through the Society’s collections. &#8220For years, people have been asking us to display more artifacts,&#8221 noted Mark Hudson,

VHS executive director. &#8220With this campaign, we will finally have the gallery space to do so.&#8221 The campaign also will help to preserve the bell tower, a distinctive feature of the historic History Center building, for generations to come.

The capital campaign launch celebration featured music by Colin McCaffrey and a presentation by Marselis Parsons, who offered highlights of his personal experiences with historical events in Vermont during his many years as a WCAX news anchor.

If you’d like more information on the campaign, contact Amy Sholk, VHS Capital Campaign Assistant, at (802) 479-8525 or amy.sholk@state.vt.us.

Vermont Plans For Civil War Sesquicentennial

April 2011 will mark the 150th Anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter and the start of the American Civil War and the Vermont Historical Society has laid out some preliminary plans for the multi-year observance include several large statewide events, as well as coordination of community-based activities. The planning team has drafted annual themes for each year of the commemoration that they hope will resonate with contemporary issues.

In recognition of the significant role Vermont played in this bloody conflict, the Vermont Historical Society is partnering with historical organizations and historians throughout the state to plan events and programs for the state’s Sesquicentennial Commemoration with the following themes:

1861/2011-The Years When Democracy Was Tested
1862/2012-The Year of Higher Moral Purpose
1863/2013-The Year of the Citizen Soldier &#8211 War, Politics and the Home Front
1864/2014-The Year of Suffering and Perseverance
1865/2015-The Year of Reckoning and Reckoning Deferred

The second article in Vermont’s 1777 constitution, abolished slavery, making it the first state to do so. As a result of Vermont’s abolitionists tendencies, more than 28,100 Vermonters served in Vermont volunteer units and nearly 5,000 others served in other states’ units, in the United States Army or the United States Navy. A total of 166 African American Vermonters served out of a population of just 709 in the entire state.

The first military action seen by Vermonters was at the Battle of Big Bethel on June 10, 1861, where a battalion of the 1st Vermont Infantry was engaged. The 1st Vermont Cavalry regiment participated in more than 70 engagements.

Following the Confederate raid on St. Albans on October 19, 1864, Vermont fielded two companies of Frontier Cavalry, who spent six months on the Canadian border to prevent further incursions from Confederate raiders.

Sixty-four Vermonters received the Medal of Honor, including Willie Johnston, the youngest person ever to receive this award.

Vermont Already Planning Civil War Sesquicentennial

April 12, 2011 will mark the 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War, and the Vermont Historical Society (VHS) has already begun leading the statewide planning effort for the Vermont Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration. With educational institutions, state agencies and other nonprofit organizations, VHS will be developing plans for programs that will explore and celebrate the role of the Green Mountain State in this bloody conflict.

Statewide events, such as an encampment of Civil War reenactors and a major conference, as well as activities that will explore the Civil War stories in communities throughout Vermont are under consideration. The VHS are also working with the Vermont Governor’s office to create a Vermont Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission that will coordinate planning and implementation throughout the multi-year commemoration.

The second article in Vermont’s 1777 constitution, abolished slavery, making it the first state to do so. As a result of Vermont’s abolitionists tendencies, more than 28,100 Vermonters served in Vermont volunteer units and nearly 5,000 others served in other states’ units, in the United States Army or the United States Navy. A total of 166 African American Vermonters served out of a population of just 709 in the entire state.

The first military action seen by Vermonters was at the Battle of Big Bethel on June 10, 1861, where a battalion of the 1st Vermont Infantry was engaged. The 1st Vermont Cavalry regiment participated in more than 70 engagements.

Following the Confederate raid on St. Albans on October 19, 1864, Vermont fielded two companies of Frontier Cavalry, who spent six months on the Canadian border to prevent further incursions from Confederate raiders.

Sixty-four Vermonters received the Medal of Honor, including Willie Johnston, the youngest person ever to receive this award.

Vermont Historical Society Seeks Your Input

The Vermont Historical Society is asking for participation in a survey to help them determine which aspects of the organization are most important. The survey allows plenty of opportunity to comment and they would appreciate hearing from you folks interested in Vermont history by June 23rd if possible. You can find the survey here.