American Roots Photography: Blog http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog en-us (C) American Roots Photography dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Thu, 15 Jun 2017 21:44:00 GMT Thu, 15 Jun 2017 21:44:00 GMT http://www.dohearnephoto.com/img/s/v-5/u713159042-o1042300656-50.jpg American Roots Photography: Blog http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog 120 120 Hamilton House, S. Berwick, ME - digital sketch http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2017/6/hamilton-house-s-berwick-me---digital-sketch IMG_1014Hamilton HouseThe Jonathan Hamilton House, South Berwick, Maine

After the Vermont History Project, I decided to take some time and determine what is next. As an aspect of the Vermont project, I explored introducing painterly effects into my images. I was pleased with what I achieved but developed an acute awareness of how little I understood painting. So I am undertaking an exploration of recreating some of my images as digital sketches and paintings. I have very limited "artistic" skills but luckily technology provides a nice bridge for those like me - for those old enough think of a very elaborate "paint by numbers" process, without the numbers. I am using a wonderful app, Procreate, and my original images as a guide. 

This sketch comes from an image I took of a summer sunrise at the Hamilton House in South Berwick, Maine. The home overlooks the Salmon Falls River from which Jonathan Hamilton conducted a lucrative shipping business. Now a National Historic Landmark, a visit to the home is both a pleasant experience but also an opportunity to learn about Colonial Revival style. In the sketch I am attempting to explore subtle light and shade variations due to a morning sideline scene. 

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Hamilton House", "South Berwick", Maine digital. painting http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2017/6/hamilton-house-s-berwick-me---digital-sketch Thu, 15 Jun 2017 21:43:56 GMT
Back to Get More Rock http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2017/6/back-to-get-more-rock Fall Foliage 0670-EditFall Foliage 0670-EditLake Rescue Sunrise Fall 2015

In Chapter 9, High Hopes and Earnest Toil, of Morrissey's book "Vermont: A History" he states that "Much of Vermont's history has been a quest to cultivate home-grown prosperity, and the result has often been disappointing....many of the hopes never propagated among the rocks". Elsewhere Morrissey writes about Vermont before European settlement "these woody hills and valleys were a land in between". The hills and river valleys easily take your breath away year around and probably never so dramatically as in the fall. But with the beautiful landscape comes the reality that the soil is rocky, the rivers not navigable, the winters long, and the mountainous terrain makes rail and highway construction expensive. As inventive and creative as Vermonters can be, their efforts ultimately scale more cost effectively elsewhere. From gun manufacture, to sheep farming, to machine tools and many more - inevitably the challenges of Vermont's landscape and weather put its hard working individuals at a disadvantage Town Pound 0055-HDR-EditTown Pound 0055-HDR-EditTown Pound in Wethersfield Center VT .

Besides the forested mountainous terrain, the defining characteristic of the Vermont landscape is rock. Naturally the settlers utilized the abundant rock to build walls and foundations. In the image to the right is the Town Pound built from rick in 1790 for stray animals in Weathersfield, VT. And just as anywhere in New England, any straight line walk will within a short distance bring one to a rock wall no matter how isolated you think you are. In fact my favorite Vermont aphorism involves the inevitability of rock. A flatlander (a person not from Vermont) noticed a farmer removing rock from his field and inquired as to what the farmer was doing. "Picking rock" said the farmer. "Where did the rock come from?" asked the flatlander to which the farmer replied, "Glacier brought it." The flatlander then inquired as to where the glacier went. Not looking up the farmer stated matter-of-factly, "Back to get more rock." 

This concludes my Vermont photographic essay. So much more could be written and I have left a hundred years from 1900 onward left untouched. But I do hope that I have captured through image and text somewhat the nature of Vermont and Vermonters. And for all of those unanswered questions you might have I leave you with the classic Vermont answer - "Hard telling...Not Knowing". I also leave you with this image that I believe captures much of the nature of Vermont. The image was taken on a country road near Bridgewater Vermont on a January day.

Jan Images 0340-Edit-2Jan Images 0340-Edit-2Bridgewater - N. Bridgewater and Gold Coast Rds

 

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2017/6/back-to-get-more-rock Tue, 13 Jun 2017 20:47:37 GMT
The Nooning http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/12/the-nooning Coolidge Nooning Final 0163Coolidge "Nooning" Recreation of Winslow Homer's "The Nooning" at Coolidge's Boyhood Home

The photo above was inspired by Winslow Homer's "The Nooning" (1872). With the passing of the trauma of the Civil War, in the 1870's rural life was idealized for it's innocence and Homer's paintings reflected that sensibility. For this image my nephew agreed to pose for me in the cold wet grass and the setting is Calvin Coolidge's childhood home at Plymouth Notch, VT.

Despite the suggestion of an idyllic setting, rural life has never been one of hours passed in pastoral leisure. And most assuredly young Calvin did not spend his summers lounging in the yard. Reality required constant, tiring manual labor with the chores varying by season and this reality was magnified by the terrain and weather of Vermont. Vermont grew fairly rapidly in the first half of the 19th century to just over 300,000 citizens at the start of the Civil War. However, population growth after the Civil War was limited, largely due to Vermonters taking their hard work and considerable skills elsewhere in the country. As Morrison writes in Vermont - A History (p.123), "Fifty-four percent of all Vermonters were living outside Vermont by 1880; no other state in the nation was losing such a large portion of its native-born. Vermont's greatest export has been its natives, especially its young people.".

Two U.S. presidents were born in Vermont, Chester A. Arthur and Calvin Coolidge, but both pursued their political careers in other states. Wells of Wells, Fargo grew up in Thetford, VT. Frederick Billings of Woodstock built the Northern Pacific Railroad. Inventors from Vermont such as Elisha Otis (safety elevator) and John Deere (steel plow) impacted the country greatly and their eponymous companies persist yet today. Joseph Smith from Sharon, VT founded a major religious faith - The Church of The Latter Day Saints.

The above are just a few examples and many states can also lay claim to native sons and daughters whom made their mark elsewhere. But it can also be argued that Vermont's native-born have made an outsized contribution to the nation given the state's small population. One can also argue that the determined flinty nature of these individuals was instilled in them in the rocky Green Mountains and the harsh weather that had to be endured. Creative responses were demanded and just maybe those responses were dreamed up while lying in the grass at noon before chores were to be enjoined again.

These images are part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Coolidge History Homer The Nooning Vermont Winslow life rural http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/12/the-nooning Thu, 29 Dec 2016 22:16:40 GMT
Let the Bridges Fall Down! http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/12/bridges-no-school-yes BRAM BR 6th Grade 0088-EditBRAM BR 6th Grade 0088-EditMs. Baitz's BR 6th Grade Class at the Black River Academy Museum

Pictured above is a recreation of a circa 1890's classroom located in The Black River Academy Museum in Ludlow, VT. The re-enactors consist of the 6th grade class from Black River school and their teacher Ms. Heidi Baitz. The period costumes were supplied by the museum and my sincere thanks go to the Ms. Georgia Brehm (museum director), Ms. Baitz, and the 6th grade class for affording the opportunity to make this image. Anyone visiting the Ludlow, VT area in the summer should visit the museum, it is a gem.

At the beginning of the 19th century, America had the highest literacy rate in the world largely due to the pioneering efforts of the New England states, BRA 0083-HDR-EditBRA 0083-HDR-EditBlack River Academy in Ludlow including Vermont. As outlined in the last blog post, Vermont specified from the start that towns would provide schools in each town to educate the youth and the money should come from the town residents. A one room building would be built and a teacher hired to school children in basic reading, writing, and math. The school terms were usually short (3 months) as the children were also needed for labor in a society that was still predominately agrarian.

But the demand for secondary education soon followed giving rise to Latin Grammar Schools (classical education) and Academies that taught both classical studies as well as more advanced language, math, and science subjects. The first Vermont academy was Clio Hall, incorporated in Bennington in 1780. By 1870, an estimated 119 academies existed in Vermont with an annual enrollment of 6000 students, including the Black River Academy (pictured right) established in 1835. Interestingly, the inaugural class was almost half women which is significant in part because parents paid the fees for attendance. The building shown was built in 1889 as the original had burned. Black River Academy is also where Calvin Coolidge received his secondary education. Eventually the academy became the public high school until it was replaced by a new building in 1939. Today it houses the Black River Academy Museum.

A passionate endorsement of Vermont education was delivered several years ago by Patrick Thompson, a village grocer in Arlington, Vermont (Morrisey, p.175). At the annual town meeting a debate ensued as to whether the town's limited funds should be spent on repairing bridges or building a needed grade school. The bridge repairs were winning when Patrick arose and said, "If we have to chose, let the bridges fall down! What kind of a town would we rather have, fifty years from now - a place where nit-wit folks go back and forth over good bridges? Or a town which has always given its children a fair chance, and prepares them to hold their own in modern life?" The school was built.

 

These images are part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Black River Academy Ludlow Vermont history http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/12/bridges-no-school-yes Sat, 10 Dec 2016 21:15:40 GMT
Eureka! http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/12/eureka Eureake School Marm 0084-EditEureake School Marm 0084-EditErika School House with School Marm

Pictured above is the Eureka schoolhouse, the oldest surviving schoolhouse and one of a few 18th century public buildings remaining in Vermont. Completed in 1790 in the Eureka district of Springfield, the name came from the first teacher. David Searle, a young Yale graduate, headed to the Vermont frontier from Fort No.4 following the Crown Point road. When he discovered the new schoolhouse in need of a teacher, Vermont lore has him exclaiming "Eureka" which is Greek for "I found it". The school "marm" in the picture is my good friend Sandy Peplau in period clothing that she had made for the celebration of the 225 year celebration of our church in Ludlow, VT.

The 1777 Republic of Vermont constitution  specified "A school or schools shall be established in each town, by the legislature, for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the masters, paid by each town; making proper use of school lands in each town, thereby to enable them to instruct youth at low prices." In 1782 the General Assembly wrote the first school act which specified more clearly the authority and mechanisms by which each town would provide schools. Largely due to religious beliefs and the emphasis on biblical knowledge, the New England colonies had a stronger educational tradition than other colonial regions.

In the late 18th century education in New England was extended to girls but it was very basic. Some parents, such as Emma Willard's father, recognized and encouraged the love of learning in their daughters. Emma Willard enrolled in school in 1802 at 15 years of age and 2 years later she was a teacher in the school and by 1806 she was head of the school! In 1807 she became the principal of the Middlebury Female Seminary in Middlebury, VT. However, she became frustrated with the limited curriculum and in 1814 opened a boarding school in her home teaching science and classical studies to women. By 1821 she had secured funding and support for Troy Female Seminary in Troy, NY. The seminary became the "the first school in the country to provide girls the same educational opportunities given to boys". Soon seminaries and academies, such as the Black River Academy in Ludlow, VT, would proliferate across Vermont offering both men and women secondary educational opportunities.

These images are part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Emma Vermont Willard education girls schools http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/12/eureka Sun, 04 Dec 2016 22:34:45 GMT
...or this night Molly Stark sleeps a widow http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/11/-or-this-night-molly-stark-sleeps-a-widow Bennington 0289Prisoners Taken at Bennington Battle by Leroy WilliamsBennington Museum, First Church, Wallloomsac Tavern

I took and include this photograph of  the mural "Prisoners Taken at Bennington Battle"  by Leroy Williams (Bennington Museum) for a couple of reasons. First the many different American, British, and Hessian coat colors are exhibited . Mounted on horse in a blue coat is General John Stark and the first mounted individual to his right is Colonel Seth Warner in his green coat. Next to Warner is Colonel Samuel Herrick (also in green), another important Vermont militia leader. Secondly, the painting was done by Leroy Williams of Chester, VT who was hired to do it by Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration. Williams was hired along with many other artists around the country during the depression to complete paintings, drawings, and murals for public appreciation and education.

After the engagement at Hubbardton, the British general John Burgoyne was encamped at Fort Edward some 50 miles north of his target - Albany. Burgoyne had leisurely pursued his objective and was in need of supplies. He sent Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum with 700 men to raid Bennington and the force was joined by another 300 loyalists and Indians. What the British did not know was that General John Stark (of French and Indian War fame) was camped in Bennington with 1500 men and Seth Warner was just 30 miles to the north with another 350 men. Eventually Herrick's Rangers would join the effort to confront the British bringing the entire force to around 2000 New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts patriots.

On August 16, 1777 Baum was decisively routed by Stark's and Warner's forces at the Battle of Bennington, although the battle actually occurred 10 miles away in Walloomsac, NY. At the beginning of the battle Stark famously rallied his troops by saying,  "There are your enemies, the Red Coats and the Tories. They are ours, or this night Molly Stark sleeps a widow."

Fort4 515-EditBaking Bread in Beehive Oven_DSC5847 Molly Stark is well remembered for her nursing to her husband's troops and the use of her home as a hospital during the war. Numerous buildings, schools, etc. are named for her in both Vermont and New Hampshire as well as the Molly Stark State Park in Wilmington, VT. Another well remembered woman is Mary Tilden Dewey, daughter in-law to Bennington's first minister. Prior to the Battle of Bennington, numerous troops were bivouacked in her home and the night before the battle she and her household stayed up all night baking 80 loaves of bread. Her husband, Eldad, delivered the loaves to the battlefield. All of the bread was cooked in a beehive oven,  a cooking mainstay of colonial America. The image to the right is of a oven in use at Fort No.4 outdoor museum.

The Bennington Battle victory was particularly important to the ultimate defeat of Burgoyne and the British at Saratoga as Burgoyne lost almost 1/6 of his army at Bennington. With Burgoyne's Saratoga defeat the the British army was reduced by about 7000 troops and the attempt to split New England from the colonies had failed. In 1778, the British turned the focus to the Southern colonies and Vermont renewed its focus on operating as an independent Republic. 

These images are part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Bennington Leroy Williams Revolutionary War Stark Warner battle museum http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/11/-or-this-night-molly-stark-sleeps-a-widow Sat, 26 Nov 2016 14:51:18 GMT
Free and Independent http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/11/lets-make-a-republic Precision Valley 0186-HDR-EditPrecision Valley 0186-HDR-EditRobbins and Lawrence Armory in Windsor, VT Pictured above is the former tavern of Elijah West in Windsor, VT where the Constitution of the Vermont Republic was drafted and adopted. Today it is the "Old Constitution House" museum found on the north end of main street in Windsor.

Just as the colonies in mid-1776 declared independence from England, the occupants of the Hampshire Grants decided it was time to declare independence from New York and New Hampshire. A meeting of Hampshire Grant freemen met in Dorset (north of Bennington) in the summer of 1776 to pursue free and independent status for the Grants. On January 15, 1777 an independent republic, New Connecticut, was declared in Westminster, a town on the Connecticut River. Dr.Thomas Young, a supporter from Philadelphia and a friend of Thomas Paine, sent a copy of the Pennsylvania constitution and a suggestion the new Republic be called Vermont. On June 2, 1977 the Westminster Convention adopted the name Vermont. One month later the delegates met in Windsor at the tavern of Elijah West. On July 4 they drafted the constitution of Vermont and adopted it on July 8, one day after the Battle of Hubbardton on the opposite side of the new Vermont Republic. The Vermont constitution immediately became the most far-reaching constitution in the Americas guaranteeing many of the freedoms later found in the U.S. Bill of Rights. And notably it was the first to abolish slavery, extend universal male suffrage, and enshrine public education as a requirement for each town to provide. 

Vermont remained an Independent Republic for 14 years until it was admitted into the United States in 1791 as the 14th state and the first state that was not one of the original 13 colonies.

These images are part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Republic Revolutionary War Vermont constitution independence http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/11/lets-make-a-republic Sat, 19 Nov 2016 20:54:21 GMT
Hubbardton - When a Loss is a Win http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/11/hubbardton---when-a-loss-is-a-win Hubbardton 0029-EditSeth Warner Militiamen on Patrol - Monumen Hill, HubbardtonRe-enactment of the Hubbardton Battle

In the above image, 2 soldiers from Seth Warner's regiment stand guard on Monument Hill where the Hubbardton battle took place. Castleton, VT is 8 miles in the distance over mountainous terrain.

Early in the Revolutionary War, the British devised a strategy to break off New England from the rest of the colonies. As part of this strategy the British commander John Burgoyne moved a large army south from Quebec. On July 5, 1777 the Americans under General St. Clair left Fort Ticonderoga in the middle of the night when confronted with these overwhelming forces and their cannon. St. Clair retreated 30 miles south along a mountainous military road to Castleton (today in VT) with British soldiers under the command of General Fraser in close pursuit. St. Clair had left Seth Warner in command of a rear guard at Hubbardton, 8 miles north of Castleton. Present with Warner was also the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment under the command of Colonel Nathan Hale.

On July 7 Fraser engaged the Americans at Hubbardton and a short but intense battle ensued with Americans occupying high ground on Monument Hill. The Americans were on the verge of turning Fraser's left flank when Hessian troops under General Reidesel arrived and secured the British line. The Americans were then forced to retreat but had inflicted enough damage that Fraser ceased his pursuit of St. Clair's army. Fraser rejoined with Burgoyne who ultimately would be defeated at Saratoga, but first the Battle of Bennington transpired. Although a relatively small engagement, the Battle of Hubbardton proved to be very important in defeating the attempt by the British to split New England from the rest of the colonies. It was also the only Revolutionary War battle to take place in present day Vermont.

But first why not finish creating a new republic?

These images are part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Battle Hubbardton Revolutionary Seth Vermont Warner http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/11/hubbardton---when-a-loss-is-a-win Wed, 09 Nov 2016 23:56:51 GMT
Coats of Many Colors http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/10/coats-of-many-colors Rev War Fort 4 0024 CompositeGreen Mountain and Kings RangersColonial Militias Found Themselves on Different Sides of the Revolutionary War

Real history is often complex and not given to simple stories. The Revolutionary War was in many ways a civil war, especially on the frontier. Above left is a Captain in the patriot Green Mountain Continental Rangers and on the right is a Sargent in the loyalist King's Rangers. Both groups were formed from colonial militias. Although much of their uniform is very similar, a variety of colors and styles were deployed by the various troops' uniforms who took part in the Revolutionary War. This image is somewhat in the style used by Charles M. Lefferts who researched and made water colors of Revolutionary War uniforms over a 30 year period. The link on his name connects to an index (with hyperlinks) of 70 plus of Lefferts paintings.

Between the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War, New Hampshire and New York continued to dispute their claims on what became to be called the New Hampshire grants, especially in today's southwest Vermont around Bennington. New York tried to assert their control forcibly which led to the organization of the Green Mountain Boys, a militia led by Ethan Allen and his second in command, Seth Warner. After several violent confrontations, New York put bounties on the capture of Allen, Warner, and others. But before resolution was reached, the Revolutionary War broke out and in May of 1775 the Allen led Green Mountain Boys were crucial in capturing Fort Ticonderoga from the British,. The canon captured at Ticonderoga and Crown Point were transported to Boston and were critical in forcing the British to abandon Boston's occupation early in the war.

Allen and Warner then traveled to Philadelphia petitioning the Continental Congress for the Green Mountain Boys to be organized into a Continental Army regiment. Congress directed New York to organize and outfit the regiment. New York reluctantly did so despite the arrest warrants they had issued against Allen and Warner. Surprisingly, the Green Mountain Boys elected Seth Warner and not Allen as their Lieutenant Colonel and leader. Thus Warner became the commander at the Battle of Hubbardton, the only Revolutionary War battle on Vermont soil. During this same time period, Robert Rogers offered his service to George Washington but Washington distrusted him and arrested him as a spy. Escaping Washington's custody, Rogers then organized for the British the Queen's Rangers, although many of the original Roger's Rangers joined with the patriots. Real history is often complex.

These images are part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Allen Civil Revolutionary Vermont War Warner http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/10/coats-of-many-colors Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:14:25 GMT
Roberts Rules http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/10/roberts-rules-of-order F&I Fort 4 0253-Edit-2F&I Fort 4 0253-Edit-2French & Indian War @ Old Fort 4

F&I Fort 4 0153-EditF&I Fort 4 0153-EditFrench & Indian War @ Old Fort 4 The top image is of the 27th Inniskilling Regiment of Foot. This Irish regiment is rather famous in the British Army having originally been formed in 1689. The scouting group in the image to the right are part of Rogers' Rangers, a group formed by Robert Rogers of New Hampshire. A group of Rangers can be seen to the right flank of the Inniskilling line.

In the early 1750's, the American colonies had  reached a population of 1 million and out numbered New France by roughly 30 to 1. But France was pushing its New World trade into the Ohio Valley and was successfully creating strong Indian alliances. This presented a northwestern barrier to settlement expansion by the American colonists and gave rise to the French and Indian War (1756-1763). 

During the French and Indian War, England sent elite troops such as the 27th Inniskilling Regiment of Foot who were part of the successful capture of forts at Ticonderoga and Crown Point. But to be successful in the harsh and rugged environment of northern New England also required soldiers with skills adapted to the densely forested mountains. The most successful of these were Rogers' Rangers. The raids and scouting expeditions proved to be invaluable to the British effort. As guidance to his troops Rogers developed his "28 Rules of Ranging" a derivative version of which can still be found in the U.S. Army's Ranger Handbook.

Although the French had early success in the war, England dedicated decidedly more money and manpower into their effort resulting in France ceding Canada and all of its claim to land east of the Mississippi River in 1763. With France out of the picture, now only New York and New Hampshire were left to argue over the largely unsettled land which would become Vermont.

 

These images are part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Crown History Inniskilling Point Rangers Rogers Ticonderoga Vermont http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/10/roberts-rules-of-order Fri, 21 Oct 2016 20:44:35 GMT
Where is the Wall to Mend? http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/10/confused-state Bennington 0343-Edit-2Bennington 0343-Edit-2Bennington Museum, First Church, Walllomasac Tavern

The Old First Church of Bennington (above) was built in 1805 but the congregation was formed in 1761 by Capt. Samuel Robison and six families. Although Bennington was first laid out in 1749, as detailed below, the arrival of this band of Congregational Separatists in 1761 constituted the founding of Bennington and the first example of separation of church and state in Vermont. The construction of this beautiful building was paid entirely by the members with no public money. And as an aside, Robert Frost is buried in the graveyard officially proclaimed by the Vermont legislature as "Vermont's Sacred Acre" and the church was designated as "Vermont's Colonial Shrine". The church is open to touring by the public and all are invited to worship there.

Putting aside France's claims, all or part of the area comprising today's Vermont was claimed at times by the colonies of Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire. The conflicting claims arose from inconsistent decrees from successive English Kings and from the avarice of colonial governors. New Hampshire's western border had never been set but New York's eastern boundary was decreed as the western bank of the Connecticut river in 1664. In 1700, King William III set the western boundary between Connecticut and New York to be a line 20 miles east of and paralleling the Hudson River. In 1740, King George II set Massachusetts' northern border as it is today and eventually New York,following the Connecticut agreement, ceded its border with Massachusetts to be a 20 mile line east of the Hudson River. 

In 1741, Bennington Wentworth became the New Hampshire colonial governor. Being both bold and ambitious, Wentworth decided that he would make town grants in the land west of the Connecticut river and to within 20 miles of the Hudson River. Of course, parcels of this land went to both himself and those close to him. His very first grant was Bennington in 1749, utilizing the "20 mile east of the Hudson River" precedent. In making this grant he skipped over a large section of unsettled land to layout a town within just 40 miles of Albany -  a direct challenge to New York's land claims. New York was slow to respond and by 1764, Bennington had made 135 grants of what became to be known as the Hampshire Grants. In 1764, New York did get a decree from King George III reaffirming the border between New York and New Hampshire as the western bank of the Connecticut River. But New York also got greedy. The settlers in the Hampshire Grants had paid for their lands and now New York demanded payment again. Thus the Green Mountain Boys, a local militia led by Ethan Allen, rose up in opposition to New York's demands for payment and control. The Green Mountain Boys frequently met at the Catamount Tavern near the Old First Church. And the land dispute between New York and New Hampshire continued into the Revolutionary War when it was further complicated by a new state calling itself Vermont.

These images are part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Allen Bennington Ethan Hampshire New York Vermont history http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/10/confused-state Sun, 16 Oct 2016 11:45:49 GMT
The Road Not Taken (now) http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/10/the-road-not-taken-now Crown Pt Rd 0016-HDR-EditCrown Point RoadCrown Point Rd near Stoughton Pond, North Springfield, VT

Crown Pt Rd 0014Crown Pt Rd 0014Crown Point Rd near Stoughton Pond, North Springfield, VT Between 1740 and 1760 much of what is presently the State of Vermont was occupied primarily by Indians due to both the access to the rugged landscape and competing claims of the British and French to the land. The French primarily held sway over the Lake Champlain area and the British had established settlements in the Connecticut and Hudson River Valleys. At the southern end of Lake Champlain a strategic narrows exists between Crown Point on the New York side and Chimney Point on the Vermont side. To the south of Crown Point, the French had established a fort at Ticonderoga which General Amherst captured in July, 1759 towards the end of the French and Indian War. To further control the southern end of Lake Champlain, Amherst then constructed Fort Crown Point and ordered a road built between Crown Point and Fort No.4, the northern most British outpost on the Connecticut River. Much of the road was constructed in 1759/60 under the command of John Stark, who had been ransomed by Phineas Stevens of Fort No. 4 fame. The above image is a portion of the road largely in its original state near Stoughton Pond in North Springfield, VT. The road did serve a military purpose in both the French and Indian War as well as the Revolutionary War. But its real significance is that it provided settlers access to south central Vermont and numerous communities sprang up along its length. Over time newer, better roads were built and sections were abandoned. However, in some cases sections can still be found in use as seen in the image below of a 19th century home near Shrewsbury, VT. Additional history on the road can be found at the Crown Point Road Association.

 

Shrewsbury 0037-HDR-EditShrewsbury 0037-HDR-EditShrewsbury near Crown Point Road

These images are part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Amherst Crown Point Stark Vermont history http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/10/the-road-not-taken-now Sat, 08 Oct 2016 15:49:10 GMT
Fort at No. 4 - A Frontier Settlement http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/10/the-fort-at-no-4 F&I Fort 4 0431PXHDR-EditF&I Fort 4 0431PXHDR-EditLeah Winter Scene

The information presented here is largely taken from printed and online material produced by The Fort at No. 4 organization. For a more in-depth look please visit their website or visit the fort on one of the numerous living history weekend events.

The above image was taken during a reenactment weekend at the reconstructed Fort at No.4. In 1735 Massachusetts chartered plantations on the Upper Connecticut River Valley for farming and settlement and designated some of the plantations simply by number. No. 4 was the northern most plantation and was initially settled by Stephen Farnsworth and his brothers Samuel and David. By 1743 ten families were located at No. 4 and although the frontier was relatively peaceful the settlers decided to build a fortified village in which settlers would have security when Indian and/or French raids occurred. Phineas Stevens was chosen as Captain of the garrison. It should be mentioned that the French and English approached their colonies very differently with the French emphasizing trade for furs with the Indians and the British focusing on settlement and production of agricultural goods to be taken back to England. Consequently, in 1740 New France had a population of less than 50,000 while the American Colonies were approaching a million people. The persistent pressure to extend settled area was simply much higher from the British.

In 1744 France and Spain entered into war with England and eventually the war extended to the colonies. The location of the Fort at No. 4 put it at the edge of territory claimed by France and England and more importantly at that time it was encroaching on Abenaki land. But more British settlers kept coming. In 1746, Indian raids ensued on the outlying mills and farms with several men killed and others taken as captives to the French in Canada. All the settlers retreated to the Fort to join with those living there. But the Indians had killed their livestock and the crops could not be harvested for fear of attack. Late in 1746, No.4 was abandoned.

F&I Fort 4 0543-EditF&I Fort 4 0543-EditAbenaki Day at Fort 4 with Traders In March of 1747, Captain Phineas Stevens returned to secure the fort with a 30 man militia group. On April 7 a large group of French and Indians attacked the fort and laid siege for 3 days, but the militia held fast with the French and Indian attackers withdrawing. In so doing Captain Stevens and his men not only secured the Fort at No. 4 but also protected settlements to the south. And Captain Stevens' secured a reputation throughout New England as a leader held in high regard. Stevens continued to reside in the fort establishing himself as a trader to both the settlers and the Indians. He also was sent on several occasions to redeem captives in Canada including Captain John Stark who would later gain fame in the Battle of Bennington during the Revolutionary War. During the French and Indian War, Captain Stevens led a militia group that was part of the successful taking of Fort Beausejou in Nova Scotia. Unfortunately he became ill while there (probably dysentery) and died in 1756. The above right image is of a frontier trader re-enactor in Steven's trading post at Fort No. 4. 

The next post will pick up the story of Fort No. 4 and its importance to the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, and the settlement of interior Vermont.

These images are part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) 4 Charlestown Fort History Massachusetts Phineas Stevens Vermont plantations http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/10/the-fort-at-no-4 Sun, 02 Oct 2016 21:01:51 GMT
At The Frontier's Edge http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/9/at-the-frontiers-edge F&I Fort 4 0096-EditFrontier Couple mid 1700 Couple on the New England Frontier At the beginning of the 18th century, Deerfield Massachusetts was the New England northwestern frontier of the British colonies. The history presented in the next few blogs will have a British centric view of settlement of what is now Vermont even though the French under Samuel de Champlain had penetrated the Champlain Valley as early as 1609. The French had claimed much of what is Vermont as part of New France and in 1666 established the first European Settlement in Vermont as Fort Saint Anne on Isle La Motte. But the settlement was abandoned in 1671. In 1690, the Dutch also established a stockade and trading post at Chimney Point near present day Addison. But again this settlement was abandoned although Chimney Point remained a strategic defensive location.

Three colonies (Massachussets, New Hampshire, and New York) would ultimately place their claims on what eventually became Vermont. By the 1720's adventuresome settlers from Connecticut and Massachussets had moved into what is now southern Vermont. In 1724 Fort Dummer was established to protect the settlements near present day Brattleboro from attacks by the French and the Abenaki under the leadership of Chief Gray Lock.

This image was taken at the location of the civilian Fort No. 4 which was established in 1740 and by then the northern most settlement extension of the British colonies. More will be written about Fort No. 4 in the next post. Although the image is too pastoral to be truly representative of frontier conditions along the Connecticut River (in the background), I like it because it alludes to the remoteness and isolation that frontier settlers experienced. I often wonder at the calculus that the settlers considered in making the decision to move into the frontier. In the upper Connecticut River Valley, the threats to safety extended beyond French and/or Indian raids. Winter weather was harsher than it is today and, given the agrarian economy, the rocky hillside soil made agriculture extremely difficult. Vermont's charm lies in it's weather and wooded mountains, but to this day those same attributes still make it a tough place to make a living. But the rugged settlers still came. And the impact that those individuals and their ancestors made far exceeds what might be expected from the sparsely populated "brave little State of Vermont" as Calvin Coolidge dubbed it in a 1928 speech.

This image is part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.

 
]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Charlestown Fort NH No.4 Vermont frontier history settlers http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/9/at-the-frontiers-edge Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:52:11 GMT
The People of the Dawn Land http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/9/the-people-of-the-dawn-land F&I Fort 4 0128-EditMahican Warrior and His European WifeTrade Day at Fort No. 4 Meet River Bear and his wife. Before you read further take a moment to assess your reaction to this image. This couple are married in real life, both have considerable Native American ancestry, and attend events as a Mahican warrior and his European wife. I would be remiss to do a history of Vermont and not recognize the first inhabitants. Although the Mahicans were in what is now southern Vermont, The dominant group were the Abenaki which were found in today's Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The largest numbers today are found in Canada where the Abenaki migrated to as the English colonists encroached upon their territory. The Abenaki were part of the Wabanaki, a large tribal confederacy belonging to the Algonquian language group. Wabanaki is an anglicized version of a word meaning "people of the dawn" or people of the east.

To say the least, 17th and 18th century colonial America was an exceedingly complex struggle among numerous nation groups. Each group had interests and enemies and often the old dictum of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" rang true. The French in Canada and the British in the New England colonies not only competed for control of the same territory but often engaged in proxy wars reflecting their old world conflicts. For a variety of reasons the Algonquian tribal groups tended to align with the French. Various Algonquian tribes often warred with tribes from the Iroquois Confederacy and in conflicts with the French, the English often were able to rally the Iroquois to their side. 

But history is not just complex at the macro level, it is also often fascinating and more complex at the individual level. The numerous raids and battles between these actors inevitably led to prisoners. And the Native Americans were often deployed to intentionally take captives to be used in exchanges between the French and the English of important prisoners. The valuable captives would be relinquished but the fate of other captives was up to the Native Americans with especially young women frequently being spared as potential slaves and wives. Traders also often took Native American wives, with the end result being many Americans who can today claim both European and Native American ancestry.

Several captive stories exist, often told with a decided European bias and depicting the captors as uncivilized savages. Often loved ones would try to redeem their captive relatives and some had success. But sometimes the captive would refuse to be ransomed with one of the more famous being Eunice Williams, aka Marguerite Kanenstenhawi Arosen. Her fascinating story is told in the book "The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America". The daughter of the Congregational minster of Deerfield she was taken with her family and a total of 100 persons in the famous 1704 Deerfield raid. She was adopted by a Mohawk (an Iroquois tribe) and eventually married a Mohawk man (and a Catholic convert) with whom she had 3 children. Her ransomed father and then her brother spent several decades trying to "redeem" her but she refused to return. But she did on several occasions visit her New England family. So, as I stated above, at the individual level the relationships in Colonial America were often more complex and different that what our broad brush history would have us believe.

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Abenaki History Mahican Vermont captives unredeemed http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/9/the-people-of-the-dawn-land Sun, 18 Sep 2016 21:13:45 GMT
A New Generation - Leadership and Turret Lathes http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/9/a-new-generation---leadership-and-turret-lathes Precision Valley 0047-Edit-2Pencil Sketch 1861 Lamson, Goodnow, & Co. Turret LatherOne of the oldest turret lathes in the world

Note: It is recommended to read the prior blog(s) to fully appreciate this posting.

The above simulated pencil sketch is a top view of an 1861 Turret Lathe in the American Precision Museum located in the original Robbins and Lawrence building in Windsor, VT. Frederick W. Howe, Richard S. Lawrence, and Henry D. Stone of Robbins and Lawrence are credited with doing much of the important advancement and development of the turret lathe. So as discussed in the prior blog when the successor company of Jones and Lamson was purchased and moved to Springfield, VT this technology and product were acquired. But in 1888 when the move was made the turret lathe and other products of Jones and Lamson did not represent a sustainable business, even with the tax breaks provided by the Town of Springfield.

The Windsor Jones and Lamson superintendent left soon after the move to Springfield and so the investors began a search for talent to run the operation and manage the business. Adna Brown searched and found James Hartness in Torrington, CT and enticed him to come to Springfield to run Jones and Lamson. At 27 years old, Hartness was already a very experienced machinist and a talented inventor.

US457967-0James Hartness 1891 Patent for the Fl;at Turret LatheSide View of Flat Turret Lathe

 Because his prior employer had taken his patents and then fired him, Hartness insisted on a 3 year contract and a $100 (roughly $2500 today) royalty for each machine of his design sold. At the time turret lathes sold for $1100. He began work at J&L January,1889 and in August 1891 was issued a patent for what is now known as the flat turret lathe. In this design the turret can pass under the piece being cut and thus much longer parts can be accommodated and held more rigidly. The Hartness Flat Turret Lathe was an immediate commercial success.

W.D. Woolson in 1891 was now 25 years old and a major stockholder in the company as well as the treasurer. Hartness proposed that the J&L operation make only one product - his flat turret lathe and W.D. backed him in this bold move. Together the two young men formed a extremely successful 44 year partnership that transformed Springfield. By 1895 over 400 Hartness Flat Turret Lathes had been sold and in addition to his $100/lathe royalty, Hartness was receiving a $5000/year salary and soon to become president of J&L.

J&L attracted exceptional talent and when one of their employees had a great idea Woolson and Hartness helped set them up in businesses of their own. Among these businesses were: Fellows Gear Shaper Company (Edward Fellows, 1897); Bryant Chucking Grinder Company (William Bryant, 1910); and Lovejoy Tool Company (Fred Lovejoy, 1917). Springfield came to be known as the Precision Valley and as late as the 1970's Springfield residents had the highest per capita income in Vermont.

Besides his mechanical brilliance, Hartness had numerous other interests. He was the first licensed pilot in Vermont and built its first airport, Hartness State Airport in North Springfield. He was an amateur astronomer and helped organized the Springfield Telescope Makers later renamed the Stellafane Society which annually holds a large amateur telescope convention. In the process Hartness teamed with Russell Porter (artist, engineer, amateur astronomer, and artic explorer) to develop the Optical Comparator which is still made at J&L Metrology in Springfield, VT. Hartness served as governor of the state and held numerous professional honors. But his legacy and that of Precision Valley was also firmly rooted in the gunmakers that first delivered precision made guns in 1846 from the Robbins and Lawrence facility in Windsor, VT.

Note: The information for this post is taken almost completely from Frederick W. Richardson's book - "Nineteenth Century Springfield:From an Agricultural to Industrial Community".

This image is part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.


]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Flat Hartness History Jones Lamson Lathe Lawrence Precision Robbins Springfield Turret Valley Vermont http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/9/a-new-generation---leadership-and-turret-lathes Fri, 09 Sep 2016 20:51:29 GMT
Moving Down River http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/9/come-on-down-river Precision Valley 0243-EditParks and Woolson Mill - Oldest Manufcaturer in Springfield, VtPark and WoolsonMachine Factory on Park Street

This image is of the now shuttered Parks and Woolson operation, a maker of clothing manufacturing equipment. The 3 story gabled roof building in the center was built in 1829 and the original equipment made at this facility was for the shearing of wool and the manufacture of woolen clothing, this being during the Vermont "Sheep Bubble". The building is located in Springfield, VT on the western side of the Black River upper falls. In 1850, Adna Brown came to Parks and Woolson as general superintendent and rose to become part owner and president. By the 1880's Adna, along with other prominent citizens, realized that the overall economy of Springfield was stagnant and needed growth.

Also by the 1880's the Windsor, VT machine tool facility had changed business focus and ownership several times and was now the Jones and Lamson company. The company was also struggling and looked to local capitalists for new investment but none was forthcoming. Meanwhile 17 miles to the south, Adna Brown led a group of investors late in 1887 to purchase control of Jones and Lamson's stock. However, the business was still risky and the investors wanted to mitigate somewhat the risk before relocating Jones and Lamson to Springfield. They requested from the town of Springfield a 10 year tax exemption and in December 1887 at a special town meeting the tax exemption was granted by a vote of 573-1.

In February 1888, Adna Brown was elected president of the stockholding group and 22 year old William D.("W.D.") Woolson was elected assistant treasurer. W.D. was the son of Amasa Woolson, an early partner in Parks and Woolson, and at the time of his election a clerk at the bank. By the summer of 1888 a two story brick building had been built on Main Street next to the Black River for water power. In 1888, Springfield still had no railroad service so the equipment had to be laboriously transferred by wagon over the mountainous, dirt road between Springfield and Windsor. But by October 1888 the Jones and Lamson Company was in Springfield, VT and would become an important machine tool company known throughout the United States and the world. Young W.D. Woolson would prove to be very important to the company, but the basic business model in 1888 was still problematic, despite the tax abatement. Then another important individual was recruited to Springfield - James Hartness.

Footnote: The Parks and Woolson facility that began in 1829 continued operation into the first decade of the 21st century.

Note: The information for this post is taken almost completely from Frederick W. Richardson's book - "Nineteenth Century Springfield:From an Agricultural to Industrial Community".

This image is part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Jones Lamson Parks Springfield Vermont Woolson history precision tools http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/9/come-on-down-river Mon, 05 Sep 2016 21:12:10 GMT
"Put the Vermonters ahead" http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/8/-put-the-vermonters-ahead LG&Y 0007-EditUnion Veteran wth a LG&YGrand Army of The Republic Veteran with LG&Y Special 1861

Meet Dennis Charles representing a Vermont member of the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization of Union service members who participated in the Civil War. On the first day of battle at Gettysburg, Gen. John Sedgwick is quoted as saying, "Put the Vermonters ahead and keep the column well closed up.". Vermont soldiers participated in almost every important engagement during the Civil War with 10 percent of its population (about 350,000) serving in active duty. Of these 5,194 died on the battlefield, of disease and wounds, or in prison. At the Battle of the Wilderness, the Vermont 1st Brigade prevented the Union Army from being split by holding at a strategic crossroad. In so doing the brigade suffered 1269 losses in 12 hours, one of the single largest brigade losses in US Army history. Proportionally no state contributed more manpower to the war effort. And Vermonters will proudly tell you that no Vermont Colors were ever captured by the Confederates.

LG&Y 0019LG&Y PlateLG&Y Plate on a Springfield 1861 Special But Vermont did not just supply soldiers. The precision tool facility in Windsor also provided arms, specifically the Springfield Special 1861 with the Windsor made model referred to as simply the LG&Y. In the above image Dennis is holding an original LG&Y and the well worn plate of the rifle is seen to the left with the inscription:

U.S.

LG&Y

WINDSOR - VT

As mentioned in the last blog post, the financially over extended Robbins and Lawrence company went bankrupt. The Massachusetts company of Lamson, Goodnow, and Yale was able to purchase the Windsor, VT facility at a bargain price. Ebenezer Lamson oversaw the Windsor operation that now focused on making sewing machines. He was a staunch abolitionist and his home in Shelburne Falls, MA was a station on the underground railroad. When the Civil War erupted, Lamson obtained a contract for 50,000 Springfield Specials and returned the facility to arms manufacture. Eventually 2 million men served in the Union army and the Harpers Ferry and Springfield armorys could not supply the modern rifle muskets needed. Thus numerous private arms manufacturers were needed. The LG&Y contract obviously would not fill the need but the contribution of the Windsor facility went well beyond 50,000 rifles. LG&Y made some of the best precision tools in the world and the factory began to manufacture and ship the needed rifle making tools to numerous other contractors. The list of tools and manufacturers supplied is too long to enumerate here but can be found in Carrie Brown's excellent booklet "Arming the Union, gunmakers in Windsor, VT". The booklet is the source of much of this information. Post Civil War the history of the facility in Windsor took a interesting turn leading to another Vermont town grabbing the nation's interest.

For those interested in Vermont or OVI 100th relics, Dennis Charles is your man and can be contacted at 100thovi@comcast.net. You also might find him and get a few heirloom apples this fall by visiting Mendon Mountain Orchards

These images are part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.

 
]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) 1861 GAR LG&Y Springfield Vermont history special http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/8/-put-the-vermonters-ahead Sun, 28 Aug 2016 12:14:20 GMT
Cornish Fair, NH - Americana Experience http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/8/cornish-fair-nh---americana-experience Cornish Fair Horse PullCornish Fair Horse PullUnder 3300 lbs pulling 3 tons

And now for a brief but related break from Vermont History. This weekend the small but significant New Hampshire town of Cornish is having their annual Fair. Cornish is also the home of St. Gaudens National Park and the site of the well known Cornish Art community. But their fair is about the agricultural "arts" and a peek into a time in the United States that only some remember. With 4H displays of livestock, vegetables, and home "arts" the fair resonates for any who grew up in rural United States. And then there are the adult competitions of horse, ox, etc. "pulls" where magnificent animals such as this pair exhibit the raw power that augmented the muscle of the men and women who pioneered and settled this land. Firsts of anything are always open to debate, but NH seems to have a legitimate claim to the first Agricultural Fair in 1722. A group of farmers in Nuthill, NH (now Londonerry) gathered to compete and demonstrate their skills. This competition was in the 3300 lb and under (horses) category and this pair had no problem moving the sled of almost 6 tons. I left before the competition was over but this team was still handily moving almost 8 tons. However, my money was on the team of Dollar Bill and Electric Bill.

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Americana Cornish Fair NH New Hampshire history horse pull http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/8/cornish-fair-nh---americana-experience Sat, 20 Aug 2016 21:53:04 GMT
Winds of War - Robbins and Lawrence http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/8/winds-of-war---robbins-and-lawrence Precision Valley 0120-EditRifle Wind Vane on CupolaRobbins and Lawrence Armory in Windsor, VT

The rifle wind vane atop the cupola has been an enduring and representative feature of the Robbins and Lawrence building. With the United States at war with Mexico, in 1846 Robbins and Lawrence obtained a contract for 10,000 M1841 rifles originally manufactured at the Harper's Ferry Armory. The first mass produced rifle available to the US Army, it became known as the Mississippi rifle as it was carried by the Mississippi volunteer regiment under the command of Colonel Jefferson Davis. Robbins and Lawrence delivered early on their contract and received a contract for 15,000 more. In 1851, the company took 6 rifles to an exhibit in England. The British Army was impressed by the precision and interchangeability of the parts. With the impending Crimean War, an order was made for 25,000 rifles plus 141 machine tools to be used at the Enfield Armory. Thus, the Robbins and Lawrence facility extended its reputation as it became the first large scale exporter of precision machine tools. Soon after, however, Robbins and Lawrence went bankrupt having gone deeply into debt to expand at other locations. But more rifles and history were still to be made in Windsor as the Civil War was on the horizon.

This image is part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.

 

]]>
dohearne@mac.com (American Roots Photography) Enfield M1841 Mississippi precision valley vermont http://www.dohearnephoto.com/blog/2016/8/winds-of-war---robbins-and-lawrence Tue, 16 Aug 2016 13:35:42 GMT