BrattHistoricalSoc tracks on Soundclound


BHS e225- The Story of the Valley Fair

It was 1886 and a local committee decided to hold an agricultural fair on the outskirts of town. The first year resulted in a $300 profit and from there the Valley Fair Association was formed. The organization purchased land which presently includes the high school, middle school, career center and town garage, and the Fairgrounds was established. Here's the rest of the story...

BHS e224-Union Block Story

On the east side of Main Street, a grocery store clerk, West Brattleboro farm boy and Italian immigrant each left their marks downtown with the construction and maintenance of the Union Block. Here's the story...

BHS e223-Minshall Electronic Organs and Birge Street

Burton Minshall and his family moved to Brattleboro in 1944. Thus began the short story of electronic organ production on Birge Street. Minshall-Estey started operations in Estey shop building #5. Based upon Minshall’s plans, the joint venture began using Minshall’s electronic pickups and amplifiers to enhance the sound of Estey’s modified reed organs. Minshall went on to produce over 10,000 organs. Here's the story...

BHS e222-Putney Road Development

74 years ago this month, a decision that would forever change the development of Brattleboro was made. In the beginning of September 1945 World War II ended. Brattleboro was able to catch its breath and contemplate its future for the first time in years. As a result, as September came to a close, the town zoning board recommended to open Putney Road development to commercial and business interests. This was a real game changer. The image is the present location of Hannaford's Store on Putney Road. It was the Thomas Farm at the time of the photo.

BHS e221-Vietnam Revisited 1988

High School students in 1988 had no personal memory of the Vietnam War. BUHS teachers organized a week long series of speakers to share first hand accounts of the tumultuous war years. It proved to be very enlightening.

BHS-e220-1851: Communication Boom Year!

In 1851 the post office began to issue nationally accepted stamps, the telegraph arrived and Brattleboro's first newsstand was established near the railroad station. Information was moving at a faster pace than ever before. BAMS students are back and they'd like to share the story...

BHS e219-Clarina Nichols, Women's Rights and Mansplaining

Brattleboro Area Middle School teachers tell the story of Clarina Nichols. She was the editor of the local paper, Windham County Democrat, in the 1840's and 50's. Clarina was in the forefront of change as an advocate for women's rights, abolition, temperance and child labor laws. The 19th Amendment finally became law 40 years after her death. This is the story of Vermont's foot-dragging on the issue of equal rights for women.

BHS e-218 Seeds of Success: The Centerville Grist Mill

The old Centerville Mill on Larkin Street was where the Estey Organ Company and Crosby Milling Company, two of the most influential businesses in the development of Brattleboro, both had their origins. Here's the story...

BHS e217-Stories From Where The West And Connecticut Rivers Meet

Some places are full of history. Beginning thousands of years ago, when people first came to this area, the confluence of the West and Connecticut Rivers has been central to the development of community. Here are three stories that highlight the cultural significance of this location. There are many more...

BHS e216-The Day a Song Drove the KKK Out of Brattleboro

In May of 1982 the Ku Klux Klan held a recruitment rally at the Common. It was not the Klan's first visit to Brattleboro. Here's the story...

BHS-e215-How The Cotton Mill Came To Brattleboro

In 1909 a group of outside investors successfully completed construction of the Vernon Dam. With the advent of local hydroelectric power, many of these investors from southern New England saw an opportunity to bring industry to Brattleboro. This is the story...

BHS e214-George Aiken and the "Welcome Home" Parade 1946

In 1946 Brattleboro celebrated the one year anniversary of VJ Day by holding a parade. At the end of the parade Senator George Aiken was the main speaker on the Common. Here's the story...

BHS e213 - The Complicated History of Levi Fuller

People are complicated and can do good and bad things at nearly the same time. As a society we are trained to look for heroes and villains. We like narratives to be simple. We look to place people in categories like "idols" or "scoundrels". Levi Fuller was complicated. A governor of Vermont, leading Brattleboro businessman, humanitarian and; according to newpapers of the time, a few other things. Here's his story...

BHS e212-The Origins of the Fairground High School

On June 21, 1949 the town voted to build a new high school in the southern part of town, on the Old Military Camp and Fairgrounds. Here's the story...

BHS e211 Estey Organ Museum by Genevieve

This past week BAMS students visited the Estey Organ Museum on Birge Street. John Carnahan and Barbara George were gracious hosts who warmly greeted the 7th graders and provided them with insightful hands-on tours. Genevieve Redmond took notes during the visit and wrote much of this week's podcast. The recording chronicles the visit, and an overview of the Estey Organ Company.

BHS e210 Inaugural Digital Walking Tour Of Main Street

The Brattleboro Words Project has been promoting digital audio recordings of the history of local people, places and events. The Historical Society has been working with the Project for a few years and we're beginning to get the hang of it. Former radio personality John (Clark) Kilduff volunteered to record our Digital Walking Tour of Main Street and WTSA allowed us to use their recording studios. On this recording, BAMS students explain the process and invite you to our inaugural run through of the walking tour.

BHS Digital Tour

Bill Holiday and John (Clark) Kilduff combined to create an introductory walking tour of downtown Brattleboro. WTSA donated the recording facilities and John read from research collected from many Historical Society volunteers over a number of years. This is our first effort, we plan to add to our work. Please begin at the Retreat Farm and head south to the junction of Elliot and Main Streets. We hope you enjoy the recording!

BHS e209 Flat Street Nightclub Interview

In 1978 the Flat Street Nightclub opened. Last week Bill Holiday interviewed the founding Smith brother and sister combo of Dennis and Linda, as well as a few of their's the story...

BHS e208- Boys And Girls Club 20th Anniversary Interview With Ricky Davidson

Ricky Davidson has worked at the Boys and Girls Club of Brattleboro for 15 years. He is the Executive Director and; in this interview, he shares the history of the Brattleboro Boys and Girls Club, how it has changed over, time, its goals, and hopes for the future.

BHS 207-The Contested Union Railroad Station 1916

On August 12, 1916 the Union Station opened for railroad customers. The original construction of the building was a long, complicated process. The state government of Vermont and the local Brattleboro government negotiated with two railroad companies, the Central Vermont, and the Boston and Maine, for over ten years to make Union Station happen. This is the story...