New England’s Colonial Meetinghouses Talk

Photographer Paul Wainwright will present at talk on New England’s colonial meetinghouses on Wednesday, September 25, at 7 PM at Brooks Memorial Library.

Using photographs of the few surviving “mint condition” meetinghouses as illustrations Wainwright will tell  the story of the society that built and used them, and the lasting impact they have had on American culture.
New England’s colonial meetinghouses embody an important yet little-known chapter in American history. Built mostly with tax money, they served as both places of worship and places for town meetings, and were the centers of life in colonial New England communities.

Wainwright has always loved photography and history, but he was captured by physics in high school, eventually getting a PhD in it from Yale. He worked for many years at Bell Labs, with photography being a continuing avocation. Since 2001 he has been pursuing his love of photography and history full-time, and is especially drawn to photograph historic structures in personal and introspective ways. Wainwright’s book, A Space for Faith: The Colonial Meetinghouses of New England,was published in 2010.

The talk is sponsored by the  by the Vermont Humanities Council

Brattleboro Historical Society Has New Website

Steam locomotive crossing Railroad Bridge over the Whetstone Brook in BrattleboroThe Brattleboro Historical Society has a new website designed to make it easy for volunteers to update, edit and add new information.

The new site has the same web address: brattleborohistoricalsociety.org

New features include a section devoted to the new Brattleboro History Center on Main Street, blog features for adding news updates like this one, better control and identification tools for images, and larger, clearer type for easier reading.

Volunteers will be able to curate slide show exhibits, and help tag unidentified images in the collection.

BHS worked with MuseArts, Inc. of Brattleboro, VT on the site revisions.

Brattleboro History Center Sneak Preview

Fort Dummer model at Brattleboro History Center

Fort Dummer model at Brattleboro History Center

The Brattleboro Historical Society will unveil its new downtown History Center with a preview opening featuring special hours during June’s first-Friday Gallery Walk and Strolling of the Heifers weekend.

The new center on the first floor of the Masonic building at 196 Main St. (with a separate south-side entrance and rear-door wheelchair ramp) will feature the first of a series of changing exhibits — starting with a look at local agricultural history, farm life and the former Valley Fair — on Friday, June 7, from 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, June 9, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Since its founding in 1982, the Brattleboro Historical Society has worked to shelter and share locally significant facts and artifacts so present and future generations can learn from the past.

The volunteer-run nonprofit hopes its new History Center will give residents and organizations the opportunity to explore their local heritage and add to the variety and vitality of downtown by collaborating on permanent and changing exhibits and ongoing public talks, workshops and other programs.

After the weekend preview, the History Center will be open for regular hours on Thursdays and Fridays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 to 3 p.m.

(The society’s research room — housing a two-century collection of records, photographs and bound newspapers on the third floor of the town Municipal Center at 230 Main St. — will continue to be open Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon and by appointment.)

People seeking more information about the society, its Municipal Center collections and the new History Center can call (802) 258-4957 or email histsoc@sover.net.

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