News Blog

This Week in Brattleboro History – Annette Spaulding & West River Petroglyph

In the spring of 1909, the completion of a new hydro-electric dam in Vernon created at 28 mile long lake, from Vermont’s southern boarder with Massachusetts to Bellows Falls, as waters began to back up and subsume much of the river-adjacent countryside. On average, the water level rose 30 feet and eventually flooded more than 150 farms. Among the lands subsumed by permanent flood waters were a series of petroglyphs sites near the confluence of the West River and Connecticut River dating from a precolonial epoch, in the lands now known as Brattleboro, Vermont.

In August of 2015, after a 30-year search, underwater explorer Annette Spaulding found one of the petroglyph sites, subsumed in 1909 and unseen by persons for over a century.

This Week in Brattleboro History – That Time Irene Flooded Flat Street

Five years ago, this week, a freak-show hurricane cum tropical storm, called Irene, dropped unprecedented amounts of rain on the state of Vermont. Brattleboro’s many waterways swelled beyond their banks, including the Whetstone Brook, which crept, uninvited, on to Flat Street, creating a brown, muddy lake, damaging buildings and closing business.

BHS Trustee Joe Rivers spoke with Boys & Girls Clubs interim director, Ricky Davidson, about the day Irene visited Brattleboro, the damage no one saw coming, and the equally tremendous swell of community spirit and generosity that aided a remarkable recovery.

Photo by and courtesy of Peter LaMorder.