On August 28, 1777, Cavendish's first settler, John Coffeen, sent the following letter.
This is my account barrack Room and Damages for the use of an Done by the party Stationed at my house in Cavendish by Genl. Starke under the command of Mr. Wm. Heywood Maj'r as they had the whole of my house and about three thousand Boardes which were all much damaged and also other things in the whole to the value at least 6-10-6 Lawfull money as Good as the Money is now.
On September 28, 1179 We. Heywood Maj'r submitted the following to the State of New Hampshire, Charlestown.
These certify that a party of men Under my Command were stationed at J. Coffeen's by Genl. Starke as above mentioned, and made use of sd, Coffeen's house also for the use of ye Soldiers about four weeks.
The Coffeen homestead, located on what is today the Cavendish/Reading Road, was in close proximity to the Crown Point Rd. According to the Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) records, He had growing 20 acres of grain, 25 acres grass and a young orchard. 300 N.E. troops who were stationed on his farm while working on the road to Crow Point, destroyed his orchard and did much damage. He had procured materials for building a large barn and house, the boards for which he had drawn from NH. After the surrender of Crown Point and Ticonderoga the militia returned through this town. They arrived at Capt. Coffeen's during a severe storm. The house was immediately filled to overflowing. Those who could not get in built fires with the boards that Capt. Coffeen had gotten with so much trouble. They stripped the house of nearly everything it contained and turned their horses into the grain. They justified themselves be declaring that the enemy would do it themselves within 48 hours. Capt. Coffeen's hoses and prospects being blasted, he sent his family off to Rindge [NH] for during the remainder of the summer his far maws a common and his house a camp for the vagrant soldiery, several of whom died under its roof.
Coffeen was never reimbursed for the damage done to his property by the Revolutionary War soldiers.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
The Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) Museum is open on Sunday, 2-4 pm, until October 12. Appointments can be made at other times using the contact information above.
Screenings of “Freedom & Unity: The Vermont Movie” continue with the showing of the last two parts of this series in August. This is a first-of-its kind collaborative documentary film series, created by a group of critically acclaimed Vermont filmmakers.
August 10 (Sunday): Part 5: Ceres’ Children: Screening begins at 2 pm. Part Five takes a deeper look at some of Vermont’s cherished traditions: participatory democracy and the conservation ethic, from the ideas of George Perkins Marsh, one of America’s first environmentalists, to contemporary volunteer groups and activist movements. The film captures 21st century debates over natural resources, then circles back in time to show how these concerns originate in the ethics of farmers, who depended on the natural world for their survival. The disappearance of dairy farms has raised a tough question: how big is too big? How can Vermont survive in a world economy? Can Vermont be a model for small, local and self-sufficient farming?
Aug 31 (Sunday): Part 6 (Flood anniversary): Screening begins at 2 pm. Part Six tackles contemporary tensions over energy, independence, the environment and the state’s future. Chronicling the struggle to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, it reveals the power of protest, the influence of lobbyists and the importance of town meeting debate and a citizen legislature. It follows the battle over windmills in Lowell—a struggle over scale, aesthetics and environmental impacts—and explores thorny questions about economics, sovereignty and climate change. Finally, the devastating impacts of Hurricane Irene reveal the power not only of nature, but of people and community. Lots of interviews of Cavendish residents in the Irene recovery segment.
Sept 13 (Saturday): Crown Point Road Association’s 255th Anniversary Commemorative End to End Hike begins. Please see article below for more information.
Sept 14 (Sunday): Phineas Gage Walk and Talk, begins 2 pm at the Museum. The round trip walk is slightly less than 2 miles.
Oct. 12 (Sunday): Last day the Museum is open-Annual Cemetery Tour. This year’s tour will be to the Old Revolutionary Cemetery. Meet at the Museum at 2 pm.
CHS would also like to make “The Vermont Movie” available for “home movie night” parties. You invite your friends, select the segments you want to watch (see list above) and a representative from CHS will come with the film and lead a discussion about Cavendish's history in the topics being explored. To make arrangements use the contact information on the newsletter header.
A special note of thanks to all those who helped with the recent CHS booth for the Cavendish Town Wide Tag Sale: Gloria Leven, Kem & Svetlana Phillips, Anna Shapiro, Jen McBride, Alana Hoar, Pang Ting, Bruce McEnaney, Golden Stage Inn, Marcia Paclick & Bob Naess.
Do You Know Why It’s Called Hawkes Mountain?: It’s named after John Hawkes, a scout and officer with the British Army during the French and Indian War. He knew the Native American trails and was involved in prisoner exchanges to Canada. During the war, while leading a work party on the Crown Point Road, he is said to have encamped on a mountain, which is today part of Cavendish.
As part of the 255th Anniversary, there will be an End to End Crown Point Road (CPR) hike sponsored by the CPRA. Commencing at Marker NH#1 at 290 Main Street, Charlestown, NH. Participants will pass all seven NH markers, be ferried across the Connecticut River, and visit another three VT markers before stopping for the night at Ferguson’s farm, on Spencer Hollow Rd in Springfield VT. Bring water, lunch and wear good footwear, for a walk of about 7 miles. Becky Tucker will be the leader. For further information regarding the End - End Hike, Contact Becky Tucker at (802) 885-4686 or (802) 738-5579 (mobile). Additional details on overnight locations and daily routes will be posted to the CPRA website and Becky's Facebook page as they become available.
July 28th marked the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI. While the United States would not get involved for four years, 57 men and one woman Mary Pollard, served from Cavendish. The following died in the war: George Dixon, Winthrop Boyle, Truman McNulty and Francis "Frank" Wallace
CHS Reconnects a Family
One of the most frequent requests CHS receives is for genealogy information. Therefore, when an e-mail from
California appeared in our inbox, it seemed pretty typical. The family could trace their ancestors back to the union of the Dutton and Proctor families and included the names of Spaulding and Parker. Did we have genealogies? Could we meet with them when they would be visiting in June? The answers were yes and yes. There was a less frequently asked question though, “were there possible descendants still living in the area that they could visit?”
At a CHS board meeting, the day before the scheduled visit, mention was made, since one of the board members is a Parker. “We’re having visitors on Tuesday that may be part of your family. If it turns out that they are, I’ll call you.”
Arriving at the Museum, the family was standing by the War Memorial. The man introduced himself, his wife and young sons. “My Dad is on that War Memorial,” he said. He went on to describe how his mother and father left Cavendish and moved to New Hampshire. Periodically they would come to Proctorsville to visit Aunts and Uncles. “Who knows if they were really relatives,” he said. Falling on hard times, the family ultimately moved to Florida, where both parents died in 1969. With no siblings or a knowledge of family, he was on his own at a young age.
A career as a leather artist took him to California in 1970, where he still lives. It was the birth of his sons that prompted his wife to start doing a genealogy search. “They might want to know where they came from,” she said.
A few questions about his Parker line confirmed that he was in fact part of the same family as CHS board member Gail Woods. As we stood in her kitchen, he tells Gail his mother's maiden name-Carmine June Cook. "I knew Carmine,” Gail replies. “ She had a son Greg Roche." To which he excitedly pointed to himself repeating, "that's me, that’s me!"
For the first time in 45 years he had met a member of his family. Not only were they cousins but Gail recalled playing with him and remembered he was a champion swimmer. Better yet, since Greg only had one picture of himself, and none of his parents, he was thrilled to hear Gail say, “I have pictures of you.”
While this alone would have been an amazing story, it gets better.
|Greg Roche with Ann Pipkin|
An e-mail and phone call, resulted in Janet’s posting the following to Facebook, What a night... Almost 50 years ago, my mom's cousin [Carmine June Cook] disappeared and cut ties with the family. So my mom never knew what happened to her and her son.
One of my strongest childhood memories is my mom always looking up their names in phone books whenever we were staying at a motel in another city. "You never know, they might be in here," she would say.
Today a man from California visited the Cavendish Historical Society to look up some family history, and thanks to Margo [Margo Caulfield is the coordinator of CHS] he not only got the history, he got the family! It is my mom's cousin's son. I got to meet him and we called my mom together.
Mom was so overjoyed to hear from him. She has wondered for so long how he was. And on Sunday, she will find out when she gets to see him again after all this time. Just amazing.
Being on speaker phone, we were treated to the reunion of Greg and Ann Pipkin, Janet’s Mom.
“We use to go to Arlington to visit Aunt Adie. I had an eye problem and we’d have to go to Boston...”
As luck would have it, Janet’s family was having a reunion that weekend and Greg and his family were able to participate. Ann thought he looked like his Mom, Carmine, while Greg’s wife Sara, thought he resembled one of Ann’s sons. One thing was for sure, he had found his way home to people who knew and remembered him.
There are many things an historical society can do for its members and community but it’s beyond thrilling to give someone back the family they thought they had lost 45 years ago.
CHS Now on Pinterest
With more and more people using Pinterest, CHS has set up two boards: “Historical Cavendish” and Researching Your Cavendish Family. If you aren’t familiar with Pinterest, the best way to describe it is that it’s a visual bookmarking and inspiration tool.
Old Revolutionary Cemetery
Thanks to the newest CHS board member, Kem Phillips, and his wife Svetlana, the Old Revolutionary Cemetery is getting a face lift this summer. The Phillips have been taking advantage of rainy days to clean all of the stones. The transformation is amazing. Consequently, it’s much easier to read the stones. This cemetery not only includes Revolutionary soldiers but also some of the early founders of the town, including Chubb and Tarbell. On Oct. 12, there will be a guided tour of the cemetery. Please meet at the Museum at 2 pm.
Cavendish Historical Society Board
Coordinator: Margo Caulfield
BECOME A MEMBER, RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP, DONATE
If you have not joined the Cavendish Historical Society, need to renew your membership, and/or would like to be a volunteer, please complete the form below and sending a check, payable to CHS, to CHS, PO Box 472, Cavendish, VT 05142. All contributions are tax deductible.
Phone Number: _____________________ E-Mail: ____________________________
__ Individual Member $10 ___ Senior Member 65+ $5 ___ Sustaining Member $500
__ Household Member $15 ___ Contributing Member $250
___ I would be interested in serving, as a volunteer .I would be interested in serving on the following committee(s):__ Program Planning __ Fundraising __ Building (Museum)
__Archives _ Budget –– Cemetery __ Hands on History
Donations are always welcome and can be designated as follows:
__ For general purposes __ Educational Programs __Publications
__ Archaeological Activities _ Museum & Archival __ Special Events
__ Rankin Fund __ Williams Fund __ Hands on History
__ Other (please specify) __ Cemetery Restoration
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Cavendish and Proctorsville's 1898 4th of July event offered "free red lemonade for all" and "music by the Cavendish Cornet Band, assisted by the Felchville Calthumpian Band and small boys with firecrackers.
In the last quarter of the 19th century in Vermont, "horribles" parades were common on July 4th. They usually took place fairly early in the morning — and for good reason. These were parades in which common folk dressed up in outlandish costumes and made fun of the upper crust.
The "horribles" phenomenon originated in Boston "as a reaction to the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston's solemn Independence Day parades," wrote to Gail Wiese in the Vermont Historical Society's newsletter. "This company, a military organization limited to the social elite, provided a likely target for parody as a group of rich men playing soldier ..." "Ancient and Honorable" inspired the spoofy variant, "Antique and Horrible," which caught on across the countryside.
Another urban tradition — that of the "callithumpians" — also made its way to Vermont. To understand callithumpians, we have to make a brief detour to New York City or Philadelphia, where Christmas and New Year's were once a time for noisy antics:
"Mocking the genteel manner of the upper classes, revelers made social visits to the homes of the city elite, paraded to cacophy down the main streets and demanded attention in their outrageous costumes," wrote Penne L. Restad in "Christmas in America: A History" (1995). "During the 1820s, '30s and '40s, urban rowdies — young, male and usually poor — built on the general license of the season and began to cross the line from ritualized mayhem to anarchic melee. Mobs known as callithumpian bands roamed New York City, banging and blowing on homemade instruments, intent on creating mischief to match their noise."
While this holiday rowdiness was on its way out in the big cities after the 1860s as the middle class finally cracked down, according to Restad, so-called callithumpians were still running around on July 4 in Vermont a decade later. As Wiese puts it, they provided accompaniment for the horribles.
Woodstock's 1874 program began with a parade of the horribles at 10 a.m., featuring a "particularly pompous leader, Garrulous Goosequill" and an oration by "Hon. Demosthenes Cicero Blowpipe." That afternoon, the program promised, "A band without instruments will attend. The members of this band were captured in Siam and possess the art of making music peculiar to themselves by a process of their own."
The official program of Springfield's 1888 July 4th observance begins with "salute of 38 guns at sunrise, followed, at 8:30 a.m., by "Parade of Calithumpians, ending with speeches in the square."