Strafford Historical Society

STRAFFORD HISTORICAL SOCIETY

P.O. BOX 100, STRAFFORD, VT  05072

AT THE BRICK STORE

JANUARY, 2003 c. 1910 MAY 4, 2014

 

The Brick Store in Strafford’s Upper Village has been the home of the Strafford Historical Society since January 5, 2003, thanks to the generosity of Kendall Mix and family. On that date, the society, homeless for almost 50 years, moved its collections from storage space in Gwenda Smith’s house on the Common, into the Brick Store Meeting Room, located behind the Post Office area. Half of that room housed our archives of photographs, documents, and artifacts from Strafford’s past. The other half, separated off by display panels, was used for meetings, research, and exhibit space for the twenty-seven different exhibits mounted there over those ten years. As our collections grew, the room became increasingly inadequate, a problem solved last fall by the kindness, once more, of the Mix family. Phoebe Mix, her son Michael, and friend Sandy Preston moved all the African Art from “Africa Place,” allowing SHS to use the three-room wing for our Strafford History Center. The African Art will now be for sale in the Meeting Room, on occasion.

The history of the Brick Store wing began in 1805, when it was the Harris’ Store, a wood-framed building owned by John Harris of Plainfield and run by his sons, Jedediah Hatch Harris and Thomas Jefferson Harris. In 1834, that building became a horse and buggy shed when Jedediah built on a larger brick section to enlarge the store. Later, the wing was enclosed for storage, and subsequently remodeled in 2002, by Kendall Mix, for offices, and then for retail space called “Africa Place.” The Historical Society is fortunate to find itself in an historic structure, whose old, dark beams remain as reminders of the original Harris Store of 1805.

Appropriately, the current exhibit at the Historical Society features Strafford from 1810 to 1820, as it moved from the time of settlement to the age of development. Just 200 years ago, the Strafford Turnpike was completed through our two villages, linking Norwich to Chelsea in the Boston-to-Burlington stage coach route. Titled, "Taking the Turnpike Into the 19th Century," the exhibit shows how national events affected the town, describes local schools, home and farm life, and the early industries and occupations that kept Strafford going during this important time of our town's history.

Mark your calendar for the Vermont History Expo - Vermont's Creative Heritage
June 21 and 22 at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds, in Tunbridge, VT.

Strafford will be represented by the Morrill Homestead and the Historical Society in a joint exhibit, "The Creative Legacies of The Senator And The Storekeeper."  Senator Justin Morrill wrote an act in 1864, signed by Abraham Lincoln, establishing the National Hall of Statuary in Washington, D. C. Storekeeper, Royal Hatch (Morrill's first employer), founded a Bedstead Factory in town, and improved upon rope beds by inventing and patenting the first bed spring in 1857.  Featured will be a replica of the statue representing Ethan Allen, from the state of Vermont, and examples of furniture from Hatch's Bedstead Factory. The Vermont History Expo is a "Top Ten Summer Event" for our state. Don't miss it!

Strafford Historical Society is open to the public Saturday and Wednesday mornings 10:00 AM to Noon. Or, call Stefanie Johnston, Curator, for questions or appointments (802) 765-4057.

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STRAFFORD HISTORICAL SOCIETY

 

ITEMS FOR SALE

 

EARLY HISTORY OF STRAFFORD………………………….$25.00

MINE AND MEN: The Story of Copper in Strafford, Vt…….$20.00

THE TOWN HOUSE…….……………………………………...$10.00

STRAFFORD ORGANIZATIONS HISTORIES…….…….…...$5.00

A SHORT HISTORY OF STRAFFORD……………….……….$3.00

A LITTLE GIRL’S DIARY…….…..……….……………….…$12.00

GIFT PACK OF DIARY & VIDEO…….………………….......$20.00

STRAFFORD GENERAL STORES DVD…………………….$10.00

COLD HARVEST DVD….….………..………………………...$10.00

LAND FOR LEARNING DVD…………………………………$10.00

BUTTON, BUTTON DVD……………………………………...$10.00

OLD-PHOTO POST CARDS (New Set).………………....…….$5.00

“STRAFFORD CELEBRATES”  250TH FLAG……….……...$25.00