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Interview with Blair, Rupert -- TC1991-0035

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Vermont Folklife Center Archive

Vermont Folklife Center Archive

Mad River Valley Project/VFC1991.0004

Katherine Hartshorn/TC1991.2007

 

GS   Greg Sharrow

KH   Kit Hartshorn

Place   Warren, Vermont

Date   June 10, 1991

GS   I'd like to hear about you. I assume you're a native of this region.

KH   Ya, I was born here in town. Married here in town, lived here all my life. Except for the time when I was away to school. I went to Johnson teacher's college and taught school in Moretown for a couple of years before I was married. I ran the school bus for 15 years I think and taught physical education at the 2 schools, substitute teacher for the 15 years. And then when my husband died I had nothing to do with school. This one open classrooms came in and I hate that. So I took up a business course and worked for the Dept. of Agriculture for 15 years. So I retired from there. [1:01] Then I've been busy ever since I retired with my buttons. I belong to Massachusetts and New Hampshire and New York. Did belong to Maine but they folded up. Vermont has one club. And I belong to another club in New Hampshire beside the state ones, and the national.

GS   I had no idea there was so much button activity.

KH   There isn't around here, although I've heard of a lot of people that have buttons, but they don't belong to clubs so we never hear of them. Want to know who they are, they collect buttons. I say I'm not a button collector, I'm a collector of buttons because I have everything. And usually collectors have specialties.

GS   How'd you get involved with buttons?

KH   Well back in 1944 when I lived down in the village I had 42 paper plates covered with buttons, people gave me different buttons. We sold syrup, and everybody that stopped looked at the buttons and some of them sent my buttons. And then when I retired, a friend of mine in Richmond got a hold of me and they had started a button club. [2:12] So I joined in '78 I think it was. And we've been going ever since.

GS   Did you grow up in the village?

KH   Ya, a mile and a half south of the village. That was where I was born. And then I lived right at the intersection going into Warren village in the old Austin house till I was 13. My mother died and I lived with my grandparents after that. And I was also married in my grandfather's house. And then when we set up housekeeping we were just a quarter of a mile above him. So I was always in and out of my grandfather's. After my mother died my aunt brought me up, and she lived to be 92. [3:05]

GS   Your grandfather then was your mother's father?

KH   Um-hum, Carlton. And the Carltons came from over Brookfield way. I have deeds where they owned property in Brookfield. My oldest daughter is a genealogy freak as they call them. And she's looking at genealogies for everybody, she's got the Carltons, the Hartshorns, the Lavandways, then she branches off onto the Boyces, my grandmother's side. She's not interested in buttons!

GS   What did your father do?

KH   My grandfather was a farmer. I never knew my father. My step father was a butcher. (GS-In Warren.) Ya. We had a big farm with big barns in it, right where the road is now. And he did the butchering and had the meat market. My father I think must of died quite early. [4:11] He was in World War I anyway.

GS   And then you grandparent's farm, where was it?

KH   A mile and a half south of Warren village. Right on Route 100. The house looks just the same now as it did 60 years ago. Except there was a big vine on the porch, and that's gone.

GS   Do they still have cattle there?

KH   No, it belongs to people from I'd say New Jersey, I'm not sure, I think it's New Jersey. I've been in and when they tore the inside of the house out, they called me up and they said we found this was 2 houses put together. Why I had often wondered why there was no cellar under the kitchen. And then it dawned on me that years ago my grandmother had said something about another house on the property. And they had pulled the house down and just joined it on to the old house. [5:03] And the window was right there between the two houses. So it doesn't look inside like it used to.

GS   Did you help out on the farm as you were growing up?

KH   I helped my grandfather hay, I ran the horse rake and I tumbled hay. I even did that for my father-in-law. Because he had the small farm over here.

GS   When you say over here-

KH   Over at the yellow house. My father-in-law. And all this house, this land was open and we ran the horse rake on it and hayed with horses. Except we finally got a truck and I had to drive the truck. That's where I learned to drive was driving truck.

GS   With a hay loader?

KH   No, pitched it on. I still have my old pitch forks. I asked my son the other day if he wanted them! He won't use them but I says you might just as well have them. My grandfather had just a few cows and sent cream to the creamery. I used to ride down to the creamery with him. At that time they had a creamery in Warren village. [6:07] And he'd take his cream down there, get his butter there and so on. And back in those days your lumber companies, mills didn't pay you in money, they let you trade at the store and they paid the store keeper. That was the way we started in, worked for Boran and Hunter. Parker and Ford I guess it was then. And used to go into the store and buy our groceries or shoes or whatever and then pay your bill when you got your check, or else they paid it. Henry Brooks used to do that a lot, and Roy Long who owned the store, get such a big build up he'd sell him some lambs. So Roy got a lot of lamb that way!

GS   And when you say we used to do that, do you mean you and your husband?

KH   Um-hum. He was a trucker. And then be became the road commissioner, and then he became select man, and then we worked for the state of Vermont for 10 years or more. He was a highway patrol man in this district. [7:10] We had our own truck, that was before the state put trucks on themselves. So after he died I kept my truck right on, my brother-in-law ran the truck until such a time as the state put their own trucks on.

GS   When you say truck, do you mean plowing?

KH   Yes, a dump truck and plowing.

GS   So you were assigned a certain portion of Route 100?

KH   Yes, he had Route 100 and Route 17 as far as Mad River Glen at that time. The route over the mountain wasn't open. Wasn't built until after he died. Sugar Bush came in after he died. So we were busy most of the time. We used to show movies at the Odd Fellows hall, to pay for the projector. And then I did visual education with that projector at the school. [8:08] Had dances, sold hot dogs. He was an Odd Fellow and I was a Rebecka.

GS   When you taught school full time it was in Moretown. (KH-Um-hum.) And here in Warren it was substituting. And was physical education what you studied at Johnson?

KH   No, visual education. (GS-I'm getting my words) I might have too, I don't know. It was visual, it was the first time it come in. And I had a minister friend in Fitzpatrick in Montpelier who supplied with the films. And I tried to get them on the subjects that the teachers were teaching, but it was kind of hard. But I remember when I had one in E. Warren up there one day we looked out I had one on moving by van across the country with the big moving vans? We looked out the window and there was a moving van going by! The kids were really excited about it. [9:11]

GS   So in that capacity were you sort of affiliated with the library then?

KH   No, I didn't get in any of the school business except that. I was running a school bus and substituting and teaching visual education. Lots of mornings the kids would come out and say the teacher hasn't come yet, you coming in until she comes? Because she was up in E. Warren snowed in. And so I used to start school for him sometimes.

GS   At that point had the district system shrunk to the point where everybody was in one place?

KH   Ya, we had 14 to start with, 14 districts. But in those days we only had 2. And then after that we have just one brand new school.

GS   What about the river? Were I live if you come up through E. Braintree, I'm into the Brookfield Gulf and there's the Williamstown Gulf. Day before yesterday I had to drive through here. And it feels pretty gulfy, but it's called the Granville Gulf. (KH-Yes.) Does the river start up in there? [10:21]

KH   Yes, it starts in Granville on one side of the hill, right with in sight of each other as I understand, I've never been to it. The White River states and runs south. And the Mad River starts and runs north. It's hard to see where the Mad River has started because it's mostly swamp there, but you can see. But you can't follow it there because there's a quick silver bog there. They used to tell about oxen and cows getting lost in that bog, they just sink right out of sight. So you have to get into woods up above it I guess. I've always been going to do it but I never have. Of course Mortimer Proctor gave the land on both sides of that, so many rods or acres or something to the state of Vermont to preserver forever. [11:07] So there's always been a fight about widening the road. The first time they widened it there was quite a fight, but it needed to be widened because you couldn't pass each other, you couldn't meat each other, you have to go to a turnout. So if you met anywhere else one got to back up to the turn out. So they got it widened and black topped. And every little while it pops up, oh they got to widen Granville Gulf. So we're all ready to fight against it. That came up the other day at the planning commission meeting. I've been on the planning board for about 20 years and board of adjustment for about 20 years. So otherwise if I hadn't been I wouldn't know what was going on in town, cause they're all new people. Met an awful lot of them. We have managed to keep some natives on our board of selectman. There's 2 that were born here, DeFreese and Blair. [12:05] But I'm the only one on the planning commission. Well no, there's one other now, one young girl went on. So there's 2 of us on the planning commission.

GS   Are new people and older people of one mind when it comes to planning?

KH   To me it seems, now maybe my idea, but I really am getting sick of it for this reason; the people that have moved in here and have bought and built are the ones that try to tie up the zoning and tighten it and tighten it and tighten it, so that you really have no, you have no freedom. And a lot of them don't own land, they don't understand what it means to own land, but they want to look at it. So they put in what they call the meadow zoning law, and that means you can't build on the meadow itself, you got to build on what is not meadow land. [13:05] Well that's kind of hard sometimes, you know. Because you know there's rocks and there's mud and there's swamps and everything else you know that you can't build on. They won't look at it. They don't want anything built on it. But who made it? The farmers, and they're penalizing them. But I have to enforce it which is hard sometimes to be fair, both sides, and meet the regulations too. And the rest don't always agree with me which is natural. But we do have very active boards cause we have very active meetings.

GS   Is there a lot of fiery discussion at these meetings?

KH   No, not too much. You listen and make your own decisions more or less. I sometimes think we ask too many questions that's none of our business to ask. But sometimes you feel as if you got to know a little bit more before you can decide. [14:11] And some of them get a little irked about it. Some of the lawyers you know we deal with.

GS   It seems like here in these valley development is so present, that being on the planning and zoning board for 20 years you really have had quite a thorough exposure.

KH   All the changes, ya. Sub divisions have been terrible in the last 5 or 6 years. The land that used to be open is now full of forests and brush, and the land that was the other way has changed too. I have pictures where the land was open, now it's closed in and pictures where the land was open, closed in is now open. [15:00] And of course we only have one farmer left in town. One dairy farmer. But we have a deer farmer that's just started up farming deer. Went out of the milking and into the deer.

GS   I noticed as I came down into E. Warren, someone was building a new barn right there at the-

KH   Yes, that's our only farmer. The town bought the development rights on that big farm and then sold the farming part to him. One of his children live in the farmhouse and they just built that barn, tore down the old one. And he lives over beyond the airport, over on that road. Big family of boys. But he's getting old, he's not going to be able to farm very long. Just hope the boys can hold on. May divide it up into 4 or 5 farms again, you know it's hard to tell. [16:00]

GS   I understand that you mentioned, and I've also heard that there were a number of different industries on the river here.

KH   Well there was a lot of mills before 1927. A lot of dams on the river. But it just cleaned them right out. But there was quite a few mills when I was living in the village. There was Brook's mill that burned out was rebuilt and then burned again. And there's a great big house right by the dam now which spoils the whole thing. But there was part of the mill left, so we had a right to build to replace it. If I'd known what it was going to look like I would of wanted it look more like a mill which we expected is was going to, but it doesn't.

GS   What kind of mill was Brooke's mill?

KH   Bob and mill, lumber mill, made trellis there. During the war the girls worked there which was unusual. I'd forgotten that some of my friends worked in the mill during the war cause the men were all gone. [17:05] And then there was the bobbin mill which is the only mill left but it's crafts and things are made in there now, Barry Stimson and company. Make chairs, they make boat seats and I don't know what they don't do in there. It's the only real industry in town. It's the only place they can have one with the electricity, the voltage that they need is the only place there is. So we can't expand too, too much.

GS   And this mill that you're mentioning, is was in the past also a bobbin mill?

KH   A lumber mill. And ya, they made bobbins there too. My husband trucked for them for quite some time.

GS   And what was it called?

KH   Parker and Ford at that time. And then Bowen and Hunter. And before that it was Millers, which was built when first started, Millers. And then there was one up near my grandfather's house, and we always boarded the owner of that mill. [18:17] And he had a partner who lived down in the village. I used to go with my girlfriend who lived next door to get her father's check from and Neil every Saturday night and then play cards with Mrs. Neil. That was quite an occurrence.

GS   To get who's check?

KH   My girlfriend's father's check. [18:41]

GS   What kind of mill was that?

KH   That was a lumber mill. Strictly lumber. I don't remember of anything else being there. Most people won't believe that there was a mill there, but I have a picture of it so I prove it. I got them. And then there was a mill down where I lived that was a lumber mill. Used to belong to Austin. Right now there's a whole development in there, little houses.

GS   And where is that?

KH   The north end of the village.

GS   The place where you mentioned that you're step father had a butcher shop? (KH-Ya.) [19:18] So they were clustered right together there then.

KH   Ya, the mills were quite close. There was 5 or 6 right in the village, right on the Mad River. There was one on Freeman Brook, I never saw it but there used to be one on Freeman Brook. There was one over here, the foundations of the mill are still there, but I can't figure out where the dam was.

GS   When you say over here you mean-

KH   Over by his sister-in-law's. They had a mill there, saw the lumber to build the house and the barn. And probably the other houses up in here that are gone now. A lot of these back places. Well with 14 districts of school you can realize how many people that lived here. [20:00] As big a population as we have now. But it went down to 4 or 500 there for a long, long time.

GS   And what is it now?

KH   Over 1,000.

GS   Now what about one time I went swimming down south of the village.

KH   That's what they call Warren Falls now, but it was Carlton Falls cause my grandfather once time owned it. And then Thayer had a mill there. And they had a dam. So it was Thayer's Dam we called it in those days. But it was originally Carlton Falls.

GS   And probably I think it was 12 years ago I was down in there, there was a building down in there. Is it still there?

KH   I don't know, I haven't been over for a long time, but I doubt it. The police have had an awful time with that, you can't keep people out of it. Of course it's private property. And even people have got killed there, diving into those rocks, there's a whirlpool under there too. [21:0]] But no matter you put a gate up and they pull it down after dark. My niece lives right across the road.

GS   What kind of mill was that?

KH   A lumber mill. Just a one-man mill really. Just did it on his own. His grandfather, ya it was his grandfather owned the mill on Lincoln Brook too, which was a bobbin mill, Parker and Ford's mill originally. So it runs in families.

GS   So it sounds like lumber mills were the name of the game here.

KH   And bobbin. There was a tub factory at the south end of the village. I have a very good picture of that. It's on the by-pass now. They route 100 so that the old route is the by-pass. [22:00]

GS   And was it to make stock watering tubs?

KH   Butter tubs, maple sugar. (GS-So smaller tubs.) Ya. And they probably did other things there, but they always called it the tub factory. They used to make caskets in town too. There was a lot of little businesses. They think now there's a lot of businesses in the village. Well the trouble is they require cars nowadays. And in those days horses. And people. I think there was as many businesses then as there are now cause there was 3 blacksmiths. And there was 4 stores. Post office. Now it's just little shops. We still have the Picture Inn, that was there then only it wasn't an inn. It was a private home and she turned it into an inn. But that's been in existence since '24-'25. [23:03]

GS   What were the 4 stores?

KH   Grocery stores.

GS   So with a population of 400 there are enough people to support 5 stores.

KH   Um-hum. Had everything in them you know. Small stores, post office was in one for awhile and it went into a building by itself. There was a millinery store. And of course they had little knick-knacks in there. (GS-Buttons?) Candy. I don't know, no people weren't interested in buttons those days, only to sew on your shirt. We had the first ski tow in town too, in the whole valley, on the Austin farm.

GS   On the Austin farm.

KH   That's the one down at the end of the village, town owns it now. They own the gravel on it.

GS   So it was a more modest slope that these things out here?

KH   Oh yes. Woodstock you know had the first one in the state. Well their machinery was what they used, their old machinery. Four or five men here in town got together and got the machinery and set it up. And they had a mechanic run it. Roy Long who owned the store furnished the rope. It's just a community affair.

GS   So it was to benefit people who lived in town who wanted to ski. [24:24]

KH   That's right. They had an outing club that sponsored it. Pap Gaylord skied there. He had his skis, we had a bicentennial 2 years ago. And he told about skiing in Warren and had those great big tall long skis you know that they had, with just a strap over them. You didn't have anything to hold your fit in. Most of those that skied there are gone now. They're Hap's age of course.

GS   So it was a lively village center it sounds like.

KH   That's right, it was a village center, really a center. We used to all gather in the village, waiting for the mail at night. Or go to the post office to get our mail. We used to play hi spy and hide and seek and kick the can and things in the middle of the village, a group of us. And there was scales there to weigh wagons. That was a good place for the goal you know! [25:28] But you didn't have the trouble in the village that you have nights now. By 9 o'clock everybody was home and gone. Now the children are out running around, 10-11-12 o'clock.

GS   What kind of trouble do you have?

KH   We don't have too much now in the village. But they're noisy and playing and aren't careful of other people's property more or less. We used wouldn't dare go on anybody's lawn unless we asked permission or go across their land to go fishing unless you asked permission. Doesn't make any difference nowadays, they do it. I have quite a time keeping snowmobilers off my sister-in-law's land over here. We like the open fields, we don't like to see the tracks of snowmobiles on it. [26:22]

GS   Parker and Ford? I've heard about big lumbering operations down and around Pittsfield and Stockbridge where there were big lumber camps up on the mountain. And then they haul stuff down to-

KH   They never had any of that right around here. Parker and Ford bought their logs. People logged them off. Clarence drew the logs for them. But in Granville they had big lumber camps, cause a friend of mine used to cook in the lumber camp. I don't know what her husband did, but she was a cook. Probably helped her too cause he was quite a small man. [27:08] And my uncle worked in those camps. Camp No. 9 I think it was, used to be just over the town line way off in the woods in Hollow. My step father was an Austin, and the Austin's settled in that area, they owned quite a bit of land. Let's see, is there any descendant now? I have a nephew that built a log cabin up in there on land that was left. But he sold out now so there's none of the family that owns any land here now.

GS   So here it wasn't the big lumber camps. These were smaller operations, people hauled stuff down.

KH   Um-hum. The Allen Brothers which owned Asbury Allen Basin up there, I don't know if they ever had a lumber camp or not. They had a camp up there I think was more or less for hunting. That's where Sugar Bush is now. Because when they were logging that off for Sugar Bush, the Rice Lumber Co owned that lot. And they couldn't get up in there with their car, so the boys came up and asked me to take them up with the jeep. And that was soon after my husband died, and I had the only vehicle that would go up in. [28:29] So different now. And that was all open land, all farms up in there where the golf course is and everything.

GS   Is it right to ask when did the big change start, or has it been changing all along?

KH   Well as Rupert Blair said in his speech at the bicentennial he said there's always been a change and we have coped with it. He says we change from farming and agriculture as we knew it to mill town. And then as change to recreation. It's the way it's gone. Of course when the mills went out, young men all left. My brother-in-law [End of tape 1, side A.]

GS   [Tape 1, side B] When the mills went out, do you mean after the flood?

KH   After the flood. And before, you see they used to work on a farm. But how can you farm in town of Warren or in lots of places in Vermont on these back hill farms and make a living? We existed, that's about all you could say, we really didn't live as you think of living now. I remember we lived on salt pork and potatoes and our vegetables and canned our meat, canned our garden stuff. Bought very little store, had our maple sugar, made our own butter. I did that for 16 years after I was married. When I bought butter I didn't like the taste of it so I went on to oleo, and I've never gone back to butter. We used to make our own ice cream. Own bread. See my mother making after loaves of bread. And after my step father died she had to work for a living so she cleaned houses and did sewing and so on. So you just got by, that was about it. [1:09] I never had new clothes. She made them all. I made all my kid's clothes till I went to school. I remember we wore long black stockings all winter and had one jumper to wear, different blouses to go with it. And we walked to school. We didn't have to be transported and then have a gym to give us exercises. We had chores to do, so you were busy all the time. Biggest job was getting wood in for the fire in the winter time, that was the kid's job. Sprouting potatoes so we could plant our potatoes was another job we hated but we did.

GS   Now sprouting potatoes, you'd cut them so each one would have an eye. [2:00]

KH   You take the sprout off so you could cut the eyes. Of course they started growing you know long last of the winter. Then the damp cold wet cellar, that wasn't a very good job. No electricity in the cellar.

GS   Was this at your grandparent's?

KH   No, at my mother's.

GS   How many of you were there, kids?

KH   Four of us. I had a brother and 2 sisters.

GS   Did you all go to your grandparents after your mother died?

KH   No, my mother had married again so my second step father took my brother and my oldest sister. My youngest sister was only 6 years old so she went with my uncle in Massachusetts. My brother settled in Montpelier and got married. And has 3 boys and 3 girls. He had polio, probably 40 years ago. So he's been a cripple since then. [3:00] But takes care of himself, lives in a development in Montpelier.

GS   The mill work, the flood killed it.

KH   It killed it entirely, yes. That was it. The only thing left was to rebuild the bridges and the roads. That was a short-term job. A lot of the young fellahs went Massachusetts and things cause they couldn't get work on the farms, they couldn't make a living on the farm. You're working for somebody else, cause you usually worked for your board and a little bit more, board and room. They never came back to live. They've come back for vacations and things but they never come back to live. My sister-in-law's over here now, her husband died and she comes back, she's been back every summer I guess since she was married cause she brought her children up here summers to get them out of the city. So they're all crazy over the farm too now. The old homestead.

GS   Your husband you say trucked for Parker and Ford. Was that after the flood or before the flood? [4:17] (KH-After.) So Parker and Ford, they went back or continued?

KH   They didn't get flooded out. Some, there was some buildings gone. They damaged it some, but I mean it wasn't totally gone. And their dam I guess they repaired the dam, it wasn't totally gone. That's on Lincoln Brook.

GS   So it sounds like in the '30s this must of been kind of a depressed place.

KH   Well no, I don't think so. People didn't seem to feel that it was depressed. You were happy and you went about your own thing. We went to the village for what we needed. But it's odd; I didn't know anybody that lived up in here. Most people didn't know anybody that lived in E. Warren unless you happened to meet them when you went to the store. [5:12] Your just own little community. But my uncle belonged to the Modern Woodmen of America, and they met at different houses. And that took him Waitsfield and Warren. And I used to go to meetings with them so I knew people in all these places. But most of the kids in the village didn't. They were lucky, I remember if you went Montpelier it was a wonder. I rode out once, my brother and I in an old, old car, I don't know what kind it was now. My son told me what it was but I've forgotten. And when we got out by the cemetery in Montpelier everybody was yelling "Where'd you get that old thing?" Now you'd be crazy, everybody would want to ride in it. So we got out the cemetery and walked in Montpelier! I don't remember what we did coming home, but we walked in to Montpelier. [6:03] We used to call a day trip we used to go down around Bethel, back around through Randolph, Montpelier and home. Took a day with the automobile to do that and have a picnic lunch. Now you do it in an hour, hour and a half.

GS   In terms of the ways people moved, you moved up the valley. If you were going someplace you'd go up the valley toward or down the valley. What's the right language? Is Moretown up or down the valley?

KH   I say it's down the valley, cause it's down on Mad River. Mad River flows that way. So you go down. Fletcher Johnson in Waitsfield always argued with me. But I said you go down to Moretown. You may say you go over to Montpelier or up to Montpelier cause you got to go up the Winooski to go to Montpelier. Cause the Winooski flows the other way. So I go the way the river does. We have quite an argument in the paper a few years ago, whether you say you're going up to Waitsfield or down to Waitsfield. We always say we're going down to Waitsfield. [7:13]

GS   Granville and Hancock and Rochester, would you be less likely to go that direction than Waitsfield, Middlesex, Moretown?

KH   Waitsfield is our focal point. They have all the business down there.

GS   And has that always been true? I mean always in your memory?

KH   More or less, the bigger stores have been down there. My grandfather used to go down there to get his horse shod.

GS   With 3 blacksmiths in town?

KH   There weren't any blacksmiths in those days. The only one left had died. He used to always, there was one near where I lived. And he used to always to down there when I was in school. But when Frank Blake died, you had to go to Waitsfield for blacksmiths. And I remember grandpa and I used to ride down with a horse and buy a pound of fig newtons and a pound of cheese, and come home the back way through E. Warren, and we ate all the cheese and the fig newtons. [8:05] So grandma never got any! And we used to go down there for our groceries. There was a bigger grocery store. And my grandmother used to love sit in the car and watch people go in and out, because they knew the Jones quite well. Of course I went to school down there, high school. We had to board ourselves down there because it was impossible to get from Warren to Waitsfield. It was mud in the spring and snow and ice in the winter. None of us had cars. My girlfriend's brother had a Model-T, used to take us around. When we went to Johnson he used to come and get us or take us back. [9:00]

GS   Actually you answered this before when you said that E. Warren was it's own little community.

KH   Ya, they had their school up there. And years ago when Warren first started that's where it started was up there. And there was 2 post offices for quite some time. The mail used to come from Roxbury over the mountain. Gladys Bizzle still alive, she was the last mail driver over there.

GS   Is that cause of the railroad?

KH   Ya, and stage. Used to call it stage. And anybody coming into town came in that way. [9:36]

GS   So that mountain road has been important then.

KH   Yes, it was steep and narrow until it was widened. Some of us have been pushing to get it black topped. Others don't want the traffic coming down through the village. But there's a lot of people coming over there and you can't keep that road good. If the towns don't do it the state's going to do it. And you know what the state roads look like when they widen them. You know those big wide sides. [10:04]

GS   So are Warren and Waitsfield, are they sort of companion towns?

KH   They are now, it hasn't always been that way. But they have grown more that way. You see we have a tri-valley planning commission now, which takes in Fayston, Waitsfield and Warren. And we have a planner and delegates from each town, one selectman and one planning commissioner belong on the board. I go because I'm on the central Vermont regional alternate, so I go for them there. And it's run under the central Vermont regional, their secretary takes charge and Brian has a lot of help from them. So we have worked to be more compatible. Because of course the roads that go to Mad River Glen in Waitsfield and to Sugar Bush north and Sugar Bush south all hit Fayston. [11:07] And we hit Waitsfield and E. Warren and in other places. So it has worked to bring the 2 together. There are still a lot of differences. Waitsfield was when I went to school down there it was awfully hard for Warren students to get accepted. You felt you were an outsider. And even now sometimes you do. Different type of people. But I've had to work with all 3 boards and everything, so it's real compatible.

GS   How would you describe the different type? What's different?

KH   I don't know, it's hard to say. I think as the old ones go out and the new ones come in, they're kind of joining together because of the same kind. They come from the same places and the same life styles and things like that. But Waitsfield always felt that they were a little bit better than Warren. [12:01] They got their charter first, and things like that. But right now there's so many intermingled, the farmers in Waitsfield were Warren boys that bought farms in Waitsfield. My son was amongst them, he's gone out of farming now. The Neil boy bought a farm who was from the mill up here. The Irish boys, one went into the mill work and the other one went on to the farm work in Waitsfield. So really it has joined itself together more or less now.

GS   Now I wanted to ask about farming. In the bottom land in Randolph along either Ayers brook or the second branch or the third branch or the White River is generally the best farm land. As you go out from Waitsfield out all that nice flat land along the river. Is there flat land like that in Warren? [13:10]

GS   Not very much. There's Kingsberrys, which is at the southern part. And he doesn't farm any more. In fact some of it, one of it's got a store and a gas tank. His son runs the store and sells gas. And he sold his back lot to Sugar Bush who wants to put in that pond, you probably heard a lot about the pond for withdrawing water. Well that's going to go on the old farm there on the other side. But it wasn't good farming land any way. But that's the only flat land really in Warren. This Fords below the village, Bobby Rogers owns that, which is flat land. But you haven't too much in Warren.

GS   In Randolph there's quite a bit of land up on the hill, in Randolph Center there's good farm land and it's still farmed. [14:09] Was the hill farm territory in Warren, is it a pity that it's gone out of farming, or wasn't it that well suited?

KH   It wasn't that well suited. You had to have one leg shorter than the other on most of it. See this is level over here on my sister-in-law's, but it's not big enough. And there was 5 or 6 or 7 farms down this road. But none of them were big enough to really amount to anything. And then too you lost a lot of your farms when the bulk tanks came in. Cause a lot of those little farmers could not afford to put in a bulk tank. I remember my grandfather used to take his milk to the creamery or they'd pick it up beside the road for quite awhile. But then they had to have tanks that would keep the milk longer. So a lot of those went out even before the Sugar Bush came in. Sugar Bush changed everything. It went to recreation entirely. [15:09]

GS   When did Sugar Bush come in?

KH   '56 or 7, right in there somewhere.

GS   So quite a bit after the second world war. Did it start small? Or was it a big operation?

KH   Of course Mad River was in long before that. Sugar Bush started as a private, Damon Gad had money. And was more or less a playboy's place to begin with, the rich people from Europe and everywhere else. A rich man's paradise is what it was. And we got a long very nicely with that, it didn't expand very much and it stayed about the same, a nice little place to go and ski and so on, steep. [16:01] They didn't expand it so that they didn't get the big crowds. And then Damon sold it to companies. And they are entirely different. It's no longer personal or anything else, it's big business. And it's changed hands 3 or 4 times. So we just get dealing with a master plan or some expansion or something, and lo it would be sold and we'd have to start all over again. So but it's got to expand to be in business. And if the state doesn't come up with some water withdrawal figures that they can be compatible with, I'm afraid it'll go down the drain. And the people who are against it are the people that need it the most. They aren't going to draw that much water out of the river. When the water level goes down, they can't draw, because their pipes are to be put in such a way. [17:02] But people read the paper and say well they're going to draw a million gallons of water out of there every day. Well they aren't. When the pond's filled they aren't going to draw anymore anyway till they use it out of the pond. If you don't need it for snow you don't draw it. And most of us feel that the fire protection from the going up the access road is better for the town than most anything you could think of. It was our fire department definitely don't like to go into the river in the middle of winter after water. My son's chief. And my son-in-law over here is treasurer. They definitely are for it. And then they bought Sugar Bush north, Glen Ellen as it used to be. Which is better water coverage for snow in the winter time. So they did better over there. [18:02]

GS   This same company bought it?

KH   Ya, that's in Fayston. And they want to have an inter-tie in between north and south which we are against more or less, until they can prove that the traffic is not going to be too, the roads can take care of the traffic and all that stuff.

GS   What's an inter-tie?

KH   Well to join the 2 together, so you can ski from one to the other. But we're very leery about the road traffic and everything as they are now. So they got to come up with some pretty good qualifications for that.

GS   So Sugar Bush, I can imagine, I have my own preconceptions about how Sugar Bush must of changed here. How would you describe the kinds of changes that have occurred since the ski industry has gotten so big?

KH   [18:58] Well there's more sports, our paper's full of sports all the time. There's a sports center up there. And at the bridges they have swimming and sports center there too. And it's just grown big, you know what I mean. The people have come in, they've come in with their computers and they started businesses. I mean it's created an awful lot of businesses around the valley too. So it's a much busier place than it used to be. I used to be able to go to Waitsfield and not meet a car. Now they line right up in no time when the stop lights are on, down a the bridge right now. And there's a lot of people that are coming into the valley to work. A lot of people going out of the valley to work too. I never worked in the valley only a short time at a ski lodge. I worked for a ski lodge for a couple of years. But I didn't like the skiers personally. They were very insolent people coming in, thinking the natives were slaves. Was the type, the feeling that you got. [20:04] So I went right out of the valley to work and so does my daughter, she works in Montpelier.

GS   It seems like the sheer volume of people coming in here to there areas must of changed things a lot.

KH   You don't go down in the valley on Saturday and Sunday when it's skiing. You stay right away. And of course we're getting a lot of them up in here now. There's quite a few houses built on this road in recent years.

GS   I saw on the left as I was coming up, Lincoln Brook something or other.

KH   Ya. There's a road down in there and there's 3 or 4 my son tells me big houses over in there. Cause he's logged over there. And there's big houses gone up. There's been sub divisions. They say Sugar Bush hasn't created them but it has. [21:00] They had the condominiums up there. As people came, they got out of the condominiums and built summer homes or winter homes or whatever they wanted. So that has changed. We're even getting full-time families in the condos now cause it's the only cheap place they can go to live. Compared with buying land cause you can't buy land. None of us want to divide an acre here an acre there, it's too much of a hassle through Act 250 for any of those things. I'm doing a sub division right now. I'm sub dividing my house and 7 acres off from the rest of my land, and half an acre for my grandson up here so that he can build a garage. He's got a house up in back of me. And it's a hassle. I've been on the planning commission on one side, now I've got to go on the other side which I dread! I've been through the state so there's no problem there. But people want just an acre or 2 and they just can't sell an acre or 2. [22:00] Half of it won't perk, half of Vermont won't perk. And another thing that's bothered me with the people that have come in on the planning commission. They don't come in for what's a best development for the land they've got, it's the most development for the land they got. The most that they can get on. We've had an awful lot of people like that. And of course now with our sub division we can kind of steer them down, tone them down to be more compatible with the land.

GS   With our sub division?

KH   Regulations. You make sure that they're not leaving land that they can't get to or they haven't got any right to get to, or spaghetti lots as they call them. Things like that.

GS   Is that something that you as a part of this group have developed, sub division? (KH-Um-hum.) Did that grow out of your past experience in seeing what didn't work?

KH   That's right. And Waitsfield and Fayston sub divisions will be compatible, to a certain extent. There's always a little it of difference. But Brian's trying to make it so that if you go to Waitsfield for a sub division it's not that much different than it is from Warren. [23:16] The first zoning that they had I wasn't on the zoning board when it started. But the first one they had they didn't want houses here, here, here, here. So they put in cluster. Well the cluster definition was so far from each other so that they could be grouped together you know? That did not work. We got south village up there which most people think is terrible. And we found out it was not working. So then we put in a sub division regulation so that that wouldn't happen again. I like it now that it's grown up and I always thought it was landscaped pretty good for where it is. It's near Sugar Bush and it's a vacation area, so what? [24:08] But a lot of people were against it. And a lot of developers push you terribly and that kind of gets you down on some things that they're trying to do. But it's been interesting. I'm the only member on both boards, but I said you've got to have a member on both boards, so that the planning commission knows what the board of adjustment's doing, and the board of adjustment knows what the planning commission's doing. Not that it makes too much difference, but at least you have a knowledge of it.

GS   And what motivated you to get involved in the beginning?

KH   I don't know. Just wanted something to do I guess. Cause I was on before I retired.

GS   I met Rupert Blair a couple years ago. I forgot that he lived over here. He's quite an engaging fellow. [25:00]

KH   I saw Rupert yesterday. He's busy helping out people since his wife died. He takes meals and wheels, he takes people that need to go to the doctor or something like that. He's very active doing that. I don't know what else he's doing, he's at supper every night at his son's, only way he can get a hold of him.

GS   Are you involved with the community [phone] people like Rupert who've lived here for years and years? (KH-Ya.)

GS   How did your interest in history come about? Is that just part of your disposition? [25:48]

KH   I guess so. I don't know what started me. But one day the librarian called up and she says can you think of something the library can do for volunteer senior citizens? Says would you do anything? And I said one thing we could do would be to get old pictures, and have them reproduced. So I had 5 working with me. My aunt and 3 of her friends. They've all died since then. So my girlfriend whom I've very close to, we went to school together all our lives, have kept it on and completed these books and things. [26:33] And then when the bicentennial came on I was on that committee, nobody else wanted to be chairman, so I got most the planning commission worked with me on that. And the librarian and the organist from the church. So I had a connection with the church on that. And we took those pictures and had them reproduced. And we have 23 pictures in the town hall now, great big pictures blown up of the old mills and the old bridges, things like that. So we had a whole week of entertainment. We've had just one program for the Vermont Bicentennial. I'm done, I don't feel I want anymore. I'd rather go see what other people that do it.

GS   Did you hear a lot about how things were in the past as you were growing up from your grandparents and things like that?

KH   Yes, and then Rupert Blair's mother wrote a history of Warren. [27:31] But she got most of it from the Washington county Gazette or whatever it is, because I found when I got that was identical the same things. But she did have more of a history of the schools. They people who went and so on. And then when my son-in-law's parents died he got a hold of a book that should of gone to the town. It's the old record of the school directors. When they used to have clerks in each school. And each one wrote, so in that all of the names of the parents and their children or who had control of the children is in that. [28:14] So I have a copy of that which is very interesting.

GS   What years does it cover? Twentieth century or way back?

KH   No, probably from 1900 on, because my husband's grandfather wrote one year in it, and he taught school here in town. And then too there was a Sam Whitworth who came from England to Montreal, and then to Warren. A few months before he died he wrote his life story of London and Montreal and of his years in Warren. Of course he lived right next door to where I did when I was a child. And his kids and I grew up together. And I got a hold of that and got a copy of that. [29:02] And at his wife's funeral the other day, one of the sons told about his father's life and his mother's life. And so I said well I have a copy of his life history that he wrote. And I said the only thing in it he said my oldest son, my youngest son, my brother, he never put any names in. But I said in the one I did I said I put their names in. Instead of my brother I put his name in, Albert. And so the son called up the other day and he said Kit, I'd forgotten all about that history. You know where it is? I said I remember, I told one of you boys a number of years ago to watch out for a notebook, cause it just was in an ordinary notebook. And I said you'd want it in your father's handwriting, otherwise you can have mine to copy. And I haven't heard from him so I guess must be he's found it or looking for it. [29:57] Grandchildren got interested when they heard about that. And of course my daughter being a genealogist got me interested in history but not in family history as much as town history.

GS   So it's something that you got more involved with recently rather than from way back.

KH   Yes, I should of done it before I retired, because people have died that I should of interviewed and found out about.

GS   Have you done some interviewing?

KH   No, only just as I've talked with different people.

GS   Are there some people that you think I should speak to around here?

KH   You'd find out more from Rupert Blair about E. Warren probably. We were on Across the Fence last year. (GS-You and Rupert?) Ya. When they called up and wanted, I had to get the people together for it. So I got Rupert. And he stood in the store up in E. Warren which was his school house and gave his interview. Then I had the organist from the church interviewed in the church. And one of the newer people in the gazebo. We were at the covered bridge. [31:10] And then we went to Sugar Bush with Lucy Fortner. (GS-Who's that?) She was a secretary at Sugar Bush over 20-25 years, well from the time it started. And she's been our town representative for 8 or 10 years. She isn't now, she's on the environmental board. Governor just-[End of Tape 1, side B]

GS   The fabric of town here. You know in Braintree, as in every part of the state there are new people who have moved in, and there are people whose families have lived in town for a generation or generations. And in Braintree sometimes there are different points of view that follow those lines, about spending money mainly.

KH   Yes, that's a big problem here.

GS   But I wondered as I look over the mountain in my mind, it seems like there so many new people over here that it's I wonder how you feel about, do you still feel like this is your town? Do you feel like you have-

KH   In a way and in a way not. [1:00] I don't have much to do in the center of the village. I never go to the store down there. But I do run into the inn. Cause she's on the planning commission and I run in there to find what's going on and so on and so forth. But I mean we work together very, very good, both groups. They each have their own ideas. You go to the Christmas party down to the inn and you'll see people from all types of work and types of people in town, at the Christmas party there. Everybody brings in something and they all stand around and visit and things. Well I may know half of them. And there may be a lot that I don't know. And that's the way it is wherever you go. Of course the younger group, now like my daughter and one's her age are busy making a living. So they are not involved in anything. I went down to the farewell party for the minister last night. I don't belong to the church but I know him, been awfully nice fellow. [2:02] So I went down to that. But my daughter doesn't even know who he is cause she's never around when those things are on. And that's the way with a lot of the younger people that are grown up. They're natives, but in a way they aren't natives. But they do, they get along I think very good. I think they work together better than they used to. Got a very active working church group. And a good share of them are the new comers. A good share of them. It was quite a few of the older people there. Of course they're all dying off, if you stop to think, at 70, 70 years old or older a lot of them. So the ones that have been here, the Dockendorf that I had interview for Over the Fence, he came here because he likes the atmosphere, he like the people, he went around took the census, very interesting fellow. [3:00]

GS   How about the fire department? Does that include everybody?

KH   Ya, there's a lot of natives on that too. But yes, there's a lot of new ones on it. But they have a hard time getting people to be dedicated for it. You've got to take courses to keep up, you got to know what's going on. My son-in-law was on the bomb squad in the war, so that end of it he's interested in. My son's a chief and he likes to repair cars and keep things up. Very meticulous on what he does. He's a carpenter of the first grade. He's an old car nut too. He goes to all these old car shows. Regular old New England, what was it they used to call, the Coach Piles? Everybody had their coach pile you know. Everything you could find you put in that pile and when you wanted something you dug it out. He collects everything.

GS   Are there certain organizations that for you are sort of the center of your experience of community? Obviously you're involvement with the planning and zoning and the government of the town. Did you say you're still involved with the Rebeckas?

KH   No, the Rebecka lodge went out number of years ago and I never joined any other. [4:20] There are a lot of sports clubs and sport things. There's joggers, there's runners. There's groups that get together to walk around E. Warren then have lunch at each others homes. And of course in the Sugar Bush area there's a sports center that has a tennis, you know. I think those are the groups that are more prominent than anything else. The Green Mountain school in Fayston, you'll always see some of them jogging on the road or bicycling on the road or something like that. So sports really have taken over. And I'm not interested in any sports at all. When my kids were in basketball I liked to go because I knew them, somebody playing, I followed those trips every where, went every where. [5:09] When my daughter played. But ordinarily I'm not interested in anything. I get out and walk but I walk by myself because I'm a slow walker. Those are the clubs that seem to be. Music you know, there's a lot of people interested in the music. Skiing and horseback riding. I think that's where you'll find your social groups now.

GS   And for you, do you have a particular social group that you're especially involved with?

KH   Just the buttons.

GS   Who's doing the strawberry supper?

KH   Church usually has one. I don't know whether they are this year or not.

GS   I saw it advertised in the village.

KH   In Warren village? (GS-Ya.) Well that must be the church. [6:00] I'm not even involved in the church, but I know all the people in the church and go to their socials and things. But you can't be involved in every thing. If I can't work I'm not going to belong. Oh I have one other club that's interesting. We have a bus tour every October. I belong to that.

GS   Is it based here?

KH   No, it's the supervisors in Northfield. But it started in Calais for anniversary party for this man, for their 50th anniversary. The children got up a bus tour. And so 3 years ago I got in on it, cause my friend from Northfield wanted somebody to go with her and room with her. And they needed another person. Well they were the ones I knew. Her and a friend and a husband. Got on the bus I knew half of them cause they used to belong to the Farm Bureau. So we're going to Philly this year. [7:04] We went to Boston last year. 4-day trip. So it's kind of fun, places that you wouldn't go. I won't drive to Philadephia or in Boston or Montreal or Quebec or anywhere. Although I've driven to Albuquerque. I don't mind that. Just got back from a 5,000 mile trip in April.

GS   Where'd you go then?

KH   North and south Carolina, and Florida. Then we took a trip to the Bahama.

GS   No grass growing under your feet.

KH   Think I'll stay home next year and just go to Maine.

GS   Does this river flood regularly?

KH   You mean our brook here or the Mad River? (GS-Mad River.) The Mad River floods quite a bit, especially when it rains hard, comes up fast, then goes down fast. But our big problem is they won't let us take the gravel out of the river any more. And so it makes it flood more. [8:06] Used to take the gravel out you know in the places where it piled up, like the covered bridge down here and so on. And all down through Waitsfield. And then I think it floods more too because there's so much building. You stop and think how many roofs the water runs off from, and it's got to go somewhere and go in a hurry. And as it was logged off up in here this brook came up more often than it used to.

GS   Does it do much damage when it floods, or is it?

KH   Not so much now as it used to. There are some houses that get flooded every year, when the ice goes out. This year the ice didn't go out, so they didn't get flooded at all. But people should realize not build quite so close to the river.

GS   What kind of damage did they used to do?

KH   Wash the houses out. [9:00] But since the flood, the '27 it took out most everything that you could.

GS   Do you remember the '27 flood?

KH   Yes, I was in school that day in the village. And they let us out early. And I walked across the bridge, and the water was going around the bridge at that time. We had a pen stock that went across the road tot he grist mill. And that was washing out when I went across it. And then the little brook that went between our house and barn became a river. We couldn't even get out to go feed the cows, till it went down. Washed it right down like a river bed, right down through, whole road out. My mother died after that, she caught pneumonia. Went around looking at the damage the flood because Granville woods was washed out. [10:04] Couldn't get to the village because the covered bridge was up-ended on one end.

GS   This covered bridge?

KH   Um-hum. And the other bridge was gone. My uncle came up from Massachusetts and he had a hard time getting over Roxbury mountain the flood even, to see how his folks were.

GS   Good grief, if you lost your mother then, that must of been especially rough time.

KH   Ya, she caught pneumonia after the flood and other complications I guess set in. She died in '28. [pause]

GS   So many people seem to have had close calls.

KH   Ya. Roy Long's sister was lost in Waterbury. They never found her. That was really the only casualty, from the town really. [11:08]

GS   Did you play in the river when you were a kid? Swim?

KH   Yes, up to my grandfather's. We had a pool down in back. And then where we lived there was a bridge across the river down below, nobody ever believe it now. But we had a little hole down near that. Cause we had to carry our water for baths and everything, so we went down there every day to clean up. And it was a good place for the kids to play. When I was a kid I played on a little brook. We had rocks, we slid down the rocks right into a little pool. And we had a sand pit that we used to build houses in. Clay, you dig down far enough and that nice wet cool clay. [12:01] And most of the kids in the village played to our house because we had a big farm right in the village.

GS   You fish?

KH   No, I don't care too much about fishing. I used to go. We had a camp over on Otter Creek. I used to go but I'd rather stay and read. But I'd go cause my husband loved to fish.

GS   And fishing's better over there than here?

KH   Ya. Used to be a lot of fish in this brook here, but there isn't anymore. I think I caught one year before last and he's up in my pond.

GS   Has the river been important for recreation?

KH   It's getting more so. It didn't used to be so much only for fishing. But now of course the canoes, a lot of the canoes. They have a big company down in Waitsfield, Mad River Canoe. [13;02] A lot of interest in that. There's a lot of interest right now in paths, bicycle paths, walking paths and so on. Which is good if you got something to unite them to. There's another thing I don't get into. I got into the natural resource thing. we had to get the natural resources of the valley. We had a committee in 3 towns for that, listing all the houses and what they were, where all the roads were and all this and that and the other. WE had a grant for that which was interesting. Right now they're working on affordable housing, which not my cup of tea, so I'm not on that. [14:00]

GS   The site of the village here then is pretty much because of the falls? The fall of water? Is that how Warren village ended up being here?

KH   Yes, it started up in E. Warren. Then of course when they started needing lumber and things and the mills started up, of course they started up on the river. There was some on the brooks in back, but they weren't big mills, they were little mills made to build a house or something. And then of course as people needed things, they needed tubs, and they needed bobbins, they needed lumber, they needed shingles. Had a lot of shingles being made. At the time of the bicentennial I wanted to have samples of things that were made in Warren. So we got the bobbins. And I thought where are we going to get shingle that we know are made here? And I happen to think 2 of the houses in town had just had the shingle taken off from them or were having process of it. [15:04] So was all ready to go up and grab a shingle from there when the old Cardel house, which a cousin of mine owns, his barn had fallen down. I says you know that barns old enough, there must be some shingle up there that came off that barn. So I sent my son up. And in the process of getting shingle from that he found the trellises that Brooke's used to make, and a few other little things you know. And they made rolling pins. Different things like that. So we did have a few things that were made in those days here.

GS   Do you have a historical society?

KH   No, we haven't got one yet. They wanted to start one. But I hesitated to having anything to do with it till you got a place to keep things. And you just can't keep um in an ordinary building, you've got to have the atmosphere of that building either cold or warm or something all the time to keep anything. [16:00] And it's a job to keep books and keep pictures and things in the right way. So we have not started a museum yet, historical society. They only historical society is our group, works for the library.

GS   Now I want to ask you also about the various things that you make. Did you braid these rugs? [16:25]

KH   Um-hum. I braided 2 last winter. The red one, no the green one and this one last winter. And the year before I did the red one.

GS   And the ones that have pictures in the center, are those crocheted pictures?

KH   No, those are hooked pictures. That one was one of the stair treads, and that was one of the stair treads. But this one wasn't, I made that one up.

GS   And it that the bridge in Warren? (Um-hum.) How did you get started hooking and braiding rugs?

KH   Oh my grandmother always braided rugs. I learned from her, my grandmother and my aunt always made rugs. I have one upstairs in my bedroom which is 18 by 24 or something like that. It covers the whole of this up here. [17:14] I had it down here, I had it down to the other place. Then I had it here and I'd make it bigger. But it's so big I can't take it out. And so I went to the little ones.

GS   I've never seen a braided rug with a hooked run in the middle. Are you the one that thought of that?

KH   I don't know. I like them.

GS   Did she hook also? Your grandmother?

KH   Let me see, no, I don't think grandma ever hooked. No, there was a woman from Rhode Island taught me to hook the rugs. She taught the old-fashioned way with the old fashioned needle. I don't like the ones that they use nowadays. Nor I don't like the new hook, the things they use for braided rugs either. I do the old-fashioned braiding. Mine aren't reversible. But my grandma's weren't either. But I've had that one upstairs for 40 years. Why would you want a reversible one? [18:10] Those were made out of slacks that I outgrew or wore out. Turned them wrong-side out and braided them.

GS   Did you hook the geometric design ones there on the floor in the, as you come in the door? The two over there? (KH-Ya.) Do you just get those ideas out of your head?

KH   Those 2 I made up. The one out there was a pattern. I don't like flowers is the only one I did, I don't like flowers at all.

GS   So you usually make them up it seems.

KH   Um-hum. But I don't like hooked rugs now. I like the braided better than the hooked.

GS   How'd you happen to make the stair runners with all the scenes from your life? [19:00]

KH   Well I just made up my own designs.

GS   Did you just decide that would be a good thing to do?

KH   Well I had to have something on the stairs down to the other place, and they were open stairways, with the railing up. That was what I did rather. [pause.] But I don't know the material that these hooked stair treads are made of, last better than ones you got today. Because the fabrics today are mixed up, cotton and everything else in them or wool and something else. And these were strictly wool.

GS   And to do something, for example the one underneath your chair, which looks like a winter scene, the house and an out building, pine trees. Would you draw that on the?

KH   No, I just make it as I go. [20:06] Same as I do with the owls. I start with the eyes and that's it. Or the tip. Sometimes I start with the tip end of them. Cause somebody else wanted to make one, she said she spread all her buttons out. I said it won't work. You can spread them out, but when it comes to sew them on they'll be in a different position.

GS   And these owl bell pull banners. You just decided that would be a good thing to do with buttons? Just out of the blue? [20:39]

KH   Well I had seen pictures made with buttons which they older generation had made I'd seen at shows. Pictures with buttons on. But not completely covered.

GS   They remind me of, I can't remember who it is but there's some group in England that was completely covered-

KH   Oh ya, the Perleys. I have a jacket that's completely covered, and I'm going to have it sold at auction at the meeting this time because I can't wear it anymore and it's too heavy. But it's completely covered with buttons with owls on it. Owl design on it and filled in. But it's nothing my kids will want or anything, and I thought well maybe I can get rid of that. [21:26] I have jackets trimmed, I have a jumper trimmed with buttons. I wore it to the banquet the other night. And I was poked around, pulled around and everything else looking at my buttons! Cause they're pearl buttons, which you can't buy any more. And I have a jacket with pearl buttons around the arms and around the neck that I wear a lot. And I have a coat with designs on it.

GS   So you just started out with these buttons and said I guess I'll sew some on a- (Ya.) And now you must have what, 40 of them?

KH   I don't know, I've lost count.

GS   An awful lot of them. And you have, so do you just keep thinking of new ideas? I see up there behind you it looks like there's like a button painting of owls, a whole bunch of owls? Is that on fabric? (Yup.) Did you sew them on?)

KH   Um-hum. There's 2 of them over there too. [22:30] I've tried doing other things. But the owl I go back to the owls. I've tried putting a house on and scenes, they just don't come out right to me. I have a friend down in South Carolina who can't sleep. And so he has put buttons all over his car, glued them all over his car. He's glued them all over his casket. (GS-What's he doing with a casket?) Well he's made his own casket. Going to be buried in it. And he has a toilet stool with a tank all covered. And right now he's covering a hearse. I took him down some pearl buttons and he's put those on his hearse. Most of his are plastics, you know the light plastic kind. And he's got so he's making designs on his casket, he's got some beautiful designs that he's made. And his clothes are covered with buttons. [23:31] He's got 2 hats he plays ukulele and a banjo and he sings. He's been on the T.V. 2 or 3 times. I managed to tape him once or twice.

GS   How'd you meet him?

KH   I don't remember. Some waitress advertised in the paper or something about him. I saw him on T.V. so I wrote to him. And we write back and forth. I haven't met his wife yet, she's always working whenever I've been there. But she's a nice cute little girl. And he's retired. He's a Baptist. And I was talking with him in April, and he said I used to know everybody that lived around here, and he says I don't know anybody anymore. And I says join the crowd. [24:19] So it's changing there too.

GS   So what all have you made with buttons? What do you call the things here, what's your word for them?

KH   I call them hangers.

GS   Ok, you made the hangers, you've made pictures,

KH   Trim my clothes.

GS   What's this? What do you call that? (KH-The picture frame?) The round thing? [24:52]

KH   Oh that's an old aluminum bicycle wheel.

GS   But do you have a name for what you done with it?

KH   No, I just put streamers or strings or whatever you want. Buttons that I hated to throw away. No, my son gave me that aluminum wheel. It's an old, old, old wheel.

GS   And the buttons on picture frames, have you ever seen that done before?

KH   Yes. I've seen one. Most of them are shells. And I hate shells. I like to look at them and everything, but I have no idea of doing anything with them. These buttons in here are ones that I don't want to put on cards, fancy ones that hard to get. [25:51] I only did one painting. My friend the painter and I says don't tell me what's wrong with this, show me just what's good. And I did that upper painting of that sugar house. That's the only painting. I've done paint by numbers, I did those years and years ago.

GS   And you quilt, yes?

KH   Yes, I make quilts.

GS   Mainly crazy quilts?

KH   I like the crazy work. I have a log cabin bedspread that I made. I been wanting to make a quilt by quilt as you go, but I haven't got-[End of tape 2, side A] [Tape 2, side B]

GS   Did you learn a lot? It sounds like you learned a lot from her.

KH   Well my grandmother had bad knees. She couldn't get around very much. From the time I went to live with her as a kid she got around all right. But nowadays she probably would of been able to live alone longer than she did. But they used to think you know the daughter should come home and stay with mother you know? So my aunt came. Always lived with her mother and father. Grandma used to sit there, shelling peas and cutting string beans. One time she told us she would pick over all the strawberries that we could pick, wild strawberries? We picked 2 sap buckets full of wild strawberries. Never seen them since like that. Pick them by the stem. Whole stem or ripe strawberries, wild ones. I haven't seen any for years like that. [1:00] My grandfather went haying way off up in Granville woods on the farm way back up that belonged to a cousin of ours. They were so thick my grandfather even helped pick them! Can you imagine sitting there picking over 2 buckets of strawberries? (GS-Sounds like a lot of work.) I spent 5 minutes down at my flower bed picking wild berries and eating them yesterday.

GS   So did your grandmother take you aside and say now, Kit, I'm going to teach you how to do this or that?

KH   No, no, I don't know, just automatically went at it. Of course I didn't do much of that until I was married. Then I had to make all my kids clothes and patch my husbands things. I remember going down asking my grandmother for a patch from her husbands pants, till he had an old pair of pants that he had his own patches! [2:00] I don't know, but I had to go down and have her show me how to make the patch on his shirt or on his pants or something. I know my girls used to have to come home and have me do it. In fact my daughter over here now, I hem her skirts for her.

GS   And your grandmother taught you to sew?

KH   Um-hum. I imagine probably mother did some too because she was a seamstress. But with 4 small kids she didn't have time to teach anybody anything, make a living too.

GS   Did your grandmother hook rugs just for her pleasure?

KH   She braided them. I don't think she hooked them. I can't remember as my aunt hooked rugs but she might have. But they didn't have much material to braid with. Just whatever they had. So their rugs were not colorful at all.

GS   And was it just for home use or was it a hobby?

KH   Home use. [3:09] My aunt used to make them and sell them. She had a gift shop in the parlor of things that she made. And she made a lot of rugs and sold them, a lot of braided rugs and sold them. People would stop, you know, coming from out of state. I don't remember what else, she had doilies, she loved to crochet, which I don't care anything about. I can do it but I'm not crazy over it. And I'm not crazy over knitting either. I do make afghans, I've made a lot of those. But for sweaters and things I'm not interested. And my sister's a painter, she paints clothes. Oh, she's painted more T-shirts, sweat shirts. And she does quite a bit of painting. She's only painted one scene, when I was down last time, she lived in Massachusetts. She painted one scene. She painted flowers and fruits and made that unicorn over there. [4:11] She does a lot of craft work. One on the wall. But she hates buttons.

GS   Let's see, so you embroider also. (KH-I have.) Again you just start going?

KH   That picture was one it, it was a calendar. The picture itself was on it. I just had fill it in with the colors or whatever. The same picture as that is there.

GS   Was it printed on it? (KH-Um-hum.) Do you also design your own embroidery?

KH   Yes I have out here I have 2 that I designed on the wall out there. [5:02]

GS   The buttons sure liven stuff up. Are there other things? The reason I'm asking you so many questions about all of this is that one of the things that the Folklife Center focuses on are traditional arts, and the different ways in which people create. That's why I'm sort of persisting to ask you about this being so nosy. Are there other things you make that there aren't examples of out here that I could ask you about?

KH   No. I have for a number of years been making scrapbooks. I do that. Right now I'm down to just the Valley paper, cause I can't get anything out of Times Argus or Free Press anymore, they don't print what I want for a scrapbook. [5:58] What started me on that my grandmother had 2 scrapbooks, and I have those 2 scrapbooks. But she never wrote down the date on anything that she put in them. So you have no idea when they were. You have no idea why she saved this, why she saved that, except for family things. With mine I go on people that I have known or interesting placed I have been or what interests me. And I do the town one. I started in '67 I think, and I'm 10 years behind on it now, of getting the things together. Anything that has to do with the town that sort of historical I like. What'll happen to those books I don't know.

GS   You got to get your museum going. [6:46]

KH   And another thing, any people that have lived in town born in town or related to them I've taken the obituary out. And the other day somebody called up and wanted something. Oh, a friend of mind had a heart attack and was killed in an automobile accident. And the town clerk called me up and she says Kit, do you know what Roy Rich's folks name was. And I says his father's name was Dan, but right not I can't think of his mother's name. But I says you wait a minute and I'll call you back. So I went up and got my brother-in-laws, which is my sister-in-law over here, obituary. And see it was Alice, so I called her back. Well she says we can't find any Roy Rich born in Warren. I said the rest of the kids were. [7:30] And she says I wonder about Waitsfield. And I says read me off the names of the Rich's that you have written down in Warren and Waitsfield. And she says this one's Clarence Roy and his father's name was Dan and is mother's name is Alice. Well I says must be Roy was Clarence and nobody knew it. And that's who it was. But there's lots of things like that that come up. They just put the ones that are left, they don't put the whole thing in. But if you keep coming along you get them all after awhile. So I've got those alphabetically. (GS-alphabetically by-) by families. Anybody wants to look up they can go look at the Richs or look at the Blairs or whoever.

GS   Does that mean you got 20 some odd of them, or do you combine letters? [8:22]

KH   They're all in one book, more or less. As you get one filled you just go on, ya. A-B-C-and D maybe in one and E-F-G in another and so on. So when I start pasting again, I've got a million books I have to get out. And I have my own scrapbooks. When I went to England, Scotland or Wales I made a book on all that, things that I brought back. Lots of times I get postal cards rather than taken snapshots. And another thing that we do with our buttons right now I'm making a Vermont history with buttons. (GS-How so?) [Walks away from mic. to get button work. 9:44] There's a lot of research that goes into this. I have quite a few button books.

GS   So these are buttons then that (KH-Military.) Is this the seal of Vermont on them?

KH   Yes. There's a lot of different seals. Some of the trees have 4 branches, some have 8, some have 6.

GS   So were these people who, were these buttons on the uniforms of people who served in Vermont regiments then? (KH-Um-hum.) [10:33] Goodness, I had no idea there were so many, first of all I had no idea there were any buttons that had anything to do with Vermont.

KH   This is not the same picture, but it's near enough so that you'd know it was the same. There are Vermonters and these were the Jefferson and those.

GS   How did you, are you creating this from scratch? Or is there some thing to go on?

KH   Well a friend of mine in Norwich, Vermont has started one, mother goose. So we had a program where you had to take a state. I took Vermont for one, and I did New York, I started New York.

GS   And are you basically going, you sort through your buttons and see what you got that seems like it relates.

KH   Um-hum. When you find one that relates or got a picture then you hunt.

GS   Hunt for stuff to put with it?

KH   For picture or buttons.

GS   Oh, you knew who wore these, Pat Parker whose father worked on the Canadian Pacific.

KH   That one I did. [12:03] It's fun trying to find different things. Every little while I find something on New York or Massachusetts or something. Oooh, if I only had the picture to go with that or the button to go with that.

GS   So this is a dual project then. This brings your clippings together with the buttons.

KH   That's right. See the idea of having this on here so these things don't. This the old railroad station which the girls, when I took this to the meeting the other day, we just had a program on Vermont at our annual meeting, button meeting in Middlebury. So this was my program. And then a friend of mine, Civil War buttons is his hobby. So he related those to Vermont. [13:03] That woman's doing that now in Middlebury. She's not making those buttons, she buys buttons and makes up these. Those are expensive buttons too. These were made in Pittsford. Stockbridge.

GS   How can you tell?

KH   We bought them at the house where they were selling them, a friend of mine about 10 years ago. And you can tell by the buttons and research the kinds that they made. And this was a letter that they ordered them, that we got there, those are the buttons that were made by the Durfees.

GS   Oh good Lord, so they were selling history basically at this place.

KH   Um-hum. Now I had this picture, now wasn't I lucky to find a button like that? [14:04]

GS   Yes! So the connection here is between the printing press in Vermont and a button that has printing on it.

KH   This is our official button, the fellow lives Texas now that made them. This is a story about a snake in Vermont. Whether it's true or not I don't know, so I need to hunt up a snake button. They couldn't find a picture of a school house so I had to use that.

GS   Reading, writing and arithmetic. And a sheet.

KH   That's interesting. Kid had to have a sheep raise for wool for his coat every year. Came out of an old Vermont history book. Here's your oxes. My grandfather had a Morgan horse. [15:00]

GS   Did you learn to drive/

KH   I never could drive. By the time I could find out which was gee and haw and the horse's gone. I could drive oxen cause they followed ya.

GS   Did your grandfather have oxen?

KH   No, but we did. My husband and I had oxen. (GS-to) sugar with. Pretty good sugaring up here with oxen. Now they just tap it and carry it to Waitsfield. (GS-You mean up here they do.) Um-hum.

GS   So this is a wine glass and about wineries in Vermont.

KH   It's from doing these ----------. And that said Vermont on it. Should be Albuquerque. (GS-Why do you say it should be Albuquerque?) Cause that's the balloon capital of the world. [16:02]

GS   I think Sabre Field designed this. (KH-You do?) Ya, the woman who did the stamp.

KH   The woman that does that, Ellie something.

GS   A whole new world here, the world of buttons.

KH   I got another one of these, and I guess I'll have another whole book of Vermont.

GS   We haven't looked at any of your photos. Should we look at a few photos quickly? Or are you needing to get going here?

KH   No, I haven't got anything on till 2 o'clock. Have to give a 90th anniversary. Mrs. Slater. She's in a nursing home now, but she's going to be up to her granddaughter's this afternoon. [17:00] So we were all invited up, open house. [pictures.] This is the tub factory. That was at the north end of Warren village.

GS   Oh, and you got them identified.

KH   And here it is again, a different view of it.

GS   [reading] Parker Mills, view from present location of Route 100, Randall Kelley's-

KH   This is the bridge, the lower end of Warren village. This was where I lived, the Austin farm. And this was the mill yard. It's all housing now.

GS   The Austin farm was also where they had the ski tow? (KH-Um-hum.) And that was your step father's place? (Um-hum.) That's where the butcher shop was and everything?

KH   No, he just butchered there. His shop was up in the village. And this is the grist mill. See, here's the Austin house right here, and that's the grist mill. And this was a fire in the winter time. It wasn't a flood scene. [18:03] But the water was going across here when I went home from school. And it washed this bridge out. Penstock from the grist mill came right over to here.

GS   Under the road? (KH-Ya.) What's that one? Board mill.

KH   That's the one that was here. That's what was left of the grist mill (GS-Oh brother, after the flood?) Flood and fire and everything else. This was the board mill too. This was the grist mill.

GS   Now this looks like it's from some kind of book. (KH-It was.) Did you put together a book of mills?

KH   No, I don't know where I found it. Some old book. This was Parker and Ford's mill, not Parker and Ford's, Henry Brooke's, down in back of it. [19:19] That's with the mill scene. This was the one nobody remembers the mill.

GS   But remembers some of the people.

KH   We try to identify them. But you see a lot of people that could identify them are gone. This was flood scene. This is the mill by the covered bridge, below the covered bridge. That's another flood picture. This was when they built the dam. After the flood of '27 had to rebuild the dam. And they did that probably 5 or 6 years ago, they did the dam over again. And they had to tear it all to pieces and mark it and find out how it went. And I says for god sakes, there's a picture that shows how that looks. And that was the one. [20:09] This was some of the mills that were washed out. This was the house that was near the dam. This is one of our old mills. And the south side of the village, just before you hit route 100.

GS   These mills were, there were lots of mills going at once. It wasn't as though-

KH   That's right. And this is a story a fellow wrote and sent to me, Roy Parsons wrote about his father's mill of Aserill Parsons.

GS   Which mill was that?

KH   Parker and Ford. See this was the first one.

GS   And you've identified.

KH   Well he sent that map of what he could remember where the mills were in Warren. [21:00]

GS   Oh, a clothespin mill.

KH   He said as best as he could remember these were the locations of the mills, when he was young. He's older than I am.

GS   And you lived south of the village with your grandparents. So right about in where? [points out on map.]

KH   Here's Bradley's clapboard mill. The grist mill down here. Here's Will Thayer's mill, Thayer's dam where the pond, the dam as you know it.

GS   I see, so this is, which way's north?

KH   This is south here, Mill's brook, and this is north. The grist mill. I have a hard time finding myself on a map. [22:02] This was the one, sometimes I forget.

     [End of interview.]

Dublin Core

Title

Interview with Blair, Rupert -- TC1991-0035

Creator

Source

VFC1991-0004 Mad River Valley Collection. Vermont Folklife Center Archive, Vermont Folklife Center, Middlebury, Vermont, United States of America.

Date

Rights

Copyright (c) Vermont Folklife Center

Language

English

Type

Identifier

vfc1991-0004_tc1991-0035

Spatial Coverage

Vermont (state)
Washington (county)
East Warren (inhabited place)

Sound Item Type Metadata

Transcription

Vermont Folklife Center Archive

Vermont Folklife Center Archive

Mad River Valley Project/VFC1991.0004

Katherine Hartshorn/TC1991.2007

 

GS   Greg Sharrow

KH   Kit Hartshorn

Place   Warren, Vermont

Date   June 10, 1991

GS   I'd like to hear about you. I assume you're a native of this region.

KH   Ya, I was born here in town. Married here in town, lived here all my life. Except for the time when I was away to school. I went to Johnson teacher's college and taught school in Moretown for a couple of years before I was married. I ran the school bus for 15 years I think and taught physical education at the 2 schools, substitute teacher for the 15 years. And then when my husband died I had nothing to do with school. This one open classrooms came in and I hate that. So I took up a business course and worked for the Dept. of Agriculture for 15 years. So I retired from there. [1:01] Then I've been busy ever since I retired with my buttons. I belong to Massachusetts and New Hampshire and New York. Did belong to Maine but they folded up. Vermont has one club. And I belong to another club in New Hampshire beside the state ones, and the national.

GS   I had no idea there was so much button activity.

KH   There isn't around here, although I've heard of a lot of people that have buttons, but they don't belong to clubs so we never hear of them. Want to know who they are, they collect buttons. I say I'm not a button collector, I'm a collector of buttons because I have everything. And usually collectors have specialties.

GS   How'd you get involved with buttons?

KH   Well back in 1944 when I lived down in the village I had 42 paper plates covered with buttons, people gave me different buttons. We sold syrup, and everybody that stopped looked at the buttons and some of them sent my buttons. And then when I retired, a friend of mine in Richmond got a hold of me and they had started a button club. [2:12] So I joined in '78 I think it was. And we've been going ever since.

GS   Did you grow up in the village?

KH   Ya, a mile and a half south of the village. That was where I was born. And then I lived right at the intersection going into Warren village in the old Austin house till I was 13. My mother died and I lived with my grandparents after that. And I was also married in my grandfather's house. And then when we set up housekeeping we were just a quarter of a mile above him. So I was always in and out of my grandfather's. After my mother died my aunt brought me up, and she lived to be 92. [3:05]

GS   Your grandfather then was your mother's father?

KH   Um-hum, Carlton. And the Carltons came from over Brookfield way. I have deeds where they owned property in Brookfield. My oldest daughter is a genealogy freak as they call them. And she's looking at genealogies for everybody, she's got the Carltons, the Hartshorns, the Lavandways, then she branches off onto the Boyces, my grandmother's side. She's not interested in buttons!

GS   What did your father do?

KH   My grandfather was a farmer. I never knew my father. My step father was a butcher. (GS-In Warren.) Ya. We had a big farm with big barns in it, right where the road is now. And he did the butchering and had the meat market. My father I think must of died quite early. [4:11] He was in World War I anyway.

GS   And then you grandparent's farm, where was it?

KH   A mile and a half south of Warren village. Right on Route 100. The house looks just the same now as it did 60 years ago. Except there was a big vine on the porch, and that's gone.

GS   Do they still have cattle there?

KH   No, it belongs to people from I'd say New Jersey, I'm not sure, I think it's New Jersey. I've been in and when they tore the inside of the house out, they called me up and they said we found this was 2 houses put together. Why I had often wondered why there was no cellar under the kitchen. And then it dawned on me that years ago my grandmother had said something about another house on the property. And they had pulled the house down and just joined it on to the old house. [5:03] And the window was right there between the two houses. So it doesn't look inside like it used to.

GS   Did you help out on the farm as you were growing up?

KH   I helped my grandfather hay, I ran the horse rake and I tumbled hay. I even did that for my father-in-law. Because he had the small farm over here.

GS   When you say over here-

KH   Over at the yellow house. My father-in-law. And all this house, this land was open and we ran the horse rake on it and hayed with horses. Except we finally got a truck and I had to drive the truck. That's where I learned to drive was driving truck.

GS   With a hay loader?

KH   No, pitched it on. I still have my old pitch forks. I asked my son the other day if he wanted them! He won't use them but I says you might just as well have them. My grandfather had just a few cows and sent cream to the creamery. I used to ride down to the creamery with him. At that time they had a creamery in Warren village. [6:07] And he'd take his cream down there, get his butter there and so on. And back in those days your lumber companies, mills didn't pay you in money, they let you trade at the store and they paid the store keeper. That was the way we started in, worked for Boran and Hunter. Parker and Ford I guess it was then. And used to go into the store and buy our groceries or shoes or whatever and then pay your bill when you got your check, or else they paid it. Henry Brooks used to do that a lot, and Roy Long who owned the store, get such a big build up he'd sell him some lambs. So Roy got a lot of lamb that way!

GS   And when you say we used to do that, do you mean you and your husband?

KH   Um-hum. He was a trucker. And then be became the road commissioner, and then he became select man, and then we worked for the state of Vermont for 10 years or more. He was a highway patrol man in this district. [7:10] We had our own truck, that was before the state put trucks on themselves. So after he died I kept my truck right on, my brother-in-law ran the truck until such a time as the state put their own trucks on.

GS   When you say truck, do you mean plowing?

KH   Yes, a dump truck and plowing.

GS   So you were assigned a certain portion of Route 100?

KH   Yes, he had Route 100 and Route 17 as far as Mad River Glen at that time. The route over the mountain wasn't open. Wasn't built until after he died. Sugar Bush came in after he died. So we were busy most of the time. We used to show movies at the Odd Fellows hall, to pay for the projector. And then I did visual education with that projector at the school. [8:08] Had dances, sold hot dogs. He was an Odd Fellow and I was a Rebecka.

GS   When you taught school full time it was in Moretown. (KH-Um-hum.) And here in Warren it was substituting. And was physical education what you studied at Johnson?

KH   No, visual education. (GS-I'm getting my words) I might have too, I don't know. It was visual, it was the first time it come in. And I had a minister friend in Fitzpatrick in Montpelier who supplied with the films. And I tried to get them on the subjects that the teachers were teaching, but it was kind of hard. But I remember when I had one in E. Warren up there one day we looked out I had one on moving by van across the country with the big moving vans? We looked out the window and there was a moving van going by! The kids were really excited about it. [9:11]

GS   So in that capacity were you sort of affiliated with the library then?

KH   No, I didn't get in any of the school business except that. I was running a school bus and substituting and teaching visual education. Lots of mornings the kids would come out and say the teacher hasn't come yet, you coming in until she comes? Because she was up in E. Warren snowed in. And so I used to start school for him sometimes.

GS   At that point had the district system shrunk to the point where everybody was in one place?

KH   Ya, we had 14 to start with, 14 districts. But in those days we only had 2. And then after that we have just one brand new school.

GS   What about the river? Were I live if you come up through E. Braintree, I'm into the Brookfield Gulf and there's the Williamstown Gulf. Day before yesterday I had to drive through here. And it feels pretty gulfy, but it's called the Granville Gulf. (KH-Yes.) Does the river start up in there? [10:21]

KH   Yes, it starts in Granville on one side of the hill, right with in sight of each other as I understand, I've never been to it. The White River states and runs south. And the Mad River starts and runs north. It's hard to see where the Mad River has started because it's mostly swamp there, but you can see. But you can't follow it there because there's a quick silver bog there. They used to tell about oxen and cows getting lost in that bog, they just sink right out of sight. So you have to get into woods up above it I guess. I've always been going to do it but I never have. Of course Mortimer Proctor gave the land on both sides of that, so many rods or acres or something to the state of Vermont to preserver forever. [11:07] So there's always been a fight about widening the road. The first time they widened it there was quite a fight, but it needed to be widened because you couldn't pass each other, you couldn't meat each other, you have to go to a turnout. So if you met anywhere else one got to back up to the turn out. So they got it widened and black topped. And every little while it pops up, oh they got to widen Granville Gulf. So we're all ready to fight against it. That came up the other day at the planning commission meeting. I've been on the planning board for about 20 years and board of adjustment for about 20 years. So otherwise if I hadn't been I wouldn't know what was going on in town, cause they're all new people. Met an awful lot of them. We have managed to keep some natives on our board of selectman. There's 2 that were born here, DeFreese and Blair. [12:05] But I'm the only one on the planning commission. Well no, there's one other now, one young girl went on. So there's 2 of us on the planning commission.

GS   Are new people and older people of one mind when it comes to planning?

KH   To me it seems, now maybe my idea, but I really am getting sick of it for this reason; the people that have moved in here and have bought and built are the ones that try to tie up the zoning and tighten it and tighten it and tighten it, so that you really have no, you have no freedom. And a lot of them don't own land, they don't understand what it means to own land, but they want to look at it. So they put in what they call the meadow zoning law, and that means you can't build on the meadow itself, you got to build on what is not meadow land. [13:05] Well that's kind of hard sometimes, you know. Because you know there's rocks and there's mud and there's swamps and everything else you know that you can't build on. They won't look at it. They don't want anything built on it. But who made it? The farmers, and they're penalizing them. But I have to enforce it which is hard sometimes to be fair, both sides, and meet the regulations too. And the rest don't always agree with me which is natural. But we do have very active boards cause we have very active meetings.

GS   Is there a lot of fiery discussion at these meetings?

KH   No, not too much. You listen and make your own decisions more or less. I sometimes think we ask too many questions that's none of our business to ask. But sometimes you feel as if you got to know a little bit more before you can decide. [14:11] And some of them get a little irked about it. Some of the lawyers you know we deal with.

GS   It seems like here in these valley development is so present, that being on the planning and zoning board for 20 years you really have had quite a thorough exposure.

KH   All the changes, ya. Sub divisions have been terrible in the last 5 or 6 years. The land that used to be open is now full of forests and brush, and the land that was the other way has changed too. I have pictures where the land was open, now it's closed in and pictures where the land was open, closed in is now open. [15:00] And of course we only have one farmer left in town. One dairy farmer. But we have a deer farmer that's just started up farming deer. Went out of the milking and into the deer.

GS   I noticed as I came down into E. Warren, someone was building a new barn right there at the-

KH   Yes, that's our only farmer. The town bought the development rights on that big farm and then sold the farming part to him. One of his children live in the farmhouse and they just built that barn, tore down the old one. And he lives over beyond the airport, over on that road. Big family of boys. But he's getting old, he's not going to be able to farm very long. Just hope the boys can hold on. May divide it up into 4 or 5 farms again, you know it's hard to tell. [16:00]

GS   I understand that you mentioned, and I've also heard that there were a number of different industries on the river here.

KH   Well there was a lot of mills before 1927. A lot of dams on the river. But it just cleaned them right out. But there was quite a few mills when I was living in the village. There was Brook's mill that burned out was rebuilt and then burned again. And there's a great big house right by the dam now which spoils the whole thing. But there was part of the mill left, so we had a right to build to replace it. If I'd known what it was going to look like I would of wanted it look more like a mill which we expected is was going to, but it doesn't.

GS   What kind of mill was Brooke's mill?

KH   Bob and mill, lumber mill, made trellis there. During the war the girls worked there which was unusual. I'd forgotten that some of my friends worked in the mill during the war cause the men were all gone. [17:05] And then there was the bobbin mill which is the only mill left but it's crafts and things are made in there now, Barry Stimson and company. Make chairs, they make boat seats and I don't know what they don't do in there. It's the only real industry in town. It's the only place they can have one with the electricity, the voltage that they need is the only place there is. So we can't expand too, too much.

GS   And this mill that you're mentioning, is was in the past also a bobbin mill?

KH   A lumber mill. And ya, they made bobbins there too. My husband trucked for them for quite some time.

GS   And what was it called?

KH   Parker and Ford at that time. And then Bowen and Hunter. And before that it was Millers, which was built when first started, Millers. And then there was one up near my grandfather's house, and we always boarded the owner of that mill. [18:17] And he had a partner who lived down in the village. I used to go with my girlfriend who lived next door to get her father's check from and Neil every Saturday night and then play cards with Mrs. Neil. That was quite an occurrence.

GS   To get who's check?

KH   My girlfriend's father's check. [18:41]

GS   What kind of mill was that?

KH   That was a lumber mill. Strictly lumber. I don't remember of anything else being there. Most people won't believe that there was a mill there, but I have a picture of it so I prove it. I got them. And then there was a mill down where I lived that was a lumber mill. Used to belong to Austin. Right now there's a whole development in there, little houses.

GS   And where is that?

KH   The north end of the village.

GS   The place where you mentioned that you're step father had a butcher shop? (KH-Ya.) [19:18] So they were clustered right together there then.

KH   Ya, the mills were quite close. There was 5 or 6 right in the village, right on the Mad River. There was one on Freeman Brook, I never saw it but there used to be one on Freeman Brook. There was one over here, the foundations of the mill are still there, but I can't figure out where the dam was.

GS   When you say over here you mean-

KH   Over by his sister-in-law's. They had a mill there, saw the lumber to build the house and the barn. And probably the other houses up in here that are gone now. A lot of these back places. Well with 14 districts of school you can realize how many people that lived here. [20:00] As big a population as we have now. But it went down to 4 or 500 there for a long, long time.

GS   And what is it now?

KH   Over 1,000.

GS   Now what about one time I went swimming down south of the village.

KH   That's what they call Warren Falls now, but it was Carlton Falls cause my grandfather once time owned it. And then Thayer had a mill there. And they had a dam. So it was Thayer's Dam we called it in those days. But it was originally Carlton Falls.

GS   And probably I think it was 12 years ago I was down in there, there was a building down in there. Is it still there?

KH   I don't know, I haven't been over for a long time, but I doubt it. The police have had an awful time with that, you can't keep people out of it. Of course it's private property. And even people have got killed there, diving into those rocks, there's a whirlpool under there too. [21:0]] But no matter you put a gate up and they pull it down after dark. My niece lives right across the road.

GS   What kind of mill was that?

KH   A lumber mill. Just a one-man mill really. Just did it on his own. His grandfather, ya it was his grandfather owned the mill on Lincoln Brook too, which was a bobbin mill, Parker and Ford's mill originally. So it runs in families.

GS   So it sounds like lumber mills were the name of the game here.

KH   And bobbin. There was a tub factory at the south end of the village. I have a very good picture of that. It's on the by-pass now. They route 100 so that the old route is the by-pass. [22:00]

GS   And was it to make stock watering tubs?

KH   Butter tubs, maple sugar. (GS-So smaller tubs.) Ya. And they probably did other things there, but they always called it the tub factory. They used to make caskets in town too. There was a lot of little businesses. They think now there's a lot of businesses in the village. Well the trouble is they require cars nowadays. And in those days horses. And people. I think there was as many businesses then as there are now cause there was 3 blacksmiths. And there was 4 stores. Post office. Now it's just little shops. We still have the Picture Inn, that was there then only it wasn't an inn. It was a private home and she turned it into an inn. But that's been in existence since '24-'25. [23:03]

GS   What were the 4 stores?

KH   Grocery stores.

GS   So with a population of 400 there are enough people to support 5 stores.

KH   Um-hum. Had everything in them you know. Small stores, post office was in one for awhile and it went into a building by itself. There was a millinery store. And of course they had little knick-knacks in there. (GS-Buttons?) Candy. I don't know, no people weren't interested in buttons those days, only to sew on your shirt. We had the first ski tow in town too, in the whole valley, on the Austin farm.

GS   On the Austin farm.

KH   That's the one down at the end of the village, town owns it now. They own the gravel on it.

GS   So it was a more modest slope that these things out here?

KH   Oh yes. Woodstock you know had the first one in the state. Well their machinery was what they used, their old machinery. Four or five men here in town got together and got the machinery and set it up. And they had a mechanic run it. Roy Long who owned the store furnished the rope. It's just a community affair.

GS   So it was to benefit people who lived in town who wanted to ski. [24:24]

KH   That's right. They had an outing club that sponsored it. Pap Gaylord skied there. He had his skis, we had a bicentennial 2 years ago. And he told about skiing in Warren and had those great big tall long skis you know that they had, with just a strap over them. You didn't have anything to hold your fit in. Most of those that skied there are gone now. They're Hap's age of course.

GS   So it was a lively village center it sounds like.

KH   That's right, it was a village center, really a center. We used to all gather in the village, waiting for the mail at night. Or go to the post office to get our mail. We used to play hi spy and hide and seek and kick the can and things in the middle of the village, a group of us. And there was scales there to weigh wagons. That was a good place for the goal you know! [25:28] But you didn't have the trouble in the village that you have nights now. By 9 o'clock everybody was home and gone. Now the children are out running around, 10-11-12 o'clock.

GS   What kind of trouble do you have?

KH   We don't have too much now in the village. But they're noisy and playing and aren't careful of other people's property more or less. We used wouldn't dare go on anybody's lawn unless we asked permission or go across their land to go fishing unless you asked permission. Doesn't make any difference nowadays, they do it. I have quite a time keeping snowmobilers off my sister-in-law's land over here. We like the open fields, we don't like to see the tracks of snowmobiles on it. [26:22]

GS   Parker and Ford? I've heard about big lumbering operations down and around Pittsfield and Stockbridge where there were big lumber camps up on the mountain. And then they haul stuff down to-

KH   They never had any of that right around here. Parker and Ford bought their logs. People logged them off. Clarence drew the logs for them. But in Granville they had big lumber camps, cause a friend of mine used to cook in the lumber camp. I don't know what her husband did, but she was a cook. Probably helped her too cause he was quite a small man. [27:08] And my uncle worked in those camps. Camp No. 9 I think it was, used to be just over the town line way off in the woods in Hollow. My step father was an Austin, and the Austin's settled in that area, they owned quite a bit of land. Let's see, is there any descendant now? I have a nephew that built a log cabin up in there on land that was left. But he sold out now so there's none of the family that owns any land here now.

GS   So here it wasn't the big lumber camps. These were smaller operations, people hauled stuff down.

KH   Um-hum. The Allen Brothers which owned Asbury Allen Basin up there, I don't know if they ever had a lumber camp or not. They had a camp up there I think was more or less for hunting. That's where Sugar Bush is now. Because when they were logging that off for Sugar Bush, the Rice Lumber Co owned that lot. And they couldn't get up in there with their car, so the boys came up and asked me to take them up with the jeep. And that was soon after my husband died, and I had the only vehicle that would go up in. [28:29] So different now. And that was all open land, all farms up in there where the golf course is and everything.

GS   Is it right to ask when did the big change start, or has it been changing all along?

KH   Well as Rupert Blair said in his speech at the bicentennial he said there's always been a change and we have coped with it. He says we change from farming and agriculture as we knew it to mill town. And then as change to recreation. It's the way it's gone. Of course when the mills went out, young men all left. My brother-in-law [End of tape 1, side A.]

GS   [Tape 1, side B] When the mills went out, do you mean after the flood?

KH   After the flood. And before, you see they used to work on a farm. But how can you farm in town of Warren or in lots of places in Vermont on these back hill farms and make a living? We existed, that's about all you could say, we really didn't live as you think of living now. I remember we lived on salt pork and potatoes and our vegetables and canned our meat, canned our garden stuff. Bought very little store, had our maple sugar, made our own butter. I did that for 16 years after I was married. When I bought butter I didn't like the taste of it so I went on to oleo, and I've never gone back to butter. We used to make our own ice cream. Own bread. See my mother making after loaves of bread. And after my step father died she had to work for a living so she cleaned houses and did sewing and so on. So you just got by, that was about it. [1:09] I never had new clothes. She made them all. I made all my kid's clothes till I went to school. I remember we wore long black stockings all winter and had one jumper to wear, different blouses to go with it. And we walked to school. We didn't have to be transported and then have a gym to give us exercises. We had chores to do, so you were busy all the time. Biggest job was getting wood in for the fire in the winter time, that was the kid's job. Sprouting potatoes so we could plant our potatoes was another job we hated but we did.

GS   Now sprouting potatoes, you'd cut them so each one would have an eye. [2:00]

KH   You take the sprout off so you could cut the eyes. Of course they started growing you know long last of the winter. Then the damp cold wet cellar, that wasn't a very good job. No electricity in the cellar.

GS   Was this at your grandparent's?

KH   No, at my mother's.

GS   How many of you were there, kids?

KH   Four of us. I had a brother and 2 sisters.

GS   Did you all go to your grandparents after your mother died?

KH   No, my mother had married again so my second step father took my brother and my oldest sister. My youngest sister was only 6 years old so she went with my uncle in Massachusetts. My brother settled in Montpelier and got married. And has 3 boys and 3 girls. He had polio, probably 40 years ago. So he's been a cripple since then. [3:00] But takes care of himself, lives in a development in Montpelier.

GS   The mill work, the flood killed it.

KH   It killed it entirely, yes. That was it. The only thing left was to rebuild the bridges and the roads. That was a short-term job. A lot of the young fellahs went Massachusetts and things cause they couldn't get work on the farms, they couldn't make a living on the farm. You're working for somebody else, cause you usually worked for your board and a little bit more, board and room. They never came back to live. They've come back for vacations and things but they never come back to live. My sister-in-law's over here now, her husband died and she comes back, she's been back every summer I guess since she was married cause she brought her children up here summers to get them out of the city. So they're all crazy over the farm too now. The old homestead.

GS   Your husband you say trucked for Parker and Ford. Was that after the flood or before the flood? [4:17] (KH-After.) So Parker and Ford, they went back or continued?

KH   They didn't get flooded out. Some, there was some buildings gone. They damaged it some, but I mean it wasn't totally gone. And their dam I guess they repaired the dam, it wasn't totally gone. That's on Lincoln Brook.

GS   So it sounds like in the '30s this must of been kind of a depressed place.

KH   Well no, I don't think so. People didn't seem to feel that it was depressed. You were happy and you went about your own thing. We went to the village for what we needed. But it's odd; I didn't know anybody that lived up in here. Most people didn't know anybody that lived in E. Warren unless you happened to meet them when you went to the store. [5:12] Your just own little community. But my uncle belonged to the Modern Woodmen of America, and they met at different houses. And that took him Waitsfield and Warren. And I used to go to meetings with them so I knew people in all these places. But most of the kids in the village didn't. They were lucky, I remember if you went Montpelier it was a wonder. I rode out once, my brother and I in an old, old car, I don't know what kind it was now. My son told me what it was but I've forgotten. And when we got out by the cemetery in Montpelier everybody was yelling "Where'd you get that old thing?" Now you'd be crazy, everybody would want to ride in it. So we got out the cemetery and walked in Montpelier! I don't remember what we did coming home, but we walked in to Montpelier. [6:03] We used to call a day trip we used to go down around Bethel, back around through Randolph, Montpelier and home. Took a day with the automobile to do that and have a picnic lunch. Now you do it in an hour, hour and a half.

GS   In terms of the ways people moved, you moved up the valley. If you were going someplace you'd go up the valley toward or down the valley. What's the right language? Is Moretown up or down the valley?

KH   I say it's down the valley, cause it's down on Mad River. Mad River flows that way. So you go down. Fletcher Johnson in Waitsfield always argued with me. But I said you go down to Moretown. You may say you go over to Montpelier or up to Montpelier cause you got to go up the Winooski to go to Montpelier. Cause the Winooski flows the other way. So I go the way the river does. We have quite an argument in the paper a few years ago, whether you say you're going up to Waitsfield or down to Waitsfield. We always say we're going down to Waitsfield. [7:13]

GS   Granville and Hancock and Rochester, would you be less likely to go that direction than Waitsfield, Middlesex, Moretown?

KH   Waitsfield is our focal point. They have all the business down there.

GS   And has that always been true? I mean always in your memory?

KH   More or less, the bigger stores have been down there. My grandfather used to go down there to get his horse shod.

GS   With 3 blacksmiths in town?

KH   There weren't any blacksmiths in those days. The only one left had died. He used to always, there was one near where I lived. And he used to always to down there when I was in school. But when Frank Blake died, you had to go to Waitsfield for blacksmiths. And I remember grandpa and I used to ride down with a horse and buy a pound of fig newtons and a pound of cheese, and come home the back way through E. Warren, and we ate all the cheese and the fig newtons. [8:05] So grandma never got any! And we used to go down there for our groceries. There was a bigger grocery store. And my grandmother used to love sit in the car and watch people go in and out, because they knew the Jones quite well. Of course I went to school down there, high school. We had to board ourselves down there because it was impossible to get from Warren to Waitsfield. It was mud in the spring and snow and ice in the winter. None of us had cars. My girlfriend's brother had a Model-T, used to take us around. When we went to Johnson he used to come and get us or take us back. [9:00]

GS   Actually you answered this before when you said that E. Warren was it's own little community.

KH   Ya, they had their school up there. And years ago when Warren first started that's where it started was up there. And there was 2 post offices for quite some time. The mail used to come from Roxbury over the mountain. Gladys Bizzle still alive, she was the last mail driver over there.

GS   Is that cause of the railroad?

KH   Ya, and stage. Used to call it stage. And anybody coming into town came in that way. [9:36]

GS   So that mountain road has been important then.

KH   Yes, it was steep and narrow until it was widened. Some of us have been pushing to get it black topped. Others don't want the traffic coming down through the village. But there's a lot of people coming over there and you can't keep that road good. If the towns don't do it the state's going to do it. And you know what the state roads look like when they widen them. You know those big wide sides. [10:04]

GS   So are Warren and Waitsfield, are they sort of companion towns?

KH   They are now, it hasn't always been that way. But they have grown more that way. You see we have a tri-valley planning commission now, which takes in Fayston, Waitsfield and Warren. And we have a planner and delegates from each town, one selectman and one planning commissioner belong on the board. I go because I'm on the central Vermont regional alternate, so I go for them there. And it's run under the central Vermont regional, their secretary takes charge and Brian has a lot of help from them. So we have worked to be more compatible. Because of course the roads that go to Mad River Glen in Waitsfield and to Sugar Bush north and Sugar Bush south all hit Fayston. [11:07] And we hit Waitsfield and E. Warren and in other places. So it has worked to bring the 2 together. There are still a lot of differences. Waitsfield was when I went to school down there it was awfully hard for Warren students to get accepted. You felt you were an outsider. And even now sometimes you do. Different type of people. But I've had to work with all 3 boards and everything, so it's real compatible.

GS   How would you describe the different type? What's different?

KH   I don't know, it's hard to say. I think as the old ones go out and the new ones come in, they're kind of joining together because of the same kind. They come from the same places and the same life styles and things like that. But Waitsfield always felt that they were a little bit better than Warren. [12:01] They got their charter first, and things like that. But right now there's so many intermingled, the farmers in Waitsfield were Warren boys that bought farms in Waitsfield. My son was amongst them, he's gone out of farming now. The Neil boy bought a farm who was from the mill up here. The Irish boys, one went into the mill work and the other one went on to the farm work in Waitsfield. So really it has joined itself together more or less now.

GS   Now I wanted to ask about farming. In the bottom land in Randolph along either Ayers brook or the second branch or the third branch or the White River is generally the best farm land. As you go out from Waitsfield out all that nice flat land along the river. Is there flat land like that in Warren? [13:10]

GS   Not very much. There's Kingsberrys, which is at the southern part. And he doesn't farm any more. In fact some of it, one of it's got a store and a gas tank. His son runs the store and sells gas. And he sold his back lot to Sugar Bush who wants to put in that pond, you probably heard a lot about the pond for withdrawing water. Well that's going to go on the old farm there on the other side. But it wasn't good farming land any way. But that's the only flat land really in Warren. This Fords below the village, Bobby Rogers owns that, which is flat land. But you haven't too much in Warren.

GS   In Randolph there's quite a bit of land up on the hill, in Randolph Center there's good farm land and it's still farmed. [14:09] Was the hill farm territory in Warren, is it a pity that it's gone out of farming, or wasn't it that well suited?

KH   It wasn't that well suited. You had to have one leg shorter than the other on most of it. See this is level over here on my sister-in-law's, but it's not big enough. And there was 5 or 6 or 7 farms down this road. But none of them were big enough to really amount to anything. And then too you lost a lot of your farms when the bulk tanks came in. Cause a lot of those little farmers could not afford to put in a bulk tank. I remember my grandfather used to take his milk to the creamery or they'd pick it up beside the road for quite awhile. But then they had to have tanks that would keep the milk longer. So a lot of those went out even before the Sugar Bush came in. Sugar Bush changed everything. It went to recreation entirely. [15:09]

GS   When did Sugar Bush come in?

KH   '56 or 7, right in there somewhere.

GS   So quite a bit after the second world war. Did it start small? Or was it a big operation?

KH   Of course Mad River was in long before that. Sugar Bush started as a private, Damon Gad had money. And was more or less a playboy's place to begin with, the rich people from Europe and everywhere else. A rich man's paradise is what it was. And we got a long very nicely with that, it didn't expand very much and it stayed about the same, a nice little place to go and ski and so on, steep. [16:01] They didn't expand it so that they didn't get the big crowds. And then Damon sold it to companies. And they are entirely different. It's no longer personal or anything else, it's big business. And it's changed hands 3 or 4 times. So we just get dealing with a master plan or some expansion or something, and lo it would be sold and we'd have to start all over again. So but it's got to expand to be in business. And if the state doesn't come up with some water withdrawal figures that they can be compatible with, I'm afraid it'll go down the drain. And the people who are against it are the people that need it the most. They aren't going to draw that much water out of the river. When the water level goes down, they can't draw, because their pipes are to be put in such a way. [17:02] But people read the paper and say well they're going to draw a million gallons of water out of there every day. Well they aren't. When the pond's filled they aren't going to draw anymore anyway till they use it out of the pond. If you don't need it for snow you don't draw it. And most of us feel that the fire protection from the going up the access road is better for the town than most anything you could think of. It was our fire department definitely don't like to go into the river in the middle of winter after water. My son's chief. And my son-in-law over here is treasurer. They definitely are for it. And then they bought Sugar Bush north, Glen Ellen as it used to be. Which is better water coverage for snow in the winter time. So they did better over there. [18:02]

GS   This same company bought it?

KH   Ya, that's in Fayston. And they want to have an inter-tie in between north and south which we are against more or less, until they can prove that the traffic is not going to be too, the roads can take care of the traffic and all that stuff.

GS   What's an inter-tie?

KH   Well to join the 2 together, so you can ski from one to the other. But we're very leery about the road traffic and everything as they are now. So they got to come up with some pretty good qualifications for that.

GS   So Sugar Bush, I can imagine, I have my own preconceptions about how Sugar Bush must of changed here. How would you describe the kinds of changes that have occurred since the ski industry has gotten so big?

KH   [18:58] Well there's more sports, our paper's full of sports all the time. There's a sports center up there. And at the bridges they have swimming and sports center there too. And it's just grown big, you know what I mean. The people have come in, they've come in with their computers and they started businesses. I mean it's created an awful lot of businesses around the valley too. So it's a much busier place than it used to be. I used to be able to go to Waitsfield and not meet a car. Now they line right up in no time when the stop lights are on, down a the bridge right now. And there's a lot of people that are coming into the valley to work. A lot of people going out of the valley to work too. I never worked in the valley only a short time at a ski lodge. I worked for a ski lodge for a couple of years. But I didn't like the skiers personally. They were very insolent people coming in, thinking the natives were slaves. Was the type, the feeling that you got. [20:04] So I went right out of the valley to work and so does my daughter, she works in Montpelier.

GS   It seems like the sheer volume of people coming in here to there areas must of changed things a lot.

KH   You don't go down in the valley on Saturday and Sunday when it's skiing. You stay right away. And of course we're getting a lot of them up in here now. There's quite a few houses built on this road in recent years.

GS   I saw on the left as I was coming up, Lincoln Brook something or other.

KH   Ya. There's a road down in there and there's 3 or 4 my son tells me big houses over in there. Cause he's logged over there. And there's big houses gone up. There's been sub divisions. They say Sugar Bush hasn't created them but it has. [21:00] They had the condominiums up there. As people came, they got out of the condominiums and built summer homes or winter homes or whatever they wanted. So that has changed. We're even getting full-time families in the condos now cause it's the only cheap place they can go to live. Compared with buying land cause you can't buy land. None of us want to divide an acre here an acre there, it's too much of a hassle through Act 250 for any of those things. I'm doing a sub division right now. I'm sub dividing my house and 7 acres off from the rest of my land, and half an acre for my grandson up here so that he can build a garage. He's got a house up in back of me. And it's a hassle. I've been on the planning commission on one side, now I've got to go on the other side which I dread! I've been through the state so there's no problem there. But people want just an acre or 2 and they just can't sell an acre or 2. [22:00] Half of it won't perk, half of Vermont won't perk. And another thing that's bothered me with the people that have come in on the planning commission. They don't come in for what's a best development for the land they've got, it's the most development for the land they got. The most that they can get on. We've had an awful lot of people like that. And of course now with our sub division we can kind of steer them down, tone them down to be more compatible with the land.

GS   With our sub division?

KH   Regulations. You make sure that they're not leaving land that they can't get to or they haven't got any right to get to, or spaghetti lots as they call them. Things like that.

GS   Is that something that you as a part of this group have developed, sub division? (KH-Um-hum.) Did that grow out of your past experience in seeing what didn't work?

KH   That's right. And Waitsfield and Fayston sub divisions will be compatible, to a certain extent. There's always a little it of difference. But Brian's trying to make it so that if you go to Waitsfield for a sub division it's not that much different than it is from Warren. [23:16] The first zoning that they had I wasn't on the zoning board when it started. But the first one they had they didn't want houses here, here, here, here. So they put in cluster. Well the cluster definition was so far from each other so that they could be grouped together you know? That did not work. We got south village up there which most people think is terrible. And we found out it was not working. So then we put in a sub division regulation so that that wouldn't happen again. I like it now that it's grown up and I always thought it was landscaped pretty good for where it is. It's near Sugar Bush and it's a vacation area, so what? [24:08] But a lot of people were against it. And a lot of developers push you terribly and that kind of gets you down on some things that they're trying to do. But it's been interesting. I'm the only member on both boards, but I said you've got to have a member on both boards, so that the planning commission knows what the board of adjustment's doing, and the board of adjustment knows what the planning commission's doing. Not that it makes too much difference, but at least you have a knowledge of it.

GS   And what motivated you to get involved in the beginning?

KH   I don't know. Just wanted something to do I guess. Cause I was on before I retired.

GS   I met Rupert Blair a couple years ago. I forgot that he lived over here. He's quite an engaging fellow. [25:00]

KH   I saw Rupert yesterday. He's busy helping out people since his wife died. He takes meals and wheels, he takes people that need to go to the doctor or something like that. He's very active doing that. I don't know what else he's doing, he's at supper every night at his son's, only way he can get a hold of him.

GS   Are you involved with the community [phone] people like Rupert who've lived here for years and years? (KH-Ya.)

GS   How did your interest in history come about? Is that just part of your disposition? [25:48]

KH   I guess so. I don't know what started me. But one day the librarian called up and she says can you think of something the library can do for volunteer senior citizens? Says would you do anything? And I said one thing we could do would be to get old pictures, and have them reproduced. So I had 5 working with me. My aunt and 3 of her friends. They've all died since then. So my girlfriend whom I've very close to, we went to school together all our lives, have kept it on and completed these books and things. [26:33] And then when the bicentennial came on I was on that committee, nobody else wanted to be chairman, so I got most the planning commission worked with me on that. And the librarian and the organist from the church. So I had a connection with the church on that. And we took those pictures and had them reproduced. And we have 23 pictures in the town hall now, great big pictures blown up of the old mills and the old bridges, things like that. So we had a whole week of entertainment. We've had just one program for the Vermont Bicentennial. I'm done, I don't feel I want anymore. I'd rather go see what other people that do it.

GS   Did you hear a lot about how things were in the past as you were growing up from your grandparents and things like that?

KH   Yes, and then Rupert Blair's mother wrote a history of Warren. [27:31] But she got most of it from the Washington county Gazette or whatever it is, because I found when I got that was identical the same things. But she did have more of a history of the schools. They people who went and so on. And then when my son-in-law's parents died he got a hold of a book that should of gone to the town. It's the old record of the school directors. When they used to have clerks in each school. And each one wrote, so in that all of the names of the parents and their children or who had control of the children is in that. [28:14] So I have a copy of that which is very interesting.

GS   What years does it cover? Twentieth century or way back?

KH   No, probably from 1900 on, because my husband's grandfather wrote one year in it, and he taught school here in town. And then too there was a Sam Whitworth who came from England to Montreal, and then to Warren. A few months before he died he wrote his life story of London and Montreal and of his years in Warren. Of course he lived right next door to where I did when I was a child. And his kids and I grew up together. And I got a hold of that and got a copy of that. [29:02] And at his wife's funeral the other day, one of the sons told about his father's life and his mother's life. And so I said well I have a copy of his life history that he wrote. And I said the only thing in it he said my oldest son, my youngest son, my brother, he never put any names in. But I said in the one I did I said I put their names in. Instead of my brother I put his name in, Albert. And so the son called up the other day and he said Kit, I'd forgotten all about that history. You know where it is? I said I remember, I told one of you boys a number of years ago to watch out for a notebook, cause it just was in an ordinary notebook. And I said you'd want it in your father's handwriting, otherwise you can have mine to copy. And I haven't heard from him so I guess must be he's found it or looking for it. [29:57] Grandchildren got interested when they heard about that. And of course my daughter being a genealogist got me interested in history but not in family history as much as town history.

GS   So it's something that you got more involved with recently rather than from way back.

KH   Yes, I should of done it before I retired, because people have died that I should of interviewed and found out about.

GS   Have you done some interviewing?

KH   No, only just as I've talked with different people.

GS   Are there some people that you think I should speak to around here?

KH   You'd find out more from Rupert Blair about E. Warren probably. We were on Across the Fence last year. (GS-You and Rupert?) Ya. When they called up and wanted, I had to get the people together for it. So I got Rupert. And he stood in the store up in E. Warren which was his school house and gave his interview. Then I had the organist from the church interviewed in the church. And one of the newer people in the gazebo. We were at the covered bridge. [31:10] And then we went to Sugar Bush with Lucy Fortner. (GS-Who's that?) She was a secretary at Sugar Bush over 20-25 years, well from the time it started. And she's been our town representative for 8 or 10 years. She isn't now, she's on the environmental board. Governor just-[End of Tape 1, side B]

GS   The fabric of town here. You know in Braintree, as in every part of the state there are new people who have moved in, and there are people whose families have lived in town for a generation or generations. And in Braintree sometimes there are different points of view that follow those lines, about spending money mainly.

KH   Yes, that's a big problem here.

GS   But I wondered as I look over the mountain in my mind, it seems like there so many new people over here that it's I wonder how you feel about, do you still feel like this is your town? Do you feel like you have-

KH   In a way and in a way not. [1:00] I don't have much to do in the center of the village. I never go to the store down there. But I do run into the inn. Cause she's on the planning commission and I run in there to find what's going on and so on and so forth. But I mean we work together very, very good, both groups. They each have their own ideas. You go to the Christmas party down to the inn and you'll see people from all types of work and types of people in town, at the Christmas party there. Everybody brings in something and they all stand around and visit and things. Well I may know half of them. And there may be a lot that I don't know. And that's the way it is wherever you go. Of course the younger group, now like my daughter and one's her age are busy making a living. So they are not involved in anything. I went down to the farewell party for the minister last night. I don't belong to the church but I know him, been awfully nice fellow. [2:02] So I went down to that. But my daughter doesn't even know who he is cause she's never around when those things are on. And that's the way with a lot of the younger people that are grown up. They're natives, but in a way they aren't natives. But they do, they get along I think very good. I think they work together better than they used to. Got a very active working church group. And a good share of them are the new comers. A good share of them. It was quite a few of the older people there. Of course they're all dying off, if you stop to think, at 70, 70 years old or older a lot of them. So the ones that have been here, the Dockendorf that I had interview for Over the Fence, he came here because he likes the atmosphere, he like the people, he went around took the census, very interesting fellow. [3:00]

GS   How about the fire department? Does that include everybody?

KH   Ya, there's a lot of natives on that too. But yes, there's a lot of new ones on it. But they have a hard time getting people to be dedicated for it. You've got to take courses to keep up, you got to know what's going on. My son-in-law was on the bomb squad in the war, so that end of it he's interested in. My son's a chief and he likes to repair cars and keep things up. Very meticulous on what he does. He's a carpenter of the first grade. He's an old car nut too. He goes to all these old car shows. Regular old New England, what was it they used to call, the Coach Piles? Everybody had their coach pile you know. Everything you could find you put in that pile and when you wanted something you dug it out. He collects everything.

GS   Are there certain organizations that for you are sort of the center of your experience of community? Obviously you're involvement with the planning and zoning and the government of the town. Did you say you're still involved with the Rebeckas?

KH   No, the Rebecka lodge went out number of years ago and I never joined any other. [4:20] There are a lot of sports clubs and sport things. There's joggers, there's runners. There's groups that get together to walk around E. Warren then have lunch at each others homes. And of course in the Sugar Bush area there's a sports center that has a tennis, you know. I think those are the groups that are more prominent than anything else. The Green Mountain school in Fayston, you'll always see some of them jogging on the road or bicycling on the road or something like that. So sports really have taken over. And I'm not interested in any sports at all. When my kids were in basketball I liked to go because I knew them, somebody playing, I followed those trips every where, went every where. [5:09] When my daughter played. But ordinarily I'm not interested in anything. I get out and walk but I walk by myself because I'm a slow walker. Those are the clubs that seem to be. Music you know, there's a lot of people interested in the music. Skiing and horseback riding. I think that's where you'll find your social groups now.

GS   And for you, do you have a particular social group that you're especially involved with?

KH   Just the buttons.

GS   Who's doing the strawberry supper?

KH   Church usually has one. I don't know whether they are this year or not.

GS   I saw it advertised in the village.

KH   In Warren village? (GS-Ya.) Well that must be the church. [6:00] I'm not even involved in the church, but I know all the people in the church and go to their socials and things. But you can't be involved in every thing. If I can't work I'm not going to belong. Oh I have one other club that's interesting. We have a bus tour every October. I belong to that.

GS   Is it based here?

KH   No, it's the supervisors in Northfield. But it started in Calais for anniversary party for this man, for their 50th anniversary. The children got up a bus tour. And so 3 years ago I got in on it, cause my friend from Northfield wanted somebody to go with her and room with her. And they needed another person. Well they were the ones I knew. Her and a friend and a husband. Got on the bus I knew half of them cause they used to belong to the Farm Bureau. So we're going to Philly this year. [7:04] We went to Boston last year. 4-day trip. So it's kind of fun, places that you wouldn't go. I won't drive to Philadephia or in Boston or Montreal or Quebec or anywhere. Although I've driven to Albuquerque. I don't mind that. Just got back from a 5,000 mile trip in April.

GS   Where'd you go then?

KH   North and south Carolina, and Florida. Then we took a trip to the Bahama.

GS   No grass growing under your feet.

KH   Think I'll stay home next year and just go to Maine.

GS   Does this river flood regularly?

KH   You mean our brook here or the Mad River? (GS-Mad River.) The Mad River floods quite a bit, especially when it rains hard, comes up fast, then goes down fast. But our big problem is they won't let us take the gravel out of the river any more. And so it makes it flood more. [8:06] Used to take the gravel out you know in the places where it piled up, like the covered bridge down here and so on. And all down through Waitsfield. And then I think it floods more too because there's so much building. You stop and think how many roofs the water runs off from, and it's got to go somewhere and go in a hurry. And as it was logged off up in here this brook came up more often than it used to.

GS   Does it do much damage when it floods, or is it?

KH   Not so much now as it used to. There are some houses that get flooded every year, when the ice goes out. This year the ice didn't go out, so they didn't get flooded at all. But people should realize not build quite so close to the river.

GS   What kind of damage did they used to do?

KH   Wash the houses out. [9:00] But since the flood, the '27 it took out most everything that you could.

GS   Do you remember the '27 flood?

KH   Yes, I was in school that day in the village. And they let us out early. And I walked across the bridge, and the water was going around the bridge at that time. We had a pen stock that went across the road tot he grist mill. And that was washing out when I went across it. And then the little brook that went between our house and barn became a river. We couldn't even get out to go feed the cows, till it went down. Washed it right down like a river bed, right down through, whole road out. My mother died after that, she caught pneumonia. Went around looking at the damage the flood because Granville woods was washed out. [10:04] Couldn't get to the village because the covered bridge was up-ended on one end.

GS   This covered bridge?

KH   Um-hum. And the other bridge was gone. My uncle came up from Massachusetts and he had a hard time getting over Roxbury mountain the flood even, to see how his folks were.

GS   Good grief, if you lost your mother then, that must of been especially rough time.

KH   Ya, she caught pneumonia after the flood and other complications I guess set in. She died in '28. [pause]

GS   So many people seem to have had close calls.

KH   Ya. Roy Long's sister was lost in Waterbury. They never found her. That was really the only casualty, from the town really. [11:08]

GS   Did you play in the river when you were a kid? Swim?

KH   Yes, up to my grandfather's. We had a pool down in back. And then where we lived there was a bridge across the river down below, nobody ever believe it now. But we had a little hole down near that. Cause we had to carry our water for baths and everything, so we went down there every day to clean up. And it was a good place for the kids to play. When I was a kid I played on a little brook. We had rocks, we slid down the rocks right into a little pool. And we had a sand pit that we used to build houses in. Clay, you dig down far enough and that nice wet cool clay. [12:01] And most of the kids in the village played to our house because we had a big farm right in the village.

GS   You fish?

KH   No, I don't care too much about fishing. I used to go. We had a camp over on Otter Creek. I used to go but I'd rather stay and read. But I'd go cause my husband loved to fish.

GS   And fishing's better over there than here?

KH   Ya. Used to be a lot of fish in this brook here, but there isn't anymore. I think I caught one year before last and he's up in my pond.

GS   Has the river been important for recreation?

KH   It's getting more so. It didn't used to be so much only for fishing. But now of course the canoes, a lot of the canoes. They have a big company down in Waitsfield, Mad River Canoe. [13;02] A lot of interest in that. There's a lot of interest right now in paths, bicycle paths, walking paths and so on. Which is good if you got something to unite them to. There's another thing I don't get into. I got into the natural resource thing. we had to get the natural resources of the valley. We had a committee in 3 towns for that, listing all the houses and what they were, where all the roads were and all this and that and the other. WE had a grant for that which was interesting. Right now they're working on affordable housing, which not my cup of tea, so I'm not on that. [14:00]

GS   The site of the village here then is pretty much because of the falls? The fall of water? Is that how Warren village ended up being here?

KH   Yes, it started up in E. Warren. Then of course when they started needing lumber and things and the mills started up, of course they started up on the river. There was some on the brooks in back, but they weren't big mills, they were little mills made to build a house or something. And then of course as people needed things, they needed tubs, and they needed bobbins, they needed lumber, they needed shingles. Had a lot of shingles being made. At the time of the bicentennial I wanted to have samples of things that were made in Warren. So we got the bobbins. And I thought where are we going to get shingle that we know are made here? And I happen to think 2 of the houses in town had just had the shingle taken off from them or were having process of it. [15:04] So was all ready to go up and grab a shingle from there when the old Cardel house, which a cousin of mine owns, his barn had fallen down. I says you know that barns old enough, there must be some shingle up there that came off that barn. So I sent my son up. And in the process of getting shingle from that he found the trellises that Brooke's used to make, and a few other little things you know. And they made rolling pins. Different things like that. So we did have a few things that were made in those days here.

GS   Do you have a historical society?

KH   No, we haven't got one yet. They wanted to start one. But I hesitated to having anything to do with it till you got a place to keep things. And you just can't keep um in an ordinary building, you've got to have the atmosphere of that building either cold or warm or something all the time to keep anything. [16:00] And it's a job to keep books and keep pictures and things in the right way. So we have not started a museum yet, historical society. They only historical society is our group, works for the library.

GS   Now I want to ask you also about the various things that you make. Did you braid these rugs? [16:25]

KH   Um-hum. I braided 2 last winter. The red one, no the green one and this one last winter. And the year before I did the red one.

GS   And the ones that have pictures in the center, are those crocheted pictures?

KH   No, those are hooked pictures. That one was one of the stair treads, and that was one of the stair treads. But this one wasn't, I made that one up.

GS   And it that the bridge in Warren? (Um-hum.) How did you get started hooking and braiding rugs?

KH   Oh my grandmother always braided rugs. I learned from her, my grandmother and my aunt always made rugs. I have one upstairs in my bedroom which is 18 by 24 or something like that. It covers the whole of this up here. [17:14] I had it down here, I had it down to the other place. Then I had it here and I'd make it bigger. But it's so big I can't take it out. And so I went to the little ones.

GS   I've never seen a braided rug with a hooked run in the middle. Are you the one that thought of that?

KH   I don't know. I like them.

GS   Did she hook also? Your grandmother?

KH   Let me see, no, I don't think grandma ever hooked. No, there was a woman from Rhode Island taught me to hook the rugs. She taught the old-fashioned way with the old fashioned needle. I don't like the ones that they use nowadays. Nor I don't like the new hook, the things they use for braided rugs either. I do the old-fashioned braiding. Mine aren't reversible. But my grandma's weren't either. But I've had that one upstairs for 40 years. Why would you want a reversible one? [18:10] Those were made out of slacks that I outgrew or wore out. Turned them wrong-side out and braided them.

GS   Did you hook the geometric design ones there on the floor in the, as you come in the door? The two over there? (KH-Ya.) Do you just get those ideas out of your head?

KH   Those 2 I made up. The one out there was a pattern. I don't like flowers is the only one I did, I don't like flowers at all.

GS   So you usually make them up it seems.

KH   Um-hum. But I don't like hooked rugs now. I like the braided better than the hooked.

GS   How'd you happen to make the stair runners with all the scenes from your life? [19:00]

KH   Well I just made up my own designs.

GS   Did you just decide that would be a good thing to do?

KH   Well I had to have something on the stairs down to the other place, and they were open stairways, with the railing up. That was what I did rather. [pause.] But I don't know the material that these hooked stair treads are made of, last better than ones you got today. Because the fabrics today are mixed up, cotton and everything else in them or wool and something else. And these were strictly wool.

GS   And to do something, for example the one underneath your chair, which looks like a winter scene, the house and an out building, pine trees. Would you draw that on the?

KH   No, I just make it as I go. [20:06] Same as I do with the owls. I start with the eyes and that's it. Or the tip. Sometimes I start with the tip end of them. Cause somebody else wanted to make one, she said she spread all her buttons out. I said it won't work. You can spread them out, but when it comes to sew them on they'll be in a different position.

GS   And these owl bell pull banners. You just decided that would be a good thing to do with buttons? Just out of the blue? [20:39]

KH   Well I had seen pictures made with buttons which they older generation had made I'd seen at shows. Pictures with buttons on. But not completely covered.

GS   They remind me of, I can't remember who it is but there's some group in England that was completely covered-

KH   Oh ya, the Perleys. I have a jacket that's completely covered, and I'm going to have it sold at auction at the meeting this time because I can't wear it anymore and it's too heavy. But it's completely covered with buttons with owls on it. Owl design on it and filled in. But it's nothing my kids will want or anything, and I thought well maybe I can get rid of that. [21:26] I have jackets trimmed, I have a jumper trimmed with buttons. I wore it to the banquet the other night. And I was poked around, pulled around and everything else looking at my buttons! Cause they're pearl buttons, which you can't buy any more. And I have a jacket with pearl buttons around the arms and around the neck that I wear a lot. And I have a coat with designs on it.

GS   So you just started out with these buttons and said I guess I'll sew some on a- (Ya.) And now you must have what, 40 of them?

KH   I don't know, I've lost count.

GS   An awful lot of them. And you have, so do you just keep thinking of new ideas? I see up there behind you it looks like there's like a button painting of owls, a whole bunch of owls? Is that on fabric? (Yup.) Did you sew them on?)

KH   Um-hum. There's 2 of them over there too. [22:30] I've tried doing other things. But the owl I go back to the owls. I've tried putting a house on and scenes, they just don't come out right to me. I have a friend down in South Carolina who can't sleep. And so he has put buttons all over his car, glued them all over his car. He's glued them all over his casket. (GS-What's he doing with a casket?) Well he's made his own casket. Going to be buried in it. And he has a toilet stool with a tank all covered. And right now he's covering a hearse. I took him down some pearl buttons and he's put those on his hearse. Most of his are plastics, you know the light plastic kind. And he's got so he's making designs on his casket, he's got some beautiful designs that he's made. And his clothes are covered with buttons. [23:31] He's got 2 hats he plays ukulele and a banjo and he sings. He's been on the T.V. 2 or 3 times. I managed to tape him once or twice.

GS   How'd you meet him?

KH   I don't remember. Some waitress advertised in the paper or something about him. I saw him on T.V. so I wrote to him. And we write back and forth. I haven't met his wife yet, she's always working whenever I've been there. But she's a nice cute little girl. And he's retired. He's a Baptist. And I was talking with him in April, and he said I used to know everybody that lived around here, and he says I don't know anybody anymore. And I says join the crowd. [24:19] So it's changing there too.

GS   So what all have you made with buttons? What do you call the things here, what's your word for them?

KH   I call them hangers.

GS   Ok, you made the hangers, you've made pictures,

KH   Trim my clothes.

GS   What's this? What do you call that? (KH-The picture frame?) The round thing? [24:52]

KH   Oh that's an old aluminum bicycle wheel.

GS   But do you have a name for what you done with it?

KH   No, I just put streamers or strings or whatever you want. Buttons that I hated to throw away. No, my son gave me that aluminum wheel. It's an old, old, old wheel.

GS   And the buttons on picture frames, have you ever seen that done before?

KH   Yes. I've seen one. Most of them are shells. And I hate shells. I like to look at them and everything, but I have no idea of doing anything with them. These buttons in here are ones that I don't want to put on cards, fancy ones that hard to get. [25:51] I only did one painting. My friend the painter and I says don't tell me what's wrong with this, show me just what's good. And I did that upper painting of that sugar house. That's the only painting. I've done paint by numbers, I did those years and years ago.

GS   And you quilt, yes?

KH   Yes, I make quilts.

GS   Mainly crazy quilts?

KH   I like the crazy work. I have a log cabin bedspread that I made. I been wanting to make a quilt by quilt as you go, but I haven't got-[End of tape 2, side A] [Tape 2, side B]

GS   Did you learn a lot? It sounds like you learned a lot from her.

KH   Well my grandmother had bad knees. She couldn't get around very much. From the time I went to live with her as a kid she got around all right. But nowadays she probably would of been able to live alone longer than she did. But they used to think you know the daughter should come home and stay with mother you know? So my aunt came. Always lived with her mother and father. Grandma used to sit there, shelling peas and cutting string beans. One time she told us she would pick over all the strawberries that we could pick, wild strawberries? We picked 2 sap buckets full of wild strawberries. Never seen them since like that. Pick them by the stem. Whole stem or ripe strawberries, wild ones. I haven't seen any for years like that. [1:00] My grandfather went haying way off up in Granville woods on the farm way back up that belonged to a cousin of ours. They were so thick my grandfather even helped pick them! Can you imagine sitting there picking over 2 buckets of strawberries? (GS-Sounds like a lot of work.) I spent 5 minutes down at my flower bed picking wild berries and eating them yesterday.

GS   So did your grandmother take you aside and say now, Kit, I'm going to teach you how to do this or that?

KH   No, no, I don't know, just automatically went at it. Of course I didn't do much of that until I was married. Then I had to make all my kids clothes and patch my husbands things. I remember going down asking my grandmother for a patch from her husbands pants, till he had an old pair of pants that he had his own patches! [2:00] I don't know, but I had to go down and have her show me how to make the patch on his shirt or on his pants or something. I know my girls used to have to come home and have me do it. In fact my daughter over here now, I hem her skirts for her.

GS   And your grandmother taught you to sew?

KH   Um-hum. I imagine probably mother did some too because she was a seamstress. But with 4 small kids she didn't have time to teach anybody anything, make a living too.

GS   Did your grandmother hook rugs just for her pleasure?

KH   She braided them. I don't think she hooked them. I can't remember as my aunt hooked rugs but she might have. But they didn't have much material to braid with. Just whatever they had. So their rugs were not colorful at all.

GS   And was it just for home use or was it a hobby?

KH   Home use. [3:09] My aunt used to make them and sell them. She had a gift shop in the parlor of things that she made. And she made a lot of rugs and sold them, a lot of braided rugs and sold them. People would stop, you know, coming from out of state. I don't remember what else, she had doilies, she loved to crochet, which I don't care anything about. I can do it but I'm not crazy over it. And I'm not crazy over knitting either. I do make afghans, I've made a lot of those. But for sweaters and things I'm not interested. And my sister's a painter, she paints clothes. Oh, she's painted more T-shirts, sweat shirts. And she does quite a bit of painting. She's only painted one scene, when I was down last time, she lived in Massachusetts. She painted one scene. She painted flowers and fruits and made that unicorn over there. [4:11] She does a lot of craft work. One on the wall. But she hates buttons.

GS   Let's see, so you embroider also. (KH-I have.) Again you just start going?

KH   That picture was one it, it was a calendar. The picture itself was on it. I just had fill it in with the colors or whatever. The same picture as that is there.

GS   Was it printed on it? (KH-Um-hum.) Do you also design your own embroidery?

KH   Yes I have out here I have 2 that I designed on the wall out there. [5:02]

GS   The buttons sure liven stuff up. Are there other things? The reason I'm asking you so many questions about all of this is that one of the things that the Folklife Center focuses on are traditional arts, and the different ways in which people create. That's why I'm sort of persisting to ask you about this being so nosy. Are there other things you make that there aren't examples of out here that I could ask you about?

KH   No. I have for a number of years been making scrapbooks. I do that. Right now I'm down to just the Valley paper, cause I can't get anything out of Times Argus or Free Press anymore, they don't print what I want for a scrapbook. [5:58] What started me on that my grandmother had 2 scrapbooks, and I have those 2 scrapbooks. But she never wrote down the date on anything that she put in them. So you have no idea when they were. You have no idea why she saved this, why she saved that, except for family things. With mine I go on people that I have known or interesting placed I have been or what interests me. And I do the town one. I started in '67 I think, and I'm 10 years behind on it now, of getting the things together. Anything that has to do with the town that sort of historical I like. What'll happen to those books I don't know.

GS   You got to get your museum going. [6:46]

KH   And another thing, any people that have lived in town born in town or related to them I've taken the obituary out. And the other day somebody called up and wanted something. Oh, a friend of mind had a heart attack and was killed in an automobile accident. And the town clerk called me up and she says Kit, do you know what Roy Rich's folks name was. And I says his father's name was Dan, but right not I can't think of his mother's name. But I says you wait a minute and I'll call you back. So I went up and got my brother-in-laws, which is my sister-in-law over here, obituary. And see it was Alice, so I called her back. Well she says we can't find any Roy Rich born in Warren. I said the rest of the kids were. [7:30] And she says I wonder about Waitsfield. And I says read me off the names of the Rich's that you have written down in Warren and Waitsfield. And she says this one's Clarence Roy and his father's name was Dan and is mother's name is Alice. Well I says must be Roy was Clarence and nobody knew it. And that's who it was. But there's lots of things like that that come up. They just put the ones that are left, they don't put the whole thing in. But if you keep coming along you get them all after awhile. So I've got those alphabetically. (GS-alphabetically by-) by families. Anybody wants to look up they can go look at the Richs or look at the Blairs or whoever.

GS   Does that mean you got 20 some odd of them, or do you combine letters? [8:22]

KH   They're all in one book, more or less. As you get one filled you just go on, ya. A-B-C-and D maybe in one and E-F-G in another and so on. So when I start pasting again, I've got a million books I have to get out. And I have my own scrapbooks. When I went to England, Scotland or Wales I made a book on all that, things that I brought back. Lots of times I get postal cards rather than taken snapshots. And another thing that we do with our buttons right now I'm making a Vermont history with buttons. (GS-How so?) [Walks away from mic. to get button work. 9:44] There's a lot of research that goes into this. I have quite a few button books.

GS   So these are buttons then that (KH-Military.) Is this the seal of Vermont on them?

KH   Yes. There's a lot of different seals. Some of the trees have 4 branches, some have 8, some have 6.

GS   So were these people who, were these buttons on the uniforms of people who served in Vermont regiments then? (KH-Um-hum.) [10:33] Goodness, I had no idea there were so many, first of all I had no idea there were any buttons that had anything to do with Vermont.

KH   This is not the same picture, but it's near enough so that you'd know it was the same. There are Vermonters and these were the Jefferson and those.

GS   How did you, are you creating this from scratch? Or is there some thing to go on?

KH   Well a friend of mine in Norwich, Vermont has started one, mother goose. So we had a program where you had to take a state. I took Vermont for one, and I did New York, I started New York.

GS   And are you basically going, you sort through your buttons and see what you got that seems like it relates.

KH   Um-hum. When you find one that relates or got a picture then you hunt.

GS   Hunt for stuff to put with it?

KH   For picture or buttons.

GS   Oh, you knew who wore these, Pat Parker whose father worked on the Canadian Pacific.

KH   That one I did. [12:03] It's fun trying to find different things. Every little while I find something on New York or Massachusetts or something. Oooh, if I only had the picture to go with that or the button to go with that.

GS   So this is a dual project then. This brings your clippings together with the buttons.

KH   That's right. See the idea of having this on here so these things don't. This the old railroad station which the girls, when I took this to the meeting the other day, we just had a program on Vermont at our annual meeting, button meeting in Middlebury. So this was my program. And then a friend of mine, Civil War buttons is his hobby. So he related those to Vermont. [13:03] That woman's doing that now in Middlebury. She's not making those buttons, she buys buttons and makes up these. Those are expensive buttons too. These were made in Pittsford. Stockbridge.

GS   How can you tell?

KH   We bought them at the house where they were selling them, a friend of mine about 10 years ago. And you can tell by the buttons and research the kinds that they made. And this was a letter that they ordered them, that we got there, those are the buttons that were made by the Durfees.

GS   Oh good Lord, so they were selling history basically at this place.

KH   Um-hum. Now I had this picture, now wasn't I lucky to find a button like that? [14:04]

GS   Yes! So the connection here is between the printing press in Vermont and a button that has printing on it.

KH   This is our official button, the fellow lives Texas now that made them. This is a story about a snake in Vermont. Whether it's true or not I don't know, so I need to hunt up a snake button. They couldn't find a picture of a school house so I had to use that.

GS   Reading, writing and arithmetic. And a sheet.

KH   That's interesting. Kid had to have a sheep raise for wool for his coat every year. Came out of an old Vermont history book. Here's your oxes. My grandfather had a Morgan horse. [15:00]

GS   Did you learn to drive/

KH   I never could drive. By the time I could find out which was gee and haw and the horse's gone. I could drive oxen cause they followed ya.

GS   Did your grandfather have oxen?

KH   No, but we did. My husband and I had oxen. (GS-to) sugar with. Pretty good sugaring up here with oxen. Now they just tap it and carry it to Waitsfield. (GS-You mean up here they do.) Um-hum.

GS   So this is a wine glass and about wineries in Vermont.

KH   It's from doing these ----------. And that said Vermont on it. Should be Albuquerque. (GS-Why do you say it should be Albuquerque?) Cause that's the balloon capital of the world. [16:02]

GS   I think Sabre Field designed this. (KH-You do?) Ya, the woman who did the stamp.

KH   The woman that does that, Ellie something.

GS   A whole new world here, the world of buttons.

KH   I got another one of these, and I guess I'll have another whole book of Vermont.

GS   We haven't looked at any of your photos. Should we look at a few photos quickly? Or are you needing to get going here?

KH   No, I haven't got anything on till 2 o'clock. Have to give a 90th anniversary. Mrs. Slater. She's in a nursing home now, but she's going to be up to her granddaughter's this afternoon. [17:00] So we were all invited up, open house. [pictures.] This is the tub factory. That was at the north end of Warren village.

GS   Oh, and you got them identified.

KH   And here it is again, a different view of it.

GS   [reading] Parker Mills, view from present location of Route 100, Randall Kelley's-

KH   This is the bridge, the lower end of Warren village. This was where I lived, the Austin farm. And this was the mill yard. It's all housing now.

GS   The Austin farm was also where they had the ski tow? (KH-Um-hum.) And that was your step father's place? (Um-hum.) That's where the butcher shop was and everything?

KH   No, he just butchered there. His shop was up in the village. And this is the grist mill. See, here's the Austin house right here, and that's the grist mill. And this was a fire in the winter time. It wasn't a flood scene. [18:03] But the water was going across here when I went home from school. And it washed this bridge out. Penstock from the grist mill came right over to here.

GS   Under the road? (KH-Ya.) What's that one? Board mill.

KH   That's the one that was here. That's what was left of the grist mill (GS-Oh brother, after the flood?) Flood and fire and everything else. This was the board mill too. This was the grist mill.

GS   Now this looks like it's from some kind of book. (KH-It was.) Did you put together a book of mills?

KH   No, I don't know where I found it. Some old book. This was Parker and Ford's mill, not Parker and Ford's, Henry Brooke's, down in back of it. [19:19] That's with the mill scene. This was the one nobody remembers the mill.

GS   But remembers some of the people.

KH   We try to identify them. But you see a lot of people that could identify them are gone. This was flood scene. This is the mill by the covered bridge, below the covered bridge. That's another flood picture. This was when they built the dam. After the flood of '27 had to rebuild the dam. And they did that probably 5 or 6 years ago, they did the dam over again. And they had to tear it all to pieces and mark it and find out how it went. And I says for god sakes, there's a picture that shows how that looks. And that was the one. [20:09] This was some of the mills that were washed out. This was the house that was near the dam. This is one of our old mills. And the south side of the village, just before you hit route 100.

GS   These mills were, there were lots of mills going at once. It wasn't as though-

KH   That's right. And this is a story a fellow wrote and sent to me, Roy Parsons wrote about his father's mill of Aserill Parsons.

GS   Which mill was that?

KH   Parker and Ford. See this was the first one.

GS   And you've identified.

KH   Well he sent that map of what he could remember where the mills were in Warren. [21:00]

GS   Oh, a clothespin mill.

KH   He said as best as he could remember these were the locations of the mills, when he was young. He's older than I am.

GS   And you lived south of the village with your grandparents. So right about in where? [points out on map.]

KH   Here's Bradley's clapboard mill. The grist mill down here. Here's Will Thayer's mill, Thayer's dam where the pond, the dam as you know it.

GS   I see, so this is, which way's north?

KH   This is south here, Mill's brook, and this is north. The grist mill. I have a hard time finding myself on a map. [22:02] This was the one, sometimes I forget.

     [End of interview.]

Citation

Blair, Rupert, “Interview with Blair, Rupert -- TC1991-0035,” Vermont Folklife Center Digital Collections, accessed July 14, 2020, http://explore.vermontfolklifecenter.org/digital-archive/collections/items/show/1538.

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