Calcutta Fundraiser on May 30

Join us for our annual Calcutta fundraiser to support the St. Albans Historical Society & Museum. Tickets are only $100 each, and include dinner for two and one entry into the game – a chance to win the Grand Prize of $2,000!

6pm: Social Hour (Cash Bar available)
7pm: Dinner
8pm: Game Begins

There will also be a 50/50 raffle and a game ball will be auctioned off during the evening. Catered by our friends at the Dairy Center.

Learn more on our Facebook page

Purchase your ticket online using the PayPal button below:

Museum & St. Albans Rotary to host April Mixer


The St. Albans Rotary Club and the St. Albans Historical Society & Museum are co-hosting the next Franklin County Regional Chamber of Commerce Mixer on Thursday, April 16 from 5:30 – 7:30pm in the Bliss Room.

Join us for a great evening of community networking and learn more about the Taylor Park Fountain restoration project, as well as the latest news and updates from both organizations. There will be appetizers and a cash bar provided by our friends at Tatro’s and Twiggs.

All attendees will be entered for a chance to win a free 2015 Museum membership. It’s only $5 for Chamber members and $8 for all others. Learn more or pre-register on our Facebook page. We hope to see you there!

Womanspeak coming to St. Albans

Thanks to the generosity of volunteer director John Bielicki, the St. Albans Historical Society & Museum is hosting a performance of the play “Womanspeak” by Gloria Goldsmith, in recognition of Women’s History Month. Admission is free.

The performance, in a readers theater format, will be Saturday, March 28 at 7pm in the Bliss Room. A rehearsal will be held on Thursday, March 26 at 7pm at the Museum. If you are not able to attend but would like to participate, be sure to let us know.

Please feel free to share this announcement with those who may be interested.

Womanspeak is a play about the lost history of American women. A Contemporary Woman is in search of her roots. Out of the past, Abigail Adams, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Sanger, Eleanor Roosevelt and others show her that she is part of a great tradition of women who contributed to our history. Originally produced for the California Commission on Rights, it was later presented at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood.

Produced by special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service, Inc., Englewood, Colorado

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute St. Albans Spring 2015 Lecture Series

All lectures will be on Wednesdays at 11am and will be held at the St. Albans Historical Society & Museum, in the Bliss Room (third floor), at the corner of Church and Bishop Streets in St. Albans. The site is handicap accessible with parking behind the museum.

Circle of Sawdust: The Mud, Myth, Mayhem and Magic of Circus
Presenter: Mr. Rob Mermin
February 4, 2015

Rob Mermin, founder of Vermont’s own Circus Smirkus, will entertain with personal anecdotes and film clips of wacky characters and wild escapades from his background as a mime/clown in European circuses.

The Four C’s of Madagascar
Presenter: Mr. Hank Kaestner
February 11, 2015

This presentation will be about the island nation of Madagascar, located off the south east coast of Africa, but hardly related to Africa at all. It was settled by people from Malaysia (the first ‘C’: culture). It is the world’s major source of vanilla (the second ‘C’: cultivation). It is one of the most endangered biospheres in the world as it has the highest percentage of endemic wildlife while degradation of its forest continues with now less than 10% remaining (the third ‘C’: Conservation). Its main export (vanilla) is threatened by the growing use of artificial vanilla flavors (the fourth ‘C’: cheating).

Stuck in Vermont with Eva
Presenter: Ms. Eva Sollberger
February 18, 2015

Get Stuck in Vermont with web video creator, Eva Sollberger. Every week Eva travels around our state meeting artists, farmers, chefs, athletes and quirky characters. Then she produces a web video about the experience which airs on Seven Days every Wednesday and on WCAX every Thursday. Eva has been making ‘Stuck in Vermont’ for the past 7 years and has received almost 3 million views on YouTube. Learn what it takes to produce fresh weekly video content and how an idea becomes a story.

Winter Frost: Five Robert Frost Poems About Winter
Presenter: Mr. Peter Gilbert
February 25, 2015

Join Vermont Humanities Council executive director and executor of the Robert Frost estate, Peter Gilbert, for a discussion of five poems by Robert Frost that are about winter — from the first snowfall to the thawing winds of March. They are ‘The Onset,’ ‘Storm Fear,’ ‘An Old Man’s Winter Night,’ ‘Dust of Snow,’ and ‘To the Thawing Wind.’

South Africa Wildlife and Plants
Presenter: Mrs. Sheri Larsen
March 4, 2015

Sheri and Richard Larson will present a slideshow about the wildlife and plants they encountered in South Africa in 2011 during self-drive safaris in several national parks, including Kruger National Park and a visit to the Cape Town region. In addition, they will offer observations on the political and economic situation they found.

From Skiffs to Sail Ferries, the Small Boat Traditions of Lake Champlain
Presenter: Mr. Douglas Brooks
March 11, 2015

The stories of Vermont naval history and commercial shipping have been well documented by generations of historians. However, the traditions of small boat building throughout our state have remained untold. The bulk of our historic boatbuilding traditions involves Vermonters building their own boats, whether for pleasure or commercial use. The historical record illuminating this subject resides today mostly in family stories and photo collections. In this slide presentation, Douglas Brooks shares his research on these traditions and his work in recreating some of these historic vessels.

Even Boomers Grow Older – or — It Only Gets Worse
Presenter: Mr. Scott Funk, Financial Professional and Author
March 18, 2015

An Aging Advocate’s insights on aging, which we all do, and all dread. But considering the alternative, we might as well embrace the inevitable with laughter. After all, the best looking wrinkles come from smiling.

The White-tailed Deer – Forest Denizen
Presenter: Mr. Kurt Valenta
March 25, 2015

As part of the Exordium Nature Series, we take a closer look at the white-tailed deer. By moving through a variety of habitats through-out the year and taking full advantage of the adaptations with which Mother Nature has endowed it, deer have been able to prosper in the North Country. They are an important resource for many and bring a sense of beauty to the woods. The presentation will travel with the deer from spring and birth to the hardships of a cruel winter, allowing participants to appreciate the many challenges it must face.

A Current Assessment of Cold Hardy Grapevines in Northern Vermont
Presenter: Mr. Erich Marn
April 1, 2015
NOTE: Location for this lecture will be at Due North Winery, Franklin, Vermont

We will talk about the various types of grapes available to the northern grower and the the basics of vineyard establishment. This topic will focus specifically on wine varietals, include an in-winery overview of the winemaking principles, and finally will discuss expectations for future industry growth.

The St. Albans Boys of WWI: Joseph Evarts and the 103rd Machine Gun Battalion
Presenter: Mr. Brennan Gauthier
April 8, 2015

A large contingent of fresh-faced doughboys from Swanton and St. Albans travelled together to the trenches of France as a unified group of machine gunners. St. Albans’ own Joseph A. Evarts heroically led a company of local men through the gas, mud and rain of France and returned home in 1919. This presentation will highlight some of the battles and exploits of the St. Albans boys during the First World War and will hopefully shed some light on the “forgotten war.”

Birdscapin: Saving the Bird in the Bush
Presenter: Ms. Bridget Butler
April 15, 2015

Songbirds in our region are experiencing a number of stresses that impact their populations. Find out how you can provide a backyard haven and beyond for them through gardening and landscaping. Learn about making the most of your property for birds throughout the season and how to find resources in your community.

Inventive Vermonters
Presenter: Mr. Paul Wood
April 22, 2015

In spite of the state’s small population, there have been a large number of inventive Vermonters – especially for labor-saving agricultural tools and implements. Paul Wood, agricultural historian, will tell the story of some ingenious and surprising Vermont-invented and Vermont-made farm tools through an illustrated slide show. He will bring a variety of interesting tools and implements found on a typical Vermont farm and used in the field, barn, workshop and kitchen – from bull staff to sap regulator, ox bow pin to milk tester, and boot dryer to butter worker.

Membership Information

Payment of membership dues entitles subscribers to attend all sessions of the current semester. Lectures are also open to non-members for a fee of $5 per lecture. Semester membership fees are $40 per individual, or $70 per couple. Become a member today – learn more on the OLLI website.

Membership in your local OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) entitles you to attend programs at any of the other 7 OLLI sites throughout Vermont, as well as EEE-Burlington (Elder Education Enrichment). Your active OLLI membership also entitles you to the discounted member rate for the OLLI programs on the UVM campus. Simply present your membership card during the corresponding semester.

Holiday Lights Party at the Museum

We know our scheduling is a bit off this year…but it’s never too late to celebrate! Please join us in the Bliss Room on Saturday January 24 for our Holiday Lights Party. It’s our annual commemoration of the season and another great year at the Museum. Tickets are $30 each, and include a buffet dinner by Gary Tatro. A cash bar by Twigg’s will be available, and the evening will feature music and dancing with the Weed Imperial Orchestra.

Social Hour: 5:30-6:30pm
Dinner: 6:30-7:30pm
Music & Dancing: 7:30-9:30pm

Please consider bringing a donation to support Martha’s Kitchen and their important work in the community. They are currently in need of the following:

- Ground coffee
- Bags of sugar
- Salt
- Bottles of Vegetable Oil
- Clorox Wipes
- 7″ lunch size paper plates
- All sizes of Ziplock storage bags
- Cans of soup
- Peanut Butter

You can make your reservation by contacting the Museum office at (802) 527-7933 – feel free to leave us a message – or you can purchase your ticket online by using the PayPal link below:


Holidays at the Museum

Celebrate the season with the St. Albans Historical Society & Museum.

Thank you – we appreciate your support at our Carol Ann Jones Quartet concert and with the Festival of Trees.

If you are looking for something local to give this holiday, you can find the perfect gift for anyone on your list in our online Gift Shop. We have 150th St. Albans Raid merchandise and apparel (on sale!), as well as history books, reproduction documents, and much more that you can’t find anywhere else.

On Sale Now – Tickets for “The Musician’s Wife” Mystery Dinner Theater


Woodmen of the World – Vermont Chapter 1
The Musician’s Wife
Mystery Dinner Theater

November 7 in the Bliss Room (9 Church St.)
Doors open at 5:30pm, Dinner at 7pm

Proceeds will benefit the St. Albans Historical Society & Museum and Mt. Sinai #3 Shriners. Tickets now on sale!

In this bicentennial year of The Battles at Plattsburgh, a discovery is made in a North Country attic – a previously unknown painting from shortly after the war, called “The Musician’s Wife.” The painting depicts the titular character, who risked her life carrying munitions to the solders aboard the Eagle during the battle on Lake Champlain. Though Lt. Joseph Smith swore the facts to be true, the story of the musician’s wife was thought to be just a popular myth, because no records show a woman as having been on any of Macdonough’s ships.

At the gala unveiling of the recently-uncovered painting, there’s an even more startling occurrence — the woman in the painting disappears! Even more unsettling, a ghostly figure who looks much like the musician’s wife is spotted floating through the halls of the Bliss Room at the Museum.

- Buffet Dinner
- Cash Bar
- Silent Auction
- 50/50 raffle

Tickets: $50 each; $90 for two; $350 table for 8

For more information or to make your reservation, please contact the Museum Office.

New Closing Date

The St. Albans Historical Society & Museum will now be closing for the season at 2pm on Saturday, October 4 (instead of Saturday, October 11 as originally planned). However, we will continue scheduling field trips for local schools and educational institutions through the end of the month. The Bliss Room is available by reservation and the Research Room is open by appointment throughout the year.

St. Albans Raid History Talk

Join Vermont author Michelle Arnosky Sherburne in the Bliss Room on Friday, October 3 at 1pm, as she shares behind-the-scenes stories and details the aftermath of the St. Albans Raid (hosted by the St. Albans Historical Society & Museum).

Copies of her new book, The St. Albans Raid: A Confederate Attack on Vermont, will be available for purchase.

Synopsis: As Vermont regiments fought valiantly at the Battle of Cedar Creek, a small band of Confederates set their sights on a town near the state’s Canadian border. In October of 1864 approximately 20 rebel soldiers took over St. Albans, proclaiming that it was now under the power of the Confederate government. This northernmost land action of the Civil War ignited war-time fear and anger in every northern state. The raiders fired upon townspeople as they stole horses and robbed the local banks. Captain George Conger, recently discharged from the Union Army, led the charge to take back the town. St. Albans men organized under Conger, F. Stewart Stranahan and John W. Newton to chase the rebels out of town. Michelle Arnosky Sherburne leads readers through the drama, triumph and legacy of the Confederate raid on St. Albans.

About the Author: Michelle Arnosky Sherburne has lived in Vermont since 1976, originally from Pennsylvania. She has been in the newspaper business since graduating high school. Since the 1990s, she pursued freelance writing and focused on that when she was a stay-at-home mom. Vermont history has been a focus of Sherburne research, focusing on the Underground Railroad for two decades. She is the author of Abolition & the Underground Railroad in Vermont, and co-editor of A Vermont Hill Town in the Civil War: Peacham’s Story. Sherburne and her husband of 27 years and son live in Newbury, Vt. Sherburne’s passion for history has led her to make history come to life for schoolchildren and adults in her history presentations around the state. She has been the production department person for 14 years at the Journal Opinion, a weekly newspaper gearing up for its 150th anniversary in 2015.

St. Albans Raid 150th Anniversary Commemoration

The St. Albans Raid 150th Anniversary Commemoration is here! Please see below for a full schedule of events. You can find all the latest news and details at Museum will be open for special extended hours: Thursday, September 18 through Sunday, September 21 from 10:00am – 4:00pm. Admission is only $6 for adults, $3 for students (ages 5-17), and of course, FREE for members, children under 5, and Blue-Star eligible military families & veterans (with ID, please).

We are once again proud to support Northwest Family Foods, serving our neighbors in need in Franklin and Grand Isle counties. Visitors can receive $1 off admission with the donation of a non-perishable food item.

Be sure and gear up for the weekend – you can purchase souvenirs and commemorative items online or in person at our Gift Shop. Don’t forget, members are entitled to a 10% discount!

Wednesday, Sept 17, 2014
7pm: The Vermont Civil War Songbook presentation with Linda Radtke & Arthur Zorn (Hosted by the St. Albans Historical Society, sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council)
1-4:pm: Museum open

Thursday, Sept 18, 2014
10am – 4pm: Museum open
7pm: The St. Albans Raid presentation with Howard Coffin (Hosted by the 150th Commemoration Committee, Bliss Room, St. Albans Historical Society & Museum)

Friday, Sept 19, 2014
Daily: Special 1860s entrees at local restaurants
Daily: St. Albans Raid History Walking Tours (in front of the Museum; additional fee)
10am-4pm: Antique & Quilt Show (City Hall)
10am-4pm: Museum open
2pm: Reenactors’ Camps set-up
7pm: Vermont & The Civil War presentation with Howard Coffin (Hosted by the St. Albans Historical Society, sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council)

Saturday, Sept 20, 2014
Daily: Special 1860s entrees at local restaurants
Daily: St. Albans Raid History Walking Tours (in front of the Museum; additional fee required)
9am: Reenactors’ Camps open to the public
9-10:30am: Drill, maneuvers, artillery, cavalry
10-11am: Citizen’s Band performs in Taylor Park
10am: Cavalry Drill at Houghton Park
10am-4pm: Museum open
10am-4pm: Antique & Quilt Show (City Hall)
10am-4pm: Character cutouts for photos
10am-2pm: Clara’s Games (children’s activities)
10:30-11am: Cadet Corps Drill (for children)
11-11:30am: Raiders’ Trial re-enactment (at the Courthouse)
11am-noon: 2nd South Carolina String Band performance
Noon-12:30pm: Military camp cooking demonstration
12:30-1:30pm: Citizen’s Band in Taylor Park
2pm: St. Albans Raid re-enactment
2:45pm: Heritage Review (parade within Taylor Park)
3-4pm: 2nd South Carolina String Band performance
3:30 – 4pm: Raiders’ Trial re-enactment (at the Courthouse)
3:30 – 4pm: 1860s Church Service at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
4-5pm: St. Albans Chorus in Taylor Park
6pm: Pre-Ball Promenade
8pm: Mayor’s Ball

Sunday, Sept 21, 2014
9am: St. Albans Raid Half-Marathon
Daily: Special 1860s entrees at local restaurants
Daily: St. Albans Raid History Walking Tours (In front of the Museum; additional fee)
9am: Reenactors’ Camps open to the public
9-10:30am: Drill, maneuvers, artillery, cavalry
10am: Cavalry drill at Houghton Park
10am-4pm: Museum open
10am-4pm: Antique & Quilt Show (City Hall)
10am-2pm: Character cutouts for photos
10am-1pm: Clara’s Games (children’s activities)
11am-noon: 2nd South Carolina String Band performance
1pm: St. Albans Raid re-enactment
1:30pm: Heritage Review (parade within Park)
2pm: Closing Ceremony (following Heritage Review)