On behalf of the Saint Albans Museum (SAM), we would like to thank the residents of St. Albans for their approval of Article 8 (Town) and the budget proposal (City) on Town Meeting Day. This municipal funding, along with continued support from our members, donors, and friends, will allow the Museum to sustain our mission to preserve and share local history.

Each year, we offer new stories about the people, places, and events that make up our common heritage. We also value SAM’s role as a partner in community and cultural activities, as a source of valuable research for the public, and as a leader in educational programming for area residents, students, visitors, and families. Continue Reading

The Saint Albans Museum is seeking annual funding from the Town of St. Albans. Please see below for an open letter from SAM’s Board of Trustees – as well as letters of support from community members Louise Haynes, Don Poirier, Sally Larner & Leon Berthiaume – regarding Article 8. You can also read comments from Selectboad candidate Jessica Frost. View the 2019 Town of St. Albans Annual Meeting Warning here.

SAM made the same request to the City of St. Albans, which has included annual funding for the Museum in their 2019 budget proposal.

SAM Co-President Charlie Moore and Executive Director Alex Lehning recently appeared on Northwest Access Television with David McWilliams to explain Article 8 – watch online.

Richard Cowperthwait interviewed City Mayor Tim Smith, Town Selectboard Chair Bill Nihan, Town Manager Carrie Johnson, and Town Director of Public Works Alan Mashtare on “For the Record” on February 6, which included a positive discussion of Article 8 – watch online.

SAM Seeks Sustainable Support
On behalf of the Saint Albans Museum (SAM), we are writing to encourage the residents of the Town of St. Albans to vote “YES” on Article 8 – to allocate $15,000 of annual funding to the Museum for a period of 5 years.

This additional financial support from the Town, along with the same amount from the City, is necessary for SAM to sustain our mission of preserving and sharing community history. Despite the Museum’s expanded fundraising efforts, our expenses have increased and continue to outpace revenue. For many years, SAM relied on individual major gifts to “close the gap” in our budget, but that is no longer sufficient. To achieve lasting sustainability, we must reach beyond our current membership. We are asking the greater St. Albans community for support, so that we can continue to provide vital programs and maintain our historic building (constructed in 1861).

The Museum has embraced a broader role as an educational and cultural leader in our area, increasing our engagement and services to reflect those priorities. As a non-profit organization, SAM is a full partner in activities that strengthen St. Albans as a special place to live, work, study, and play. Each year, we welcome thousands of students, families, residents, and visitors through our doors. SAM is:

– a gathering place for educational, cultural, and social events
– a source of research materials for students and the community
– a center for family-friendly activities, including the Haunted Museum and Kids Night
– a partner in community events, such as the Maple Festival, Festival of Trees, and Last Night
– a member of important local initiatives, including the Taylor Park Planning Committee and Vermont Reads
– a steward of our common heritage and the stories that define us

Our 2018 season was an exciting one. The sword of Capt. George Conger, hero of the St. Albans Raid, was located and acquired after being lost for over a decade. We profiled St. Mary’s school, featured a display of local women artists, and opened the new Farming Franklin County exhibit, which highlights the rich heritage of our regional agriculture (ex: maple and dairy). The Museum, working with numerous community partners, developed and implemented a new pilot STEM program entitled “Lake Lessons,” a series of enrichment activities on the history and ecology of Lake Champlain. Over 500 students and educators participated in this hands-on workshop, held over 5 days at St. Albans Bay Park. Over the past two years, SAM hosted field trips or participated in on-campus programs with 13 area schools and educational centers, including Saint Albans Town Educational Center, Saint Albans City School, and Bellows Free Academy.

Our plans for 2019 include an oral history project about local farms and farming families, and as well as veterans of the railroad industry. In addition, new displays on the 100th anniversary of the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery and the American Legion are planned, as well as updates to the Central Vermont Railway room. We are also developing a new exhibit focused on the exceptional connections between St. Albans and the “Band of Brothers” – the 101st Airborne Division – in WWII.

A successful vote on Article 8 will ensure sustainable funding, allowing us to further contribute to the vitality of our community. SAM belongs to all of us who call greater St. Albans “home” – which is why we are asking for your support, and your vote.

Sincerely,
The Board of Trustees & Staff of the Saint Albans Museum


The Saint Albans Museum – A Treasure to Discover and Support
This past year, I had the opportunity to connect with the Saint Albans Museum as they worked towards developing a “Farming Franklin County” exhibit.  It was a pleasure to meet so many wonderful volunteers and a dedicated Executive Director, Alex Lehning.  There were countless hours put in preparing a room, gathering materials, reproducing information and soliciting items to display.  It was exciting to see work come together and the exhibit open in June 2018.  Today, they are working with us to capture some of the key highlights of the St. Albans Cooperative as we celebrate 100 years and do a celebration in 2019.  

Visiting SAM, seeing the volunteers in action gave me a greater appreciation of their efforts to preserve, create and share our history with others.  I learned that the Museum is a valuable asset to our Franklin County Community providing various programs, educational opportunities and social events that connect our history with the present. 

The Museum has many dedicated exhibits and artifacts to discover and for us to be reminded of the treasures in our community that are part of our history and shaped our communities. 

As with any treasure – we need to protect it and find the means to share the story for future generations to appreciate. 

Consider becoming a member of the Museum, signing up to volunteer, or stop by and see the wonderful exhibits during the summer season. As the Museum continues to plan for the future, they need your financial support to fulfill their mission.  

Leon Berthiaume
St. Albans Cooperative Creamery


SUPPORT OUR ST. ALBANS MUSEUM
From a teacher’s point of view, the St. Albans Museum (SAM) is a treasure trove of opportunities for our citizenry of all ages to add to their knowledge of the history of St. Albans City and Town.  Even the most well-informed locals find artifacts and their stories to add to their familiarity with our area.  Not only can a visitor see sundry artifacts from our history, but also read well-written captions describing these treasures from numerous topics such as the railroad, area agriculture, the Smith family, military connections, former businesses, and education.

For our elementary and high school teachers and students, SAM offers the opportunity to explore a variety of topics in our Research Room, and to engage in the programs organized and presented by SAM and its partners both at the Museum and in the community. “Lake Lessons,” a new pilot STEM program, attracted 500+ students to participate in learning about the ecology and history of Lake Champlain.  Kids’ Night at the Museum and the Haunted House are family-friendly in-house activities.

In the Classroom Exhibit, there are two slates, one still with its “cloth”eraser, used by students in the 1800s and early 1900s.  It was my station during one of the many field trips. As I was explaining to the students how these slates were used to practice penmanship and arithmetic, one student was quick to comment that he preferred today’s tablets to the slates.  That was an aha moment for the class!

SAM’s work requires funding and you can help the many volunteers who labor to keep the exhibits and programs vital to our community available to us.  Please vote to support the Town’s financial commitment to the Museum by voting yes on Article 8 on Town Meeting Day in March.

-Louise Haynes
Retired BFA Teacher & SAM Volunteer


A Diamond in the Rough
Have you visited our “Diamond in the Rough” in St. Albans? Many folks have found it and enjoyed it. I am one of them, and discovered many interesting facts about St. Albans history.

I invite you and your friends to the explore the SAINT ALBANS MUSEUM, located on Church Street. Visit the many rooms which contain some of the highlights of our local history. You will find information on the Smith family, local schools, agriculture and medicine, as well as a railroad room showing the history of the Central Vermont Railway (and if you’re lucky, a chance to talk to volunteer Jim Murphy about the “Rail City.”

Which reminds me, the Museum also has programs in the Bliss Room, located on the top floor, throughout the year. These activities are for all ages and interests, including the younger generation. My favorite is Kids Night where students and little ones can play, learn, and have dinner. They also have guest speakers and concerts, such as their Christmas show featuring the Carol Ann Jones Quartet.

I haven’t even mentioned all of the attractions the Museum offers. It is housed in a school and is operated by volunteers and Alex Lehning, who is the Executive Director. The Museum depends on donations to maintain its operations. I am writing in support of funding from St. Albans Town (with a Yes Vote on Article 8), as well as all who support this “Diamond in the Rough” waiting to be discovered here in our community.

-Donald Poirier
Continue Reading


Additional updates, educational resources, and information will be posted throughout the month of November. Please check back often. Do you have a story, photograph, or artifact related to St. Albans and the Great War that you would like to share with the Museum? Please contact us.

COMMUNITY HISTORY FOCUS
“Men in A Day” – St. Albans Machine Gun Company
View an article from the July 1928 American Legion Monthly magazine, and learn more about the high school students and community members from St. Albans who served during the Great War.

Vermont in the Great War
A historical perspective from the Burlington Free Press can be found here.

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
How World War I Revolutionized Medicine
Advances during the “first mass killing of the 20th century” have saved countless lives since. Learn more here.

The Scars of World War I
One hundred years after the end of the bloodshed, a photographer finds personal connections to the war. Read more here.

The Fading Battlefields of World War I
This year will mark the passing of a full century since the end of World War I—a hundred years since the “War to End All Wars.” In that time, much of the battle-ravaged landscape along the Western Front has been reclaimed by nature or returned to farmland, and the scars of the war are disappearing. Some zones remain toxic a century later, and others are still littered with unexploded ordnance, closed off to the public. But across France and Belgium, significant battlefields and ruins were preserved as monuments, and farm fields that became battlegrounds ended up as vast cemeteries. In these places, the visible physical damage to the landscape remains as evidence of the phenomenal violence and destruction that took so many lives so long ago. More information here.

Taps – History & Performance
How Did ‘Taps’ Originate? Learn more about the origins of the somber bugle melody here. See below for a video featuring buglers of The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” perform over 5000 missions a year in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

The Poetry of World War One
Roughly 10 million soldiers lost their lives in World War One, along with seven million civilians. The horror of the war and its aftermath altered the world for decades, and poets responded to the brutalities and losses in new ways.From poems written in the trenches to elegies for the dead, these poems commemorate the Great War. Featuring works by civilians as well as those who served – from the Poetry Foundation.

Official Bells of Peace Participation App
This app from the World War One Centennial Commission allows you to participate and ‘toll the bells’ anywhere from your smartphone or tablet. Learn more here.

SAM needs your ideas, recommendations, and perspectives – make your voice heard with our 2018 community survey. It will only take a few moments of your time, but your feedback will impact the Museum and our work next season and beyond! Thanks to a generous donor, those who complete our survey will have a chance to win prizes including a Family Membership or Amazon gift card! Get started now at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V9TYZ6H

New St. Mary’s School Display at SAM

SAM is excited to share another new display this season featuring the history of St. Mary’s school! The exhibit includes a variety of photographs, memorabilia, and records from school events, class programs, and sports teams – including this vintage stage curtain. Continue Reading

The Saint Albans Museum is dedicated to preserving our heritage and sharing the history of the people and places that define Franklin County. SAM is looking for your input – what tales do you have to tell? The Museum will present a biweekly pop-up display, highlighting a different story, favorite memory, and image or photograph featuring local residents, area businesses/organizations, and historic architecture of St. Albans.

Do you have a story to share? We want to hear it! SAM relies on our fellow community members to help keep our local history alive for future generations. If you know of an amazing person, event, or story about your family, please send a brief description to Emma Helmken, Outreach & Programming Intern, by email or call (802) 527-7933.

SAM Announces Inaugural Glow Golf Fundraiser

The Saint Albans Museum is hosting their first annual “Glow” Golf Tournament on Saturday, August 25, beginning at 6:30PM at Arrowhead Golf Course.

Get ready to play golf like you never have before – it’s brighter at night! This special evening tournament will feature a 4-person team, shotgun/scramble-style format, played with glow-in-the-dark golf balls (provided). The flags, tees and fairways will light-up and guide your way through the course. This event is limited to 36 players, and registration is available online or by calling (802) 527-7933. Cash prizes and golf gear will be awarded to the top teams. Continue Reading