Green Mountain Chronicles
Episode 32: Fighting Silicosis, Dust Control in the Granite Industry
Episode 31: The OWLS, Vermont’s Women Legislators

Episode 31: The OWLS, Vermont’s Women Legislators

August 25, 2020

The Vermont Women's Legislative Caucus began its political life as the Vermont Chapter of the Order of Women Legislators, the OWLs. In  June 1936, the women then in the Vermont legislature met at the Fletcher Farm in Proctor for a two day organizational meeting. Following the lead of Julia Emery of Connecticut, founder of the first OWLs group in the nation in 1927, the Vermont legislators joined together to form an organization, which, according to the Rutland Herald reported at the time, "is something else again, a legislative no­man's land, as it were, social, informative, discursive, and instructive in its scope." Twelve years later, Vermont participated in forming the National OWLs, receiving the support of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

 

For more background on this episode, visit: https://vermonthistory.org/the-owls-vermonts-women-legislators-1936

Episode 30: Legislative Reapportionment
Episode 29: The WPA

Episode 29: The WPA

August 11, 2020

For more background on this episode, visit: https://vermonthistory.org/wpa-1935

Episode 28: The Early Days of Skiing

Episode 28: The Early Days of Skiing

July 30, 2020

Telling the story of the development of the sport of skiing in Vermont often begins in 1934, when the first rope tow, a contraption powered by a Model-T Ford truck, was set up on a slope at Clint Gilbert’s farm in Woodstock.  This mechanized apparatus did, indeed, launch a new era as well as a new technology in the history of skiing.  But the story begins with the coming of skis to the north country that involved two Vermonters not often enough mentioned in today’s skiing memoirs: Fred Garey of Thetford and Fred H. Harris of Brattleboro.

 

For more background on this episode, visit: https://vermonthistory.org/early-days-of-skiing-1934

Episode 27: The Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Episode 27: The Vermont Symphony Orchestra

July 29, 2020

For more background on this episode, please visit: https://vermonthistory.org/symphony-vso-1934

Episode 27: The Green Mountain Parkway

Episode 27: The Green Mountain Parkway

July 23, 2020

In 1933, the midst of the Great Depression, Col William J. Wilgus, former chief engineer of the New York Central Railroad, propose the construction of a scenic highway with a 1,000-foot right of way through the Green Mountains. Modeled after Virginia’s Skyline Drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the road was viewed, in historian Richard Judd’s words, “as an imaginative solution to the state’s apparent need for a big project which would employ many people, stimulate the Vermont economy, and confer lasting benefits on everyone concerned.”

 

For more information on this episode, please visit: https://vermonthistory.org/green-mountain-parkway-1933

Episode 26: Fighting the Great Depression with the CCC

Episode 26: Fighting the Great Depression with the CCC

July 21, 2020

Included in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s monumental Emergency Work Act in March 1933 was an authorization to create a Civilian Conservation Corps, or C.C.C. as it came to be known, to recruit thousands of young men in a peace-time army to work in forests and parks and to pursue a broad array of conservation activities.

 

Vermont was originally allocated four C.C.C. camps, but thanks to the dynamic presence of Perry H. Merrill, State Forester, received considerably more assistance.

 

For more information on this episode, visit: https://vermonthistory.org/fighting-depression-ccc-1933

Episode 25: Collecting Old Songs: Helen Hartness Flanders

Episode 25: Collecting Old Songs: Helen Hartness Flanders

July 16, 2020

In 1930, the Committee on Traditions and Ideals of the Vermont Commission on Country Life appointed Helen Hartness Flanders (1890-1972), of Springfield, Vermont, to spearhead a project to document the traditional music of Vermont. Mrs. Flanders, daughter of former Governor of Vermont James Hartness, and wife of Ralph Flanders, a leader in the Vermont machine-tool industry and later Republican Senator from Vermont from 1946-1959, was a trained musician, writer, and arts patron. With the assistance of George Brown of Boston, a member of the Springfield Symphony, Mrs. Flanders traveled throughout the state, sought out singers of old ballads, wrote down and, as technology developed from wax cylinder, to disk, to reel-to-reel magnetic tape, recorded traditional New England folksongs and ballads as sung by native Vermonters and other New Englanders.

For more background on this episode, please visit: https://vermonthistory.org/collecting-old-songs-helen-hartness-flanders-1930

Episode 24: Vermont in the Great Depression

Episode 24: Vermont in the Great Depression

July 14, 2020

Until recently, little has been written about Vermont during the Great Depression. Two major and now classic scholarly works addressed some aspects of the era. Richard M. Judd's New Deal in Vermont covers a broad expanse of time and focuses on the major political events and the players who shaped New Deal legislation in Vermont. Elin Anderson's We Americans offers a remarkably insightful look at patterns of social interaction between Burlingtonians of varying social and ethnic identities ca. 1930, but does little to convey the overall reality of Depression-era life throughout the state. What was the nature of suffering, misery, despair—in sum, what was it like to have lived through this devastating event and the subsequent years?

For more background on this episode, please visit: https://vermonthistory.org/vermont-in-great-depression-1929

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