“Poultney Remembers” Lecture Series

This series of history lectures, presented in Poultney’s historic buildings, is intended to raise awareness of the community’s past expressed in its architecture. Donations raised at these events generally go to the upkeep of the building in which the event is held.

Sunday, September 12th, 2021

More than Books: Reflections on Libraries, Community and Historic Preservation

William Hosley, a museum scholar, preservationist, and photographer, will speak on Sunday, September 12 at 2 PM at the East Poultney Schoolhouse. He will examine almost 200 years of library history, with a particular focus on New England and its many municipal and research libraries.

“More than Books: Reflections on Libraries, Community and Historic Preservation” is a Vermont Humanities program co-hosted by the Poultney Historical Society and the Poultney Public Library. It provides an armchair tour of the history of libraries, the richness of New England’s heritage, and Vermont’s commitment to life-long learning and public access to the world of ideas.

The talk will be preceded by a short history of Poultney’s town library, courtesy of Library Director, Rebecca Cook.

East Poultney General Store will provide light refreshments. The talk is free, open to the public, and accessible to those with disabilities.

For those with a particular interest in the town’s history, the Poultney Historical Society will hold its annual business meeting at 1 p.m. on the same day. The Society encourages all to attend. New members are welcome, as are volunteers for its community projects, including cemetery restoration, organizing and exhibiting the collection, and assisting with East Poultney Day.

Previous Lectures

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Rosie’s Mom: Forgotten Women of the First World War with Carrie Brown

In celebration of our annual East Poultney Day, this year the Poultney Historical Society hosted a free online lecture to honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote.

Esteemed historian Carrie Brown presented an illustrated talk entitled, “Rosie’s Mom: Forgotten Women of the First World War” where she uncovered the human story behind historic events and explored the interplay between technology and culture.

One hundred years ago, a full generation before Rosie the Riveter, women rolled up their sleeves and entered war industries where they had never been welcome before.ind historic events and explore the interplay between technology and culture. The lecture will reveal their courage and their hard work, and explore how these women helped shape the work that their more famous daughters would do in the next World War.

“It’s important to remember, especially in this election year, that the right to vote was hard-fought and hard won,” says the Society’s president Ina Smith Johnson. “The 19th Amendment was about women, but preserving that right for all Americans is an ongoing struggle.”

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Proper Occupation: Young Vermont Women and Teaching in the 19th Century with Ennis Duling

On Sunday, March 12th at 2pm in the Poultney Public Library, local writer and historian Ennis Duling will talk about the lives of women schoolteachers in the years following the Civil War and shed light on the many changes to rural education during this time: how teaching suddenly became a job for women, how these women were educated, what they taught, and what sort of difficulties they faced.

He will focus on Poultney and western Rutland County and feature the roles of Troy Conference Academy and Ripley Female College (predecessors of Green Mountain College) and of the State Normal School at Castleton (predecessor of Castleton University.) The talk will be illustrated.

The program is free, accessible to people with disabilities, and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Many Meanings of Maple with Michael Lange

Maple is enormously important to Vermont’s economy, ecology, and heritage and it has become an integral part of the state’s identity. On Saturday, March 25th in The Meeting House on Bentley Avenue, Vermont Humanities Council sponsored speaker Michael Lange will examine the many meanings of maple sugaring in Vermont. His lecture will discuss sugaring ethnographically, based on over five years of research among sugarmakers all over the state, to learn from them what sugaring really means to Vermont.

Rather than discussing the practical aspects of sugaring, such as how to tap a tree or how an evaporator works, his talk focuses on how and why maple has become so important to Vermont’s identity, and how and why it helps us shape who we are as Vermonters. The program is free, accessible to people with disabilities, and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Sunday January 8th, 2017

The Story of Our Slate Industry, the First Hundred Years (1840-1940) with Krista Rupe

The slate industry transformed much of what the town of Poultney and the surrounding area is today and its influence cannot be understated. An agrarian community populated principally by Yankees became an industrialized town enriched by a diverse group of immigrants.

On Sunday, January 8th at 2pm in the Poultney High School Library, Krista Rupe, Executive Director of the Slate Valley Museum, will present and discuss the first one hundred years of Poultney’s role in the slate industry and the men who shaped that industry in the Slate Valley.

The program is free, accessible to people with disabilities, and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Sunday September 25, 2016

Reason and Prophecy: The Local Millerite Movement of 1844



The public is welcome to hear a talk  on the Millerite movement in Poultney entitled “Reason and Prophecy: The Local Millerite Movement of 1844.” The talk will be given by Charles Harcourt, graduate of Green Mountain College and Poultney Historical Society board member.

On October 22, 1844, William Miller remained at his farm in Low Hampton, New York, just a few miles northwest of the East Poultney Green. Throughout the day, the group made trips to an expansive limestone outcropping on the property, which overlooked the Adirondack Mountains. William Miller and his thousands of followers, called Millerites, believed that day would bring the second coming of Jesus Christ and commence the end times.

To learn more about the Millerite movement, its connections to the beginnings of Adventism, Miller’s connections to Poultney, and what happened on the reckoning day of 1844, join us on September 25 at 2PM at the East Poultney Schoolhouse.

The program is free and open to the public.

Sunday December  7, 2014 

A Crease in the Landscape with Prof. Emeritus Paul Hancock

Unique economic, political and natural forces created conditions that drew people to the Vermont-New York border region and affected how they lived, worked and related to one another. Place, in a sense, made them who they were.

On Sunday, December 7th at 2pm at the Bentley Community Center, Paul Hancock, Professor Emeritus of Green Mountain College, will present a talk and photo slide presentation. The talks is based on his research into the history of land, industry and town development in the region from southern Lake Champlain through to the northern reaches of the Hudson Valley.

From the glacial and mountain-building action to the political and military conflicts on the border and the development of industry and labor, this region was established as an historical inflection point. Due to the tilt of the land away to the north and to the south, commerce flowed easily in both directions.

Within months of each other in 1609, Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain moved along the waters of the Hudson River and Lake Champlain towards this area but never crossed over it due to the difficult portage.

Professor Hancock will discuss these and other factors that created the unusual mix of human and natural communities in what he calls the Slate-Lakes Region.

Deena will be baking her scrumptious shortbread cookies for light refreshments following the lecture. The Bentley Community Center is located at 348 Bentley Ave. at the corner of College Street in downtown Poultney, Vermont.

Sunday May 4, 2014

Green Mountain College Senior History Students’ Research Presentations

Join the Poultney Historical Society and Green Mountain College for a free, special program on Sunday, May 4th at 3:00PM.  Two Green Mountain College students will share their senior year capstone history projects, both based on original research in Vermont archives.

The program features GMC graduating seniors Michael Magnotta, ‘14 and Dana Vocht, ’14.  Ms. Vocht’s presentation,  “Temperance: The Men’s Phase in Addison County,” is notable for being one of the first documented studies of the temperance movement (which urged moderation in the consumption of alcohol) that, contrary to common stereotypes, finds a group of men, not women, leading the crusade in Addison County.

Mr. Magnotta’s presentation, “Interpreting Archives: An Examination of the Fairbanks Archival Material,” is an award-winning analysis of the inadequacies, from the historian’s perspective, of the Northeast Kingdom archive that largely holds public relations materials.

The event will be held at the newly renovated Bentley Community Center at 348 Bentley Avenue, Poultney, Vermont. Donations will be collected for the benefit of the Poultney Historical Society’s Ruth E. Roberts History Education Fund, which provides resources for local history education in our community.

The program is free, accessible to people with disabilities, and open to the public. For more information call the Poultney Historical Society at 287-5252 or email [email protected].