|Honoring the Four Chaplains.|
Just before reaching Gilman, we paused in another village, East Concord -- part of Concord, Vermont. Concord has an amazingly rich history, including the first teacher training school in the state (a "normal" school as the label was then), and a home where poet Robert Frost lived for a year or two. Home to many an agricultural enterprise, it also hosted Abenaki (Native American) presence, in part due to its location along the Connecticut River and its lakes and streams.
|House where Robert Frost lived, Concord Corners.|
On this Memorial Day weekend, we motored over to the Concord Historical Society to see a special exhibit on Fox and the other three chaplains, including many magazine and newspaper articles, a video, and a state proclamation honoring Fox. It seemed a perfect time for the town to reflect on its homegrown hero, a man who never fired a weapon in the war but whose action saved lives.
We lingered among the other exhibits, appreciating the town's farm and logging heritage as well as its schools, doctors, and more. What I hadn't realized was the role of stone in Concord, until I saw this lovely old business sign up on the wall for Keach & Calacci -- Granite, Marble, Bronze. In Vermont history, the Italian stonecutters are usually found around Barre, where the Rock of Ages granite quarry continues to provide material for these artists. I knew they had also reached the Northeast Kingdom town of Ryegate, where there were (and still are!) also granite sheds. But I was surprised to find the Calacci family all the way over in Concord, and noted the business in records from 1928, 1930, and 1935 (listed here).
Last but not least, here are two posters that are tacked high over one of the doorways at the Concord Historical Society -- the one on the left is the shows at Tegu's Palace, one of the two St. Johnsbury theaters that I wove into my 1930/Waterford "history-mystery," The Darkness Under the Water. What a gem! And the one on the right, I am guessing, belongs with a street sign that I noticed outside East Concord during our road trip: Dance Hall Road. (It runs into Oregon Road -- more on that, another time.)
In case it needs saying, what these signs and stories say to me, more clearly than ever, is that hundreds of stories wait to be told, weaving the daily events and places of the past century into the adventures of the people, "real" and fictional, who live and lived in Vermont. I can hardly wait to discover more.