Read a book to someone you love.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Marie Countryman's Photos of Church Steeple Renovation

One of the events we watched in Montpelier from October, 2007 to April, 2008, was the renovation of the Trinity United Methodist Church steeple. In the snow, rain, and sleet (you know what Vermont weather is like) the steeple jacks could be seen on what looked like thin threads dangling high above the treetops, first taking off the old wooden shingles, then replacing them with "Grace Ice and Water Shield" underlayment. Finally, the slate was attached, designed with the colored stone in stripes, hearts, zigzags and a cross. The final installation will be enjoyed by Montpelierites for at least 150 years.

While the steeple jacks were amazing to watch, probably what most of us missed seeing was the talented photographer, Marie Countryman, standing on the sidewalk below. She faithfully took photos of the church steeple as it was renovated. With some of these photos and 2 articles from The Montpelier Bridge newspaper about the steeple, she created a photo document binder for the library to share with our patrons. Her 34 beautiful photographs tell the story from the staging of the site to the final design. She introduces us to the guys who did the work, plus a page on the slate that was used and why.

We are lucky that Marie was so devoted to capturing this project with her camera.

Please take some time to look at her work. It is located at the Adult Circulation desk.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hathaway Award winner for Vermont history

Sort of the “Academy Awards” for best Vermont history, the Vermont Historical Society each year gives an award for “the most outstanding contribution to Vermont history in any medium” produced during the previous year. The award is named for Richard O. Hathaway, longtime history teacher and enthusiast of all things Vermont who died several years ago.

This year there were two titles honored. They are both extremely well done works, worth a look if you haven’t checked them out. Both titles are in our collection.

1. “If Stone Could Speak [videorecording]: A Documentary,” by Randy Croce, in cooperation with the Labor Education Service, University of Minnesota.

This DVD tells the story of the granite carvers who came to Barre (and Montpelier) from Italy. Croce interviewed many of the artists and their families, some who stayed here in Vermont and some who returned to Italy. It’s an amazing look at the immigrants who have added a colorful story to the art of the granite carvers and the monuments they created.

2. “The Troubled Roar Of The Waters: Vermont In Flood And Recovery, 1927-1931” by Debora Pickman Clifford and Nicholas R. Clifford.

Just in time for the 80th anniversary of the 1927 flood, this book gives an academic but very readable explanation of how the 1927 flood changed Vermont. It wasn’t just the huge damage that the flood caused, but also the way Vermonters bounced back and even charged into the future. The historic photos of the amazing power of the flood waters help explain the dramatic stories of the Vermonters who were tested. “The Troubled Roar Of The Waters” is sure to become the classic on how Vermonters pull life back together after a major natural event.

Congratulations to the two “outstanding contributions” for this year’s Hathaway Award!