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History

May 24, 2013

Barre Cultural Alliance Pools Its Many Resources, Presents Story-Based Celebration

History4What do socialist presidential candidate Eugene Debs, anarchist Emma Goldman, dance troupe Pilobolus and South African singers Ladysmith Black Mambazo have in common? Go ahead, think on that.

Give up? The answer is this: All have appeared on the stage of the Barre Opera House. Granted, the first two and last two were decades apart, but that just illustrates the long cultural history that Vermont's Granite City has had. And that's not even to speak of the colorful, artistically and politically rich past fostered by the granite industry itself.

But we will speak of that, because the Old Labor Hall — once the site of immigrant stoneworkers' intense socialist gatherings — last year joined the Barre Opera House and two other local institutions as charter members of the Barre Cultural Alliance.

Continue reading "Barre Cultural Alliance Pools Its Many Resources, Presents Story-Based Celebration" »

May 16, 2013

In Brownsville, a Tribute to 'Drunken Poet' Daniel L. Cady

1198Just about every town in Vermont has a group that keeps and celebrates its history, and many of them host periodic events centered on some minutiae of yesteryear. This week, my favorite is the West Windsor Historical Society in Brownsville.

Why? Because, along with the Mary L. Blood Memorial Library, it's putting on the First Annual Daniel L. Cady Day in Brownsville. Note the determined optimism of "first annual." Like me, you've likely never heard of Daniel Leavens Cady (pictured right), so allow me to explain why this caught my eye in the Vermont Historical Society newsletter (which in turn is my favorite source of arcane info about the state).

Cady, born in 1861, was a native Vermonter and University of Vermont graduate who practiced law in New York City for 20 years. At the age of 50, he retired to Burlington and turned his attention to writing poetry. So far so good. And boring. Until I got to this part:

"Although Cady wrote lovely pieces about his beloved state, he was seen by many residents of his former hometown as greedy, drunken and eccentric. He wouldn't donate any copies of his books to the West Windsor library, but spent $38,000 to erect a mausoleum in town, during the Great Depression, as a shrine to himself."

Continue reading "In Brownsville, a Tribute to 'Drunken Poet' Daniel L. Cady" »

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