Annual Report for Montpelier, Vermont 1908

We are happy to bring you the Annual Report for Montpelier, Vermont 1908!

Annual reports of towns (and cities) are a frequently overlooked historical resource.  While they seem still to be regularly produced in New England, they are less common elsewhere in the United States, but in New England they are a very useful snapshot of a locality at a specific point in time.

Unfortunately, they are a bit difficult to locate unless you happen to be in the town you are researching and can stop by town hall and see a copy.  The local library will likely have a collection of them as well, but they will not have the annual reports for other area towns, and there is always the risk that someone seeking to “freshen up” the library’s collection will have disposed of the historical reports, keeping, perhaps, the most recent few.

One tends not to find them very often in the used book arena, perhaps because few people perceive much value in them.  When we see one available we tend to grab it and, in time publish it.  But we’ve also noticed that, because they are under-appreciated, they tend not to sell very well for us.

This particular annual report is one of the better ones.  It – like most – includes a report from all governmental agencies and from agencies that are quasi-governmental, like libraries and cemeteries.  We were fascinated by the report of the Health Officer.  Topics of note in 1907 included epidemic diseases, getting decent plumbing in residences, and cleaning up the milk supply.  A table provides analysis, both chemical and bacteriological, of the various water supplies and springs.  Most notable is a breakout of mortality from diseases, and that analysis is five pages long (sorry – it does not name names; however, it does provide gender and age of each deceased person for each disease, so if you are trying to figure out what an ancestor might have died from, and you know they died in Montpelier in 1907 you can make an educated guess.)

Less hidden or disguised are the names of recipients and dollar amounts of support provided to the poor who were not housed on the city farm.

Another tidbit from this report.  In what appears to be the public works department report, it shows regular expenditures for prison labor, evidently to work on the roads.  For those who associate prison labor with chain gangs in the Deep South, this appearance in Vermont comes as a bit of a surprise.

We also noted with interest that back in the day of unpaved streets, Montpelier seems to have provided wooden crossings and maintained them at some expense.  Of course those were the days before gasoline or diesel-powered construction equipment, so one finds abundant references to renting teams to power the public works projects.  However, not all streets were unpaved!  Main Street, South Main Street, and State Street all had macadam roadways laid in 1907, and concrete sidewalks were laid on Summer Street, Elm Street, North Street, Liberty Street, Winooski Avenue, and Northfield Street.  Possibly Main Street, South Main, and State already had them – or perhaps not.  That is one of the frustrations of dealing with annual reports.  One gets a view of a specific year with little in the way of reference points to what had already been done or what was to be done in the next year.

However, we do appreciate what they can tell us!

You can purchase this download on our Vermont pageCLICK HERE to go directly to that page.

Annual Report for Montpelier, Vermont 1908

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wayne County NY material

We are very happy to announce that we’ve made two items of Wayne County, NY material again available.

Previously included on our CD-ROM (since discontinued) were Child’s Gazetteer of Wayne County, NY as well as a collection of Wayne County material from the New York State Board of Charities three-volume 1906 annual report.  We are delighted that both are now available as downloads, and — even better — at a significant savings to you.

Please CLICK HERE to go to a page all about the Gazetteer (a must for genealogists and local historians).

Please CLICK HERE to go to our main Wayne County, NY page for more about the charities of Wayne County.

We would be remiss, of course, if we also didn’t offer a link to our catalog.  Have a look!  You never know what you might find!

Wayne County NY material
Just one page from the Gazetteer. Look closely. They offer a course in “Phonography” which is presumably all about how to operate one of those new-fangled things called a “phonograph”.

Middletown CT Downloads

We’ve got some Middletown CT downloads available for you!

Several years ago, we collected a quantity of Middletown, CT material and published it on a CD-ROM, called, somewhat predictably, the

Middletown, CT

When we decided that times and technology had provided better alternatives than CDs for distributing our material, we took this one out of the catalog along with the others.  Now, The Middletown Collection has made its way to the head of the queue as “Middletown CT Downloads” and we are pleased to bring you four new items.

Here’s what is now available:

–The Middletown Real Property List, tabulated by street, for 1931.  Want to see exactly where someone lived in 1931 and what their property was valued at?  Want to see who lived in a particular location in that year?  You can do it with this download.

–The 1947 Cauldron yearbook from Middletown, CT, High School, including the supplement that filled in the blanks representing the time between when the yearbook was published during the school year and graduation.  The supplement, by the way, is very hard to find today — not surprisingly — but it is included in the download.

The Connecticut Quarterly was an elegant magazine about all kinds of Connecticut topics that began in the closing years of the 19th century.  One of the earlier communities that received feature article treatment was Middletown!  Lovely photos and quite a bit of history here too.

Middletown Ephemera.  One thing we miss about the CD-ROMs was the ability to include random material that certainly didn’t justify a CD of its own, and was even a little weak to make a separate download.  However, when we collected the ephemera from this CD, it represented a nice package, and some may find material in it that is of use to them.  One item here is the relevant Middletown listings for one of the annual Connecticut Registers.  Another is a collection of postcards of Middletown and particularly of the fraternity houses at Wesleyan.  A Chamber of Commerce brochure is here, as is the program for the Middletown tercentenary.

Unlike the old days, when you had to buy a CD-ROM with everything on it even if you just wanted one of these items, now you can pick and choose — and probably save yourself a few dollars in the process.

Why not have a look?  Take a look at our overall catalog as well.  Who knows what might be there for you?

The Wesleyan Gymnasium, back in the day

 

Early Records of Warwick, Rhode Island

We’ve undertaken the process of republishing the contents of our discontinued CD-ROM “Rhode Island Collection #1” with the re-issuance of Early Records of Warwick, Rhode Island as a download.

This is quite a remarkable document (all 362 pages of it).  Probably originally recorded in his own shorthand by the Honorable Rev. Samuel Gorton, the first governor of that specific colony, it is a comprehensive compendium of the minutiae that the local council dealt with, ranging from disputes over land to the ear-marks that distinguished each citizen’s cattle.

It’s not an easy read due to the meticulous accuracy the compiler devoted to it — she is faithful to original spellings and what today we would consider grammatical errors — but if you have ancestors from that area in the period just following 1640, this is pretty much a “most have”.  There are no fewer than four indices included in the book.

One note:  there are free versions of Early Records of Warwick, Rhode Island  available online, and we encourage you to examine them to see if they meet your needs.  Our scans are ultra high resolution, and the PDF format is superior to many e-book formats, however, so we’re not embarrassed to ask $3.50 for our download.

To learn more about this important document, and to follow our progress converting our earlier CD-ROM to downloads, please click HERE to go to the appropriate page of our main website.   If you are interested in our Rhode Island material in general, please check our main Rhode Island page HERE.

Rhode Island