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




















Sesquicentennial Historical Address — Sussex County, NJ

Sesquicentennial Historical Address — Sussex County, NJ sounds like a solemn and impressive bit of history.

This address, By Francis J. Swaze,  part of the sesquicentennial observance of Sussex County, was delivered at Newton, NJ on September 2, 1903.  While it claims only to be accurate through the Civil War, it’s interesting that the extractive industries (iron and various other minerals) get short shrift here despite their role in American history beginning with the Revolution – or even before; “The Old Mine Road” is one of the oldest thoroughfares mentioned in colonial-era literature.  As we look at the history of this county today, we see these industries as perhaps the most important part of the county’s history.

That said, we understand and appreciate the traditional emphasis on farming and related aspects of country life, and exploits with regard to the native Americans and in the Revolution as being of greatest interest to the audience for these remarks back over a century ago.  In addition to the history captured in this address, one can read it to get a better sense of priorities in American thought over a century ago.   Further, considering this was an address to people who lived in the county a long time, and whose ancestors were likely among those mentioned, this would have been a crown-pleaser.

All in all, it’s a useful document!  And it’s now available for download.

Read more about it on our New Jersey page!

Sesquicentennial Historical Address -- Sussex County, NJ

Acronyms for Organizations

Our newest book, Acronyms for Organizations, is now available in paperback and for the Kindle™ on the Amazon website.

Acronyms for organizations

To view it at, please click HERE!
You can also read more about it, and about our efforts in “real” publishing (you know — like books) and how it compliments our usual business of e-publishing, here’s the front cover!Close observers will note that we published an earlier book of initializations (or initialisms, if you prefer), acronyms, and abbreviations for organizations around four years ago, called “What Does That Stand For?”  Around half the length, it was our initial experience in modern print publishing, and we learned from it.  Many people spoke well of the earlier version, but it left us with the feeling that we had only skimmed the surface of what such a book really ought to contain.  (You can read a little more about our own historical process HERE.)

So, we took what we had there, and began a systematic process of collecting acronyms for organizations (as well as abbreviations and initialisms, of course) for thousands of additional information.  We discovered whole categories of abbreviations for organizations we had not considered — and we went into far greater depth with those we already had.

A little about the book — and it’s also available for Kindle:

Paperback edition:  562 pages, $23.99

Kindle edition:  598 pages, $13.99

(if you buy the paperback edition, you can also get the Kindle edition for a small additional charge).

In any case, please do have a look at the listing in the Amazon catalog — CLICK HERE to go directly to this listing.

Neversink downloads

We’re happy to say that with the availability of these Neversink Downloads, we’ve completed the migration from CD-ROMs to exclusively downloads!

“Old Neversink”  was our all-time best-selling CD-ROM, and, appropriately, it was the last to completely migrate to our modern world of downloads.

In that connection, we are very happy to again make available to you the following four items from the Old Neversink CD-ROM:

Eugene Cross 1910 Diary with index.   See the Old Neversink page

Child’s Gazetteer extract for Neversink, with index.  See the Old Neversink page

Neversink Genealogy with index.  See the Old Neversink page

Quinlan’s History of Sullivan County extract for Neversink, with index. See the Old Neversink page

Considerably more information about each of these is available on the Neversink page, so rather than simply say it again here, please have a look there!

CLICK to go to the Neversink page now

Included in these four downloads are two Neversink excerpts from larger publications of ours, Child’s Gazetteer of Sullivan County, and Quinlan’s History of Sullivan County.  Some people have mentioned to us that these excerpts are easier to handle than the file representing the full book, and that they are happy to have them available to work with in this form.  They’re short enough to print out, if you are more comfortable working from paper (as many of us secretly are!)

And, if you haven’t looked at our Neversink offerings recently, you might want to take a peek anyway — we have several items that we’ve added since the CD-ROM first came out that may be of interest to you.  (Needless to say, we do hope you will check out these four Neversink downloads while you are there!)

To the Neversink page!

Neversink Downloads
Some old Neversinkers, admiring the sidewalk they just coompleted

Annals of Winchester is back

Annals of Winchester is back
Annals of Winchester is back

Annals of Winchester, previously one of our best-selling CD-ROMs, had been unavailable since we discontinued our CD-ROM business to concentrate on low-cost, immediately available downloads.

However, we’ve had several requests for this classic, which, to anticipate a question we were asked many times about the CD, Annals of Winchester DOES include the history of Winsted.

If you are seeking historical information about the Town of Winchester, or Winsted, or the people who lived there and the businesses that made this an important manufacturing center, Annals of Winchester is pretty much the go-to source.  It is indexed — and we have added an additional index of place names that we compiled — and, since it is in PDF format, easy to use on any computer.

There’s lots more information available on our Annals of Winchester page, so please have a look.  If you considered buying the CD originally but were put off by the price tag, you will find that the download version is a small fraction of that amount — and has the advantage of being an immediate download, not something you have to wait a week or more for the Post Office to deliver.

So, CLICK HERE to go to our Annals of Winchester page.

And join us in celebrating that Annals of Winchester is back!

Lime Rock Walking Tour

More than a decade ago, Geoff Brown, the Principal Partner of Between the Lakes Group, was asked by the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area to conduct a Lime Rock Walking Tour.  He repeated the tour by request a few years later.

Trinity Church in Lime Rock graciously hosted the tour and provided hospitality as well as access to their archives.  Lime Rock Park provided a highly knowledgeable historian of the track to tell us a bit about that internationally known institution from an insider’s point of view.  Many others helped in ways too numerous to mention.

But there was one problem.  A number of people told us they would like to go on a Lime Rock Walking Tour, but they were not physically capable of walking the three miles that even a minimal tour would require.  What could we do?  The answer was soon in coming:  we would prepare a Powerpoint slide show of the walking tour, and while those up to the walk could experience it in real life, those who could not would be able to watch the slide show in Trinity’s Walker Hall in comfort.

As we prepared the slide show, it quickly became clear that we would be able to put far more information about Lime Rock in the slide show than actual participants in the Lime Rock Walking Tour would actually get to see.  We could include sights too distant to walk to.  We could include historic photos and maps of features of Lime Rock that were no longer there.  We could include concise summaries of things we would talk about on the walk.  We could include photos of sights that still remain that are not accessible because they are on private property.

Ultimately, the slide show accompanying the Lime Rock Walking Tour became considerably more comprehensive and satisfying than the tour itself!

Subsequently, we decided to make the slide show of the Lime Rock Walking Tour available as a CD-ROM.  We sold quite a number in that format, but when the time came to retire our CD business, the slide show became unavailable.

However, we recently resurrected the slide show and, realizing we could republish it as a PDF file, could include even more information and photos than the slideshow format permitted.  For example, we could provide the old maps in a way that people could study them as long as they wanted.  We were able to add considerable information that would have passed too quickly to be absorbed in a slide show.  We could even improve on the original slide show by incorporating information unearthed since the slide show was created.

Coincidentally, we had two “real” books in the works.  Research for our forthcoming “The Lakeville Crucifix” and “History of Trinity Lime Rock in Context” had turned up huge amounts of information that permitted an updating of the Lime Rock Walking Tour slide show that genuinely improved it.

This is all in the way of announcing that the new, enlarged and enhanced Lime Rock Walking Tour is now available as a download in PDF format.  Now 141 pages long, we feel that it is something that belongs in the collection of any student of Lime Rock or the Town of Salisbury or the historic iron industry of the Upper Housatonic Valley.

More information and an opportunity to download the document are on our Lime Rock page.   We encourage you to take a look!  CLICK HERE to find out more about it!

Here’s one of the items we particularly like that appears in the Lime Rock Walking Tour:

Lime Rock Walking Tour
A photo of the company band of the Barnum Richardson Company circa 1900


Lewis County, NY material

Among the final items we are planning to bring you this calendar year is some Lewis County, NY material.  These two items were originally issued on the Lewis County CD-ROM which we discontinued a few months ago, but are now again making available, but this time, at a substantial savings, as downloadable files in PDF format.

Originally the north end of Oneida County, NY, Lewis County is indisputably part of the “North Country” and as such historical material can be a bit skimpy.  We are happy to be able to offer these items to help those who need them.

One of these republications is Child’s redoubtable Gazetteer and Business Directory for Lewis County for 1872-73.  Child did these of most New York and Vermont counties, and later expanded into other states.  He had a formula for producing these collections of historical material, and, based on this one and other Child Gazetteers we’ve seen, the formula worked very well.  Most of the information contained is still of great interest to local historians and genealogists nearly a century and a half later.  If you would like more information about this download, please click HERE to go to a page all about it.

The second item is modest in size and of less general interest, but since we have it we would be remiss not to again make it available.  This is a survey of local relief in Lewis County in 1906.  Extracted from a three volume survey produced by the state in that year, this is information you are unlikely to find elsewhere.  However, be advised that this section is short.   There were no state hospitals or other facilities in the county at that time, and the services provided by the county itself were quite limited.  Nonetheless, you may find that it’s worth a look.  Click HERE to go to our main Lewis County page, where you will also find other Lewis County, NY material.


Recovering history
Between the Lakes Group helps you recover history!

Worcester MA Directory for 1871

We’re very happy to announce the republication of Howland’s Directory of Worcester, MA for 1871, this time as a download.

A few years ago we made this rarity available on CD-ROM, but when we discontinued our line of CDs, it became — as far as we know — unavailable except as a rare book.  Now we are catching up on making material that was previously on our CDs available as downloads, and today Howland’s Worcester MA Directory for 1871 came up.

We are aware that does offer lookups in this directory, but we are unaware of any other online sources for this 405 page volume.  While lookups are certainly useful, we think that having the “real thing” at hand offers many advantages that you don’t get with a download.

At any rate, you can read more about this volume, and, if you feel inclined, you can buy it via download if you go to our page about the Worcester MA Directory for 1871.

Worcester MA Directory for 1871

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”.

PHOIS yearbook from Poughkeepsie High School for 1934

We’re delighted to bring you the PHOIS yearbook from Poughkeepsie High School for 1934!  This New York State high school was very dependable in titling their yearbooks:  “Phois” it was — and this was volume 26 of the series!

We were interested in two particular items about this yearbook — and we’ve seen a whole lot of yearbooks over the years (our “Yearbooks” page on our main website will give testimony to that!)  — first of all, the editors produced nice pen and ink drawings of what Poughkeepsie might have looked like in the past, and also what they felt it might look like in the future.  Can we simply say that their estimate of what Poughkeepsie might look like in the future was a tad optimistic?

The other was resolution of a question that had been on our minds for a long time:  during the Great Depression, did ordinary people realize that they were involved in something other than a minor business cycle fluctuation?  This yearbook answered that question for us.  In an ad for a secretarial school in the PHOIS yearbook from Poughkeepsie High School for 1934 appeared a line noting that this school was successful in placing graduates in good jobs “even in this depression.”  So the answer to our question is “yes”.

We also wanted to note that this was the first project our new intern, Gabby Gladding, was involved in.  She did a very capable job on the scanner, and, proving both that she’s a talented intern but also that she brings something else to the game, she identified and solved a problem we had been having with a strong outside light source affecting the scan quality.

If you’d like to consider buying the download of the PHOIS yearbook from Poughkeepsie High School for 1934, please CLICK HERE to go to the Dutchess County, NY page of our website.

PHOIS yearbook from Poughkeepsie High School for 1934