What a Year So Far

Hello friends –

2020. It’s been quite the year so far. I’m not sure where to pick up since it’s been a while. It feels like 2019 was a lifetime ago. To think that I thought moving into a fixer upper house and having baby #2 would be the big headlines of the year.

How unique is it to know that we are living through a significant chapter of history? It is a lot to process. A pandemic. Racial unrest. Hopefully a positive turning point in the work to erase racism in our country. Important change. Perhaps the most important election of all time. And on top of everything, we all still need to manage our day to day lives, selves, jobs, households, children, etc. Nothing worth having comes easy, so the saying goes. At times it can be exhausting, heartbreaking, sad, and every emotion. Hopefully you are able to find time to rest, recharge, and connect with loved ones, even if only digitally.

Preservation in Pink is still here. I’ve stepped back – clearly – to manage work, home, life, but I’m grateful to those of you who still visit and find value in Preservation in Pink.  I’ll post as I’m able. I have a playground post waiting in the wings.

In the meantime, I hope you are well. I wish you good health, happiness, safety, and sanity. Please know ALL are welcome here. EVERYONE is important to our shared heritage.

I urge you to be kind. And please vote. Make sure you register to vote in time. It is your right as an American citizen! Make your vote count. Vote early. Request a mail in ballot if you can. Drop it off if you can. Find your state rules here: https://www.vote.org/voter-registration-rules/ .

Take care, everyone. – Kaitlin

Happy New Year, preservationists and friends. This 1836 granite building was built as Athenian Hall, a dormitory for the Orleans County Grammar School. It has been used as a boarding house, it’s been vacant, and has been a museum since 1925. Old Stone House Museum in the Browningtom Village Historic District, VT. #presinpink

Playground Find: Brownington, VT

Brownington, Vermont is located in the Vermont’s “Northeast Kingdom” (Essex, Orleans, and Caledonia counties), about 15 miles south of the Canadian border. It’s a very rural, picturesque part of the state. I was surveying a few properties in Brownington, VT for a work project and wanted to snap a photo of the church in Brownington Center.

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Brownington Center Church, 1854.

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Brownington Center Church, 1854.

Distracted by the building, I almost missed this gem behind it! 

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Vintage playground equipment sitting behind the Brownington Center Church!

Of course, I got out of the car to get a closer look at the playground equipment. First up – a classic 1950s jungle gym (see photos below). The American Playground Device Company (now the American Playground Company) produced similar looking jungle gyms in the 1950s. An easy way to distinguish earlier jungle gyms from 1950s jungle gyms is the rounded elements of the 1950s jungle gyms as opposed to the non-rounded and overall square structures of earlier versions. This jungle gym has “ST. JOHNSBURY, VT” stamped on one of its pipes. St. Johnsbury, is a larger town about 36 miles away from Brownington. Perhaps this was a hand-me-down piece?

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Next up, the slide. Slides are a little harder to date, but based on the design, it appears to be another 1950s apparatus.

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This slide is sinking into the ground.

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Recreation Equipment Corp. Anderson, Indiana. 10-A. (Does anyone know what the 10-A represents?)

Next up: the mystery apparatus. I don’t even know what to call this one. It dates to the 1960s space age era of playground equipment, but nowhere can I find a name for it or a specific manufacturer. It’s part spaceship, part jungle gym, part submarine, part ladybug? Take your best guess. Do you recall playing on something like this?  DSC_1182DSC_1184

I’ve found a few similar images while searching online, but no luck with names. Do any of these ring a bell? Sources are in the photo captions. Click on each image or on the following links (clockwise, starting at top left): Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4. Any help in giving these a name or manufacturer would be much appreciated!

And what is an old playground without a merry-go-round? This is a later version, likely the 1970s, which you can tell by the shape of the handles and the pattern of the metal treads. It still spins – I checked! DSC_1193

Behind the merry-go-ground is an assuming fire truck. These types of play structures were common in the 1970s as well. DSC_1195DSC_1197

And that concludes the tour of the Brownington Center Church playground: pieces from the 1950s – the present (note the plastic playground pieces I did not feature). I hope kids are still enjoying these pieces.

Snow came early this year. Helen Day Memorial Library & Art Center, Stowe, VT. #presinpink

Goodrich House (Luther Hagar House, founder of the Hagar Hardware Company), c. 1832 Greek Revival. #presinpink