SIA Vermont Tour: Part Two

A recap of the Saturday tour of the Society for Industrial Archaeology’s Vermont 2010 Fall Tour. Read Part One.

To recap, the day began bright and early (well, more like dreary and foggy, but the sun soon appeared) with visits to the Green Mountain Power Plant No. 19, Shelburne Museum, Shelburne Farms, and a jaunt over to Magic Hat Brewery. Those stops comprised the Burlington/Shelburne portion of our day, and then we were Montpelier bound once more.

On the return trip along I-89, we turned off at exit 11 towards Richmond to visit the East Monitor Barn, sister to the restored/reconstructed West Monitor Barn. Thanks to our wonderful tour organizer, Seth, we were able to stop for a while, walk in and around the barn to explore and gaze at the construction, take pictures, and enjoy the gorgeous Saturday afternoon. For me, it was the highlight of the trip. On how many tours do you get to just traipse [gently] through a historic barn? We had to bushwhack a bit to get to the rear of the barn, which made it all the more fun.

 

The East Monitor Barn in Richmond, VT.

 

 

The interior of the main floor of the East Monitor Barn.

 

 

The ground level of the barn, a former dairy stable.

 

 

The East Monitor Barn -- check out the ghost lines.

 

 

Looking up the monitor.

 

After we’d been entertained by our barn explorations, the bus headed back to Montpelier. Later that evening we all gathered at the Socialist Labor Party Hall in Barre, VT for a banquet and lecture. The hall is a National Historic Landmark, built by the Italian immigrants of Barre. The building is fascinating and undergoing restoration work (donations appreciated!). While the dinner was in the main hall, we had the opportunity to stroll through other spaces of the buildings on the first floor and in the basement.

 

Old Labor Hall in Barre, VT.

 

 

The Labor Hall in the evening.

 

{Sorry for the blurry Labor Hall photos!} The lecture was given by Ilaria Brancoli Busdraghi of Middlebury College. She gave a wonderful talk about the immigration of Italian granite workers to Barre.

Additionally, dinner was fabulous, catered by JDC’s Just Delicious Catering, which is a part of the Vermont Fresh Network. As an added bonus, the coffee served was my absolute favorite: Vermont Coffee Company, Dark Roast. And the company of fellow SIA members was terrific. Everyone is extremely welcoming, friendly, and knowledgeable. Seriously, these industrial archaeologists have an overwhelming amount of knowledge. There is always an interesting conversation, no matter which direction you turn.

Credit for this amazing day of tour is due to Seth DePasqual, the organizer of the event and fellow SIA member. He planned the tour from all the way from Michigan! Great job, Seth. I only wish I would have more time than just Saturday. Maybe next time.

Young professionals and students, you should really think about joining! The SIA rocks!