Abandoned Vermont: Granville Inn

Located on Vermont Route 100, Granville is a small Vermont town composed of villages that relied on saw mills and gristmills for their livelihoods. This abandoned building is a ca. 1840 inn.

Abandoned in Granville, VT as seen from the road.

Record shot, showing 5×6 bays.

Front porch. Sidelights are hidden, but appear to be intact.

clapboard ceiling

Some sill work. Perhaps someone began or is beginning rehabilitation.

Second story window.

abandoned work on this abandoned house? Note where an addition has been removed.

Alligatoring, weathered paint: typical of many neglected or abandoned buildings.

Such a nice building, with the appearance of strong bones & structure. Maybe there is hope for this building on a well-traveled scenic route.

Pop Quiz Answer: Orleans Municipal Building

Remember this one?

Orleans Municipal Building

Research on this building has not been successful so far (hence the delay), other than to turn up the following postcard, from the Cinema Treasures website, which dates the photograph to 1941.

Orleans Municipal Building

It looks remarkably similar, doesn’t it? This building also housed a movie auditorium theater with 500 seats. Today the building still serves as town offices and a theater/event space.

However, this still begs the question: is this a typical building style and where else does one exist? That part of the quiz I cannot answer. the mismatched brick still seems like a mystery to me. If you know or have another example, please share.

Preservation Inspiration

After lazy, warm summer days, getting back into the swing of school or a more demanding pace of professional work can seem daunting. Even for those who see preservation as a lifestyle – much more than just a job – the more relaxed feeling of summer is hard to bid adieu. Hopefully you’ve all adjusted to your new school schedules and are excited for the work September brings, in the classroom or the office. In any case, a little inspiration can go a long way, yes?

This leads to me ask: What inspires you? What gets you excited for your schoolwork, your job, your volunteer activities? What reminds you that historic preservation is a field meant for you (or any field, if you work in another)?

Do you have a favorite quote? Maybe hearing success stories inspires you to keep going and keep believing in preservation. Or is the start of a new school with everyone full excitement what gets your preservation zest going?

One of my favorite quotes is still by Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” I’ve seen this quote applied in many different scenarios, but to me it has always said that everyone and everything can make a difference. As preservationists, we care about our built environment and our quality of life in the past, present and future.

And, of course, a certain flock of flamingos provides plenty of inspiration, too. So what is your go-to inspiration? Care to share it in the comments? And while we’re talking a faster pace of work and more seriousness of work, do you have anything you’d like Preservation in Pink to discuss? What topics interest you in preservation?

City Hall in Montpelier, VT. It is also home of the Lost Nation Theater. A multi-use building with many historic details intact provides good preservation inspiration.

Vintage Fun: Balla-Rolla

Happy Labor Day! Barbecues, backyard parties, friends, family and some games are probably on the agenda for many. Today’s games are often ladder golf, corn hole (or some beanbag toss), bocce, badminton; but what about some of the more classic games like croquet? And as a kid who else loved hula hoops (or still loves hula hoops)? Pogo sticks? Skip-it? How about this one: a Balla-Rolla.

A Balla-Rolla. Stand on this board, atop a cylinder and balance.

The Balla-Rolla was made by Carrom Industries, Inc. in the 1950s and 1960s.  (See this blog post by Rue 21 for additional photos and information.) The Carrom Company began in 1889 and continued to make board games and other amusements throughout the 20th century. Here’s a decade by decade history.

Close up of the logo. The drawing depicts how to use this toy.

The instructions say: “Roller is set at center in frame under platform. Place one foot on low end of board, other foot on high end and then start balancing.” Simple enough, right? Well the concept is simple, but the balancing takes a lot of practice. Just ask my sisters and my cousins.

The board has a textured surface to help you with your balancing act.

For those interested in the underside: the cylinder rolled back and forth in the frame.

We had a lot of fun using this toy over the years. For as long as I can remember, my sisters and I would play with it in my aunt & uncle’s basement, standing next to the bar or a wall to give ourselves additional training balance, while trying not to fall into anything. Unfortunately, we no longer have the cylinder (it was swiped from my sister’s dorm room) so if you know of a replacement option, let me know.

What vintage toys do you have or remember? Can you find them today? Would you re-introduce these toys to your family and friends?