A Historic Bakery in Barre

Cold temperatures. Snowy weather. Ice. What complements these weather ailments better than a cup of coffee and warm fresh pastry from a locally owned bakery in a historic building? How about this one in Barre, VT near the Socialist Labor Party Hall?

A snow covered historic bakery in Barre, VT.

A snow covered historic bakery in Barre, VT. Photo courtesy of Fran Gubler.

Okay, so this bakery is not in operation, but it has an interesting history and much potential. It’s the subject of a UVM HP graduate student project this semester. Current student Fran Gubler shared the photos and historical information. Consider it another heart-bomb-worthy building.

Built in 1912-13, the bakery acted as an extension of the Union Co-Operative Store that was contained within the basement of the Socialist Labor Party Hall. Italian immigrants in the Granite Street neighborhood who worked in the granite quarries used the Labor Hall (and the bakery) as a meeting place where they had a lot of important discussions concerning the labor movement in the US in the early 20th century.

The bakery represented a structure that was created to meet the increasing demand for Italian breads and other baked goods in the neighborhood but also served as an indicator of the Italian community’s resiliency during that time in Barre. The bakery is a symbol of how the immigrant population supported themselves economically during a very difficult time. They actually produced their own currency with the arm and hammer label on it that was used to brand the baked goods!

The historic bakery in Barre, VT.

The historic bakery in Barre, VT.

If you haven’t come across Fran’s blog, Fran Over Medium Heat, you should read it. Fran’s writing combines personal essays with her love of baking in beautiful style, and she includes recipes at the end of every post. Whether about life, school, relationships or little things, I’m always able to relate. The way Fran explains it, life and cooking/baking are symbiotic. (It’s one of my favorite reads.)

Any takers on the historic bakery?


Weekend Homework

One day soon I will not have anymore weekend homework, but right now I have two more weekends full until this semester (i.e. my grad school career) ends. And this weekend I’m back to the Addison Town Hall, one of my favorite buildings. This time I’m working on an interior conditions assessment (which follow a windows conditions assessment and an exterior conditions assessment). Take a look at these photos:


The second floor and the stage.

On the stage.

View from the stage.


These are only on the second floor because it’s the more historic of the floors… and it has the amazing historic feeling to it. Can you imagine putting on a play for your class on that stage? Look at those little desks. I love the benches, too, likely used for town hall meetings and grange hall meetings. While I chose a cold, but sunny day to conduct my documentation, it was colder inside the building than outside! (This, of course, I expected since the building hasn’t been heated in decades.) Still, any chance to spend time in the Addison Town Hall is a treat.

That’s my homework this weekend. What about you?

Preservation Photos #56

A beautiful October view over the pond to the meeting house at Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont. What a great place for class field trips, even as a graduate student.

The Kitten Who Liked Measured Drawings

Previous Izzy appearances seen here, here, here, and here.

As already discussed, Izzy is no longer small enough to share my desk with me. This is what happens when I need the entire space for drawing and she decides to stage a coup d’etat. Thanks, Izzy. (If you’ve ever wondered, we think Izzy is part Angora.)

First, Izzy surveys the desk area.

Next, she gets a bit closer to my work.

She plays cute so I don't mind that she's all over my papers.

She likes to touch the pencils.


Pencil, notes, architect's scale...check.


And stretchhhh during all of this work.

Wondering what is taking so long...

Oh so tired.

And naptime.


Friday Links

The Brooklyn Bridge Forest project brings yet another link to preservation + sustainability. The general idea? Growing and responsibly maintaining a tropical hardwood forest to replace the 11,000 planks of tropical hardwood on the Brooklyn Bridge when necessary, rather than using uncharacteristic synthetic wood.

Love Route 66? Scott Piotrowski has picked up his blogging again (hooray!) about Historic Roads in Los Angeles County, CA. He plans to uncover the final 66 miles of Route 66 in 66 different blog entries leading up to 2012 Route 66 Festival in Santa Monica. That sounds like quite the task – and interesting one at that! Leave a comment on his blog with suggestions & encouragement.

Speaking of Route 66, who wants to buy the NR listed Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico? It’s for sale!

And, if you’re a fan of the movie Cars you may know that Disneyland is opening “Cars Land” in summer 2012. Scroll down for a bit info and some pictures.

Anyone attending the Society for Industrial Archaeology’s Fall Tour in Vermont this September? I’ll be there, helping out with the Saturday Burlington tour.

Looking for a job? Many have been appearing on PreserveNet lately, many more than earlier in the summer.

Is anyone taking the Ivy Tech (Madison, IN) online course: Introduction to Historic Preservation? I’d be interested to hear about your experiences.

Any starting your undergrad major or graduate degree in preservation? Please share!

Happy weekend; hope the last one of August treats you well! Get out and about while it’s still warm and sunny!

Field Trip to Keeseville, NY

The end of classes brought deadlines, finals, and a field trip for my preservation classmates and me. We piled into a UVM van with snacks, lunch, and rain jackets (most of us) + 2 cars and we were off to catch the Grand Isle ferry over to Plattsburgh, NY.

Route 2 on the way to the ferry. We were hoping to avoid whatever storm lingered.

Our first stop was the new home, and old mill complex, of the organization Adirondack Architectural Heritage. We had lunch overlooking the Ausable River.

Ausable River in Keeseville, NY

Next we were on our way to do some survey practice, as part of our Practice Methods class, but before that we stopped at the Keese Homestead to take a look at the amazing collection of barns and outbuildings. (If you will recall, our class is particularly interested in barns, thanks to our Vermont Barn Census projects.)  And for most of us, this turned out to be the best part of the day. The collection of buildings is astounding, especially the cow barn. The Keese Homestead is privately owned, but the owner (a friend of AARCH) was kind enough to give us a tour and allow us to take pictures. He and his wife have done their best to keep up the buildings and to understand their history.Without sharing the 50 0r so pictures I took that day, here are  few (well, less than 50 anyway):

The smokehouse.

A row of farm buildings, just a few.

The granary.

The ceiling of the granary: those planks are about two feet in width, talk about firs growth timber!

Looking out the granary window.

Beautiful hinges on one of the barns.

Another farm building on the property (and Jen).

The best barn on the property was an unsuspecting (large) cow barn. I don’t think these pictures will do it justice, but see if you can note the massive timbers. It was just such an incredible space. We spent the most time in here.

Inside the cow barn. Wow.

From the hayloft. A few of us climbed up the handmade ladder -- hand hewn, rounded pegs/steps through a middle post.

Again from the hayloft.

To give you an idea of the timber size.

On the other side of the barn, the cow stalls and troughs. Note the cemter floor, indicative of an improvement in technology and sanitation.

The cow troughs.

The Keese Homestead. We only explored the barns, but the house is spectacular as well.

And after the barns we headed over to Peru, NY to practice our survey skills. I did not take nearly as many pictures, however. Here are my two favorites:

Window on the restored (and still active) church in Peru.

Former industrial area in Peru that flooded and is waiting a return to use.

We were back in Burlington by mid evening, just in time for a final review. A wonderful field trip day.  For the record, Bob McCullough brings the best lunches and snacks.

Summer 2010 Internships

One of the most common pieces of advice I’ve heard lately for internships is to record your daily activities, to document as you go. Otherwise, you will forget. Like those road trip pictures from three years ago you were going to label and never did — where was that particular “middle of nowhere” shot? — well, sort of like that, but you know what I mean.  Most of all, it’s practical. Whether you have an internship report requirement or whether you want to make sure you can identify your new skills, records are important.

Of course, a fun way to document highlights of your internship is through a blog. Share with classmates, friends, family, and fellow preservationists what your day-t0-day internship is like.  If you have an internship blog, let me know so PiP readers can read about it. Or consider guest posting your experiences like Lauren McMillan’s summer 2009 archaeology field school posts or Nicholas Bogosian’s monthly preservation trades posts. Either way, I’m sure a lot of people would love to hear about it. Think about it, ask me about it, let me know.

Readers, if you have a preservation blog that isn’t linked here, comment below — share the wealth of blogs and spread the word. The more people who read about preservation and learn what others are doing, the better!

Research Resource: archive.org

One of the best things about graduate school is discovering the wealth of research resources available, whether for a project or just your own curiosity. While I love JSTOR and typical databases such as that, sometimes I need more than articles. One of my recent favorites is Internet Archive (archive.org). From the “about” page:

The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. Founded in 1996 and located in San Francisco, the Archive has been receiving data donations from Alexa Internet and others. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections. Now the Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections, and is working to provide specialized services relating to training, education, or adaptive reading or information access needs of blind or other persons with disabilities.’ Click here to read more about an internet archive.

My use for Internet Archive so far has been reading periodicals for research. Many historic periodicals are only available at a handful of libraries across the country, and they may be too fragile for copying or sending for inter-library loan, but a digital version allows access to anyone who needs it. Best of all, you can read these digital copies page by page in a book layout, almost like having the volume in front of you (sort of like an ebook, I would imagine). While flipping digital pages is not nearly as fun as flipping actual pages, it’s still a wonderful resource for those hard to obtain volumes. When searching choose among texts, moving images, software, web, audio, and more. For example, search for “American City” in text – American literature and you can instantly read fascinating issues of the magazine. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find what you need! (By the way, Internet Archive is also home of the Wayback Machine if you’re looking for an old website.)

Now another topic for discussion: what do you think of digital libraries? Perhaps we’ll save that for later this week. Think about it! Otherwise, what’s your favorite internet resource?