The Wilmington Fire Department celebrated 150 years of service to the community on Easter Sunday. The department was originally started in 1858 by Wilmington’s incorporated village government. Village trustees voted to appropriate $700 in 1858 to buy a hand-operated pump and 200 feet of hose on February 22. A month later, the new fire department elected their first officers. The department purchased its first truck in 1939.
15 years ago:
The Whitingham School Board set a date for a special Town Meeting to give voters an opportunity to discuss and vote on whether they wanted to vote on a future proposed joint contract with Wilmington by Australian ballot. Wilmington scheduled a similar meeting. “People seem to need a forum to get together and express their opinions,” said Whitingham School Board Chair Doug Bartlett. “I think we need to get together and hash it out.”
A Wilmington High School Spanish class trip to Spain was canceled after the United States invaded Iraq. As an alternative, students chose a trip to Mexico City and the Yucatan.
Rep. Bob Rusten said he was 90% sure that the Legislature would make significant changes to Act 60, the state’s education funding law. One of the changes under consideration would replace most of the revenue from the statewide education tax with an education income tax.
20 years ago:
Options for a proposed bypass around Wilmington Village were up for review at a public workshop. The proposals were the latest of a number of bypass proposals made throughout the last 60 years, all of which have been rejected for various reasons.
A lecture at Marlboro College focused on the effect of computers and digital technology on art and the humanities. “Digital technologies are changing how we think as a culture, just as the advent of the printing press did in the 16th and 17th centuries. Print technology took many decades to make its impact felt; new technologies are having a profound impact in a very compressed time frame.”
25 years ago:
Wardsboro Selectboard members considered a petition calling for the termination of the town’s road foreman. The 106 petitioners said they were “displeased” with his performance, and wanted him to be replaced. Board members said they were still investigating the situation.
A former Wilmington special police officer was sentenced to six months to two years probation with a condition that he receive mental health counseling. The officer had pleaded no contest to two charges of lewd behavior, stemming from two incidents in which he allegedly engaged in inappropriate behavior with two women while investigating burglaries.
35 years ago:
Education officials said New England was facing an “education telecommunications” deficit. According to a national assessment, New England states lagged behind others in the availability of data transmission and video telecourses, as well as computerized libraries and cable systems that, even then, were perceived as “networks for all types of information, not merely television.”
A Great Dane that had been impounded by the Dover animal control officer gave birth to nine puppies at the Dover Highway Department Garage. According to the report, the owner of the dog was cooperating with Dover officials to find a home for the dog and her litter.
Sally and Dick Redin were the new owners of Yankee Rental (formerly Mike’s Rental), an equipment rental business, on West Main Street in Wilmington. The Redins planned to expand the inventory of power tools and home improvement equipment, as well as televisions and Betamax tapes.
40 years ago:
Wilmington sought to obtain federal grants for a flood protection study and project. Wilmington residents Ron Poplar, Sam Olsen, and George Crafts were appointed to a joint Wilmington-Dover “river committee.” The Deerfield River flooded in August 1976, causing substantial damage in Wilmington Village.
The Vermont Agency of Transportation warned residents that they would be cracking down on illegal signs placed in the state highway right of way. According to the agency, the numerous illegal signs in the area had come to their attention because of Route 100’s reclassification as a primary highway.
45 years ago:
The Deerfield Valley News profiled Vermont House chef Chuck Andrews, brother of owner Ron Andrews, after the paper received a petition with dozens of signatures demanding that he be profiled in the “chef of the week” feature.
According to the profile, Andrews had already served up a total of 10,000 of his famous sandwiches at the Vermont House, and many patrons had declared that his were the best in the valley. Before coming to the valley and settling down at the Vermont House, Andrews had been a master mechanic and the Canadian national motorcycle racing champion.
Fire marshals were investigating a fire that gutted the Old Ark Lodge, a Wilmington landmark. The owners, Paul Kasanoff and Skip Holton, were in a nearby building and spotted the fire at about 1 am. The lodge was closed at the time.
There was a move to enlarge Wilmington’s selectboard from three members to five. One resident who was circulating a petition said that petitioners believed the larger board would be better for the community, and would keep any individual or small group from having control over town affairs.
50 years ago:
A New York investor paid a record amount for acreage at the base of Mount Snow. Eugene L. Colman paid Parson Crafts $90,000 for an 18-acre tract adjacent to the Mount Snow Base Lodge, or $5,000 per acre, the highest price ever paid for land in southern Vermont. Colman planned to build 60 apartment units and a 200-room hotel.
Wilmington and Dover residents voiced their support for construction of a joint municipal airport in a straw poll at a meeting in Dover.
In the classified ads: Red 1962 Volkswagen, very good condition, five new tires, $500.