This week in history
Jun 08, 2017 | 2448 views | 0 0 comments | 161 161 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wilmington Police Chief Agostinho “Augie” Fernandes spoke with reporters about the rally planned by New England KKK members in 1982.                          
File photo
Wilmington Police Chief Agostinho “Augie” Fernandes spoke with reporters about the rally planned by New England KKK members in 1982. File photo
slideshow
10 years ago:

Readsboro School Principal David Switz and third-grade teacher Ellie Roden announced their retirement. Switz had been at the school 35 years, since 1972, and Roden had been teaching at the school for more than 20 years.

The Wilmington Selectboard considered buying the former “bank building” property on the corner of Route 9 and South Main Street. The bank building, which had once housed the local bank, was destroyed in a fire just a couple of months earlier. At the time of the fire, it had been an antique store.

15 years ago:

A section of Kathy and Gerry Costello’s house on Brown Road in Wilmington was destroyed by a freak tornado. The Costello family was at home, and Michael Costello was sitting in the part of the house that was hit the worst. He barely escaped as the F2 tornado tore the roof off the house and collapsed the walls. As Costello retreated into the main part of the house, he came face to face with the tornado as he attempted to pull the door closed behind him. “I finally let go of the door, and it was gone,” he said. “We haven’t seen it since.”

25 years ago:

Beemers Restaurant, a popular lunch and breakfast place in Dover, reopened in the former McCarren’s (Sister Kate’s) building. The spot is currently home to West Dover Joe’s.

Local builder Gary Henry traded his hammers and saws for guitars and drums. Henry returned to his first love, music, as a multitalented musician and an engineer in his own studio.

30 years ago:

Mount Snow was dismantling its gondola in preparation for the installation of a “state-of-the-art quad chair lift that would increase capacity and speed skiers to the summit in 8 minutes.”

The town of Wilmington was running a contest to create a slogan to be painted on the police department’s two cruisers. The winning sloganeer would win $50.

A boat stolen two years earlier was recovered when the victim, a Colrain, MA, resident, recognized it on Harriman Reservoir.

35 years ago:

A Ku Klux Klan group from Connecticut, led by grand dragon James W. Farrands, held a rally in Wilmington. The night before the rally, Wilmington police caught Farrands and three other KKK members trying to remove anti-Klan signs posted by Wilmington High School students. Farrands and the other three men were placed under arrest. The next day 20 KKK members rallied at the high school without their grand dragon. They were outnumbered by more than 100 counterprotesters, dozens of reporters, and 50 state and local police. After an hour-long demonstration, police finally told the KKK members that they could leave under police protection, or face the angry crowd of counterprotesters on their own. According to Farrands, the town of Wilmington was chosen for the demonstration for shock value and publicity potential. “We’ve gotten a million dollars worth of free advertising,” he told The Deerfield Valley News.

40 years ago:

Whitingham’s senior class visited Washington, DC. Among the highlights was a discussion with Sen. Patrick Leahy, Rep. Jim Jeffords, and an aide to Sen. Robert Stafford, and tours of the White House, Smithsonian and other museums, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the FBI building.

The all-male status of the Whitingham Little League was challenged when three girls showed up at a practice. The coach initially refused to allow them to play, but after jeers from the girls’ supporters, he eventually relented.

45 years ago:

Golf at Mount Snow was just getting underway. The spring start had been delayed because of rain through most of May. Nine inches of rain was recorded for the month.

After initially denying a Deerfield Valley News reporter access to minutes of their meetings, the Readsboro Selectboard agreed to make their minutes public. Two weeks earlier, a selectman had ordered the town clerk not to disclose the public records, citing “comments on personalities” made in open session that he felt should be exempt from public disclosure.

The Vermont Department of Water Resources promised Haystack Corporation permission to discharge 100,000 gallons of treated sewage into the Deerfield River.

Pete Johnson and John Poor posed with a string of trout they caught on a fishing trip in a remote area of northern Quebec.
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