A Jacksonville landmark went up in flames. Although the building had been known as “the Academy” for more than 100 years, the building only served as the private Whitingham Academy for one year, from 1899 to 1900. In the late ‘20s and early ‘30s, the town used the building as a temporary public school after the town’s school building burned. Located at the crest of a hill on Academy Road, the building had served as an inn and restaurant, a ski club, and as a private home.
15 years ago:
The MOOver proposed building a “multimodal transit center” on the site of the former Haynes Barnboard factory on Mill Street in Wilmington. The building, then owned by Wilmington resident Bob Grinold, would be razed to make way for the new structure. Plans also included space for a Mount Snow “remote resort access point” at which travelers could purchase lift tickets and rent equipment. The Valley Trail Committee proposed building a bridge spanning the Deerfield behind the former factory, which would connect the trail to the new MOOver digs.
20 years ago:
Mount Snow’s proposed 2.8-mile snowmaking pipeline, which would run from Haystack’s Mirror Lake to Mount Snow, was under scrutiny at an Act 250 hearing. At the time, Mount Snow was leasing Haystack with an option to buy the smaller ski resort. Mount Snow’s John Redd said that, if there was no permit in place for the pipeline, Mount Snow would be unlikely to purchase Haystack and “risk having the rug pulled out from under us.”
30 years ago:
House Speaker Stephan Morse, of Newfane, announced that he was exploring a run for governor. Morse said his decision would depend on whether fellow Republicans, Rep. James Jeffords or incumbent Gov. Richard Snelling would run for the position.
35 years ago:
Rep. Bill Hamilton, of Wilmington, was instrumental in passing legislation that would change ski area liability to an “assumption of risk” doctrine. Under the doctrine, plaintiffs may be barred from collecting for damages resulting from injuries sustained while participating in dangerous activity if they voluntarily and knowingly assumed the risks. The governor was expected to sign the bill, which proponents said would “relieve the insurance crisis that threatened to close down the ski industry in Vermont.”
40 years ago:
Fire caused extensive damage to the Side Door Restaurant on South Main Street in Wilmington. Although firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control and save the building from total destruction, the basement and first floor were burned, and the second and third floors had smoke and water damage. Jack Koelsh, who owned the building with Victor Balk, said the building was “totaled.” Koelsh and Side Door chef Bob Holmberg were in the kitchen when the fire was discovered, and they attempted to douse the flames with fire extinguishers. When the flames and smoke pushed them back, they climbed up the fire escapes to alert residents of the building. No one was injured.
An ice jam on the Deerfield River caused flooding in the downtown area and as far north as Wheeler Field. After several failed attempts at blasting the packed ice free, a final attempt was successful thanks to increasing pressure from the rising floodwaters. But it was too late for Al Wurzberger’s Olde Deerfield House, which flooded for the third time, causing about $3,000 in damage. (The building was destroyed by floodwaters during Tropical Storm Irene.)
45 years ago:
An article on the Town Meeting warnings in Dover and Wilmington asked voters if they wished to hold a joint meeting for residents of both towns to “discuss the construction of a joint municipal airport in the Dover-Wilmington Valley on a site now supported by the Windham County Airport Planning Committee.” At a meeting at Mount Snow, the Vermont Aeronautics Commissioner said that the state could provide 30% of the funding for an airport, and the feds could kick in another 50%. At the time, Windham was one of three counties in Vermont that didn’t have a public airport.