Dr. Robinson's 3-4 classroom blog from 2012-2016

The students in Dr. Robinson's 3-4 Team studied South Hero History for 6 years and took many field trips around town.
Click on this link to see where the students went around town and what townsfolk they met along the way.


At the end of 2018 Lake Champlain Access Television [LCATV] started filming our presentations. Their output is 2 to 4 times sharper than the videos I was putting up. That means it takes a little longer to get the video to start. [The reason I reduced the quality level of my videos.] Their production is different than mine and you will notice that immediately.
When you click on a video, it starts to load. It will take about 30 seconds [an eternity when you are waiting] to start playing. The speakers will start to sound and the video will look like it is not running for about 23 seconds. LCATV puts up an identification POSTER for those 23 seconds. Don't be alarmed, it is running if you can hear the sound.

The old WEB guy

Saturday, January 28, 2023

January 11, 2023 Lessons from the Vermonter: Passenger Rail in Vermont--Video below

January 11, 2023. The South Hero Historical Society presents: "Lessons From the Vermonter: Passenger Rail in Vermont." Featuring Carl Fowler Carl Fowler spent a lifetime working to promote and improve passenger rail. He operated a rail based tour company, Rail Travel Center from 1983-2017 and has served on the Vermont Rail Advisory Council for over 20 years. In 1994 he made the proposal for the daylight train service that became the Vermonter. “Lessons from the Vermonter: Passenger Rail in Vermont” tells the story of the Post WWII history of the decline, fall and restoration of passenger train services in Vermont and northern New England. The fate of the Rutland Railroad and the Island Line are featured.

Friday, November 11, 2022

What an Event! Kim Kinney and the History of The Kinney Farm from 1794-2022 Written by Teresa Robinson (SHHS Member)) The South Hero Historical Society is back and Kim Kinney helped us get off to a glowing start with his humorous and detailed presentation about his family farm on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022 at the Worthen Library. Meticulously researched by Kim and most notably, his wife Linda, the properties at 212 South Street (west side) and at 189 South Street (East side) came to life! The standing room only crowd could picture Kim and his siblings rolling a ball in the original Kimball Kinney house built in the late 1700s at 212 South Street where Kim and his four siblings, children of Alan and Helen Kinney, grew up. The ball would only go one way because the house slants 17 inches from east to west as a result of the experienced carpenter mismeasuring the dimensions for the wall structures after a younger apprentice had measured them correctly. This building had a delightful summer kitchen which wasn’t heated in the winter but expanded the kitchen in the summer so 5 generations of Kinney moms could can the many vegetables and jellies that the farm produced.
212 South Street. Original Kimball Kinney farm started in 1794. Notice the U-shaped placement of the barns facing east so the cattle aren’t exposed to the winds. Picture courtesy of the Kim Kinney collection. Kimball’s son Alfred built the first house at 189 South Street. It later burned and his son T. L. Kinney built the present house. T. L. also built the state of the art fruit house that is still there today with collaboration from UVM extension. The apples were stored in the basement and the cool air would come in at night and the hot air would rise and go out the cupola on top. Apples were packed in barrels and sent to Boston and other cities by boat until the train came through in 1900.
T. L. Kinney’s state of the art air-cooled fruit house built in 1897 and still standing at 189 South Street. Picture courtesy of the Kim Kinney Collection. Horace Dewey Kinney purchased the farm from his father T. L. in 1917 and later in 1957 Alan Kimball Kinney, Sr. acquired the farm. Alan expanded the barn at 189 South Street and milked 40 head of cows. Kim reminisced about being a child and helping to cross the cows at South Street. He remembered having to stop the traffic both ways but nobody minded. They looked forward to seeing young Kim bringing up the rear after jumping on the back of the last cow! In 1973 Coop Insurance was available for farmers. Alan, Kim’s dad, was told the agency in Isle La Motte was closing. Might he be interested in taking it over? So Alan switched to selling insurance and he rented the farm to Tim and Jill Maxham and another group of kids grew up in the slanted house at 212 South Street! Alan moved the insurance office from Isle la Motte to the attached wood shed at the 189 homestead. He ran the agency until 1987 when he retired. Kim joined his dad in 1979 and ran the agency until 2017 when his two sons, Alan III and Drew acquired the family business. Also in 2017, Kim and Linda Kinney decided to renovate the farmhouse at 189 South Street and move into Kim’s ancestral home. Their pride in their heritage, their town, and being able to preserve their family homestead is unquestionably evident.
189 South Street. Ice house is located behind the farmhouse on the left. Alan Sr. added the very long cow barn in the middle after he took over the farm in 1957. Kim and Linda live there now. Picture courtesy of the Kim Kinney Collection. Three generations of Kinneys have owned the prosperous Kinney Insurance agency and now six generations of Kinneys have lived on the Kinney Farm. Kim has 7 grandchildren so it’s just possible the Kinney legacy will continue for many generations to come! We sincerely want to thank Kim and Linda for sharing their family journey.
Kim and Linda Kinney with an ice saw that was used to cut ice for the ice house on the Kinney farm at 189 and 212 South Street. Picture courtesy of Teresa Robinson. A new slate of officers were elected at the meeting for the 2022-2023 year. Dolf Wirsing will continue as president and is happy to announce that his board has quite a few ideas for future presentations.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

61 Years of Towing with Malcolm Allen

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Our Presenter

Malcolm Allen

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Stave Island 1893-2019

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Our Presenters

Bert Lindholm
Eric Lindholm

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Monday, August 5, 2019

Hackett's Orchard

Apples..  Apples..  Apples..

The first thing you see as you drive over the causeway is the Apple Island Campground. That says it in a nutshell. You have entered a wonderful world of apples known as "The Islands", specifically South Hero, your first stop. There are a number of well known orchards and on August 2, 2019 the South Hero Historical Society hosted a presentation about Hackett's Orchard at 7:00PM as the first public forum in the new Worthen Library. The presentation started on time, after a couple of growing pains had been resolved, to an overflow crowd.

The first speaker, Rod Larrow, took us through some history of the orchard in an earlier day when his family owned the property. He told us how many varieties of apple were present at that time. You would not believe me if I told you so I won't, you have to watch the video. He also took us through what varieties were popular in those earlier years and how they were marketed. In that time frame automation was coming to the apple industry. Rod's father was riding that wave using the systems known as ROD and his brother. [Kind of a manual automation, I guess]. He then turned the mike over to Ron.

Ron Hackett then talked about the orchard when he purchased it as a modern day gentleman farmer. He had a full time job and lumped his vacation together during picking season. Working off island during the day and working the orchard when he got home, he realized that was a bit much and years after buying the orchard he RETIRED to become a full time apple man. Ron has an odd way of retiring, but to each his own I suppose.
Ron then goes on to tell us how his time as the manager [if his wife had spoken there might have been a different idea of who the manager was, but I digress] improved the efficiency of picking, sorting , selling apples. He discussed the benefits of Bees and Malcolm Allen who could design and build just about anything needed to automate. If I told you have many orchards there were in the county you would not believe me so I won't, you have to watch the video. Ron turned the mike over to his grandson Devin Hackett.

Devin took us through the current set of improvements being implemented at the orchard. Improvements that make picking apples from the ground easier, many more trees per acre of orchard floor, changes to the machinery to improve purification time. As time goes by, those of us that go by Hackett's Orchard every day will be seeing subtle and not so subtle changes to the landscape as these improvements come to fruition. If I told you the tree per acre density of the Larrow orchard to the Hackett Orchard to what will be in the near future as Devin does his magic you would not believe me so I won't. You have to watch the video.

Our Presenters

Rod Larrow
Ron Hackett
Devin Hackett

Monday, July 8, 2019

Shadowland - A community in South Hero

On July 5,2019 the SHHS presented the History of Shadowland. Cathie Penrose Merrihew and Julie Brown Wolfe, both long time residents [not saying how long], shared stories and pictures of an area that started as a campsite for builders of the railroad and has evolved into a community in South Hero.
This was a well attended presentation with great audience participation.  Stories abound about the original size to what it is now, how it was developed, original and current uses.  AND, as we have heard in some previous presentations, the land deals of the time might have been less than above board, a handshake, the back of an envelope, or a wink and a nod.
The presentation took place at Folsom Ed Center and all were welcome.  So watch the video, review the pictures and get a sense of how a unique little part of South Hero became what it is today.

Our Presenters

Cathie Penrose Merrihew
Julie Brown Wolfe