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

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

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Featherbed Lane

On Friday, June 7th @7:00pm the Neighbors of Featherbed Lane shared stories and photos of its ongoing history. The presentation was well attended and audience participation was excellent.  Many might not know where Featherbed Lane is [HINT: Look to the right as you get off the causeway and onto the island, don't blink or you will miss the sign].
In the day, roads and cow-paths were much the same.  Listen to the stories of the early days when it was a little bit of a challenge just to get to your property.  Having a unique name like Featherbed might conger up images and imaginary stories of how it got the name.   Bet the real story is just as unique as your imaginations.
The presenters are Dick Bingham, Ray Jacoby, and Bill and Shirley Bingham.  I don't want to say they were there since day one but maybe from day one and a half.  They have a vast knowledge of the history of the Lane.
Audience participation from NEW owners and the current Road Association President was extremely interesting and sparked lively discussions around the room.
Watch the video to see the presentation as 'taped' by LCATV to get the answers to questions that inquiring minds want to ask.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Robinson Hardware Store

On May 3, 2019 the South Hero Historical Society hosted a wonderful session that enlightened a full crowd about the history of the Robinson Hardware Store, the kickoff of the 2019 season.
As you drive  on route 2 you will pass OUR hardware store.  The Robinson Family Hardware store has been there for about 140 years. I dare say that no-one in town remembers when it opened.  The primary building that is now the Hardware Store has always been the primary building, although it has provided multiple functions to the community over the years, in addition to hardware.
Cathy Robinson and Sarah [Robinson] Wakefield showed pictures and shared stories of local merchandising by the Robinson Family. Color commentary was added by Malcolm Allen as only Malcolm can do.  Watch the video, check out the pictures and enjoy a large piece of South Hero history that is tied up in the Robinson Hardware Store.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Annual Meeting and Impact of Sanbar on the Islands Presentation

On October 16th, 2018 the SHHS held its annual meeting at Folsom Ed Center. At this meeting we Elected officers, updated by-laws, and discussed merging with the Bicentennial Museum.

We also had a SNEAK Preview Presentation of the SHHS upcoming Burlington Free Press Article about the SANDBAR and how it developed and changed life on the Islands. The road we affectionately call the CAUSEWAY was not always the pristeen looking passage that it is today. Some parts of the year it did not exist and other parts of the year it was little more than a RUT with some dirt around it. The development of both the causeway and the environment of the islands is a very interesting topic. Watch the video and peruse the pictures and see what your mind thinks about all this.

The Evolution of a Revolutionary Home

Friday, Sept. 7th, 2018 at 7PM at Folsom School

Ebenezer Allen was granted a parcel of land on the southernmost end of South Hero in appreciation of his contributions as a Green Mountain Boy in the Revolutionary War. He later turned his homestead into a tavern, as did others living near the lake at that time. Residents living on the island came to swap stories and acquaintances and travelers from across the lake came to trade supplies.

Over the years, the Allen Homestead changed hands and uses. It was a family farm house, a tavern, a hippie commune, and today is a tastefully renovated suburban family home.

Ron Phelps was born and grew up in the farmhouse across the road from the Allen Homestead and his family lived there for many generations. Ron told us a little history of the famous Vermonter who first built this house and his cousin who visited him there and also about the changes he has seen in the house and those he has learned from his family in the past.

This is a very appropriate subject for our historical society program because the evolution of this house mirrors the evolution of the community and society as a whole.

Sept. 7th, 2018 at 7PM in the brick area of the Folsom Educational Center.

Joyce Blow was also on hand to tell about her family's years living in the house. And we were very lucky to have some members of the audience who had very interesting stories to add to this presentation especially the ones about when Hippies lived in the house.

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Castles of South Hero

As you drive around South Hero you have probably noticed the miniature stone castles scattered all over the place. Have you ever wondered about their history?  If you have or have not you are still welcome to come to the South Hero Historical Society presentation on Friday, August 3, 2018 at 7 pm. at the Folsom Educational Center.
Eloise Hedbor will be giving a presentation on the history and maybe a little folklore of these amazing little castles.
Who knows, perhaps a surprise guest will show up.

Some of Harry Barber's mystical casles: