Tag Archives: vermont

One-Room Schools at the Vermont Folklife Center


Granville One Room School

One-Room Schools at the Vermont Folklife Center.

For grades 1 – 5, I was educated in a one room schoolhouse. A throw back to a time before cars, given that everyone had to be able to walk to their school. In small towns around the country a few remained late into the 20th century.

That’s me in the dark shirt in the front, probably about 4th grade. I think that’s about the same time we ended up in a national segment in the CBS morning news for being the oldest continuously running one room school house in the country.

The school is no more. It closed down a few years ago.  But I remain thankful that I had that opportunity as a child. I also think it means I completely expended my 15 minutes of fame before I entered high school (was on national TV twice related to the school), so I consider everything else gravy from here on out.


I got to see this at Christmas, and it brought tears to my eyes. It was put together by one of the high school students in Rochester, and used as part of his application to college. An incredible piece of work, and really gives you a sense of what was going on up there when Hurricane Irene completely cut off these towns from the rest of the world.

Irene – the Video

I’m not sure how to quite even setup this video, just watch it.

Irene. from Liam McKinley on Vimeo.

This is a preview. Much more work to be done on a final product as Rochester continues to rebuild after Irene. Leave me some feedback.

After the Storm by Mumford and Sons.

Some context: The woman speaking at the end is Mary Sue Crowley, the principal of the high school. Their house sits on a flood plain/corn field and gets surrounded by water every spring in the floods. This time around they were trapped on the 2nd floor until the water receeded. The idea that that house survived the ’27 flood is amazing, and inspiring.

Irene Damage in Vermont

Route 4 Damage in Vermont - courtesy of Mansfield Heliflight

While we lucked out with Irene where I am in the Mid-Hudson Valley, Central Vermont took it hard. If we hadn’t gotten out in advance of the storm, we’d probably only be getting out of the state now. Facebook became a makeshift disaster recovery system in a really fascinating way (someone should really study the emergence of that, it’s pretty damn impressive).

There are lots of pictures of this event, but these Helicopter Survey images are some of the most striking, as you can see the damage at scale.

The Great Flood of ’27

When I was in high school (circa 1990), an extraordinary number of bridges in Vermont were crumbling, all at the same time.  This is because they were all built in 1928 – 1929, and 60 years was apparently the lifespan of those materials given the upkeep and conditions.  The reason all the bridges were built in such a short window of time was the great flood of 1927, which washed away over 1200 bridges in the state.

The Vermont Historical Society has this incredible video on the event, which is really something to behold (embedded below).

My Father makes the paper

The Burlington Freepress is a Gannett site (like our own Poughkeepsie Journal), so this link will probably be useless in a week.  However, right now there is a 4 page article on the EC Fiber project, to bring Fiber to the home for 22 rural towns.  My father gets the photo and quoted a few times in the article.


Jim Dague, a Granville road commissioner and the town’s liaison to the East Central Vermont Community Fiber Network, or EC Fiber, is waiting along with 21 other rural Vermont communities to hear whether the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service will award a $69 million stimulus loan to the high-speed Internet project.

The article itself is largely an attack piece against the project, citing a failed venture in 2004 in New Hampshire, and quoting another company that is competing for the stimulus money.  It is curious how the troops get rallied by the telcos any time a municipality wants to build out their own network.  Having watched, and participated in, the brain drain of central Vermont due to lack of modern infrastructure, I’m very much hoping EC fiber gets the stimulus funds and succeeds.