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Monday, April 06, 2015

We seem to be back in winter mode, although there's a spring mix of snow, mud, ruts and potholes along West Shore Road, but not as bad as it will be, no doubt.  At the top of West Shore Road by Route 2, Danville's end of the road is really bad and there's some indication of washout around the culvert there, so getting too close to the edge is definitely not a good idea.  The rest is pretty good as long as you go at a reasonable speed.

There was a meeting tonight at the town hall in Cabot regarding the proposed closing of Route 15 while the bridge in Walden is being replaced.  I did not go, but several Joe's Pond people went and I'll have a report later.  Diane Rossi said she came away feeling the state "got the message" about safety concerns and will provide state police or sheriffs at bad intersections, etc.  One thing we can depend on during the summer months in Vermont is that there will be "road work" going on everywhere, with the result that travelers will sometimes find they "can't get there from here."  Our season for road repairs is comparatively short, but VTrans has been diligent in letting us know about detours and delays, and in the end, it's worth the extra time and effort to have good, safe roads to travel.

I went to Danville today and Dot Larrabee and I did a little research at the town clerk's office.  We are hoping to figure out where people were living in West Danville in the 1800's, and found some old maps from Beer's Atlas of 1875 with familiar names.  We will check deeds to try figuring out where certain buildings were that have long since either burned or been taken down.  We are beginning to get a sense of what the village was like in those early years.

One of the booming spots in the early 1900's was "Poplar Point," later known as "Point Comfort."  George Cook owned it in 1906 and set out 100 young poplar trees.  At the time, he had 14 lots for sale, and seemed to be in competition with O. B. Flint at the north end of the pond who had a much larger recreation area called Lake Park. Flint had a distinct advantage because the railroad ran along his property and trains stopped at the park to deliver and pick up passengers on a daily basis during the summer, while  Poplar Point was ten minutes walking distance from the train station.  However, both Cook and Flint did good business in the summer.

I thought this was interesting:  In July of 1907, M. M. Goodwin launched a 20 foot gasoline powered boat - the first mentioned.  It was equipped to carry 10 people.  This would have been a much more modern craft than the wood fired steamers people were used to for cruising around the lake.  

Also, while searching these old newspapers, I've kept track of when the ice went out over the years and tomorrow I'll put together that information for you.  Too late to help anyone pick the date to win this year's contest, but it may still be interesting.  'Til then.


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