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Monday, June 05, 2017

We had a good meeting of the West Danville History Committee this afternoon.  As usual, more questions were raised, but along with those we had new insights, as well.  It's always fun to have Jane Hastings Larrabee present. She grew up in West Danville and has lots of stories an memorabilia to share, and Dot Ayer Larrabee also grew up there, so the two of them get to compare and confirm information as we go along.  Patty Houghton Conly grew up in Danville, but since her father lived in West Danville, she, too, has a wealth of information to share.  Today we were talking about the little library that's being restored next to the rail trail, and Jane reminded us that not only was Mr. Brainerd responsible for the library in West Danville, he also funded building Danville High School built in 1938.  As Jane put it, "He provided for every nail, screw, brick and board for that school."  She told us the Brainerds didn't have children, but they felt it was important to have a good high school; and they never lived in West Danville, but they wanted the town to have a library. 

I asked the question, "Why is the little park at the west end of the bridge in West Danville dedicated to Otis Brickett?"  It is near the site of West Danville's first school, a log cabin, and where the new two-story school was built in 1906.  Jane told us after 1921 when the new school was moved to the other side of the pond where it stands today, at some point Mr. Brickett owned the land and deeded it to the town.  

I had a nice note from a couple who visited Joe's Pond this past weekend.  She wrote:  

Hi ,This past weekend my husband Paul and I were visiting Gretchen and Jim Farnsworth who just moved to Joes Pond. We were able to go out kayaking in between the showers and managed to have a beautiful foggy sunrise on Sunday. It is such a beautiful serene pond and setting. I thoroughly enjoyed paddling around the pond. We saw two sets of loons and other kayakers.  I thought I would share my pictures with you for your blog.  -Robyn

We all recognize Pearl Island, built by Rufus Simeon Whittier when he returned from fighting Indians with Custer. The island is now owned by the Pearl sisters, Peggy and Elizabeth Pearl Sargent.

This is between the two islands at the north end of the pond. That's a menacing cloud over the big island, now Toll's Island. That island was once owned by Fr. Drouin and has a small chapel.

Pearl Island in fog . . .
 The sun rising, burning through the fog.

  Looking northwest towards the channel.
I wonder if Paul and Robyn knew they could follow the channel in their kayaks as it twists and turns through magical wetlands.  Until the reeds and pond lilies become well established, it's hard to tell where the channel is from the vantage point of the Farnsworth's, but beyond the point of land on the right in the photo, it is well defined and like being in another world.  Perhaps next time they visit they will explore that direction.  Thank you for sharing, Robyn.

Now if we could only get the heavenly faucet turned off so we could dry out . . . but according to the weather forecast that won't happen for a few more days, and then we're in for SUMMER WEATHER.  I'll believe it when I feel it.

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