Fred Carvin

IMG_1444The Wallingford Historical Society welcomed author Fred Carvin for its June meeting. Carvin is the author of the biography entitled Paul Harris and the Birth of Rotary. The meeting was appropriately held in the Rotary building where Harris spent significant time in his youth while living in Wallingford.

Carvin explained in detail the extensive research he conducted over a four-year period to write the book. His research allowed him to spend a significant amount of time here in Vermont, particularly in Wallingford and Fair Haven where Harris and his family lived. Carvin recollected several of Harris’ boyhood escapades that he uncovered while conducting his local research. He then traveled all over the country, wherever Harris spent signficant time, in an effort to research the Rotary founder’s life.

Carvin’s biography is really only the second biography written on Harris’ life. As he explained, while there are presently four books that recount Harris’ life, one was written by Harris, called the Road to Rotary and the two others, written by British authors recount much of the information in the Road to RotaryPaul Harris and the Birth of Rotary, the fourth book, is a well researched book evidenced by the time and effort Carvin expended in putting together his version as he explained in detail during the course of last night’s program. He was fortunate enough to be permitted access by the Wallingford Rotary to three versions of Harris’ handwritten drafts of The Road to Rotary book which he took months to transcribe in order to gain access to information that was omitted from Harris’ final version and shed light on Harris’ life and those that touched it.

For those of you, like me, that have never read about Paul Harris in detail, Carvin’s book seems to provide an entertaining and very well researched look into one of Wallingford’s famous residents.

A hearty thank you goes out to Fred Carvin and his wife, Judy for taking the time to share their wealth of information with the group and travel here to meet with us. For those of you who were not able to make the program, the book can be purchased online at http://www.paulharrisbook.com .

 

 

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June Event

  THE WALLINGFORD HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS

AN EVENING WITH FRED A. CARVIN
AUTHOR OF
“PAUL HARRIS AND THE BIRTH OF ROTARY”

Please join the Wallingford Historical Society in welcoming Fred A. Carvin, a Glens Falls, New York rotarian who wrote about Wallingford’s Paul Harris and the beginnings of the Rotary International.

When: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 – 7 pm
Where: Wallingford Rotary Club, Main Street, Wallingford

~This event is free and open to all~

 

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Genealogy Program

This evening, the Wallingford Historical Society sponsored a tutorial presentation on how to navigate Ancestry.com.

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The presenter, Tim Heffernan, is a high school sophomore and led the group through how to navigate Ancestry.com’s site and research one’s genealogy. The program was  informative for those who came out and well attended. There were questions entertained throughout the program and also a member of the audience volunteered to provide family information for a sample family tree during the program to allow the presenter to demonstrate how to navigate the site and access online records and data.

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May’s WHS Program

English: The Old Oak Tree.

English: The Old Oak Tree. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ever wonder about your family tree — that famous uncle or how your family navigated one of history’s big events? Have you always wanted to dig into your lineage but it all seems so daunting to undertake? Join us for the Wallingford Historical Society’s May program on genealogy. Learn how to find out who you are and where you came from during this program.

MAY’S UPCOMING EVENT

We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies. ~Shirley Abbott

Learn how to navigate your past with the Wallingford Historical Society’s program

ANCESTRY.COM TUTORIAL SESSION

presented by
Tim Heffernan
Tuesday May 21, 2013
6 p.m.
Wallingford Historical Society Museum Town Hall (Second Floor)
Free to the Public

~Handicap Accessible~ 

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Wallingford Historical Society Upcoming Events

Look for these upcoming events presented by the Wallingford Historical Society during May and June.

Ancestry

Ancestry (Photo credit: John-Pa)

May 21, 2013 – 6 p.m. – Learn How to Navigate Ancestry.com – Tim Heffernan @ Wallingford Town Hall.

Wallingford, Vermont

Wallingford, Vermont (Photo credit: Dougtone)

June 25, 2013 – Paul Harris and the Birth of Rotary – Fred A. Carvin @ Wallingford Rotary Club

These events are free and open to all. 

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Pelsue Cemetery Program

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Stafford Doll Collection

Wallingford resident David Klock was the speaker at the Wallingford Historical Society’s June program. Klock is a wealth of information about Wallingford history and a pleasure to hear relate history and stories about Wallingford’s past, partly because you can tell that he just enjoys passing on the information to his audience.

Klock presented his grandmother Minnie Stafford’s doll collection to the Historical Society during the hour-long program at the Historical Society’s Museum located on the second floor of the Wallingford Town Hall.  Minnie Stafford is the daughter of Alfonso P. Stafford, for whom the Wallingford Town Hall was named. A.P. Stafford, as he was known, was the town tinsmith with his business located just south of the Gilbert Hart Library. In 1876 he and his family, including daughter Minnie moved into the house on Main Street that David and his wife Lowell currently call home.

Photo Credit: Lowell Klock

Klock had the doll collection laid out on a table together with all the accouterments for each doll so that the audience would have an opportunity to come up close and see the beautiful antique dolls firsthand which was a real treat for audience members, who eagerly came up when invited to do so. The dolls, Klock explained,  have been stored in an impeccably maintained steamer trunk in the Klock home since his grandmother moved into the house in 1876.  Each doll, save the smallest one, had a name. The smallest, unnamed doll, a beautiful bisque doll measuring about six inches is simply referred to as “the Little One”.

The largest of the dolls, and by the looks of it, maybe Minnie’s favorite was the doll called Hattie.

Photo Courtesy of Lowell Klock

Hattie has her own homemade four poster bed and handmade quilt along with a beautiful straw hat that most likely was instrumental in her name. She bears leather hands and feet with a porcelain head and cloth body. She came with a trunk full of clothes that Klock says were handmade by Minnie, her mother and her sisters.

Photo Courtesy of Lowell Klock

The next doll in the collection, Emma is a slightly smaller porcelain doll with a completely cloth body. She travels in her wooden cradle, which I am sure was also handmade with lots of love and her own trunk full of handmade clothes and a homemade quilt. The gorgeous craftsmanship of the tiny quilts is amazing and considering that they were most likely made by children, makes one more appreciative of the time and effort that was put into each one.

Photo Courtesy of Lowell Klock

The third doll, Annie, another porcelain doll with a cloth body is smaller still from the other two and resides in her wood cradle with her own quilt. Her clothing is a bit smaller and fits into a cigar box, but still sports the same wonderful care and detail as the other dolls’ clothing.

The final doll, the one that bears no name but is affectionately referred to by Klock as “The Little One” doesn’t have a cradle, but rather a sort of makeshift box bed in which she is safely tucked. Not to be outdone, she comes complete with her own, tiny wardrobe.

Klock recounted during the program, fond memories of how his sisters played with the dolls each and every summer that they came to visit in Vermont. Wallingford resident Nelly Button, the author of the book “Creative English” was also privileged to be able to play with Minnie’s dolls as a child. In fact, as part of the collection being given to the Historical Society, Klock displayed for the group a copy of Button’s book with a personalized inscription recounting that she was one of the lucky few to be able to play with Minnie’s doll collection.

The dedication ceremony concluded with the packaging of the dolls and their belongings back into the beautiful steamer trunk that they have called home for the past almost 150 years. The trunk and its contents will become part of the Wallingford Historical Society’s Museum collection. The dolls will be placed on display at an undisclosed date in the future for those of you who were not fortunate enough to enjoy Klock’s informative program.

Photo courtesy of Lowell Klock

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