Tag Archives: historical society

Wallingford Historical Society Annual Meeting Notice


Boy With The Boot

Boy With The Boot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please join the Wallingford Historical Society for its annual meeting on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 7 p.m. at the Wallingford Rotary Building.


If you have a passion for history or simply a desire to learn more about the town that you live in, this is your opportunity to come and get involved! Learn how you can help the historical society and learn a whole lot in the process.


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August Program





the First Annual Community Picnic

& End of Summer Gathering

Tuesday, August 27th

Town Public Beach at Elfin Lake

The beach will be open for picnicking from 5 to 7 at the town beach with time to explore the trails of Stone Meadow. Grills and tables available.

 Maps of trails will also be available.


There will be a brief history of how the town got the land from the Stones, information about the Conservation Commission on its 10th anniversary, and the presentation of a plaque in memory of Peter Upton, charter member of the Conservation Commission and avid environmentalist.

Refreshments               Open to the public            Bring your own chairs.

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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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Yellow Cat Tea Room

Bob Sargent, a former Wallingford High School teacher emailed us these pictures of the Yellow Cat Tea Room  in Wallingford.

According to Sargent, the Yellow Cat Tea Room was run by Ruth Kirk (nee Alexander) in and about 1920. If anyone wants to add anything to it, I am sure we would all be interested in learning more about it.


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Summer in Vermont

Summer in Vermont—it doesn’t get much better than that, always something for everyone.   Today nature has provided us with beautiful blue skies, light breeze, and low humidity… but if this isn’t your cup of tea it will be hot and humid on the 4th of July.

The Wallingford Historical Society welcomes all the summer residents and out of town visitors.  Stop by the Town Hall during the week and head upstairs to view our exhibit.  Save the last Tuesday of the month for our programs. On July 27th, it will be Adam Boyce presenting “SPRIGHTLY STEPS: Vermont’s Contra and Square Dancing Traditions”.   An ideal family program, it will be at 7:00PM in the Town Hall.  There will be a general meeting following this program.  All are welcome to give input into how we can improve the Historical Society.

August is our annual Art and Collectable show at Elfin Lake.  Diane Cooney will be looking for participants in this program as well as some help setting up.  If you or anyone you know does any sort of artistic work or has an interesting collection of items, please contact Diane at 446-2514.  The show will open at 5:00PM.  Bring a picnic dinner and spend an evening with friends and family admiring the talent of Wallingford people.  Directly after the show, 7:30PM, we will hold our annual meeting.  All are welcome.

It is with great celebration of life that we remember Thelma Carlton Perry who passed away on June 24th at the age of 100.  We can be assured that Thelma will be greatly missed.  She did countless wonderful things for so many people of this town.  It would be a real tribute to her if we could compile some of your remembrances and dedicate a future issue of the Wallingford Perspectives to her.   Send or email me your stories…brookvale@vermontel.net…. 2586 West Hill Rd..

I hope you enjoy this issue of the Perspectives as much as I enjoyed doing the April Poetry Program.  Hopefully it will become an annual affair.  Next time we can include student poems about Vermont/Wallingford along with more poems written by town people.  Watch for updates on this program.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!


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