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About Swanton Historical Society

2012 Annual Report of the President & Trustees

Swanton Historical Society R.R. Depot Museum

            The Swanton Historical Society has just completed its 28th year of serving its members and the Swanton community.  It has been another busy and interesting year.  The process of discovering and celebrating the history of Swanton has been challenging, invigorating and rewarding. Since 1984 the Historical Society has been offering numerous educational and entertainment programs free and open to the public including the following this past year:

            January:         “Swanton and the War of 1812”  Jason Barney, who teaches history at MVU,  celebrated the completion of a year long internship with the Historical Society sponsored  by the Turning Points Organization  which explored the involvement  of  Swanton residents in the war on our soil two hundred years ago, which included the invasion and burning of soldier’s barracks in Swanton Village by British soldiers.     

            March:            “Vermont Reads”  sponsored by the Franklin-Grand Isle Bookmobile at MVU on March 16, assisted by the Historical Society with an exhibition of  Art from our collection as well as student art featured in the Young at Art exhibition.  The exhibition also featured  a commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War with assigned special reading:  The Red Badge of Courage and Bull Run.  Copies distributed.

            April:               Open House at the Depot:  Sunday, April 22 featuring  the Civil War Exhibit prepared  for  Vermnt History Expo 2012,   June 16-17. Refreshments served.      

            June:               Vermont History Expo, at the Tunbridge World’s Fairgrounds, June 16-17 sponsored by the Vermont Historical Society. Swanton Historical Society paid tribute to Swanton’s Civil War participation through an exhibition entitled:  “Swanton in the Great Rebellion, at Home and Far Away”

            28th Annual Meeting & Election of Officers, featuring a strawberries and ice cream social, outdoors at the Railroad Depot Museum. A Vermont Humanities Council program featured  “The Old Country Fiddler: Charles Ross Taggert,Vermont’s Traveling Entertainer by Adam Boyce, entertainer & musician from Reading, VT.  Enjoyed by all in attendance.

            October:  OCTOBERFEST-2012  Sunday, October 7 at the Swanton RR Depot Museum with tent, refreshments, music, historical exhibits, arts & crafts for kids, pumpkin carving, prizes and special guest  Mark’s Chainsaw Carvings Demonstration.

            December:      “Travel to the Historic Sites & Structures of Europe”,  a travelogue slide show and discussion by Swanton Historical Society Trustee Neal Speer and his son Evan who transported us on a pictorial trip through the European cities of  Prague, Czech Republic; Berlin, Germany; and Budapest, Hungary, recalling  their adventure in August, 2012 celebrating  Evan’s completion of his Master’s Program abroad.

            “Holiday Trains at the R.R. Depot”  A continuation of our popular Christmas program with Dr. Fred Wiseman’s vintage 1915-1955 model trains and accessories operated by  Ron Kilburn assisted by Frances Hopkins & Roger Livingston and others.  Certificates were awarded to each youngster who successfully operated the trains.

            The following members of the Swanton Historical Society have graciously agreed to serve until the next Annual Meeting in June, 2013. They also serve as ex-officio members of the Board of Trustees.


Officers:          Ronald F. Kilburn, President

                        Glen Gurwit, Vice-President

                        Polly Pare, Secretary

                        Georgette Langevin, Treasurer


The following members serve as Trustees for three-year terms as shown below:


Trustees:        Gary Langlois, (1st Term, ending 2013

                        Elizabeth Root, (2nd Term, ending 2013)

                        Christine Fichman, (2nd Term, ending 2013)

                        Marilyn Livingston, (2nd Term, ending 2014)

                        Gloria Bechard, (1st Term, ending 2014)                   

                        Sheila Kittell, (1st Term, ending 2014)
                        Neal Speer, (1st Term, ending  2015)

                        David Reissig, (1st Term, ending 2015)

                        Rebecca Rupp, (1st Term, ending 2015)


Community Resources:   The Swanton Railroad Depot Museum and Toll House Bridge Museum located at 58 South River St. are open to the public from May-October, Wednesday-Saturday, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM and at other times by appointment by calling the Historical Society at 868-5436.  The Society also maintains a historical research facility in the lower level of the Swanton Public Library.  Our facilities are fully accessible, free and open to the public, including all programs. Visit our  website at 


            Swanton is a very special place, rich in history, culture and tradition. The year 2013 is a very special year in the annals of our history, marking the 250th anniversary of the Charter of  Swanton as one of the many Charters issued  by  Benning Wentworth, Royal Governor of  New Hampshire on August 17, 1763.  A community celebration is being organized at this time.

             We  all  have much to share and to learn from each other, students  & seniors alike.  We welcome everyone to join our Society and to help us preserve and appreciate our heritage.  I continue to be proud of our Society and its members and am honored to serve once again as President.

            A special Thank You is due to the citizens of Swanton and elsewhere who have supported us through the years and especially to those who have donated their time, financial assistance and historical items.

Respectfully submitted by:  Ronald F. Kilburn, President, with assistance from the Officers and Trustees.