Towns to celebrate 250th birthdays

Half of the towns in Rutland County will have the opportunity this year to celebrate their 250th anniversaries. In order to allow individuals from each municipality to cooperate and coordinate plans, so as and to avoid conflicts with the plans of surrounding towns, a get-together has been scheduled with plenty of advance notice.

For one hour, 10-11 a.m., Saturday, March 26, all interested citizens are invited to meet in the wheelchair-accessible Nella Grimm Fox Room of Rutland Free Library. The library is located at 10 Court St., at the intersection of Center Street, one block south of West Street (Route 4A) and three blocks west of South Main Street (Route 7).

During sign-in at the Fox Room, from 9:45 until 10 a.m., light refreshments will be available, courtesy of Tom Hughes.

Historian, author, and Rutland resident Donald H. Wickman will facilitate the meeting. Each town will have an opportunity to informally report and to hear celebration ideas from the other towns. An interim contact list will be started, to allow celebration planners to easily stay in touch as plans progress.

The following communities are 14 Rutland County municipalities that were created 250 years ago by New Hampshire Gov. Benning Wentworth, with each town's specific 1761 date: Killington (March 17), Pawlet (Aug. 26), Danby (Aug. 27), Mount Tabor (Aug. 28), Shrewsbury (Sept. 4), Clarendon (Sept. 5), Rutland Town (Sept. 7), Tinmouth (Sept. 15), Wells (Sept. 15), Poultney (Sept. 21), Castleton (Sept. 22), Pittsford (Oct. 12), Brandon (October 20), and Wallingford (Nov. 27).

The next towns granted in what became Rutland County were Sudbury (1763) and Hubbardton (1764). Proctor, West Rutland, and Rutland City were not carved out of the Town of Rutland until 1887. During the next four years, 2011-14, several dozens of Vermont's 251 towns will observe the 250th Anniversary of the charters issued by Bennington Wentworth. Between 1749 and 1764, Bennington Wentworth, the First Royal Gov. of New Hampshire and the Hampshire Grants, issued 129 township charters in present-day Vermont.

Town select boards, local historical societies, libraries, student and civic organizations can join together for an exciting and enjoyable celebration.

For more information, one may call Wickman at 802-775-4350 up until one hour before the meeting.

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