THE ENGINE SHOW at the Old Stone House Museum

By Staff
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The museum building.
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40 HP Bovaird and Seyfang, owned by Philip Beaudry, Albany, VT.
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The author's exhibit: 3 HP Galloway, 1 3/4 HP Economy, 1 HP Alamo and 5 HP Witte saw rig.
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Dowel lathe, owned by Elwin (Sawmill) Brown, Walden, Vt.
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2 John Deere and 1 Hercules, owned by Arnold Dumas, Randolph, VT.
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5 HP Saxon and related items, Roland Kendall, Randolph, VT.
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Swing butter churn, owned by Robert Williams, Barton, VT.

P.O. Box 6 Wilmington, Vermont 05363

The eighth annual engine show at the Old Stone House Museum,
Brown-ington, Vermont, sponsored by the Vermont Gas & Steam
Engine Association, was held as usual on the third weekend of June,
the 19th & 20th, 1993.

This relatively small show has grown so much that a new field
was used this year. The old area, next to the museum, was devoted
to the flea market.

There were 53 exhibitors, primarily coming from Vermont, New
Hampshire and Quebec, Canada.

Although small, the show is one of the most friendly. No-hookup
camping is provided. On Saturday night, country music is provided
around a campfire by Floyd Brown and Ozzie Plomb of Island Pond,
Vermont, with refreshments furnished by Reed Cherrington, the
museum director. All registered exhibitors receive passes for
guided tours of the museum.

The building presently housing the Old Stone House Museum was
begun in 1834, and completed in 1836, by the Reverend Alexander
Twilight. Twilight was the principal of the former Orleans County
Grammar School, the only school of secondary education in the area
at the time. The Old Stone House was built to be used as a
dormitory for the students attending the school. It was named
‘Athenian Hall.’ The Reverend Twilight was also the pastor
of the nearby Congregational Church. He is buried in the cemetery
beside the church.

Reverend Twilight is believed to be the first black man to
graduate from an American college (Middlebury College at
Middlebury, Vermont, in 1823), and to be the first black man to
serve in a state legislature (the Vermont legislature from 1836 to
1838).

The building, made of granite blocks, is four stories high, and
contains 30 rooms. According to legend, an ox was used to raise the
blocks to each level. At the completion of the building, there was
no way to lower the ox to the ground, so he was butchered and
barbecued for a feast for those that had worked on the
building.

The building was used as a dormitory and for classrooms from the
time that it was completed until the school closed in 1859. It then
served as a private home and boarding house. In 1918 the Orleans
County Historical Society purchased the building for $500.00, to be
used as a museum.

The original academy building, a wooden structure, was moved
from its site near the dormitory, and now serves as Grange
Hall.

Today, 25 of the original 30 rooms of the stone building are
filled with historical exhibits from Orleans County’s past. The
building itself has been changed very little. The original
fireplace with a Dutch oven in the kitchen is intact, as well as 15
charcoal fireplaces that provided heat for the rooms. The water
system, consisting of an outside cistern that collected water from
the roof, remains.

The museum is open May 15-October 15 each year. A small
admission fee is charged.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines