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Community History Partnership—bridging communities together, one story at a time

Community History PartnershipThe Community History Partnership (CHP) program began in 2001 as a way to support collaborations of local historical societies and schools in their communities. CHP helped them find ways to tell the stories of local community history so they could be preserved, cherished, and passed on to the next generation.

There was no one single template for these working relationships. Each community chose how their partnership would unfold, and, with added support of the Vermont Historical Society, each group created projects and programs that were in line with the character of their community.

We offer these summaries of CHP projects as models your town, school or local historical society can use to save your community's stories.

With the links below, you'll find information on projects from various schools, the methods they used and the final results.

You can view the projects by project subject, or by community name.

Index by community name

Project subject: town and community history

Community History PartnershipA town and its community go through vast changes from the time of its inception to the present. These students studied the history of their communities.

  • Barre
    "Depot Square": Barre City Elementary and Middle School explored the history of Barre's Depot Square and how it impacted the development of Barre.
  • Brookfield
    “Remains of the Day”: Teachers and students from the fifth and sixth grades from Brookfield Elementary School investigated what remains of the past could still be found in their area.
  • Cornwall
    "Seeing Cornwall's Past through its People": Fourth graders from Bingham Memorial School learned about life in their town in the 1800s and 1900s.
  • Hardwick
    "Hardwick History Comes Alive": Students from all grades at Hardwick Elementary School researched various cultural aspects of their town and how they had changed.
  • Jay/Westfield
    "Our Community Then and Now": Jay/Westfield fifth and sixth graders chose a variety of topics to research, including The Old Bobbin Mill, the community schools, and a Civil War hero.
  • Londonderry Area
    Flood Brook School's seventh and eighth graders leared about multiple communities in their area: Peru, Landgrove, Londonderry, and Weston.
  • Lyndon
    "A Living History": The students from Lyndon Institute aided the town's Shores Museum in creating displays of town history.
  • Marlboro
    "Work in Marlboro": Fifth and sixth graders from Marlboro Elementary School went out into the community to learn about the lives and work of its members.
  • Montgomery
    "Dexter's March": Montgomery Elementary School eighth grade students created a short film encompassing the history and culture of Montgomery in the mid- to late nineteenth century.
  • Morrisville
    "Foreign Policy in Morrisville": Peoples Academy students searched for evidence of past foreign policies (covering five major wars) in their own backyard.
  • Orleans
    Orleans Elementary School students studied William Jarvis and Merino Sheep, Timothy Hinman, The Valley House and the railroad, a day in the life of a student at Brownington Academy, and Alexander Twilight.
  • Proctor
    Proctor Elementary School third graders studied their surrounding neighborhoods and how they had changed.
  • Poultney
    Poultney High School sophomores and juniors researched topics relating to oral history interviews.
  • Swanton
    "The Barney Marble Quarry & Mill": Swanton Central School (grades five and six) studied the Barney Marble Quarry and Mill and the impact it had on the community.
  • Tunbridge
    Tunbridge Central School seventh and eighth graders interviewed long-time residents of Tunbridge, as well as individuals who moved to the town as adults.
  • West Fairlee/Westshire
    Westshire School students learned what life was like in the 1870s and early 1880s when the Ely Copper Mine was in full swing.
  • Williston
    "Our Hands on the Land, Williston Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow.": Students of the Phoenix House at Williston Central School created a play covering 200 years of Williston history.
  • Worcester
    "My Home Territory: Traveling Back in Time": Fourth grade students from Doty Memorial School wrote about Worcester in the early and mid-twentieth century.

Project subject: historic objects and places

CHP3Often you can find a place or object that holds a special place in the heart of the town. These students studied the history of these special objects or places.

  • Barre
    "Depot Square": Barre City Elementary and Middle School explored the history of Barre's Depot Square and how it impacted the development of Barre.
  • Black River
    "Continuity and Change": Black River Middle School and Black River High School students researched the history of the Black River Academy along with some of its notable individuals and activities.
  • Brookfield
    "Remains of the Day": Teachers and students from the fifth and sixth grades at Brookfield Elementary School investigated what remains of the past could still be found in their area.
  • Chester Andover
    "One Room Schoolhouses": Third and fourth grade students studied the history of one-room schoolhouses in Chester and Andover.
  • Fair Haven
    Fair Haven Graded School third grade students studied the history of their school on its 90th anniversary.
  • Guilford
    Guilford students aided its local historical society by identifying and organizing the photo collection.
  • Jay/Westfield
    "Our Communities Then and Now": Jay/Westfield fifth and sixth graders chose a variety of topics to research, including The Old Bobbin Mill, the community schools, and a Civil War hero.
  • Lyndon
    "A Living History Classroom": The students from Lyndon Institute aided the town's Shores Museum in creating displays of town history.
  • Middletown Springs
    Middletown Springs Elementary School students in the after-school history club at l studied how their town—specifically its buildings—had changed over the past 150 years.
  • Orleans
    Orleans Elementary School students studied William Jarvis and Merino Sheep, Timothy Hinman, The Valley House and the railroad, a day in the life of a student at Brownington Academy, and Alexander Twilight.
  • Peacham
    "The Farrington Barn": The Stevens School of Peacham and the Peacham Elementary School collaborated in an effort to document all of the barns in their area, only to have one collapse before documentation was completed.
  • Plainfield
    Twinfield Union High School students researched the history of an old blacksmith shop in Plainfield Village.
  • Richmond
    "The Richmond Virtual Museum": Students from the Richmond Elementary School volunteered to aid the Richmond Historical Society in adding items to the Society's virtual museum.
  • Shelburne
    Renaissance School at Shelburne Farms third and fourth graders created a project inspired by the historic buildings in Shelburne.
  • South Burlington
    Vermont Commons School students documented changes to South Burlington's landscape over the past century.
  • Swanton
    "The Barney Marble Quarry & Mill": Swanton Central School (grades five and six) studied the Barney Marble Quarry and Mill and the impact it had on the community.
  • Weathersfield
    Weathersfield Elementary School kindergarteners and fourth graders worked on a mural about the history of school consolidation in Weathersfield.
  • West Fairlee/Westshire
    Westshire School students learned what life was like in the 1870s and early 1880s when the Ely Copper Mine was in full swing.

Project subject: notable individuals

Community History PartnershipEvery member of a town's community is important, but sometimes a truly exceptional individual stands out among the rest. These students studied the history of these notable individuals.

  • Cabot
    "Cabot's Wonder Boy, Zerah Colburn, 1804-1839": Cabot students explored the life of Zerah Colburn and his amazing calculation skills.
  • Fairfield
    "The Chester A. Arthur Walkway": Students of the Fairfield Center School helped create a nature walkway at the Chester A. Arthur Birthplace in Fairfield.
  • Jay/Westfield
    "Our Communities Then and Now": Jay/Westfield fifth and sixth graders chose a variety of topics to research, including The Old Bobbin Mill, the community schools, and a Civil War hero.
  • Orleans
    Orleans Elementary School students studied William Jarvis and Merino Sheep, Timothy Hinman, The Valley House and the railroad, a day in the life of a student at Brownington Academy, and Alexander Twilight.
  • Vergennes
    "Philomene Daniels: World's First Female Steamship Captain": The Otter Creek Student History Club learned about the accomplishments of Philomene Daniels.

Supporters

We are very grateful to the generous supporters who made this program possible:

A. D. Henderson Foundation, Inc.; Bay and Paul Foundations, Inc.; Marilyn S. Blackwell; IBM; International Paper Co.; Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust; Lintilhac Foundation, Inc.; Schultz Foundation; Richard E. & Deborah L. Tarrant Foundation; Turrell Fund; Verizon Foundation; Vermont Community Foundation; Vermont Department of Eduation; Windham Foundation; Woodstock Foundation, Inc.