The Vermont History Expo began in 2000. Over its history, it welcomed many different performers, presenters, exhibitors, sponsors, and guests. Please enjoy these overviews of the thirteen Expos.
2016: H2O: The Power of Water in Vermont History
June 18 & 19
Expo 2016 artist Daryl Storrs
The weekend highlighted Vermont's long and complicated history with water via history exhibits and presentations. Authors included Vince Feeney, Burlington: A History of Vermont's Queen City; and Jane Beck, Daisy Turner's Kin: An African-American Family Saga. Performers included Float 'n Crowbar, The Sky Blue Boys, and Rick Norcross; as well as an evening of storytelling from extempo
History Presentations included “Seven Years of Grace: The Inspired Mission of Achsa W. Sprague” by Sara Rath; “The Elephant Bridge” by Annette Spaulding; and “Protestant Relics: The Art of Mourning in the Early American Republic” by Jamie Brummitt.
2014: Artists & Artisans: Vermont's Creative Heritage
June 21 & 22
Expo 2014 artist Anne Cady
Authors presentations included Burr Morse, Sugar Words; and Peter Miller, A Lifetime of Vermont People. History presentations included: "Helen & IRENE: Digitizing the Helen Hartness Flanders Ballad Collection," with Rebekah Irwin and Mason Vander Lugt and "The Problem of Slavery in Early Vermont, 1777-1810" with Harvey Amani Whitfield. Musical performers included the Champlain Troubadour, The Michele Fay Band and Sugarhouse. Visitors also enjoyed a vintage baseball game on Saturday evening.
2012: Vermont in the Civil War
June 16 & 17
Expo 2012 artist Grace Brigham
In 2012, we welcomed thousands of visitors for an Expo themed around the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. It included presentations from authors like Cynthia Bittinger, Dona Brown and James Davis. Historian presentations included "150 Years Ago Today" with Howard Coffin; and "Mapping Vermont in the 1850s: Just Before the War" with Dave Allen. Expo goers heard traditional tunes from many musicians, including: Robert Resnik & Marty Morrissey; David Carpenter & Rick Klein; and Brett Hughes and Kat Wright.
2010: Back to the Land, Again
June 26 & 27
Expo 2010 artist Helen Dillon
Vermont author presentations included Deborah Luskin, Sandra Levesque, and Vincent Feeney. Historians presenting in the tent included Abby Paige's “When we were French"; Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee's "History of Vermont Agriculture"; and Amanda Kuhnert's "Family Oral History." Musicians and performing artists included: Patti Casey & Tom MacKenzie; Cold Country Bluegrass, and O'hAnleigh.
2008: Industry and Innovation: Vermont Ingenuity
June 21 & 22
Vermont authors Madeline Kunin, Deborah and Nicholas Clifford, Elliot Hoffman and more all spoke about their new books. History presentations included Chris Abair's "The Adventurous Ballads of Vermont Poet George Albert Leddy"; Adam Boyce's "Old-Time Rules will Prevail: The Fiddle Contest in Vermont"; and Don Thompson performing as Samuel de Champlain. Civil War Sunday featured programming specifically about the war, including historian Howard Coffin presenting on his research; musician Linda Radtke singing a selection of period songs; soloist Francois Clemmons performing spirituals; and reenactors and military bands performing and playing concerts
2007: Travel and Transportation: How Vermonters Got There From Here
June 23 & 24
Visitors were treated to a dozen antique cars, a real train simulator, and G-gauge garden trains in an elaborately landscaped display. Calvin Coolidge’s 1923 Lincoln made an appearance, as did Cal himself, aka Jim Cooke of Quincy, MA. Authors included Marge Bruchac, Paul Searls, and John S. Hall. Presenters included Jay Barrett, “The American Auto Industry in the 1920s;” Amanda Kuhnert, “An Oral Approach to History;” and Helene Lang, “Dorothy Canfield Fisher.” Performers included Atlantic Crossing, Knotty Pine, and the Gordon Stone Band
2006 History Expo
June 24 & 25
Expo Artist Judy Jensen
Highlights included special exhibits on Dr. Kendall & His Spavin Cure and Women Speak from the VT Folklife Center. Fun also included a Live Country Auction. Presenters included Jim Hogue, “The Gods of the Hills”; The Awareness Theater Company, and C.J. King, “A Visit with Peggy Beckwith. Authors included Ann McKinstry Micou, Nancy Price Graff, and Robert McCullough. Performers included The Graham Highlanders Pipe Band, Ed Larkin Contra Dancers, and the Mud City Ramblers
2005 History Expo
June 25 & 26
Expo Artist Martha Stevenson
Activities included Foodways demonstrations, antique appraisals, box lunch auction, craft demonstrations, Fairbanks scales exhibit, dairy equipment exhibit, and a Stump the Scholars “game show.” Presenters included Michael Fox Kennedy, “Even we here…Abraham Lincoln at Tunbridge”; Thomas H. Naylor, “The Second Vermont Republic”; and Joseph Bruchac, “The Deepest Roots: Abenaki Presence in Vermont.” Authors included Howard Coffin, Lauretta Morin Verret, and Ethan Hubbard. Performers included Bread & Puppet Theatre, Windrose, and the Social Band
2004 History Expo
June 26 & 27
Expo Artist Mary Azarian
Heirloom Discovery brought experts in for antiques appraisal and a Box Lunch Auction gave people a chance to dine with notable Vermonters. Highlights also included a Mining & Quarrying exhibit, craft show, preservation demonstrations, and historic croquet matches. Presenters included Valerie Reich Hunt, “Collect, Preserve & Interpret the 20th Century” and James Fuller, “Fighting Black: Vermont’s African American Soldiers in the Civil War.” Authors included Natalie Kinsey-Warnock & Mary Azarian, Samuel Hand & Ralph Orth, and Tom Slayton. Performers included Wood’s Tea Company, Margaret MacArthur, and the W’Abenaki Dancers
2003 History Expo
June 21 & 22
Expo Artist Katharine Montstream
This Expo included a special exhibit on the Orange County Copper Mining District, Vermont History Quest, and the first History on Parade. Presentations included “Caring for Family Quilts” with MJ Davis; Tom Weakley with “The Good Lookin’ Suit and Other Yarns”; and Dr. Daniel Bean on “Orphan Trains in Vermont.” Authors included Reeve Lindbergh, Peter Miller, and Senator James M. Jeffords. Performers included the Green Mountain Cloggers, Northeast Fiddlers Association; and Turkey Mountain Window Smashers.
2002 History Expo
June 22 & 23
Expo Artist Mary Simpson
Authors included John Miller, Peter D. Hannaford, and Katherine Peterson. Performers included the Saltash Serenaders, Banjo Dan & the Mid-Nite Plowboys, and the Barre-Tones. Presentations included Anna Whooley as Ann Story; “Vermont’s Heriloom Fruits & Vegetables” with Ben Watson; and “Plaster Molding” with Rory Brennan.
2001 History Expo
June 23 & 24
Expo Artist Warren Kimble
Authors included Jan Albers, Hands on the Land; Laura Edson, Vermont Winter Recipes and Reflections, and Donald Wickman, Letters to Vermont from her Civil War Correspondents. History Presentations included Jim Cooke as Calvin Coolidge; “The Transformation of the Vermont Farm” by Joe Sherman; and “The Irish in Vermont” by Dan Casey. Performers included South Royalton Town Band, Elisabeth Von Trapp, John Gailmore and Alan Greenleaf.
2000 History Expo
June 17 & 18
Expo Artist Sabra Field
The inaugural History Expo grew out of a “Vermont Heritage Weekend” that was held in 1999 featuring open houses at historical societies around central and northeastern Vermont. The desire to expand the program led to Expo. Many of the features for all future expos were established that year.
Along with heritage exhibits, children’s activities, and reenactors, the inaugural Expo also included a juried craft show and quilt documentation day. Performers included contradancers, Fichele, Fablo & Lucille Choiniere, and Rusty Dewees. Presentations included Jeanne Brink with “The History and Culture of the Western Abenaki;” Ursula Smith & Linda Peavy, “Westward Migration/Women Behind” and Geoff Hewitt “Robert Frost and the Real Vermont.”