Adam Krakowski receiving the 2010 Weston A. Cate, Jr. Fellowship.Adam Krakowski receiving the 2010 Weston A. Cate, Jr. Fellowship. To encourage original research in the field of Vermont history, the Vermont Historical Society awards a biannual $1,200 fellowship. The fellowship was created in honor of Weston A. Cate, Jr., former director of the Vermont Historical Society, 1975-1985.

The fellowship supports research for one calendar year in any aspect of Vermont history and is open to all individuals. The grantee is expected to compplete research and writing on his or her topic within the period of the fellowship. A final product, normally an essay or research article, is expected at the conclusion of the fellowship period.

Who was Weston A. Cate, Jr.?

1989.Wes-CateBorn in St. Johnsbury, July 16, 1921, Weston A. Cate, Jr. had a life long interest in printing and journalism. While in high school he set up a print shop and published a neighborhood newspaper, and graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. From 1947 to 1958, he taught high school English in White River Junction, and he was a part-time reporter and columnist for the Valley News. In 1958, he moved to Montpelier to become executive secretary of the Vermont Education Association, a post he held until 1974. From 1975 to 1985, he was executive director of the Vermont Historical Society.

After retirement, his passion for history and publishing led him to become a dealer in Vermont book and ephemera with his homespun company, Adamant Books. He was the author of Up and Doing (a history of the Vermont Historical Society) and Forever Calais (a history of Calais). He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Center for Research on Vermont in 2006. He passed away in 2010.

While he was happiest when surrounded by his family, he also believed in civic responsibility; over the years he served as town moderator in Hartford; school board member in Montpelier; and town moderator, planning commission member, and selectman in East Montpelier, among other positions. He was a leader in many organizations, including the Calais Historical Society, the Green Mountain Folklore Society, the Community of Vermont Elders, and the Vermont Retired Teachers Association.

He was a frequent public speaker and contributed many op-ed columbs and letters to the editors of local newspapers, often offering wry reflections on Vermont history and what it means to live in Vermont. For many years the radio broadcast of his reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas was a tradition for local families.


Guidelines and application

Any person may apply using the application form supplied by the Vermont Historical Society. Each applicant must request two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with his/her abilities. These recommendations should be mailed directly to the Vermont Historical Society by the writers.

The grantee is expected to have completed the research and writing within one year from the date of the award.

The deadline is May 31st of even numbered years.

Applications will be reviewed and the winner selected by the Publications and Research Committee of the Vermont Historical Society Board of Trustees. The winner will be announced at the VHS Annual Meeting the following fall.

The following criteria will be important in assessing applications:

  • In making the fellowship award, the Committee will favor applications that address topics designed to fill research gaps in the state's history.
  • The research contemplated by the applicant must stand by itself. Because the Society's purpose is to encourage worthwhile original research in Vermont's history that might not otherwise be undertaken, segments of larger studies may be at a competetive disadvantage.
  • Strong preference will be given to applications that cite specific VHS museum or library collections to be used in project research.
  • The fellowship is expected to result either in a paper that can be considered for publication in the Vermont History journal or in a product of some other form, which might be appropriate for exhibition or viewing. The fellowship does not guarantee that award recipients will be published in Vermont History.

The application form and letters of recommendation should be addressed to:

Cate Fellowship Committee
Vermont Historical Society
60 Washington St.
Barre, VT 05641-4209

Please submit originals plus three copies of all materials.

2018 Application (for reference only. 2020 application will be available late 2019): Pdf or Word


Past winners


Dr. Claire Meldrum for her research on American detective fiction author Anna Katherine Green (1846-1935)


Joe Sherman for Mellen Chamberlain’s Five Years Of Good Fortune: 1832-1837.


Susan Nevins for The Lyndes Family 1799-1863: A Black Revolutionary War Veteran and His Family Make a Life in Central Vermont.


Jason Newton for Forging Titans: Hegemonic Masculinity in the Working Forests of Vermont, 1800-1920.


Adam Krakowski for A Bitter Past: Hop Farming in the 19th Century Vermont.


Charlotte Rodabaugh for Green Mountain Brotherhood: Yankee Masculinity and the Vermont Regional Experience.


Julia M. Lewandoski for A Map of Historical Native American Communities in Caledonia County.


Kathie Schey of Long Beach, CA for Thomas Hawley Canfield and John Henry Hopkins: A Conversation Lived.


Donald H. Wickman of Rutland, VT for George Houghton: Vermont Civil War Photographer.


Jason Roberts of Essex Junction, VT for Epidemiological and Social Aspects of the Diphtheria Outbreak in Vermont During the 1860s.


Sarah Rath of Spring Green, WI for Biography of Achsa Sprague, 19th-Century Vermont Spiritualist.


Mary Catherine O'Neil of Essex Junction, VT for The Captain White Place: The Chickenbone Tavern Whispers to Commerce, Transportation, and Life in 19th-Century Burlington.


Blake A. Harrison of Madison, WI for Technology, Tourism, and the Landscape of Vermont.


Karen F. Madden of Essex Junction, VT for Ready to Work: Vermont Women in Republican Party Politics in the 1950s and 1960s.


Michael R. Barbieri of Wallingford, VT for An Incursion Into Canada: The Second American Attempt to Invade Canada during the American Revolution.


Sara Gregg of Middlebury, VT for Vermont Agricultural Life: A Social History of the Depression Years.


Mariella Squire, Ph.D of West Glover, VT for Toward a History of the Native American People in Northeastern Vermont.


Donald Wickman of Rutland, VT for Documenting the History of Vermont's Civil War Flag Collection.


Pamela A. Stefanek of Orwell, VT for History of the Diggings: An Abandoned, Largely Undisturbed 1800s Logging Community.


David Demeritt for 'Fond Hopes and Dashed Dreams': Climate and Cropping in Vermont 1820-1850."


J. Kevin Graffagnino for 'Vermonters Unmasked': Charles Phelps and the Patterns of Dissent in Revolutionary Vermont.


Michael McKernan for A Study of the Musical Life of Charles M. Cobb.


Corinne McLaughlin Snow for Post-Civil War Life-Styles in Southern Vermont.

Colin Calloway for Indian Population Movements in Vermont

Jan Lewandowski for Architectural Style and Building Technology in Northeastern Vermont, 1780-1830