Author: Tom Benton

Art pops up in Swanton

  SWANTON — The Swanton Arts Council (SAC) has its first gallery. It’s a temporary gallery, what the SAC calls a “Pop-Up Pop-In,” located on First Street. Local realtor Shawn Cheney donated the space. The gallery is open two nights a week through August. Last week, Nicole Gadouas and Scott Rheaume became the first local artists to display their work. “It felt great to be a part of something that had a feeling of urgency, a limited engagement,” Rheaume said, via email. “I was personally told by a local resident that he never thought he would see a gallery...

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Meeting House to be more accessible

EAST FAIRFIELD — The Meeting House on the Green has received a $30,000 grant to renovate the front of the building, making the venue handicap-accessible. Right now, the entrance to the facility is cement stairs. The building’s caretakers said that prohibits a significant part of the local population from taking part in the Meeting House’s annual concert series, which usually runs from the spring into the fall. But with this Vermont Arts Council grant, that’s no longer a problem. The grant does require the Meeting House to raise matching funds, an effort which is now underway. Michele Bessett is...

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Dangerous dam meets its fate

EAST HIGHGATE — State and local workers removed a mysterious “hole” in the Missisquoi River early this week, a hole that nearly killed two kayakers and dates back to a local scythe manufacturer. A Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) press release referred to the abutment/hole as the “East Highgate dam,” and that’s what it was, 80 years ago when it generated hydropower for the Rixford Manufacturing Co., which comprised eight acres along the Missisquoi there. Rixford made scythes and axes, and had a gristmill, blacksmith, box, machine and paint shops. But the deathly image of the scythe is almost...

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Holy Trinity turns 150

SWANTON — Father Rob Spainhour used to be a history teacher. Wandering the Holy Trinity Church ahead of its 150th anniversary, Spainhour became one again. A former priest’s mother, Olive Barker Stone, pushed the Bishop at the time to re-establish a church here in 1867, Spainhour said. When her son became rector, she paid for a new, bigger church. He pointed out a plaque on the wall commemorating her efforts. Italian marble and della Robias. A triptych installed and restored more than a decade ago. “The smoke from the boiler over the years, and candles… they couldn’t even see...

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Dan the hoof man

HIGHGATE — Not too far off the beaten path, and not much farther up a rolling dirt road here, lives a man who plays an important role in your daily life — if you ever drink milk, eat cheese, enjoy ice cream or taste any dairy product at all. They call him Dan the Hoof Man. He was born Dan Rainville. He runs Dan’s Hoof Trimming. He trims hooves, specifically the hooves of cows. “You get it balanced,” he explained. “Get your angles right.” Rainville said hoof-trimmers trim cows’ hooves twice a year at most farms, using equipment that...

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