From the Saint Albans Museum:
In the 19th century the weathervane was a common part of the Vermont and St. Albans landscape. Many stood tall atop the cupolas of cattle and horse barns, and carriage houses all over the City and Town. Once there were running horse weather vanes on Congress and Fairfield Streets, a witch flew atop a structure on North Main Street, and a locomotive steamed into the wind on Smith street. Now all gone!
One of the most unusual and probably valuable weathervanes was on top of the Holy Angels convent and school. Known as “Fame”, it was placed there in 1899 when that building was new. She was created by the JL Mott Iron Works of New York. In the late 1970s or early 1980s the convent closed and was converted to housing, but what happened to “Fame”?
“Fame” was removed by crane from her lofty perch and sold to a collector named Charles Putnam. At the time the collector paid the sisters five thousand dollars, and “Fame” left the State of Vermont, never to return. Mr. Putnam did not keep the weathervane long, but turned around and sold it, and eventually it came to auction in 1982. “Fame” sold at that auction for some $50,000! In today’s money that would be the equivalent of about $130,000! Wow!
The Museum would very much like to add a weathervane to our collection. Would you be willing to donate a weathervane that may have once stood atop a St. Albans structure? It could be preserved in our collection for visitors to see for many years to come instead of going to the auction block. If you can help us please call the Museum at 527-7933 or contact us at stamuseum.org