In memoriam: Alfred A. Dunklee (1929-2016)

Alfred A. Dunklee, a longtime owner and operator of Vern-Mont Farm, LLC, a thriving dairy farm in Vernon, VT, died Tuesday, October 11, 2016 in Greenfield, Massachusetts at the age of 87 years. A lifelong resident of Vernon, VT; Alfred was married to his wife, Martha Whitney, on May 31, 1962 in Manchester, MD; they were married for 54 years. (Pictured above, Martha and Alfred.)


He was born on August 4, 1929 in Northfield, Massachusetts, the son of Warren and Mildred (Lackey) Dunklee. He graduated from Brattleboro High School in 1947. Alfred also attended Vermont State Agricultural School later known as Vermont Technical College and graduated in 1946. He then joined his father in running the family dairy farm. Over the years he continued to expand its operation and was always striving to be a good steward of the land. In later years, he could often be found touring the farm on a golf cart. (more…)

‘Hunt’ing Down History, Part 14

By Barbara Emery Moseley

NOTE: If you’ve missed any installments in this series, you can catch up here!

Although George Vanderbilt’s 600-room mansion “Belleville,” in Ashville, NC, still demanded attention from Richard Morris Hunt, in 1893, he also became involved in the plans for buildings at the “World’s Columbian Exposition” in Chicago. Its purpose was to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of America. The city, now mostly recovered from its disastrous 1871 fire, had been chosen by Congress. There was pressure, also, to produce a structure that should surpass in every way the iconic Eiffel Tower, which had been built for the 1867 Paris Exposition.

The oversight of the massive project and the selection of architects, fell to Daniel Burnham of Chicago, an architect himself. He was told to meet with “the greatest architects America has to offer: George Post, Charles McKim, and Richard Morris Hunt.” Hunt — a scion of the Hunt family in Vernon — was the nation’s “most venerable architect,” and also “a man of legendary irascibility,” Burnham later wrote. (more…)

Historians present: “Petroglyphs in the Connecticut River”

The Vernon Historians will host Annette Spaulding of Westminster on Tuesday, October 11, at 7:00 pm downstairs in the Town Office Building. Annette will share some of the stories of her diving experiences in the Connecticut River, where she was very excited to find a petroglyph in 2015 in the area where the West River comes into the Connecticut. Petroglyphs are rock carvings and those found locally are believed to have been carved by Native Americans living in the area. It should be a very interesting and provocative presentation and the public is welcome to attend.

On October 18 at 6:30 pm, downstairs in the Town Office Building, the Historians will hold their quarterly meeting and elect officers for the coming year. This meeting is open to the public. (more…)

Announcing the 2nd annual Vernon Artisans Market and Studio Sale

After the successful first-ever Vernon Artisans Market and Studio Sale in December 2015, graphic artist Margaret Shipman and potter Bronna Zlochiver are inviting all Vernon artisans to participate in the 2nd annual Vernon Artisans Market and Studio Sale this coming December 10 and 11.

Please contact Margaret at 802-579-1196 or or Bronna at 802-579-1567 or for more information and if you are interested in participating as a vendor.

Sign up for VT-Alerts

Vernon’s Emergency Management Officer David Emery is urging all Town residents to sign up to receive personalized alerts via phone, text, or email about emergencies that affect you and your loved ones. The service is free and the alerts are relevant and localized (based on home/work addresses, as well as your current location). You will receive reliable information from state and federal agencies and local first responders. You choose your delivery method (voice call, SMS text, email, or all of these); you enter your frequent locations (home, work, school, daycare), and you select the alerts you wish to receive (life threatening emergencies, severe weather, traffic conditions, public health notifications, or Amber Alerts—missing person notifications). Signing up is free and completed online in less than 5 minutes. Go to

October news from Vernon’s churches

Vernon Advent Christian Church, located at 4554 Fort Bridgman Road at the VT/MA state line, meets every Sunday at 9:15 am for Sunday School classes for all ages. Morning worship begins at 10:30 am and Youth Group and Intercessory Prayer meet at 6:00 pm. Adult Bible study begins every Wednesday at 6:30 pm at the church and other Bible study meetings are held throughout the week. The building is handicapped accessible. Church Phone: 802-257-2341 or 413-498-4458. Pastor: Rev. Bruce C. Burks, email: Website: and FaceBook.

Mountain View Seventh-day Adventist Church, located at 1002 Fort Bridgman Road, Vernon, VT, meets every Saturday at 9:40 am for Sabbath School classes for all ages. Church service begins at 11:15 am. All are welcome. Church phone: 802-254-5088. Pastor Art Miller: 802-254-4477; email:  Website. Facebook.

Vernon Union Church, located at 2631 Fort Bridgman Road (next to Vernon Hall), Vernon, VT. Meets every Sunday: 8:00 am, prayer time; 9:00 am, Bible study; 10:00 am, morning worship, followed by a social hour. Childcare is available. The church is fully handicapped accessible. Church phone: 802-257-8523. Minister: Rev. Terry Robinson, 802-258-2228. Email: vuch@vernonunion.comcastbiz.netWebsite.  Facebook.

Vernon is building its future

This commentary is by Paul Costello, the executive director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development. For more information, see the Vernon Community Visit Report and Action Plan at

Vernon is a community on the move today.

All Vermonters know that the town has taken a hard blow with the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee. The closure has had direct economic impacts on jobs, employee relocations, declining home values, and lost taxes and fees to the town that support the school and essential community services. The dislocation has put tremendous pressure on everyone in town. At the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) we’ve been honored to be part of a “Community Visit” process these past six months where residents have united to set new directions and renew relationships with state, federal, nonprofit and business leaders to advance community projects and the economic future of the town. (more…)

Vernon Community Café opens in Town Office Building foyer

By Tim Arsenault

A group of volunteers in Vernon hoped to answer that question, as the Vernon Community Café made its debut September 27 in the foyer of the Town Office Building.

Developing a store and café has been outlined as one of Vernon’s goals in the Vermont Council on Rural Development Community Visit process. The Community Café is viewed as an interim step, patterned after a similar idea used by the town of Leyden, Massachusetts, and profiled in a recent Greenfield Recorder article. Town Clerk Tim Arsenault noticed the article, and brought it to Vernon’s Facebook page. Store Task Force chair Annette Roydon called it “a great idea “ and the concept quickly won consensus support of both the members of the task force  and the Selectboard.

Volunteers served coffee, tea, and baked goods prepared by town residents. Aina Lindsted made her world famous blueberry coffeecake as well as cookies; Carol Hammond baked her universally famous doughnutsl and Carolyn Brown baked to die for lemon and rosemary scones. Donations to defray the costs were gratefully accepted. It is hoped that the pop-up “gathering place” will take place monthly until a new store and café are up and running.

Season Flu Clinic on October 24

The Visiting Nurse and Hospice organization for Vermont and New Hampshire will hold its annual Seasonal Flu Clinic on Monday, October 24, 2016, from 11:30 am to 1 pm in the Town Office Building.

All adults 18 years old and older, please bring your Medicare Part B insurance card to ensure that Medicare will be billed directly. The fee for all others is $25.

To locate flu clinics at other locations, visit or call 888-300-8853.

Illustration used by permission of One Way Stock.

‘Hunt’ing down history, Part 13

by Barbara Emery Moseley

Before the Hunt family’s move to Europe, Richard Morris Hunt had attended the prestigious Boston Latin School where, coincidentally, a Hunt cousin of his was headmaster. It was well known as a school that prepared boys for Harvard.

Instead, the family moved to Europe where Richard began his college education in Switzerland. Then, following in the footsteps of his brother, William Morris Hunt, he went to the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. There, he was the pupil and colleague of Hector Martin Lefuel, architect to Napoleon III.

In a letter to his mother, Richard complained that he “had been told America was not ready for the Fine Arts, but I think they are … Why shouldn’t our public buildings rival or even surpass those of Europe?” So, at the age of twenty-seven, he returned to the United States.

It was a disappointing beginning for the 27-year-old, but he resisted the ardent entreaties of his colleagues in Europe, that he return. His persistence was rewarded, and he became known as one of the greatest American architects of the 19th century. (more…)

Bone builders news

Bone Builders has been given permission to meet at the Huckle Hill Senior Housing Building at 82 Huckle Hill Road, Vernon VT.  The twice-weekly exercise group is designed and sponsored by RSVP to prevent and reverse osteoporosis.  Free sessions will meet on Monday and Wednesday from 9:30 – 10:30. Weights are provided for participants.  More information is available from RSVP Coordinator Steve Ovenden, 802-254-7515.