Stones and bones, where can they be? The mystery of Vernon’s vanished cemetery, Part I

By Barbara Emory Moseley

For many years the income from the Polly A. Lee Cemetery Fund has appeared in the Vernon Town Report. Possibly a few people have a faint memory of the existence of the cemetery itself, in the area of today’s Breezy Acres, off Newton Road. No traces of it remain today. Its secrets unfold with the story of Polly’s father, John Jacob Peeler.

During the American Revolution, he was among the 29,000 Hessian mercenaries bought by the British Army. They had been purchased like cattle, at so much per head. The money maintained the Grand Duchy of Hesse, an area of Germany near today’s Frankfurt.

As an oppressed person himself, Peeler hated the British. Instead, he felt a great admiration for the Americans fighting so bravely against tyranny. He wanted to fight alongside them, and at the first opportunity, he deserted. Before reaching American lines, he was captured, and given 39 lashes, a punishment common in the British Army. The lashes were administered using the cat-o’nine tails, a whip with nine lashes of knotted cords.

Almost immediately, he deserted again, was recaptured and received 99 lashes, the usual penalty for a second offense. He was warned that a third offense would result in his being flogged to death, for no one was expected to survive the “thousand lashes save one” inflicted in such cases.

However, his stubborn determination to join the Americans did not waver. Learning the Army of King George III was preparing for a major battle, he deserted once more. He was discovered by John Hare, a British soldier whom he knew well. Hare had the opportunity to let Peeler escape and was offered five pounds by him. Hare scoffed, saying he could get five pounds for Peeler’s return, adding that he wasn’t confident Peeler would survive another whipping and be able to pay him back. At that point, Peeler made a promise to himself that he would survive, and one day would find Hare and kill him.

Peeler was taken back to camp, tried by a court-martial and, with two others, whipped “one thousand lashes save one.”

One of the three died before the 999 strokes were complete, but the strokes were continued just the same, even in his dying moments. All three were placed into a hut. It had only a bed of straw for comfort, and a small bowl of gruel was the daily food ration. Peeler urged his companion to exercise, but he wouldn’t, dying the third day. His death was kept secret by Peeler, who at the man’s portion of gruel.

(more…)

Vernon Free Library news for June 2017

Hours:

  • Monday 1-6pm
  • Tuesday 9-noon & 1-6
  • Wednesday 1-6pm
  • Thursday  1-6pm
  • Friday – CLOSED
  • Saturday  9-12 noon

Programs:

  • Cribbage Club – Every Wednesday @ 11am
  • Knitting Group – Every Wednesday 1-2pm
  • Reading Group – 2nd Thursday of the month @ 5pm
  • Rhyme Time – Every Monday @ 10:30 am for ages 0 to 3 yrs. & siblings

Plant Sale Fund Raiser!

The library will be having a plant sale on Saturday, June 3 from 9 am to 12 noon at the Town Office Building. We are accepting donations of plants for the sale.  They may be dropped off at the Town Office Building beginning Thursday, June 1.

Reading Group will be meeting Thursday, June 8 at 5 pm. We are reading “A Memory of Violets” by Hazel Gaynor.

Build A Better World 2017 Summer Reading Program will begin on Saturday, June 17th.  Come to library to sign up, get your reading log and begin your summer fun!

Prevent Summer Slide!  Children who don’t read during the summer can lose up to two months of learning by the time they return to school in the fall!

State Park & Historical Sites Passes

Did you know you can borrow passes for free admission to Vermont State Parks, Vermont Historical Sites & Vermont  History Museum from the library? We also loan a pass for free admission to Brattleboro Museum & Art  Center! Come to the library and check it out!

 

 

June 2017 news from Vernon’s churches

Mountain View Seventh-Day Adventist Church, located at 1002 Fort Bridgman Road, Vernon, VT, meets every Saturday at 9:30 AM for Sabbath School classes for all ages. Church service begins at 11:00 AM. All are welcome. The church building is handicapped accessible. A fellowship meal is provided after the church service.

Mountain View will be holding Vacation Bible School (VBS) from Monday July 24 through Thursday July 27, from 6:30 to 8:00 PM each night. VBS is free and all kids are welcome! For more details, call 802-380-3862.

Mountain View recently launched several new social media sites! You can follow us to learn more about upcoming events and other news. Instagram @mountainviewsdachurch. Twitter @mvsdachurch YouTube channel. Facebook. Website. Church phone: 802-254-5088. Pastor Art Miller: 802-254-4477; email: artjudymiller@icloud.com.

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 a.m. and Youth Group and Intercessory Prayer meet at 6:00 p.m. 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. Senior Pastor: Rev. Bruce C. Burks, Associate Pastor, Rev. Derek Irvine; email: pastorbruce@vernonadventchristianchurch.com. Website:  www.vernonadventchristianchurch.com and FaceBook.  Detailed Calendar of Events for June.

Vernon Union Church, located at 2631 Fort Bridgman Road (next to Vernon Hall), Vernon, VT. Meets every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. for morning worship, followed by a social hour. Childcare is available. The church is fully handicapped accessible. Church phone: 802-257-8523. Email: vuch@vernonunion.comcastbiz.net.

Vernon Historians news for June 2017

Museum  Opening  Day  and  Pie   Sale  — Sunday,  June  4, from 2 until 4 pm

A wide variety of pies will be available, including Whoopee Pies! The museum will be open — old photos and interesting artifacts on display.

The Museum will be open every Sunday from 2 until 4 p.m., June through September.

Former Vernon Police Department firearms for sale

The Town of Vernon has transferred ownership of all firearms formerly owned by the Police Department to McNary Firearms Manufacturing of Vernon. McNary has agreed to reserve the purchase of these firearms exclusively to Vernon residents for 30 days. If you are interested in purchasing a firearm contact Dick McNary at 802-380-1112 for inventory and prices.

School Budget revote: May 31, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

SCHOOL BUDGET REVOTE

  • INFORMATIONAL MEETING: TUESDAY MAY 30, 6 PM AT VERNON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
  • TOWN VOTE: WEDNESDAY MAY 31, 7 A.M. TO 7 P.M. AT VERNON TOWN OFFICES

The Vernon School budget failed to pass in voting on Town Meeting day, and was defeated again by a single vote in a re-vote on April 13. The School Board has now re-worked the budget and scheduled a new vote on May 31.

Join the School Board for an informational session on Tuesday, May 30th at 6 pm at the Vernon Elementary School Cafetorium.  The School Board will outline the details on the budget reduction (an additional $24,500) that is to be voted on Wednesday, May 31st. Voting takes place at the Town Offices from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

IMPORTANT NOTE #1: State law mandates a ballot question referring to “equalized students”. On this basis, it would appear that the per-equalized-student budget has gone up. This is not the case — please ignore that statement on the ballot. The 2017/18 proposed budget is now almost 7% less than the current budget, or a total reduction of over $300,000.

IMPORTANT NOTE #2: YOUR VOTE COUNTS. The budget would have passed in the last vote if two more people had come out to vote for it. (more…)

Selectboard meeting, May 16, 2017.

Below is BCTV’s video of the Selectboard meeting on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.. Click here for the agenda for this meeting. Scroll down for an agenda with video timestamps. Click here for minutes of this meeting.

Call to Order

00:34 – Welcome/Pledge of Allegiance

00:59 – Additions to Agenda

02:30 – Chairs Remarks

02:33 – Guests

02:35 – Open Public Comments (non agenda items

02:44 – Department/Committee Reports: Friends of Vernon Center

22:43 – Department/Committee Reports: Planning Commission

30:35 – Approval of Minutes (Regular Meeting)

31:05 – Approval of Minutes (Emergency Meeting)

31:45 – Treasurer’s Report: Bills and Warrants

33:30 – New Business: Contract for Law Enforcement Services

38:53 – New Business: Black Gum Swamp Designation

43:47 – New Business:Farmland Protection – Jean Carr Property

46:18 – New Business:Dog Ordinance

1:04:32 – New Business: Emergency Management Grant Agreement

1:06:15 – New Business:Decorations to Town Hall

1:10:10 – Old Business: Police Inventory

1:14:30 – Old Business:Right to Farm Signs

1:15:58 – Old Business:North School Roof BId

1:23:59 – Correspondence

1:26:01 – Media

1:26:06 – Town Administrator’s Report

1:31:33 – Upcoming Meeting Schedule

Got plants? Donate some to the Library’s plant sale!

The Vernon Free Library seeks donations of plants for their annual Plant Sale which will take place Saturday, June 3 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Vernon Town Office Building.

Please set some plants aside now, and plan to bring to the Library beginning on Thursday, June 1 at the Vernon Town Office Building, 567 Governor Hunt Rd, Vernon. (Not sooner, please!)

For more information visit Vernon Free Library, call 257-0150 or email vernonfreelibrary@comcast.net.

Letter Carriers Food Drive, this Saturday May 13


Participating in the annual Letter Carriers Food Drive, Vernon rural carriers will be collecting food on their routes this Saturday, May 13. Just leave any food you want to contribute (canned or boxed type items of course) in a plastic bag at your mail box, or bring it to the post office. All food collected will stay in Vernon.

Informational meeting about reclassification of Vernon’s Black Gum Swamps

An informational meeting about the proposed reclassification of Vernon’s Black Gum Swamps will take place on May 8 at 6 p.m. at the Town Office Building (lower level), led by Laura LaPierre, Wetlands Program Director, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Black Gum Swamps in Vernon’s J. Maynard Miller Town Forest are a set of unique ecosystems, featuring ancient black gum trees which are quite common in the South but comparatively rare north of the Mason-Dixon line, especially this far north. (more…)

May 2017 news from Vernon’s churches

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 a.m. and Youth Group and Intercessory Prayer meet at 6:00 p.m. 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. Senior Pastor: Rev. Bruce C. Burks, Associate Pastor, Rev. Derek Irvine; email: pastorbruce@vernonadventchristianchurch.com. Website:  www.vernonadventchristianchurch.com and FaceBook.  Detailed Calendar of Events for May.

Mountain View Seventh-day Adventist Church, located at 1002 Fort Bridgman Road, Vernon, VT, meets every Saturday at 9:40 a.m. for Sabbath School classes for all ages. Church service begins at 11:15 a.m.. All are welcome. Church phone: 802-254-5088. Pastor Art Miller: 802-254-4477; email: artjudymiller@icloud.com.  WebsiteFacebook. Detailed calendar of events for May.

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 a.m., Bible study; 10:00 a.m., morning worship, followed by a social hour. Childcare is available. The church is fully handicapped accessible. Church phone: 802-257-8523. Email: vuch@vernonunion.comcastbiz.netWebsite. Guest pastors in May:

  • May 7 —  Reverend Terry Miller
  • May 14 — Reverend James Browning Jr.
  • May 21 — Jeremiah Losier