Officials, church take pride in West Barre history

Posted 15 May 2016 at 12:00 am


I have been involved in Orleans County as the Clarendon Historian for over 10 years. I always enjoy attending events in other towns and villages.

Yesterday I attended the rededication ceremony for the historical marker for the Elisha Wright home. The story goes like this: One day Al Capurso told me about a marker that had been out of circulation for several years. It had been struck and broke in half. I grabbed it and with help from Bruce Hovey and Gerry Bradt, it was welded back together. I then repainted the sign over the winter.

Adrienne Daniels, the town of Barre historian, put together the program yesterday and it was very well attended. She had a program to hand out with information about Elisha & Nancy Wright. Mark Chamberlain, the Barre town supervisor, spoke regarding Wright and his importance to Barre in farming and with its church. The current owners of the home and their children and grandchildren, as well as some members of the Mathes family, led the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

A reception took place afterwards at the West Barre United Methodist Church. I was especially impressed with the church as it retains much of its original contents. The stained glass windows and photographs of early members were very impressive.

Most of all, I enjoyed speaking to Judy Durrant, the church historian who has painstakingly over a number of years taken a collection of historical documents and photographs and cataloged them in chronological order and they are neatly organized in more than ten binders.

It was amazing to see the amount of information on hand and available. I only managed to look through one binder from the earliest history but the information Judy had in her head and shared with me as I was looking was the best! I urge anyone who has the time, to try and visit this beautiful church and speak to Judy. She is a wonderful asset.


Melissa Ierlan