The Bridgewater Historical Society provides special events throughout the year including rotating exhibits, lectures and presentations, a community open house and educational programs. 

Brick School House
12 North Bridgewater Rd
Bridgewater, Vermont

The Historical Society opens the Old Brick Schoolhouse for the season on May 27th. The current exhibit, “The Message Get Through”, shows the actual telephone switchboards, along with photos and material on the Southern Vermont Telephone Company. Visitors to both the Historical Society and the Coolidge Museum will be able to visualize the excitement on the night of August 2nd, 100 years ago. 

Nellie Perkins

The museum is open 10am-2pm every 2nd and 4th Saturday from May 28th to October 8th.



The following 2017/18/19/21/22/23 programs are available on YouTube.
See link below each program.

Cynthia Bittinger- “Grace Coolidge”

Grace Coolidge, the only first lady from Vermont, was very popular with the public and was a fashion star with her “Roaring Twenties” gowns.  She enjoyed children and pets and livened up her husband, Calvin.  She maintained her composure even after the sudden death of their son.  She was an avid baseball fan.  If you want to step back into the twenties, come to the program in August to hear the rest of her story.

Cyndy Bittinger is faculty, The Community College of Vermont where she teaches Vermont History. She has given lectures for OSHER, the Lifelong Learning Institute of the University of Vermont, over many years.  She is a member of the Center for Research on Vermont at the University of Vermont.  She was a commentator for Vermont Public Radio on Vermont history. She is president of the Hanover Historical Society in Hanover, NH.  She wrote Grace Coolidge, Sudden Star, a book about Vermont’s only first lady, and appeared on C-SPAN for their series on first ladies.  Her book Vermont Women, Native Americans and African Americans: Out of the Shadows of History continues to be of interest to her students and the publicShe is a graduate of Wheaton College (MA) and Teachers College, Columbia University.

Program Video Link:

Howard Coffin-“The President I Thought I Knew”
Howard Coffin will open the season with “Calvin Coolidge as I understood him, a complex and somewhat mysterious human being”. Howard knew and wrote about many people who remembered Coolidge. He has done considerable research over the years and was a member of the board of the Coolidge Foundation.
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Elisha Lee- “The Gold Mines Of Bridgewater 1851-1924”

Elisha Lee discuss his research on where the mines were, who the miners were, and, most importantly, why they undertook such a difficult task?

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Charles Shackleton-“Finding Endurance”
The story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his ship, the Endurance.
Charles Shackleton will present a talk on Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance. He will discuss not only the remarkable discovery of the wreck, but will also include stories of the entrepreneurial exploits of his cousin as well as details of the ship itself, a 1912 three masted Norwegian vessel. Charles, a local furniture-maker, will include some interesting woodworking notes about the ship.

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Howard Coffin – “Stories from a Newspaper Reporter”
Vermont Civil War historian Howard Coffin was a reporter for the Rutland Herald for twelve years and the Christian Science Monitor for six years. Howard will cover interesting stories he reported on, including being the first reporter on the scene of the 1967 Mt Washington Cog Railway Accident.
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Howard Coffin – ‘’Vermont Women and the Civil War’’
“Vermont women enlisted for the duration.” So said a Vermont historian assessing the war years 1861-1865. Vermont’s remarkable Civil War battlefield record is well documented, but little is known of how Vermont women sustained the home front. Historian Howard Coffin explains, with nearly 35,000 of the state’s able-bodied men at war, how women took on farming, worked in factories, served as nurses in the state’s military hospitals, and more. Sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council.
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Erwin Fullerton – Every Tool Has a Story
Mr. Fullerton is a long time South Woodstock resident, tree farmer, historian, author, collector of tools will talk about farm life artifacts from a day long gone by and how our society has changed.
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Cassie Horner – “Lucy E. -‘The Road To Victory’”
Meet Lucy E. a tough driven woman, born in the mountain town of Mount Holly, Vermont about 1826. This is the story, based on fact, of her survival through increasing hard times in Vermont and New Hampshire, beginning with the deaths of her father and husband, and her fateful second marriage to a Civil War veteran who turned out to be a drinker, gambler, arsonist and abusive husband. Through all the roughness of her life, she persevered in her goals to be a landowner and farmer like her father. How she succeeded and failed is the heart of Lucy E., – Road to Victory.
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Carrie Brown – Rosie’s Mom, Forgotten Women of First World War 
A Vermont Humanities Council Speakers Bureau Sponsored Event.
One hundred years ago, a full generation before Rosie the Riveter, women rolled up their sleeves and entered war industries where they had never been welcome before. They ran powerful machinery, learned new skills, and faced the sullen hostility of the men in the shops. In this illustrated lecture, historian Carrie Brown reveals their courage and their hard work, and explores how these women helped shape the work that their more famous daughters would do in the next World War.

Steve Taylor –  History of the Grange Movement  
This program will be held
 at the Bridgewater Grange located on Route 100A in Bridgewater CornersMuch of rural New England in the late 19th century was locked in a downward spiral of population decline, abandonment of farms, reversion of cleared land to forest and shrinking of villages, all of which contributed to widespread feelings of melancholy and loss among its residents. The development of the Grange movement in the 1870s through the 1890s was aided greatly by people’s hunger for a new vehicle to draw communities together for social interaction, entertainment and mutual support.
Program Video Link:

Terry Richards and Bill Kaigle -Vermont in the Civil War Heritage Trail
The Vermont in the Civil War Heritage Trail follows US Route 7, South to North. Each site is a link to the crucial contributions Vermont made to the preservation of these United States in the American “War Between the States.”
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Howard Coffin –VT and 1816 The Year Without A Summer 
The year 1816 was the coldest in Vermont’s history, as a frost hit every month. Crops failed, food was scarce, people left the state by the thousands. That year of suffering, known in Vermont as “1800 and froze to death.” was actually part of a worldwide disaster science now understands. But in 1816, it appeared to many that the world was ending. Out of it all came stories that survive to tell a chilling tale.
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Gordon Tuthill, long time Woodstock resident, surveyor and historian, will give a presentation on
Bridgewater’s Unique Land Division after the Charter of 1761.
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John Atwood, a long time Bridgewater resident, will present a program on the North Bridgewater Cemetery. Started as a private burying ground, it was transferred in 1827 to the town of Bridgewater. John will discuss its development, tombstone and epitaph style changes, and will relate stories of several of its families.
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Leslie Askwith, author of “Thunder-Struck Fiddle, The Remarkable True Story of Charles Morris Cobb and His Hill Farm Community in 1850s Vermont.” Learn about Charles Morris Cobb growing up on the road he called Rum Street.
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Bill Mares, writer and beekeeper for 45 years, tells of The origins and evolution of beekeeping, with particular emphasis on his research in Vermont. “Bees Beseiged: A History of Beekeeping” is sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council.
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Stephen Butz, author of “Shays’ Settlement in Vermont a Story of Revolt and Archaeology”, will discuss his research into Shays” Rebellion and his surprising findings. There will be a book signing. Stephen is heading up the first formal archaeological excavations of Shay’s settlement in Sandgate. Come hear about the local connection Bridgewater has with Daniel Shays.
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Thomas Giffin, President of Vermont Old Cemetery Association (VOCA) will talk about the services they offer to towns to assist with the maintenance of cemeteries. For more information the website is
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The Bridgewater Historical Society is hosting a Vermont Humanities Council event
Linda Radtke – “Vermont Civil War Songbook”
Singer and researcher, Linda Radtke, dressed in period costume and joined by Arthur Zorn will share songs popular in Vermont during the Civil War as well as letters from Vermonters from the era.

The Bridgewater Historical Society is hosting a Vermont Humanities Council event
Howard Coffin: Vermont and the Civil War
This program will focus on Company E, the Second Regiment United States Sharpshooters and the Berdan rifle that they used. There were 12 soldiers credited to Bridgewater and others from nearby towns that were buried here that fought in this regiment.
Program Video Link:


Gettysburg monument that honors                                                                DeAlgeroy Thompson
Vermont Sharpshooters Company E and H

Jeff Leich – “Tales of the 10th: The Mountain Troops and American Skiing”
BHS will be hosting a presentation on the 10th Mountain Division by Jeff Leich, Executive Director of the New England Ski Museum in Franconia, NH. He is the author of 2 books, Over the Headwall: The Ski History of Tuckerman Ravine and Tales of 10th: The Mountain Troops and American Skiing.
Bridgewater had at least four 10th Mountain Division soldiers.

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