Safeguarding and showcasing St. Johnsbury's treasures - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Safeguarding and showcasing St. Johnsbury's treasures

Posted: Updated:
ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. -

Jammed into this generic storage space are some of St. Johnsbury's greatest treasures.

"The wagon is the original wagon that the Fairbanks came in," says Peggy Pearl. "That's what they came to St. Johnsbury in. It was designed by Thaddeus."

If anyone is on a first name basis with the people who put St. Johnsbury on the map, it is Peggy Pearl.

Reporter: "How long have you been working and been involved in St. Johnsbury history?"

Pearl: "I probably would have to say since I was knee high to a grasshopper working with my dad in the cemetery because he was very historically minded and it was there that I started hearing stories."

Peggy Pearl spent most of her career at a spot built by the Fairbanks family, the Fairbanks Museum.

"I spent 37 years at the museum pretty much teaching history," she says.

At 66, her passion is preserving St. Johnsbury's history. Part of that passion includes finding a permanent home for all of these treasures.

"This room has, as you can see, hundreds of boxes with various collections in them," she says.

Volunteers went through every single box and decided what should go to the new History and Heritage Center.

"So that took about a years worth of time, with all the collections in the different places to go through," she says.

Reporter: "So what would be in a box like this?"

Pearl: "In this particular ones here there are ornaments and these ornaments had a tie into St. Johnsbury."

"We were doing a project on Charlotte Fairbanks last semester and we just hit a wall, so I sent Peggy an email that said, help Charlotte Fairbanks and I saw her three hours later and she brought me four resources," says Denise Scavitto.

Denise Scavitto and Angela Drew both teach at the St. Johnsbury Academy, the school started by the Fairbanks family. They know what a resource Peggy Pearl is and wanted to help her make the dream of a history and heritage center come true.

"Right now we're working on posting photos of the 1884 views of St. Johnsbury book," she says.

They set up this Facebook page to start spreading the word.

"We started to learn about how she was trying to get this organization started and finding a home for it and we really wanted to help and a way that we thought we could help was helping to get the word out," says Angela Drew.

"This was the selling point for me. The house is great, but this we can easily incorporate the horse drawn vehicles we have. I'd like to see a permanent platform scale set up, so that school kids can be educated and see what put St. Johnsbury on the map," Pearl says.

Pearl needs to raise $250,000 to buy this house and carriage house on Summer Street for the new center. She's about halfway there.

Reporter: "What is it about St. Johnsbury that makes it so special?"

Pearl: "Well, I just think St. Johnsbury is gifted by what the Fairbanks gave back to the town. They could have put their money anywhere, including just their pockets."

Instead, their generous gifts to this small hub in the Northeast Kingdom can be seen every time you drive down Main Street.

Freshman humanities classes at the Academy are getting in on the project. They're researching the history of the home where the center will be located.  Another group is looking at Civil War veterans from this area and the connections to the war. They will help with displays once the history and heritage center is up and running.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Rutland pharmacist accused of stealing meds

    Rutland pharmacist accused of stealing meds

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:43:47 GMT
    In Rutland a pharmacist is accused of stealing meds from his employer. 32-year-old Brandon Cigana worked at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Woodstock Avenue. Prosecutors say he used his position there to access the pharmacy's inventory stealing regulated drugs like benzodiazepines, Hydrocodone and Suboxone for himself without a prescription. The Whitehall, New York man faces up to two years behind bars.More >>
    In Rutland a pharmacist is accused of stealing meds from his employer. 32-year-old Brandon Cigana worked at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Woodstock Avenue. Prosecutors say he used his position there to access the pharmacy's inventory stealing regulated drugs like benzodiazepines, Hydrocodone and Suboxone for himself without a prescription. The Whitehall, New York man faces up to two years behind bars.More >>
  • Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:04 GMT
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End. Police and the U.S. Marshal's raided this home on Cedar Street around 8 o'clock. They say they seized heroin and cocaine. Six people were inside when authorities went in. But they're not saying how many arrests were made. The raid was part of an ongoing drug investigation.More >>
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End. Police and the U.S. Marshal's raided this home on Cedar Street around 8 o'clock. They say they seized heroin and cocaine. Six people were inside when authorities went in. But they're not saying how many arrests were made. The raid was part of an ongoing drug investigation.More >>
  • Fire damages Lyndonville tree farm

    Fire damages Lyndonville tree farm

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:21 GMT
    Fire has damaged ten acres of a Lyndonville tree farm. Eight department were called in to battle the blaze. And it took four hours to get the flames under control. Fire officals say a discarded cigarette combined with dry conditions are to blame. One firefighter suffered from minor smoke inhalation.More >>
    Fire has damaged ten acres of a Lyndonville tree farm. Eight department were called in to battle the blaze. And it took four hours to get the flames under control. Fire officals say a discarded cigarette combined with dry conditions are to blame. One firefighter suffered from minor smoke inhalation.More >>
  • A warning for bird watchers: Give eagles space

    A warning for bird watchers: Give eagles space

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:36 GMT
    Bird watchers are being reminded to give nesting bald eagles plenty of space. The Vermont Fish Wildlife Department is urging anyone who sees a nesting eagle not to get closer than 300 feet. Activity too close to their nest can result in them abandoning their young. Harassing a bald eagle is illegal and a violation of the state endangered species statute.More >>
    Bird watchers are being reminded to give nesting bald eagles plenty of space. The Vermont Fish Wildlife Department is urging anyone who sees a nesting eagle not to get closer than 300 feet. Activity too close to their nest can result in them abandoning their young. Harassing a bald eagle is illegal and a violation of the state endangered species statute.More >>
  • Gun fired into New Haven home

    Gun fired into New Haven home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:48 GMT
    Police are searching for who fired a gun into a home in New Haven. It happened late Tuesday night at 2420 Munger Street. Police say a bullet passed through a window of the home. Luckily no one was hurt. Investigators say a stop sign at the intersection of Munger Street and Cobble Road had also been shot. Anyone with information should call state police.More >>
    Police are searching for who fired a gun into a home in New Haven. It happened late Tuesday night at 2420 Munger Street. Police say a bullet passed through a window of the home. Luckily no one was hurt. Investigators say a stop sign at the intersection of Munger Street and Cobble Road had also been shot. Anyone with information should call state police.More >>
  • What triggered a shooting inside the Bennington police station?

    What triggered a shooting inside the Bennington police station?

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:57:35 GMT
    A Bennington man is in stable condition after being shot by an officer inside the Bennington Police Department. Investigators say Gregory Filo had a knife and was behaving erratically.More >>
    A Bennington man is in stable condition after being shot by an officer inside the Bennington Police Department. Investigators say Gregory Filo had a knife and was behaving erratically.More >>
  • Former Fortune 500 exec indicted in fatal NH crash

    Former Fortune 500 exec indicted in fatal NH crash

    A New Hampshire grand jury has indicted a former Fortune 500 executive on second-degree murder charges in connection with a crash that killed a Vermont couple in December.More >>
    A New Hampshire grand jury has indicted a former Fortune 500 executive on second-degree murder charges in a crash that killed a Vermont couple in December.More >>
  • Convicted Vt. embezzler charged with stealing from employer

    Convicted Vt. embezzler charged with stealing from employer

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:24:36 GMT
    Nearly two decades after her first conviction, a white-collar criminal returns to court once again charged with stealing from her employer. More >>
    Nearly two decades after her first conviction, a white-collar criminal returns to court once again charged with stealing from her employer.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.