Super Senior: Terry Tyler

Published: Oct. 3, 2019 at 2:11 PM EDT
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On a crisp fall day, Terry Tyler ventures to the Dorset quarry.

The old marble operation opened in 1785. With a recent facelift the facility was updated with expanded parking to keep up with the crowds of visitors. Now in his late 80's Terry still has crystal clear memories of his childhood here.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You learned to swim here.

Terry Tyler: You better, it's 70 feet deep!

"My father took me in when I was four," Tyler explained to a group of visitors, the tour guide the center of attention. "It's spring fed and there is water coming in and coming out."

Buildings like the New York Public Library were built from this stone. "Five hundred thousand-feet came out of this quarry for that building," Tyler said.

The press dubbed this quarry as one of the best swimming holes in the county. Tyler, a former electrician and town constable, tells it like it is.

Terry Tyler: And all of that Facebook and all that crap.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You didn't use the "S-word" this time.

On the road, Tyler's home is on the outskirts of the village.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Dorset's quite the pretty little town.

Terry Tyler: Yes it is. And some of the people are nice.

Reporter Joe Carroll: What do they think of you?

Terry Tyler: I don't know, they never tell me to my face.

Besides, he's too busy with his research. "These are all marble books," Tyler explained. "Over here on this side, those are all gun books."

Tyler knows marble, but he's the dean of Vermont-made guns. He co-wrote a book on the history of Green Mountain guns going as far back as 1792.

Reporter Joe Carroll: It look like you put a lot of time into that.

Terry Tyler: Close to five years.

But he didn't just write about them, he owned them. In his basement is his private museum. "Vermont guns, I had the largest in the state, yes," he said. "This one here is a target rifle."

Reporter Joe Carroll: Were you suprised how many guns were made in Vermont?

Terry Tyler: Oh yes, I sure was.

The walls though are now barren after he sold over 100 guns to the Shelburne Museum. "They have done such a magnificent job of displaying them," Tyler said back in 2011, when the permanent display opened.

"Some of them were artistic, there's no doubt about it, in the way the guns were decorated.

A blast of Vermont gun history that was once kept in the dark now seeing the light of day for all.

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