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Hot Off the Press!

 The St. Johnsbury History & Heritage Center, located at 421 Summer Street, is having a big day on Saturday September 8th with the return of demonstrations of traditional crafts. From 10 – 4 p.m. one might hear the sound of a broad axe as it squares a log or the blacksmith’s hammer as it hits the anvil or the sound of laughter as kids try their talents on old fashioned toys and games. The grounds and exhibits reflect a time gone by but never-the-less got us to where we are today. The day’s events just got more exciting with the following-

Hot off the Press

Allen D. Hodgdon from Guildhall walked into History & Heritage today (Tuesday) with his completed project of about 44 years, The Life, Times and Works of Lambert Packard, Architect. To celebrate his accomplishment, Allen will join us on the 8th from 1 to 3 to sign copies of his book to all those that want to purchase ($42.00) this work of the man that was such a part of St. Johnsbury’s architecture and surrounding areas. While a student at Lyndon State College in 1972, Professor Norman Atwood planted the Packard “seed” by handing Allen four typed pages of Packard and encouraging Allen to tell the “rest of the story.” Allen received his degree in History of Architecture from the University of Illinois. Over the years Allen let that “seed” take root with research of every building he could identify as Packard’s. These are the identified buildings that are included in the book although Allen estimates that the number of his designs may have been 600.

The amazing part of Lambert’s designs spanned just about every kind of building known at the time. The Fairbanks Museum, the North Church, round barn in Waterford, schools, Y.M.C. A., commercial buildings, factory buildings, libraries and endless homes; including Brantview, Joseph Gauthier house on Washington Ave., the former North Church Manse on Main Street are just some of the examples of his talent. Buildings are identified by their original names when they were built.

In the back of the book, Allen has a note to the reader. This book is rife with contemporaneous observations by reporters and editors of local newspapers in the author’s attempt to expose the reader to their humor, candor and insight. They give eye-witness accounts of the period of the unprecedented philanthropy of the Fairbanks family. It was an exciting time and the author’s goal is transport the reader back in time to one of the most exciting periods in Vermont history – the Victorian Era.

Allen Hodgdon has long been the “go to” person when Lambert Packard is the subject and now he has shared that knowledge with his readers.

As you can see, there are many reasons to make your way to 421 Summer Street this Saturday and we welcome your presence.

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