Dear Members, Visitors, and Friends,
We ask for your financial support for a very worthy cause. The Brighton / Island Pond area is one rich in history and a heritage that we are striving to keep alive for future generations to enjoy.
In 2017 we celebrated 50 years as a corporation and 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (EIN number is 23-7029212) dedicated to preserving the traditions of the past.
Annual meetings feature speakers who share their stories of life in Island Pond and the Northeast Kingdom. Professionally produced bi-annual newsletters keep these stories alive for hundreds of families connected to the area.
Island Pond has many notable success stories. The area is and has always been a wonderful place to grow up. Volunteers work hard to preserve this heritage, display artifacts related to Island Pond, and record and continue to keep the history of this unique area alive to be remembered and available.
In the Society’s early years the offices and museum housed the collection of photos and artifacts in the second story of the railroad station. The railroad made the four rooms at the top of a long flight of stairs ours for a dollar a year until the town obtained the building and determined that we should pay rent by the square foot. The town cannot afford to grant us free space and we have paid more than $6K a year for the past several years with annual increases.
We are very fortunate to have received major legacies from the late Roy M. Kaufman, widower of Island Pond native Ruth Harvey Kaufman; Florence Dale, widow of George N. Dale; Morris and Bertha Haley McWain, John Davis, Harold Skovran, Aubrey and Olivia Bean, Dorothy Maxwell Lanning, Bruce Porter, Lawrence Ranney, Joe Roby, Mildred Foss White, and Norma Samson Wright. More recent significant donors include James and Robin McCann and Donna and James Draper.
Those legacies and donations are paying the current expenses of rent and loan repayment. Operational costs are now more than $20K a year. Without your donation we cannot sustain the museum and current programs, such as annual meetings, newsletters, website, annual tax auditing, and archiving.
In the fall of 2017 the Society’s executive committee and other members took advantage of the opportunity to borrow against our legacy funds and buy a vacant building on Cross Street formerly known as Ted’s Market. Handicap accessible museum exhibits, archive storage, group meeting space, study space for viewing photos and books and curatorial work will fill the 3,150 square feet of floor space. We have also created educational opportunities for senior citizens, community outreach programs, a commitment to community duty program that helps the elderly and those who are ill, and we encourage visits from students to help them with their school projects and historical studies.
Please help us with your financial support. We are doing our best to identify and apply for grants that will help with museum exhibition projects and we are also developing relationships with the Vermont Secretary of State’s office, the Vermont Historical Society and the American Alliance of Museums to get their assistance with administration and best practices and standards. We are indebted to Jack Gobin, Director of Exhibits, at the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury who has given generously of his time, advice, and old museum display units.
Our goal is to raise $250K to sustain the Island Pond Historical Society and museum through the coming years. Please donate, make your checks payable to the Island Pond Historical Society or contact us to set up a monthly payment plan. Thank you for your continued interest and support.
Sharon Biron (president) Craig Goulet (vice president) Marilyn Maxwell (Treasurer) Michael Clarke (Trustee) Muriel O’Gorman (trustee) Gordon Lefebvre (Trustee Emeritus)
And the president emeritus, the late Lt. Col Mark C. Biron