04 December 2008

When History Becomes History

Rude Cavewoman managed to find some chocolate and is now feeling much more Peaceful. Thus, today's post will be calmer and friendlier, albeit much sadder.

Yesterday, on my way home from RCHS, I heard a distressing bit of news on NPR. The Vermont Historical Society has announced that it has cancelled, suspended, put on hold, or however you want to say it, the Annual History Expo. Nine years ago The Vermont Historical Society sponsored the first History Expo. Since then the Expo has occurred each year in mid to late June and it has become hugely popular and informative. The Expo is as it sounds: a exposition featuring any and all local historical societies throughout Vermont, and any other historically related groups. It is held at the Tunbridge World's Fair Grounds, a site rich with it's own history. There is usually a turn out of half or more of all the local Historical Societies in the state, as well numerous museums and related non-profit organizations.

Aside from the booths for all these organizations, often each having it's own mini-presentation, there are author presentations, military presentations, an auction, old-time children's games, skilled workmanship presentations, an archealogical dig and lots of other fun stuff. Last year the History Expo was the kick off for the first ever Vermont Barn Census, the goal of which is to document all the barns throughout the state. This event has been embraced by Vermonters and out of staters alike greatly beyond anyone's original expectations. School children attend with their families for a fun and educational event. History buffs volunteer with their local historical societies to share a new story each year. Re-enactors arrive in period dress

I have attended all but one Expo. The last three years I have volunteered at the Expo, helping out in whatever capacity they need. I revel in this event. It is the highlight of my summer. Last year I went so far as to use paid vacation time so I could attend the event. The stories are wonderful, the presentations are wonderful, the people are wonderful, the entire event is just plain wonderful. I am devastated that there will be no History Expo in 2009. I think it is extremely sad that after all the work done year after year to draw people to this event that we won't be able to have it next year.


Stargirl said...

Is it because of the economy? That would be very sad--the Expo sounds like a really fun and informative event.

Cavewoman said...

Yes, it is because of the economy. The Vermont Historical Society has already been contacted by several of their major sponsors telling them they won't be able to give as much money.

Rick said...

What cavewoman said is exactly what Tess Taylor told me on Sunday. Expenses get, well, more expensive each year, and while the sponsors were willing to give what they gave previously, they weren't willing to give more; and more was needed.

This sucks, but hopefully they'll be back soon. We in Tunbridge need the Expo!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info about the Vermont Barn Census. I just wrote a story about the barn census for Too Shy to Stop. You can read my article here