Below is the poem that Sandra Stearns, the grand marshall for the 250th Anniversary Parade, wrote and read at yesterday's celebration.
May 1990 Cavendish, Vermont
Cavendish, Vermont! How I love that name!
Of my birth or death, perhaps both the same.
You felt the first step I did make.
May it be here, my last I take.
Your history spans so many years.
You’ve sheltered hopes, dreams and tears.
The Black River flowed thru the Gorge.
Thru channels and drops it did forge,
Now as it did in ages old.
Such memories it does enfold.
Quiet were your hills many years ago.
While wild animals roamed, to and fro.
Brave Indians traveled over your lands,
Fished your rivers, walked your sands.
Came in 1754 with prisoners from Fort # 4.
And “Captive” Johnson was born in a shelter poor.
Five years later your woods were filled,
With British soldiers cutting thru your hills.
The Crown Point Road connected fort with fort,
To move troops, baggage and supplies of all sort.
Chartered by Benning Wentworth in 1761,
But no permanent settlement was then begun.
John Coffeen and his family came to this barren land,
In 1769, alone, alone no neighbors at hand.
While sparse was the company on that road.
Settling his land, Leonard Proctor in 1780 came.
In the village that still bears hi name.
Nex year Salmon Dutton arrived in town,
Built his house in the village he found.
Gradually, gradually, more settlers came,
Established homes, farmed and hunted game.
Established government, schools and a meeting place.
Utilized, organized, filled and divided the space.
Worked together to build a town,
Using whatever talents were found.
Grist mills, saw mills, carpenters too,
Farmers, blacksmiths, inns so new.
Place to congregate and for neighbors to meet,
Bridges, cemeteries, churches and streets.
All that was needed to make a town so fine.
Over the years they worked, now it’s yours and mine.
The railroad was a fabulous thing.
Its engine puffed and its wheels would sing,
Connecting Cavendish to the world so fine.
You could go almost anywhere by 1849.
The 1927 flood, what a tragic time.
A chasm grew down lower Main Street line.
Seven houses were crushed and swept away.
But everyone lived to see a better day.
Remember the lives that stood on these hills!
Remember the voices ringing in the valley shrill !
Remember the trials and cares to make it great!
Cavendish, Vermont! My Town!! My State!!
Sandra F. Stearns