Historic Photos of West Dummerston and West Dummerston Village
For a long time, probably since Dummerston's early days, West Dummerston has enjoyed something of a separate identity. It has been a distinct neighborhood. Think of these photos, then, as a neighborhood album. Like all albums it is necessarily selective, but it represents a wide range of people, places, and activities.
While it is enjoyable to look back at our ancestors and at ourselves in days gone by, we cannot escape a certain melancholy. This is a common experience in viewing family albums, but with a whole community there is an added dimension. The fabric of family, social, and work life has loosened over time. Like nearly all small communities in Vermont and beyond, West Dummerston has been increasingly drawn out of its own orbit into the life of larger towns nearby. The village no longer has a school or a store (although there is a store on Route 30). The Maple Valley ski area is closed. More people commute to work; the quarry now belongs to the realm of industrial archeology. The local hyrdroelectric station is no more. The handsome Baptist Church has been well maintained but no longer has an active congregation. The Roman Catholic Church has been deconsecrated and is now in private hands as is the Grange Hall. The Grange as one resident recalls, was once the core, the social center, of West Dummerston. But for all that, life goes on. The former school now houses the Community Center and the Lydia Taft Pratt Library. Descendants of earlier generations still live here joined by newcomers who bring their hopes for a happy small-town life.
As always we welcome any information about the photos. Dates are given when known.
--Written by Charles Fish & Dummerston Historical Society, January 2008
Edited by Madeline Conley, January 2017