November 23, 2014

Local historian delves into diaries

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May 8th, 2014

Observer staff report

Williston historian and author Richard Allen will present a slide show on May 10 at 11 a.m. in the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, entitled “The Williston Diaries.” The presentation takes a look at some aspects of 19th century Williston history based on the diaries of two women, Adelaide Isham Crossman and Ellen Metcalf.
The 1863 and 1864 diaries and letters from her husband Ferdinand create a detailed picture of Crossman’s concerns as she dealt with challenges during the Civil War. She kept busy with raising two children, overseeing the farm and making drawers for soldiers.
Metcalf’s 1874 diary entries are interspersed with news items from Williston, such as a picnic at the Poor Farm and the addition to the North Williston store. Metcalf notes entertainment and celebrations in Williston and Vermont, such as the circus, a camp meeting, the fair and a soldiers’ reunion.
Allen researched the local history extensively during his 37 years of teaching in Williston and since his retirement in 2010. He has written numerous articles and authored several books on the town’s history.
The presentation is sponsored by the Williston Historical Society and the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library. It is free and open to the public. Call 878-3853 for more information.

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