Civil War: This unique Gettysburg chair, part of our Civil War collection, was built of fence rails taken from the field of battle. The chair was designed by Levi Fuller, 1841-1896, who didn't serve in the Civil War, but collected battlefield relics afterwards. He lived in Brattleboro, where he was son-in-law and partner of Jacob Estey. In 1874 he founded the Fuller Battery, of which he was breveted Colonel. He served for two years as Governor of Vermont.
Porter Thayer, early photographer: A lifelong resident of Williamsville, Porter Thayer immortalized this area in the photographs he took between 1906 and 1920. His horse "Lady" helped transport his camera, tripod and boxes of glass plates over the 25 mile territory he covered. To give an idea of the popularity of his business, in a 6-month period over 1,000 postcards were sold at Williams store alone.
Otis Warren: Otis Warren was a Universalist preacher who lived in Newfane from 1836-1867. Our exhibit is based on his diaries. As a youth he was apprenticed to a cabinetmaker: he made the carved sideboard in 1832 as a wedding present for his wife. In his diary for Dec.14th 1844 he writes of painting the portrait of Albert his son, then aged 10.
The Role of the Blacksmith: The local blacksmith was essential to a pre-industrial agricultural society. He made and sharpened tools, repaired farming implements and shod horses. All these various tasks are indicated on Elihu Park's blacksmith sign, painted on wood cut to the shape of a broad axe by an unknown folk art master.