Date: Thursday, June 18, Time: 7:00 p.m. The View from Table Rock – a film and presentation. Place: Williamsville Hall in Williamsville.
Co-sponsored by the Historical Society of Windham County and the Williamsville Hall Committee.
Guided by two antique Bird’s Eye View lithographs depicting Bellows Falls in the 1800s, videographer Lyle Sorensen explores the past and present in his documentary entitled “The View from Table Rock.” In this film we learn how most Bird’s Eye Views were created and how a unique rock formation overlooking Bellows Falls offered artists a vantage point that hikers still visit today. With Table Rock acting as an anchor point, local citizens share their knowledge of the days of the navigational canal, the prosperous mill era and the creation of magnificent homes and civic buildings. We learn what the lithographs depicted over 100 years ago, what has disappeared, and what remains. The Adams Grist Mill in Bellows Falls was built in 1831 of stone and wood. The mill operated until the early 1960s and still contains much of its original equipment. A “Table Rock” lithograph dating from 1856 shows the mill as one of the few buildings present in the area near the Bellows Falls Navigational Canal. A second litho, drawn in 1886, shows the area to be completely crowded in with numerous large mills. These enormous masonry buildings grew with the developing paper and pulp industry and almost hide the Grist Mill from the view from Table Rock. Our ability to compare these two views, drawn just 30 years apart from the same perspective, offers a unique glimpse into the past as Bellows Falls was becoming a small city. Lorenson’s film shares the excitement of using archival materials to explore the past, and as a means for understanding our present and future. Sorensen encourages viewers to be curious about their own local history. “My film is not a history of Bellows Falls, but rather it offers a wider look at using artifacts from the past to examine what is around us today and to be curious. I want my viewers to enjoy history and to explore whatever appeals to them.”