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Popular Historic Tours of Campus Resume July 4

Thursday, July 9th, 2015
One stop on the tour: Billings Library, designed by leading 19th century architect H.H. Richardson, completed in 1885. (Photo: Sally McCay)

One stop on the tour: Billings Library, designed by leading 19th century architect H.H. Richardson, completed in 1885. (Photo: Sally McCay)

By Jeffrey Wakefield

The University of Vermont launched the 2015 season of its popular historic tours on July 4. Led by UVM emeritus professor William Averyt, the free, weekly tours take place Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon through Oct. 10. The tour begins at the statue of Ira Allen, just to the south of the fountain on the UVM green. There is no tour on Aug. 15.

UVM was founded in 1791, the fifth oldest university in New England, and it boasts both an array of historic buildings, including more than a dozen on the National Register of Historic Places, and a collection of fascinating personalities.

The architectural highlights of the tour include the Old Mill, completed in 1829, whose cornerstone was laid by the Marquis de Lafayette; the Billings Library, completed in 1885, which leading 19th century architect H.H. Richardson considered among his finest buildings; and Grasse Mount, a brick Federal style mansion built in 1804 by a local merchant, which later served as the residence of Vermont governor Cornelius P. Van Ness.

Tour guide Averyt also brings to life the fascinating personalities who animate UVM’s long history. Founder Ira Allen, for instance, was both a revolutionary war hero and sometimes slippery real estate speculator. UVM’s third president, James Marsh, introduced Coleridge’s philosophical work to America, influenced Emerson and other transcendentalists, and made innovations leading to the modern university curriculum.
Royall Tyler, a member of Vermont’s Supreme Court in the early 19th century, taught jurisprudence at the university and is said to be one of the models for the villain of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s House of the Seven Gables, Judge Pyncheon. And 1879 alumnus John Dewey, whose grave is on campus, is considered one of America’s greatest philosophers.

“UVM’s history is a great yarn to be sure, but it also resonates with significance,” said Averyt. “Through figures like Marsh and Dewey, the university played an important role in shaping modern American thought.”

For more information on the tour and to register, visit www.uvm.edu/historictour.

For more news from UVM Communications, visit http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmpr/.

Cycling through the News

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

racers

Bicycle racers at a fair in White River Junction, Vermont, August 1895.


Exhibit. The summer exhibit in the Bailey/Howe Library lobby looks at the rise of bicycling in America from 1870 to 1920. Newspapers contributed to the nation’s bicycle mania with articles, advertisements, and announcements for cycling events. Stories about health effects (good and bad), adventurous cyclists, cycling etiquette, bicycles and the modern woman, and the need for better roads were common. Advertisements promoted bicycle sales and repair shops, touring opportunities, and sporting events.

“Cycling through the News” was curated by librarians Erenst Anip, Jeffrey Marshall, and Karyn Norwood, who staff the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project. They searched Chronicling America, the national newspaper database of the Library of Congress, to find an amazing collection of materials on all aspects of the bicycling phenomenon that swept the country. The exhibit includes period photographs, advertising and brochures, as well as artifacts. Glenn Eames and Burlington’s Old Spokes Home generously loaned lamps, bells, a flask, a brass horn and other items.

The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, runs until August 26, 2015.

Bicycle Tour. In conjunction with the exhibit, Luis Vivanco, the bicycling anthropologist, will lead a 10-mile bicycle tour on June 13 that explores the history of the late nineteenth-century bicycle boom as it played out in Burlington. The tour will run from 10am-12 noon and will start and end at Bailey/Howe Library. Bring a bike, helmet and water bottle. Rain date: June 20, 10am-12 noon.