Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Local Diversion: Autumn in Vermont, Playful Mode

A few years ago, I wrote the start-up grant applications for rehabbing a local mill building -- not a grain mill, but a woodworking mill, named for its 20th-century owner, Ben Thresher, in Barnet, Vermont. Hence today's quick peek into how the team at Ben's Mill is continuing to raise funds for this great historic and community-oriented site ... Often I think of Vermont Autumn as a sort of holy time, lit by the fires of the mountains ablaze with maple red and gold, and that's really true! But it's also a time for fun like the Ducky Derby Race at the mill, when bystanders purchase a numbered toy duckling among the flock about to be released on the river. Winners are chosen by their ducklings' performances. Photos here show, in order, the ducklings in the Stevens River; a duck mascot on scene; and Craig Marcotte, one of the blacksmiths of the mill's current life, at work on a project. (The mill used to make and fix just about any farming implement, and before than -- wagon and carriage wheels.) This year's race (the 7th annual) is Saturday October 2, with the fun beginning at 10 a.m.; for more info on the mill, here's the website -- -- and for details on the Ducky Derby, call Hiram and Lois at 802-748-8180.

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