In Nordic skiing: Local racers hit the podium in season opener

NC Nordic Ellis

North Country Falcon Avery Ellis digs deep as she races ahead of U-32’s Orli Schwartz during Tuesday’s varsity meet at the Craftsbury Outdoor center. Ellis would power her way to a third place finish in the opening Nordic meet of the season. Photos by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 12-18-201

CRAFTSBURY COMMON — Craftsbury Charger Anders Hanson captured a second place finish, and North Country Falcon Avery Ellis took third in the opening meet of the 2013-2014 Nordic varsity ski season on Tuesday.  The meet, held at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, was jointly hosted by Craftsbury Academy and Peoples Academy in Morrisville. Continue reading


Opinion: Rock on, Lake Region


The Lake Region Union High School Rangerettes.  Photo by Peter Cocoros

The Lake Region Union High School Rangerettes. Photo by Peter Cocoros

by Tena Starr

This year’s Lake Region Union High School Winter Concert was something I would have paid money to attend.  From first to last, it was spectacular.

There’s such pressure on academics, but arts matter as well, and it’s something to keep in mind as school budgets tighten and tests gain importance.

Hurrah to whoever decided that Lake Region’s budget should include money for the elegant clothes all those fine musicians and singers wore.  It was mightily impressive to see the young people decked out in gowns, white shirts, and black vests and bow ties.  The school should be commended for its commitment to its music program and providing an incentive for the kids to take it all seriously, which they did.

And Sara Doncaster should be commended for coming up with such an innovative program, which ranged from classics to Etta Brown, and included the funniest version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” that I’ve ever heard.  I saw it on the program and sighed, being a Scrooge, I guess, and considering “The Twelve Days of Christmas” one of the most tedious holiday songs ever written.

Not this version.  It was surprising and amusing, but it was also a complex song to sing — one that could have easily, and abominably, failed were it not for such a skilled group of singers.

Katie Lucas and the Rangerettes ought to go shopping for paid gigs.  The audience found itself whooping and whistling and, eventually, doing a standing ovation for that terrifically talented little group of young women.

And when was the last time you went to a school concert and heard a trio of young men croon a Frank Sinatra tune?

They all looked like they were having such fun, as were the people listening to them.

Then there’s the bands.  The Five Dollar Band, which backed up Katie and the Rangerettes, the Jazz Band, and the Orchestral Band.  They were challenged, and they rose to it.  What a fine, fine job those musicians did.

This is great stuff — for the kids, for those of us parents, for the future of music.  Thank you Lake Region, Sara Doncaster, and in particular, all you promising singers and musicians for providing such a rousing and excellent performance.  Rock on.

For more free articles like this one, visit our editorials and opinions page.


Christmas trees growers turn to the Canaan fir

copyright the Chronicle 12-18-13

by Natalie Hormilla

christmas tree tester

Bill Tester stands with one of his balsam and Fraser fir hybrids at his choose and cut stand in Barton. Photo by Natalie Hormilla

“I will never plant another balsam again,” said Steve Moffatt.  “Between the frost and the disease and the insect issues, I won’t.”

Mr. Moffatt owns and operates Moffatt’s Tree Farm in Craftsbury with his wife, Sharon.

This year is about the tenth year that Mr. and Ms. Moffatt have run the family business, which has been operating in some capacity or another since the 1960s.  Mr. Moffatt’s dad, Jim, still works at the farm, where he was born. Continue reading


In girls basketball: Yellow Jackets sting Rangers in home opener

copyright the Chronicle 12-18-2013

by Richard Creaser

LR girls basketball cut

Lake Region’s Katie Menard (right) pours on the speed as she slips around Windsor Yellow Jacket Ashleay Wilcox in varsity basketball action on Monday night. Menard would contribute six points on the night. Photos by Richard Creaser

ORLEANS — In a battle of two fairly evenly matched teams, the visiting Windsor Yellow Jackets spoiled the Lake Region Rangers’ home opener with a 67-59 win.  Despite the loss and despite falling to 0-2 on the season, the time has not yet come to despair, Coach Joe Houston said.

Continue reading


In boys hockey: NC Falcons win big in home opener


NCBHvME slap

North Country’s Ross DeLaBruere delivers a blistering shot during Friday night’s season opener at the Pat Burns Arena in Stanstead. Fellow Falcons Nathan Marsh (back left) and Tucker Corrow (back right) flank DeLaBruere on the play. DeLaBruere would record two goals on the night as the Falcons cruised to a 6-0 win over the visiting Greely High Rangers from Cumberland, Maine. Photo by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 12-8-2013

STANSTEAD, Quebec — It’s been two years since the North Country Falcons last played in Stanstead, but the team picked up where they left off with a decisive 6-0 win over the visiting Greely High Rangers on Friday night.  The game marked the opening of the regular season and a special four-team CanAm series featuring the Falcons, the South Burlington Rebels, the Rangers from Greely High in Cumberland, Maine, and Alexander Galt Regional High from Lennoxville, Quebec, played at the Pat Burns Arena in Stanstead. Continue reading


Researchers extract sap from maple saplings

Smaller maple trees could be used to produce syrup with a new system being researched in Vermont. Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

Smaller maple trees could be used to produce syrup with a new system being researched in Vermont. Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

by Tena Starr

copyright the Chronicle 11-27-2013

Researchers at the Proctor Maple Research Center have stumbled onto a new way of sugaring that could revolutionize the most rapidly growing agricultural industry in Vermont.

Instead of getting 100 taps per acre, it would be possible to get 5,000 or more.  Instead of getting roughly 40 gallons of maple syrup per acre, it would be possible to get as much as 400 gallons per acre.

It would be possible, in other words, to have a prosperous sugaring operation on a single acre of farmland.

The idea is that saplings could be “tapped,” either in a regenerating sugarbush, or in a densely planted field.

Four years ago, Tim Perkins and Abby van den Berg at the Proctor Maple Research Center set out to study how sap flows in maple trees when a vacuum system is employed.  Vacuum sucks sap out of a tree rather than letting it flow at its natural, and much less predictable, rate.

Normally, in a thaw, sap flows downward through the tree.

“But if you’re on vacuum, you continue to get sap out of a tree after that process stops,” Mr. Perkins said.  “The only logical conclusion was that we were pulling sap up out of the ground.”

If that’s the case, then the top of the tree isn’t necessary to get a sap run, Mr. Perkins noted.  So, to test the theory, he and Ms. van den Berg lopped the top off a sapling, attached a plastic bag with a piece of tubing to the top of the stump, and sucked the sap out with vacuum.

It worked.  It worked so well, in fact, that, after four years of research, Mr. Perkins has concluded they discovered a whole new way of making syrup — one that could protect the industry from climate change and Asian longhorned beetles, allow new sugarmakers to get into the business despite prohibitively high land prices, and permit existing operations to expand.

A new sugarmaker could plant a closely spaced plantation of maple saplings.  A sugarmaker already in business could end up “tapping” the saplings that have grown up in his woods instead of clearing them out.

“There’s no question it works,” Mr. Perkins said.  “We generally don’t like to talk about things unless we know they’re going to work.  We spent four years looking at this before we began talking.  You can certainly make considerably more syrup per acre than with the standard method of sugaring.”

The only problem is it’s not yet possible to sugar such a plantation.  That’s because the device needed to get sap out of a sapling doesn’t exist — at least not on a large scale.

Mr. Perkins said the researchers made the equipment they used by hand, but no one would want to make enough for an entire plantation.  “It’s the same as if you had to whittle your own spouts,” he said.  “You wouldn’t want to make 5,000 or 6,000 of them.”

The device that’s missing is the plastic bag with the piece of tubing that would connect to the rest of the system.  “You need to get that sap out of the bag,” Mr. Perkins said.  “You can’t do it now because the devices to pull out the sap aren’t available commercially.”

Manufacturers have been approached and expressed interest, but at the moment no one is producing the piece needed for such a sugaring operation, Mr. Perkins said.

“We’ve spoken to manufacturers very briefly,” he said.  “Our next step is to start meeting with each manufacturer, describing it in more detail, and seeing if they want to start working with us.”

Among longtime sugarmakers, the procedure has generated good-natured cautiousness.

“When I saw it my immediate opinion was that’s crazy,” said Bucky Shelton of Glover, who has sugared for 35 years and is a sales and service man for Lapierre USA in Orleans.  “But if you put your mind into the future then it’s probably an interesting way to do this.  I’ll say one thing, you don’t have to worry about the wind blowing them down.  “It’s more secure as far as environmental problems go.”

Wind is a major threat to sugarmakers, and storms have been increasing, Mr. Shelton said.  He’s still cleaning up his own sugarbush, which was hit by a windstorm in May.

Jacques Couture, chairman of the Vermont Maple Sugarmakers Association, also a longtime sugarmaker, agrees that plantation sugaring could be a defense against increasing threats.  For instance, the hurricane of 1938 wiped out many mature sugarbushes, setting the business back years, he said.

“Some of the older sugarmakers talked about that.  All these beautiful sugarbushes got completely mowed down.”

“I don’t see myself doing it anytime soon, but it’s interesting,” Mr. Couture said.  “If we had some kind of major disaster, a lot of people would look at this seriously.”

That’s one of Mr. Perkins’ points.  Vermont’s sugaring industry, thriving right now, is whim to weather and pests, as is any agricultural venture.

The Asian longhorned beetle isn’t yet in Vermont, but it’s been found in neighboring states, and currently there are infestations in Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio.  It’s a serious threat to maples and other hardwood species, but it doesn’t like little trees, Mr. Perkins said.  They’re big beetles, and they like big trees to bore into, he said.  Saplings just don’t appeal to them.

And, 50 years down the road, as the temperature warms, smaller maples will be more likely to produce syrup.  Being smaller, they freeze and thaw quicker, allowing for more sap runs.

“In the projected environment we’re going to have 50 years from now, smaller trees will probably be better suited for sugaring,” Mr. Perkins said.

The ideal maple for plantation sugaring would actually look more like a bush than a stately 100-year-old maple.  Two-inch stems are optimum, Mr. Perkins said.  A single stem works fine — for a while.

The first year the top would be cut off to get the sap run.  Each year another six to 12 inches would be cut off the top of the stem to get the sap running.  But with a single stem, “eventually, you’re going to get to ground,” Mr. Perkins said.  A sapling with multiple stems, on the other hand, could last a very long time.

At the moment, the cost of production, for a variety of reasons, works out about the same as for a traditional sugarbush, Mr. Perkins said.

“Where this new method starts to get better is if you can plant saplings that have the genetics to be sweet trees,” he said.

And work has been done on developing particularly sweet varieties of maples, Mr. Perkins said.  Individual trees vary in sugar content, he said, and researchers were breeding for sweetness.  That work came to an end when reverse osmosis was introduced, he said.  Reverse osmosis removes some of the water from sap before it’s boiled, thus “sweetening” it and reducing boiling time.

“If we can increase the sugar content of sap to 3 percent, you’d go from 400 gallons an acre to 600 gallons,” Mr. Perkins said.

A plantation of particularly sweet trees would significantly cut the cost of production.  “If we could breed sweet trees and grow them fairly quickly,” the economics would be quite different, Mr. Perkins said.

The cost, and availability, of land is also a factor in sugaring today, he said.  “In Vermont right now about 50 percent of the optimal land for sugarbushes is being used for sugarbushes,” he said.  “The rest of it is mostly tied up.  There’s still land available, but it may not have the highest density, or people don’t want sugaring there.  This provides another option for people to continue to grow their operation.”

The idea of plantation sugaring, turning what is currently a semi-wild crop into a farm crop, causes some sugarmakers to raise an eyebrow — and laugh a little.

“It’s not too romantic,” Mr. Shelton said.  “One of my first thoughts was, boy, this is pretty far from tradition.”

“It does change the image if it becomes a cornfield type of thing, or sugarcane type of thing,” Mr. Couture said.

No, cutting the tops off saplings is not a traditional notion of sugaring, Mr. Perkins said.  “But, unfortunately, the traditional image doesn’t represent the reality of what’s out there.  We don’t have people walking around with horses anymore.”

He said he doesn’t see the new way of sugaring replacing the traditional methods anytime soon, although it could augment some operations and buffer the entire industry against disaster.

So far, the reaction from sugarmakers has been generally positive, Mr. Perkins said.

“I’m definitely open to seeing how it works,” Mr. Shelton said.  “They’re thinking out of the box, and I think we need to think out of the box for the future.  Everything old school is just getting uprooted.  It’s important to be thinking in these terms.”

Steve Wheeler at Jed’s Maple in Derby, which produces organic syrup and maple products, said he had not yet even heard about sugaring maple saplings.  “We’re set up so traditionally here that it’s kind of a shock,” he said.

He said he hasn’t formed an opinion, but sees no reason why sugaring in a whole new way wouldn’t work.  “I don’t see why you can’t approach it like traditional farming.”

Mr. Wheeler said he has great respect for the UVM researchers.  “Proctor has some really neat ideas,” he said.

contact Tena Starr at [email protected].  For more free stories like this one, see our editor’s pick category on this site.  We hope these will interest you enough to make you want to subscribe to our online or print editions.


Obituaries November 27, 2013

obit HendershotCharles T. Hendershot Sr.

Charles T. Hendershot Sr., 70, of Holland died on November 10, 2013, in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

He was born on August 15, 1943, in Somerset, New Jersey, to Elwood and Marie (Hagan) Hendershot.  On July 8, 1967, he married Mary Marrolli, who survives him.

He was a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Mr. Hendershot was employed by North Country Union High School, where he retired after eight years of service.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, woodworking, going for rides in the area, football, and NASCAR, especially watching Jeff Gordon.  He loved having his grandchildren come for visits and watching them grow up.

He was a member of the American Legion Post #100 of Montpelier, and a lifetime member of the Sergeantville, New Jersey, Volunteer Fire Department.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Hendershot, of Holland; his children:  Lisa Martin and her husband, Luc, of Island Pond, and Charles T. Hendershot Jr. and his wife, Melissa, of Georgia; his grandchildren:  Joshua, Jonathan, Fallon, Domini, Jacob, Theodore, and Nicole; and by the following nieces and nephews:  Tracey, Donald E., Dawn, Alicia, Donald Jr., Michael and Luisa; and by his brother-in-law Donald Marrolli and his wife, Maria.

He was predeceased by his brother Donald Hendershot.  He is being missed by his granddog, Millie.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., on Saturday, December 7, at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home, at 4670 Darling Hill Road in Newport.  Friends may call at the funeral home on December 7, from 1 p.m., until the hour of the funeral.  Full military honors will be held immediately following the service at the funeral home.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to his daughter Lisa Martin, P.O. Box 502, Derby, Vermont 05829, for family assistance to cover expenses.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

 Lillian (Ethel) Hoytobit hoyt

Lillian (Ethel) Hoyt, lifelong resident of Orleans, died at her home on November 18, 2013, at the age of 104.

She was born on July 9, 1909, in Orleans, a daughter of Elwin and Ethel (Elkins) Wheeler.  She graduated from Orleans High School in 1928, and in June of this year attended the Orleans High School Alumni Banquet and celebrated her eighty-fifth year.  Following high school she worked at the Derick Photography Studio, which was located on the upper floor of the Austin Drug Store building in Orleans.

On September 17, 1932, she married Darrell Hoyt, who predeceased her in January 2002.

After her five children were grown, she worked as librarian at the Jones Memorial Library for many years.

Mrs. Hoyt was a marvelous cook.  Home baked bread, rolls, and doughnuts were among her favorite things to cook and share with family and neighbors.

She is survived by four children:  Shirley and her husband, Dwane Austin, of Jericho, Bob of Orleans, Rick and his wife, Judy, of Orleans, and Mary Lou and her husband, Edward Wood, of California; eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren; and by several nieces and nephews.  Mrs. Hoyt is also survived by a special friend of many years and, over the last few years, her caregiver, Pauline Fairbrother, of Orleans, who made it possible for her to stay in her home until her death.  For her love, help, and friendship, we are forever grateful.

A son, Ross, predeceased her in 1974.

Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Orleans Emergency Unit, care of Dot Collier, treasurer, 1327 Dry Pond Road, Glover, Vermont 05839.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at  There are no immediate services planned.  A graveside service will be held in the spring at the convenience of the family.

obit LeBlancGeorgette S. Leblanc

Georgette S. Leblanc, 92, of Troy died on November 22, 2013, in Newport.

She was born January 14, 1921, in Jay to Delphis and Rose (Fortin) Bacon.  On September 28, 1942, she married Laurent Leblanc, who predeceased her in 2007.

Mrs. Leblanc was employed at the Newport Plastic Factory for several years and retired from Indian Head Plywood after 20 years.

She was very active in the Elks and the American Legion.  Among her hobbies, she enjoyed playing bingo and cards.  She loved to work in her flower garden and huge vegetable garden.  We shall miss her cooking, her homemade doughnuts, pies and her famous baked beans.  She was a member of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Troy, the American Legion Auxiliary Post #28 of North Troy, and the Ladies of Ste. Anne of Troy.

She is survived by her children:  Lorraine Warner of Locust Grove, Virginia, Rose Marie Pepin of Meriden, Connecticut, Laurent Leblanc, Jr. of North Troy, and Rachel Powers and her husband, Richard, of Coventry; by her grandchildren:  Jamie, Jacqueline, Stephanie, Tara, and Scott; by eight great-grandchildren; by her sisters:  Theresa Descheneau of Derby Line and Lucille Viens of Claremont, New Hampshire; by her sisters-in-law Julie Bourne of Morrisville and Yvette Leblanc of Newport; by her brothers-in-law Gaston Leblanc of North Troy and Leonard Leblanc and his wife, Joyce, of Tampa, Florida; and by several nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held in the spring at St. Ignatius Cemetery in Lowell.

Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Shelter, 502 Strawberry Acres, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

Constance R. Moore-Lamphere

Constance R. Moore-Lamphere, 59, of Brownington died suddenly on November 16, 2013, at her home.

She was born on March 24, 1954, in Newport, to Constantine and Gertrude (Twombley) Fotiou.

On December 24, 1985, she married John Moore-Lamphere Sr., who survives her.

Her family was her life.  She enjoyed attending her grandchildren’s sporting events and she liked to cook and feed a crowd of people.  She also enjoyed gardening and she was always ready to give a helping hand to anybody who needed her.

She cooked in several of the area restaurants including the Valley House in Orleans, which she ran for over a year.  She also worked at Ethan Allen for about 12 years.  She was always a hard worker.

She is survived by her husband John of Brownington; her children:  Travis Horton of Douglas, Wyoming, Kevin Horton of Westmore, John Moore-Lamphere Jr. of Brownington, and Peter Moore-Lamphere of Santa Fe, New Mexico; and her grandchildren:  Samantha, Molly, Jordan, Jonathan, Trystan, Alexandra, Krista, and Gabrielle; her sister Susan Charron and her husband, Gunther, of Florida.  She will be missed by her ever-present, four-legged companion, Luna.

A graveside service will be held in the spring at the Brownington Center Cemetery.

Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Shelter, 502 Strawberry Acres, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

Bonita Patricia (Cumby) Riceobit rice

Bonita Patricia (Cumby) Rice, 70, of West Charleston died peacefully on Sunday, November 17, 2013.

She was born in Hopeall, Newfoundland, Canada, on August 2, 1943, daughter of the late Arthur and Mina Cumby.

She grew up in Hopeall.  At the age of 16, she met her lifelong companion, David Rice, who she married three months later, on August 28, 1960, and who survives her.

Mr. Rice was in the Navy and stationed in Argentia, Newfoundland, when they met.  Shortly after his discharge from the Navy, Mrs. Rice moved back to the Rice family farm in Holland.  She helped on the family farm where the first of their six children was born in 1963.  After leaving the family farm, they lived in several locations around the Derby area but finally settled in their home of 40 years in West Charleston.

Mrs. Rice loved tending to her flower gardens, with her favorite flower being the geranium.  She enjoyed spending time with her children and many grandchildren who brought her great joy.  She will be remembered for her home cooked meals and the pride she took in preparing for large family gatherings.

She is survived by her sister Grace Cumby and her companion, West Canning, of Greens Harbour, Newfoundland; her sister Jean Moore and her husband, Eddie, of Blaketown, Newfoundland; her sister Cindy Cumby and her companion, Charlie Hottot, of Macklin, Saskatchewan, Canada; her brother Wayne Cumby of Kelligrews, Newfoundland; her brother Derrick Cumby and his wife, Jackie, of Paradise, Newfoundland; her son David Rice Jr. of Springfield; her daughter Lori Puckett and her fiancé, Buddy Johnson, of South Carolina; her son Donald Rice and his companion, Cathy Rever, of Derby; her son Christopher Rice and his companion, Travis Randall, of Burke; her daughter Deborah Gilbert and her husband, Stephen, of East Montpelier; her 19 grandchildren; and by her 13 great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her parents, Arthur and Mina Cumby; her sister Velma Allen; her brothers:  Vic and Howard Cumby; her grandson Ryan Berry; and by her daughter Catherine Shepard.

A celebration of life service will be held at 1 p.m., on Saturday, November 30, at the Freewill Baptist Church in West Charleston, with the Reverend Richard Whitehill officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Freewill Baptist Church of West Charleston.

To view an online memorial and to send a message of condolence to the family, please visit

obit rodgersJewel “Judy” E. Rodgers

Jewel “Judy” E. Rodgers, 74, of Glover died on November 17, 2013, surrounded by her loving family.

She was born on January 6, 1939, in Teaneck, New Jersey, to Gordon and Jessie (Bennett) Ehrlich.  On August 3, 1994, she married John W. Rodgers, who survives her.

She loved her dogs, Ziggy and Zoey, gardening, sewing, and hooking rugs.  She was very artistic and enjoyed creating things.  She loved people and traveling to Florida every winter where she had many friends.

She is survived by her husband John W. Rodgers of Glover; her children:  Lori Halsey and her partner, Bob Montgomery, of Derby, Nancy Lewis and her fiancé, Jim Flasck, of East Lansing, Michigan, and Lee Perry and her husband, Andrew, of Rochester, New York; her stepchildren:  Nikki, John S. Rodgers and his wife, Brenda, of Glover, Diane and Kelly Young-Rodgers of Montpelier, and Mark Rodgers and his wife, Dawn, of Glover; her grandchildren:  Augie, Lindsay, Jeffrey, Alex, Katie, Annie, Jewel, Jake, Jess, Tyler, Megan, John Finley, Derek, Violet, Ian, Jesse and Alexis; and by her two great-grandchildren:  Noah and Nina.

Funeral services were held on November 22, in Barton.

Should friends or family desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, 1120 G. Street, NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20005.  This was very close to her heart.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

A tribute to Lillian Hoyt:  Orleans loses an icon

by Nick Burdick

With the same quiet dignity that she has always been noted for, on November 18, Lillian Hoyt took her last breath, closed her eyes, and entered eternity.  She was in her own bed on School Street with her daughter Mary Lou, and Lillian’s constant companion, Pauline Fairbrother, at her side.

Four years after graduating high school, Lillian’s life would change drastically.  Darrell Hoyt, a young man seven years her senior, had spotted her and they dated.  Then, in 1932, right in the middle of the Depression, they married, and Lillian stopped working so she could raise a family.  They were blessed with Ross (who died a few years ago), Shirley, Bob (Robert), and Rick.  Then came the baby, the last of the clan, Mary Lou.  With a smile, because Lillian loved all of her children like there was no tomorrow, she was quoted saying that after Mary Lou, she just knew it was time to stop!

Anyone who lived in Orleans within the last 90 years or so has known the Hoyt family.  Darrell was the first mail carrier in Orleans and retired from that position after walking more than 150,000 miles around Orleans Village.  He also played the organ at the Orleans Federated Church for 50 years or so.  He died in 2002.

Lillian’s love of children was well documented.  After her own children were grown and gone, she took a job as one of the librarians at the Jones Memorial Library and continued there for many years.  She would gladly help you find whatever book you needed, and she just as quickly would let you know you were making too much noise.  Other than the holidays, when family always gathered around the matriarch, Lillian also loved June, when Mary Lou would fly home from California to stay with her for about six weeks.

Mary Lou would bring Nancy Lavoie with her, and Martha Jean Sylvester would join them.  This last summer, when the girls were having great fun, Lillian told them they laughed as much as they did when they were in high school.

Lillian would also remind them of things they did as children, such as when Mary Lou and Randy Smith picked all of the tulips at the Manse, where Randy’s grandparents, the Reverend and Mrs. Jack Filler lived.  They picked off all the cups and left the stems.  Or the time that she and Mary Lou went to church one Sunday and then Mary Lou told her she couldn’t go to church anymore because it made dinner too late.

Darrell had left word that he didn’t want a church funeral as he had been to enough of them.  He wanted a graveside service and that was all.  It happened in June of 2002, at the family lot in Pleasant View Cemetery, in Orleans.  Lillian had left the same instructions, adding that she wanted to be buried in June, the same as Darrell.  That will happen this coming June, and family and friends will gather to say a final goodbye.

This family has touched Orleans in many ways.  Darrell loved to tell people that he wasn’t born in Orleans, he was born in Barton Landing.  The name was changed to Orleans just after he was born.  Their house was always open to anyone, and you could walk in and talk about anything and they loved it.

Lillian was as sharp as a tack, right up to the day she died.  After she got to where she didn’t go out much, she still kept track of her community.  Right up until my mother died last February, Lillian sent her a small note every week to say “hi” even knowing that mother’s dementia had reduced her to not knowing anyone or anything.  Lillian sent notes each week to many other people she had known.

After 104 years, Lillian Wheeler Hoyt has laid down her head and gone to be with Darrell and Ross.  But her memory will live on in Orleans and in the hearts of her family and friends for another 104 years or longer.

Rest easy, dear sweet lady.  You have earned it and we, who knew you, know that you rest in the Master’s hands.  We love you.


The Irockets: dedicated young swimmers aim for regionals

irocket fly

Peter Gyurkovics demonstrates resolve and fine technique as he practices the butterfly stroke in preparation of a weekend of competition at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center in White River Junction. He is a member of the Irockets swim team, which had to start practicing at Lyndon State College when IROC closed. The ten-year-old finished first in several races. Photo by Joseph Gresser

by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle 11-13-2013

LYNDONVILLE — A dedicated pod of young athletes were churning the waters of the pool at the Lyndon State College (LSC) Fitness Center Thursday evening.  It was dark and cold outside, but steamy inside where the 13-member Irockets team was focused in a training regime that requires swimming as much as two miles in an hour and a half session, according to Ted Chitambar, one of the team’s coaches.

The team got its start seven years ago at IROC, hence the Irockets name.  Swimmers decided to keep the name even after the Derby fitness center closed and its building was bought by Sticks and Stuff, a building supply company. Continue reading


Profile: Garth McKinney talks about life after Vietnam

These photos were taken by Garth McKinney when he was serving in Vietnam, except for the last one, which is a photo of him.


by Paul Lefebvre

copyright the Chronicle, 11-6-2013

GLOVER — The centennial for the start of World War One — the war to end all wars — is just around the corner.  For much of the world, the war began in the summer of 1914 and ended on November 11, 1918 — the year after the United States entered the conflict that, by some accounts, took roughly 35 million lives.  Given that scale of horrific carnage, small wonder it had to be elevated and commemorated as the war that would end all others. Continue reading


In the UTGs: Has industrial wind worn out its welcome?

UTG webby Paul Lefebvre

copyright the Chronicle 11-13-2013

ISLAND POND — Seneca Mountain wind developers stuck their head in the lion’s den here Monday night, and the lion roared back.

Eolian Renewable Energy is proposing a 20-turbine project for Seneca Mountain that would be sited exclusively in the town of Ferdinand, a small, sprawling community and a member of the Unified Towns and Gores (UTG). Continue reading