By Lani Duke
Hubbardton fire shows perils of remodeling
HUBBARDTON—Trapped between walls and dropped ceilings, a fire took down a Hubbardton home erected about 225 years ago. Missing from the townscape is the one-and-one-half story, post-and-beam Cape Cod-style house at 2750 Black Pond Rd. The fire started in a chimney, with its smoke becoming visible about 12:30 p.m. January 26. The blaze brought firefighters from Benson, Castleton, and Poultney in addition to the Hubbardton department; Fair Haven’s fire department was also on standby. Putting out the flames required hacking through the ice on Breese Pond and shuttling water from the pond to the house site in a tanker. In all, it took 10 hours and use of a backhoe to take down the main part of the house before the fire was finally put out. Owner Bob Gibbs said he had lived in the house for 60 years. In addition to serving as his residence, the building had housed his Black Pond Supply Co. Numerous remodelings through the years had created the scattered air pockets that fed the fire and kept the building ablaze.
Poultney monument site flexible
POULTNEY—A carved slate monument honoring quarry workers has not yet found a permanent site in Poultney. Carved by sculptor Kerry O. Furlani in November, the 8-foot high slab seemed destined to stand on the green in front of the town hall.
The site initially proposed for the 1-ton-plus slab would block the view of the war memorial bell already on the town hall lawn. The Select Board has appointed a committee to designate a town property site that accommodates the interests of all involved; members of the committee include representatives from local historical, arts, veterans, business, and religious interests. They expect to have developed a consensus on the best site at the end of their February meeting.
The Silent Friend Slate Project, a partnership between Furlani and the Poultney Historical Society, begins with the “Slate Sentinel Gateway,” intended to form a gateway of two standing slate monoliths at the junction of Main Street and Route 30. Scheduled for completion in the spring, the second stone marker will bear a poetic inscription paying tribute to the men, women and children who worked in the state’s slate industry.
Town ballots ahead
BENSON—Benson has no contested races.
CASTLETON—In Castleton, Robert Spaulding is challenging Selectman John Hale’s three-year seat. Spaulding currently holds a one-year seat. Nancy Mark and incumbent Tina Rampone are competing for a seat on the Castleton Free Library board of trustees.
FAIR HAVEN—Two one-year Fair Haven Select Board seats are open. Former Selectman Christopher Cole is running against incumbents Sean Galvin and Dick Frazier. Galvin is also running foar the open second constable position, as is Shane Carvey; incumbent Andrew Reid is not in the race.
HUBBARDTON—Eva Osmun and Kathryn Krakauer contend for a three-year Hubbardton School Board. Challenger John Demgard, Sr. vies with incumbents Richard Grabowski and Dwayne Gibbs for a one-year seat on the Hubbardton Select Board. Marissa Nemergut hopes to unseat both Town Treasurer Dawn Custer and Town Auditor Linda Pritchard, currently serving three-year positions.
MIDDLETOWN SPRINGS —Both a two-year seat and a three-year seat are open in Middletown Springs. Christopher Fenton challenges incumbent Raymond “Tony” Lamberton for the former; Carl Haynes and Patricia Kenyon vie for the latter.
PAWLET — There are no contested races in Pawlet, but the town is looking for individuals to fill the open positions of town agent, grand juror and library trustee.
TINMOUTH — Incumbent Tinmouth Selectman Gregg Casey faces two challengers: Amanda Buffum Gill and Frank Sears. Both Carmen Fallar and Carolyn Feury hope to be elected to the two-year lister position. Eric Buffum and Kevin Ruane are vying to fill the two years left in Road Commissioner Hollis Squier left in his three-year term when he retired.
WELLS — Wells has one two-year lister seat open; voters must choose from three candidates: Alexander Brewster, Kirk Dennison, and Kevin Moffitt.
WEST HAVEN, WEST RUTLAND —West Haven and West Rutland have no contested races.