On September 2 2023, the weather was unexpectedly warm and sunny for our VT Historic Roadside Marker Dedication and Unveiling Ceremony.
Our new two-sided marker is the 303rd such marker in VT. The full text on the marker is below.
BHS President Gary Foote spoke, along with Laura Trieschmann, an officer of the VT Preservation Trust, and local historian and friend of BHS, Steve Morse.
Nimble BHS members Ivan Stone and Rodney Allen handled the veiling... and unveiling.
Laura Trieschmann, an officer of the VT Preservation Trust, spoke about the Roadside Marker program's beginnings and current scope.
After the unveiling, attendees were invited to our free ice cream social inside, and enjoy a temporary exhibit prepared by our Collections committee.
The building now known as the Bakersfield Historical Society
building was built in 1840 by subscription and owned jointly by
the Chapel Society and the Bakersfield Association for the
Promotion of Education. It was a three story post and beam
framed structure with the first floor being utilized by the
Methodist Chapel Society and the two upper floors used as the
South Academy. The South Academy was chartered in 1845 as
the Bakersfield Academical Institution. The bricks in the
structure were made with clay from the Tupper Lawyer Farm west
of the village. There are two wythes of brick with the outer layer
of brick veneer covering the timber frame.
In 1867, the South Academy sold their equity in the first floor to
the Catholic Diocese. In March of 1876, the Methodist Chapel
Society sold its share of the property to the Catholics. In 1885
the Catholic Diocese obtained full ownership of the building from
the Educational Institution. Soon after 1900 the Catholics began
remodeling the building by removing the second floor, changing
out the windows, adding single story addition at south end of the
building and dressing the walls with embossed metal to transform
the building into a sanctuary. The church was known as St.
George’s Catholic Church.
As the size of the membership declined and the cost of
maintenance and repairs increased, the Catholic Diocese closed
St. George’s Catholic Church in Bakersfield in 1996. In 1997 they
transferred ownership to the newly organized Bakersfield
Historical Society, Corp.
Much has been done to structurally stabilize the building since
1997: replacement of rotted sills and floor joists, new wiring,
added plumbing for an ADA compliant restroom and kitchen, new
standing seam steel roof, new foundation on back addition as well
as new brick on the addition and back gable, peripheral drainage,
emergency exit on back addition of the building, new furnace,
ADA compliant ramp access to the building, and more.
Our building is used for storage and display of artifacts and
information relating to Bakersfield’s historic past as well as
providing a venue for local events. ###