Like every community, Woodstock can tell its story through the many generations of people who have lived there. The Woodstock History Center'sr
new exhibit, Character: Woodstock’s Unforgettable People, highlights some of the individuals who have helped make the town unique.
Take Frederick Wood (1909–1970), for example. He was well known in the village, growing up in the brick house adjacent to the Masonic Lodge, and becoming an excellent photographer. He was also known as a jokester. The story goes that he and some boyhood friends were the last to fire the cannon on Tribou Park near his house. The concrete plug set by the town became a cannon ball that struck a spot near his bedroom window. He may have been filled with glee but his mother was not!
Much earlier in Woodstock’s history was Dr. Marenda Briggs Randall (1815–1876). She was a doctor, a spiritualist, an abolitionist, and was active in the women’s suffrage movement and educational change. Unusual for a woman in her day, she was at the forefront of many reform movements.
Other citizens of Woodstock in the exhibit include Visiting Nurse Association director Martha Lussier, school principal Bessie Kidder Thomas, and farmer and Prosper Ski Tow proprietor Rupert Lewis. The exhibit also features a collage of almost 100 people who comprised the fabric of the town from as far back as the 1800s to the present century.
An interactive part of the exhibit is a table of blocks. Visitors can inscribe and decorate a block as a tribute to someone they remember from Woodstock. A display will be created from this crowd-sourced activity. Next year, a second phase of the exhibit will highlight another group of people.
“We were looking at ways to remember people in the community,” explains Jennie Shurtleff, Education and Programs Coordinator. A list of over 100 people was comprised through sources such as the history center’s archives and collection of photos. Suggestions were also solicited from the community. Visitors to the exhibit are invited to submit nominations for other people for future exhibits. Nominees must be no longer living, strongly connected to Woodstock and represented in photos and memorabilia.
Character: Woodstock’s Unforgettable People is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm, through October 14.
By Cassie Horner