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A notice appeared in the newspaper that all interested in History of Vienna would meet at the Grange Hall May 27, 1980 at 7:00 pm.
Chester and Clara Bean, Ellen Miller, Dorothy Waugh, Paul Trask, Lucinda Lord, Freda Kelley, Gloria Kelley and Lillian Brown answered the call. Clara brought her basket with pumpkin bread, cream cheese and thermos of tea and coffee. They decided right then to meet each week on Tuesday night at 7:00 pm.
Subsequently, Beverly Smith, Margaret Webber and David Varney joined the group.
Because the group was small Paul Trask offered them the use of his log cabin. Since they were working on clippings, scrapbooks and diaries they dubbed it the Research Center.
The group's goal was to compile a History of Vienna. Chester made arrangements for them to meet at the Town House to read over record books, which they found complete from 1802 to 1964. Records included, Town Clerk records of Town Meetings, plus much more.
It was however, becoming clear that the History of the Town was going to encompass much more than they had first imagined. So they elected officers of the Vienna Historical Society on August 18,1981. They were: Chester Bean, President, Freda Kelley,Vice President, Lillian Brown, Secretary, Dorothy Waugh, Treasurer.
The Vienna Historical Society was incorporated as a nonprofit organization on November 30, 1981.
December 1, 1981 a small cabin was donated by Paul Trask and moved to the Village. A sign stating “Vienna Historical Society,1980” was affixed to the front.
On December 8, 1981 the Historical Society started planning a 180th Birthday Party for the town to be held on February 20, 1982.
Since that first year, the Vienna Historical Society has accomplished much to be proud of such as: working to preserve landmarks of historical significance, holding special community events and publishing historical works. They have worked to preserve landmarks of historical significance such as, the Vienna Town House, a roadside spring on Kimball Pond Road and the 1835 animal pound. They have hosted special events like the Annual Historical Plays at the Vienna Union Hall and the 2002 Bicentennial activities which included a potluck and fireworks over the millpond, complete with a red, white and blue-lit snowmobile caravan, a showcase of area artists, a house-and-garden tour, a bicentennial parade. They have printed publications including: "Turning Back," by Beverly Wight Smith and "1898 With Lucy Whittier," by Carole J. O'Connell. And there is potential still to be tapped.
Goals for the future are:
- To purchase property and building to house a research library and manuscript repository with historic documents and artifacts of Vienna 's history
- To identify and mark areas of archeological significance
- To identify and mark buildings of historical significance
- To catalog and preserve photographs, documents and artifacts of historical significance
- To record the oral histories of Vienna 's older residents
- To insure the preservation the Vienna Town House
- To host public programs and special events to connect people with Vienna 's past
- To publish documents that are important to understanding Vienna 's history
New members are always welcome! If you are interested in learning more, call Carole O'Connell, President at 207-293-4815