On Thursday, November 10 from 6-8 p.m., David Schutz, curator of the Vermont State House and Tom Slayton, writer and former editor of Vermont Life Magazine will be at the Rockingham Free Public Library to celebrate the Windham County book launch of Intimate Grandeur, Vermont's State House. The evening is hosted by the Friends of the Rockingham Library in the 3rd floor meeting room. Proceeds from the sale of Intimate Grandeur will support library youth programming that encourages civic engagement. The soft cover book sells for $24.96 and hard cover $39.95. Light refreshments will be served.
The beauty of Vermont's State House is coupled with the legislative history of the Green Mountain State in the newly published book by the Friends of the Vermont State House. The 120-page volume was authored by Nancy Price Graff and David Schutz, including a foreword written by Tom Slayton. Elegant photos by photo-journalist Jeb Wallace-Brodeur feature important archival aspects of the building's exterior architecture and interior features.
The building began as an unremarkable wooden edifice in 1808 and graduated to a granite faÃ§ade in 1838, only to be destroyed by fire in 1857. Doric portico columns, the sole remains from the fire, were incorporated in the third life of the building which included the addition of the famous 100-ton dome.
Although the physical aspects of the structure command attention, so does the history of what occurred inside. Legislators began hosting winter entertainment evenings in 1915 as antidote to long, hard Vermont winters, and many battles were fought inside the great hall where the legislative body would gather. Former Governor Madeleine Kunin writes, "The Vermont State House is a small and shiny gem. It is a living museum, filled with the sights and sounds of democracy--in the past and in the present. This book is a beautiful testament to Vermont's rich history."
NANCY PRICE GRAFF is a Vermont author who has written extensively on Vermont history in addition to six children's books. Graff's connection to the State House goes beyond her writings, as her husband was a reporter, her son served as a legislative page on three different occasions and her 2-year-old daughter left a footprint in the newly laid cement surrounding the cannon at the front of the building.
TOM SLAYTON has written about Vermont for over 40 years. He served as editor of Vermont Life Magazine for 21 years after serving in that role for The Rutland Herald and The Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus. A regular commentator on Vermont Public Radio, Slayton is the recipient of the Franklin Fairbanks Award, and in 2010 was named as a Fellow of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences.
DAVID SCHUTZ is the first Vermont State Curator, arrived in 1987 to guide the resoration of the building and oversee conservation efforts and collections. As a research assistant in 1979, he first inventoried the State House collections and became engaged with the vision to manage the state capitol building as a public museum.
This program is free, open to the public and handicapped accessible. For more information or to pre-order a signed copy of Intimate Grandeur, call (802) 463-4270, go to www.rockinghamlibrary.org or stop by the library at 65 Westminster St. in Bellows Falls.