History of the Plymouth Vermont Historical Society
The first meeting of the Plymouth Vermont Historical Society was held on Oct. 10, 1988 at the home of Barbara Mahon in Frog City. The house was built in 1800 by Captain John Coolidge for his daughter Catherine Elizabeth Coolidge as she married Joseph Sawyer. Officers were Betty Jarvi, president; Eliza Ward, vice-president; Bette Anne Sailer, secretary.; and Vivian Blanchard, treasurer. Barbara Chiolino, Betty Barton Bailey and Barbara Mahon were also present. In 1994 the Plymouth Vermont Historical Society was given 501(c)3, non-profit status, and a museum located in the former town office building was established. Artifacts continued to be collected and displayed and programs of historical interest were offered periodically. Membership was small but dedicated. Betty Jarvi, Midge Tucker, Eliza Ward and Melissa Lynds continued to provided leadership and inspiration as the historical society expanded and improved.
The museum then moved to its current location, a portion of the former Plymouth Elementary School building in the fall of 2013. The new venue provided an improved year round environment with better climate control to help protect the collection, a larger space to display exhibits, brighter lighting for enhanced viewing and additional space availability to accept future acquisitions. The new location also provided an area for individual research via computer and reference materials.
The museum purchased the MUSARCH cataloging program in 2012 and began to digitize its entire collection improving access to all of its artifacts. A strong mission statement and detailed collection policies guided this effort. High speed internet continued to be provided by the town. The historical society was also able to establish its own website and face book page with significant assistance from Vermont Digital Economy and supporting grants.
It was hoped that the new location and updated digitization would provide more opportunities for educational programming, a friendlier environment, easier access to the collection and a renewed interest in Plymouth’s history.