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Grafton Historical Society

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About The Author

     Thomas E. Fontaine is a middle school teacher at New England Kurn Hattin Homes in Westminster, VT.  He has been in education for thirty years.

     While teaching in Grafton, VT. Tom fell in love with the town's history and the impact that the Civil War had in its development. Educating students about local history has always been a passion of Tom's.  This book, intended for all ages but especially younger readers, captures much of Vermont's local history as well as some factual information on the Civil War.

     Although Tom lives in the town of Perkinsville, Vt., with his wife and children, he still spends a lot of his free time in Grafton walking the woods and discovering more historical facts.


     Cover Illustration by Noreen Sands, Grafton, Vermont
    




FORWARD

     Grafton is a small village in the southeastern part of Vermont, approximately thirty-five miles from the shared border of Massachusetts.
     The small village of old Grafton was located atop Middletown Hill.  Most of the old structures, including the Reverend's home with the cobbler shop in the back room,the old blacksmith shop in the outdoor shed, the potash works and even the big old meeting house were either gone or badly in need of repair.
     A good portion of the story revolves around Spring Hill in Grafton.  It was probably names Spring Hill because  the Spring family owned the piece of land on which they built their modest homes.
     Most of the Grafton residents who appear in this story are real people.  They helped shape Grafton into the beautiful village that it has become.  The sites and names of the various buildings are true as well.  The Civil War battles and their outcomes are factual as are the various generals and soldiers.
     Records show that more than 108 men from Grafton fought in the Civil War.  With a town population of 1,241 at that time, 108 is considered to be very high.  The names of several can be found on a plaque in front of the Grafton Library.  Many of those veterans are buried in the Grafton Village Cemetery, where their headstones may be seen today.
     This story about Henry Spring is a fictional story with a real life main character.  Henry lived in Grafton, Vermont, from his birth in 1848 to 1862, when he signed up for the war.  Henry was part of the 16th Vermont Volunteers.  He enlisted as a private with many of the men from Grafton.  To make this story more appealing to students at an intermediate level, I used Henry as a messenger boy in the Army.
     One can only imagine the chaotic sights that a messenger saw as he delivered his messages.  I hope that you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed researching and writing it.
                                                                                                                         Thomas E. Fontaine