Groton  Town  Newsletter
  Fall 2005 Issue




What’s In this Issue?

·        1st Annual Groton Potluck Picnic

·        Groton Volunteer Fire Dept. Report

·        Summer Fun in Groton

·        This Ring’s History

·        Getting to Know our Neighbors, Patrick Shattuck

·        Tae Kwon Do in Groton

·        Getting to Know our Neighbors, Ida Dennis

·        Goldie and George Welch with their Grandchildren

·        Wood Bat Softball

·        Boulder Beach 2005 Swimming Lessons

·        Groton Revitalization: Why, When and What

·        We’re Raising the Roof at the Groton Library

·        A Time to Read

·        Cub Scout Thank You

·        Did You Know?

· Statistics




Newsletter Archives:

·        Spring 2005 Town Newsletter

·        Spring 2005 Library Newsletter Home


·        1st Annual Groton Potluck Picnic


69 people gathered to share food, good company and to honor fellow citizens at the 1st Annual Groton Potluck Picnic, Wed. evening July 20th.    Groton State Forest, Parks and Recreation offered the Boulder Beach Shelter as a meeting site.  It proved to be a perfect spot for the Community picnic.  Attendees came by boat from around the lake as well as the more traditional road method.  It was a hot night and the kids enjoyed swimming at the fabulous beach.  The gathering was a great opportunity for new, old and outlying Groton residents to come together and share common ground and delicious home cooked food.  It was suggested that next year everyone should bring their recipes and we’ll make a cookbook.  The picnic was a wonderful success and will become an annual function. 

17 town officials and emergency services volunteers that have worked in the service of Groton for 20 years or more were honored with a short ceremony and awards at the picnic. Groton was honored to have Firemen Deane Page-51 years and Harold Puffer- 48 years and retired town clerk Ida Dennis at the event.  Mountaine Meadows Pottery donated plaques and the Upper Valley Grill and Brown’s Market Bistro donated gift certificates to their restaurant.  Robin Edwards made the lovely certificates documenting years of service.  It is truly humbling to realize how many people have given so many years of service to the town.  Groton couldn’t run without them.



20 years of service to Groton


Town officials:

Allen Gandin JP over 30

Richard Montague – 27   Energy Coordinator, Moderator, Library Trustee

Wayne Dyer – 20   Auditor, Lister, Board of Adjustment, Moderator

Mary Grant – 21  Collector of Taxes, Select Board, Treasurer, Auditor

Ida Dennis – 36   Town Clerk

William Randall – 20   Health Officer, Deputy Health Officer

James Downing – 32   Firemen, Fire Chief, Fire Warden

Fire Department:

Deane Page – 51

Harold Puffer – 48

Brent Smith – 30

Phillip Palmer – 28

Dorothy Knott – 26

Wayne Knott – 26

Jeremy Darling – 21

Dennis LaChance – 25

William Palmer – 26

Charles Frost Jr. – 23



·        Groton Volunteer Fire Dept. Report

On the 22 August 2005 the Dept responded with the Engine, the Tanker and seven fire fighters to an alarm at Seyon Ranch. After thorough check of the structure revealed no fire it was determined that the alarm system had malfunctioned.

On 24 August 2005 the Fire Dept responded with the Engine, the Tanker and six fire fighters to a structure fire on Thaddeus Stevens Rd., Peacham.  We provided the Incident Safety Officer and crews for interior fire fighting and water supply. Lynn Palmer and Sue Ann Beck arrived with our supply of re-hab drinks--Gator Aid, water etc.

Firefighters from Danville, Ryegate, St. Johnsbury and Barnet also responded with mutual aid, to the Peacham Fire Dept. The Incident Commander was Jeff Berwick, Peacham Fire Chief.

It was a stubborn fire and took several hours to totally extinguish.  The center portion of the structure was totally destroyed, but the fire was stopped at a breeze way and a significant portion of the structure was saved.

Groton Fire Dept was released from the incident at approximately 2:00AM on the 25th.  It was 3:00AM by the time our equipment was put back in order, trucks re-fueled, etc.

On 31 August, 1 & 2 September the Dept responded to three separate, unrelated, alarms for car fires.  The first was apparently extinguished by the owner.  The other two required action by the Dept to extinguish  an engine fire on one and the total involvement on the other vehicle.

While working the third fire, 2 Sept, we received a mutual aid alarm for a barn fire in Ryegate.  Fortunately, that was quickly controlled by Ryegate Fire Dept. and the alarm cancelled.


·        Summer Fun in Groton

By Christle Brooks


Summer in Groton, and in Vermont for that matter, is a precious thing.  After the cold of winter breaks, Vermonters seek refuge in the out of doors.  Groton is a great place to spend your time during the summer months.  But, what is there to do in Groton?


For me, the best resource for out door family fun in Groton is in Groton State Forest.  There are great trails for hiking, ponds and lakes for swimming and picnicking, and several campgrounds for those who like to spend more than just a few hours in the fresh air.  I have chosen to highlight for you a couple of different places in the State Forest that I have personally enjoyed.

This summer, my family and I hiked up Owls Head.  We enjoyed this family friendly trail because you can either park at the bottom of the entrance road and hike to the top or there is a large parking area about ¾ of the way up and you can hike from there.  This is great for both families without children or with older children who want to hike the full distance or for families with small children who can be carried in a pack or can climb the .2 miles to the summit. 


We have also spent time at Boulder Beach.  This beach has lots of sand to build castles in or if you prefer spending your time playing on the grass there is plenty of that too.  There are picnic tables and grilling areas so that your family can spend the day or there is a concession stand for you to buy snacks.  There are also clean bathrooms and changing rooms and plenty of parking available.  In addition to all of this, there is a pavilion that can be reserved for special events like family reunions or birthday parties.  If you stay into the evening there are also beautiful sunsets.        



Although we live in Groton, my family and I have enjoyed staying at Stillwater Campground in the past.  The campsites are spaced nicely apart and are covered with trees.  There are fire pits in each site and you can purchase firewood and kindling at the front office.  The water spigots and bathrooms are spaced so that you don’t have to walk very far to use them and for those who like to play horseshoes, there are also horseshoe pits.  The shoes can be borrowed from the front office.  There are swings and a play area for the younger children and the campground has a small beach for swimming and a boat launch for people who own a boat.


So if you’re ever in the area, or even if you live here, stop in and have some fun.  There are many different things to do and no matter what your age, Groton has something for you to enjoy.




·        This Ring’s History


Here is a 1965 Groton High School class ring that Mark Edwards was asked to return to it's original owners' mother, Marian Page. Her son, John Morgan, had passed away years before and the person who had had it in her possession all those years was his high school sweetheart, Carol Otto from Yalesville, Connecticut. Carol's parents, Carl and Dedie Otto bought a camp on Lake Groton when she was sixteen. That same summer she met Donny Wernecke. Donny mastermind a conspiracy that he asked Carol to go along with. Later, a literal boat load of boys rode by the Otto camp. She was on the sunporch when they called out to her Johnny Morgan asked her if she would like to go to the movies in front of all those boys who had just bet him that she wouldn't go for it, because word had gotten around that she was city girl and they speculated that she would not be interested in a country bumpkin, to everyone but Johnny and Donny's surprise she did agree. Their was enough money collected to pay their date to the movies and snacks! Carol says that Johnny Morgan was a perfect gentleman the whole time she knew him.


Carol went on to marry, have three children and live in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Her parents deeded her the camp, which she has enjoyed getting away to for over 40 years. Her husband Lee Webb, a retired chemist; and children: Virginia Watson, an artist; Ted, a chemist; and Arthur, a salesman; along with their grandchildren: Amber, just graduated; and Tommy, a musician; and a slew of friends they have made along the way, have enjoyed coming to their haven, “Otto's Groto” on Groton Pond.


·        Getting to Know our Neighbors, A profile of Patrick Shattuck

I admit that when my friend Debra Tinkham told me that someone was seriously considering opening a bistro in “downtown” Groton I laughed. But then, I did not know Patrick and Tamara Shattuck. What a pleasant surprise when a classy little restaurant opened its doors, and diners began coming from all over to enjoy Filet Mignon au Poivre with Buerre Rouge, Grilled Maple-Ginger Turkey Breast with Sweet Potato Risotto, or Sauted Spinach and Goat Cheese Enchiladas with Roasted Corn Salsa.

It was an auspicious day for Groton, when, back in 7th grade Patrick first noticed the huge Victorian house on the northern side of Rt 302, the Shattucks now call home. He remembers: he was driving to Maine from his home in South Burlington with his grandparents, when he made them turn around so they could take a closer look at the very house they live in now. He already had an interest in old houses, and his grandfather, who was a real estate broker, had been taking him out “house hunting” for years. They rode the back roads together tracking down buildings on the MLS and documenting them with a Polaroid camera.

The house he spotted in Groton when he was 12 or 13 years old appeared on his personal radar again 15 years later. It still had the majesty of its position high on a hill, and the unique line of its mansard roof, but by then it had been abandoned by its tenants. It’s doors were open to the weather, and it was in deplorable condition and had a prominent for sale sign on the front lawn. After their initial inspection, Patrick remembers commenting that “some poor sucker will have to come along” if the building was to be sold.

Two more years passed by, the house was foreclosed on and the price dropped multiple times. Then the Shattuck’s rescue instinct really kicked in. They bought the house in the spring, worked on it doggedly for 6 months, and moved in on the first day of school with an infant, Violet, and their school age son Cosmo.

The story behind Brown’s Bistro is not too different. It involves an endearing dilapidated old building with one or two handicaps, a checkered past, and an enormous amount of work. The success of the Bistro is the product of the whole family’s elbow grease. Together Tamara, Patrick and Cosmo, cook the food, wash the dishes and wait on tables. 

But there is a bit more to this story.

When Patrick left Vermont to get an education and to test his mettle in a new challenge he chose the Savannah College of Art and Design. He studied Architecture and Historic Preservation. He discovered the powerful effect that restoring a community’s old dilapidated buildings can have when he became involved in several groups dedicated to revitalizing Savannah’s decrepit neighborhoods. He also met Tamara, who was designing the interiors of the historic buildings Patrick was preserving. Then a funny thing happened, Vermont began to tug at their heartstrings. The return journey began and ended in Groton.

Many young people leave Vermont in search of careers and adventure. The ones for whom the love of Vermont drives them back bring experience and knowledge and a dedication to a rural way of life unique to our state. Patrick and Tamara have made that journey. They are using all of what they learned here in Groton. Building Brown’s Bistro into a vibrant dynamic family business is a great accomplishment. People are coming to Groton from all over to enjoy its repast and wonderful atmosphere.

I laughed when I was told about someone opening a bistro in Groton. But like I said, I didn’t know Patrick and Tamara Shattuck.



·        Tae Kwon Do in Groton


Groton Tae Kwon Do meets every Tuesday and Friday at 6:30 in the town hall.  We are lucky in Groton to have a number of families and a good representation of both male and female.  Russell Tinkham is the instructor.  Russell recently tested for and obtained his 4th Dan rank at an annual state Tae Kwon Do event in Tunbridge.  4th Dan black belt is very high ranking and is only one step below a master.  Mr. Tinkham previously taught the Woodsville Blue Wave for 9 years before handing that school off to one of his black belt students, Guy Brochu.  Groton Blue Wave plans to have a TKD demonstration at the Fall Foliage Festival and periodic seminars with TKD Masters.


What is Tae Kwon Do?

Tae Kwon Do is a Korean based martial art, which has also developed into an Olympic sanctioned sport. Practitioners begin by learning basic kicking, punching and blocking, moves. As they progress, these moves are applied to traditional self-defenses, and sport aspects of the art. A typical Tae Kwon Do class is a full body workout, consisting of stretching, calisthenics, aerobic and anaerobic exercising.

As an instructor, the underlying goal is to use Tae Kwon Do as a vehicle to help build confidence, courage, discipline, respect and sportsmanship. Tae Kwon Do is an activity that anyone can participate in. In Tae Kwon Do, everyone is treated as an individual. Your improvement is based on "how far you have traveled" rather then a strict set of standards that everyone must meet.

Children and teens benefit greatly from Tae Kwon Do. The Discipline of Tae Kwon Do teaches respect and improves both Self Confidence and Concentration. As a result, Self Esteem, and grades improve. There are many reasons to train in Tae Kwon Do: if your goal is to get into shape, learn self defense, or boost your energy level, Tae Kwon Do can help you attain it.

The Blue Wave Tae Kwon Do Association is the longest standing and most progressive martial arts organization in Vermont. After returning from his tour of duty in Korea, the late Grandmaster Bruce V. Twing founded the Blue Wave. He opened the first Vermont Tae Kwon Do School in the town of Hardwick in 1969. Today, the Blue Wave consists of over 11 schools, spanning Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.   Some Tae Kwon Do students from Groton are shown to the right.


·        Getting to Know our Neighbors, A visit with Ida Dennis


The following is the introduction to an article by Groton resident, Robin L. H. Edwards.  The full text may be accessed by  clicking here.


“The summer I was 16 years old, I got a couple of jobs, one was through the state. On my first day at that job I was to meet someone at the Groton Community Building to find out my job assignment. It turned out it was Aut Welch, he was surprised I was a girl, but he put me to work painting the side of the building. That afternoon, he told me he wasn’t comfortable having me do work like that, so he would find something more suitable. He arranged for me to work, assisting his sister, Ida Dennis, in the Town Clerk’s Office. Ida was pleased to have some summer help, and surprised me with her trust in me. She even left the office in my sole care for several hours each week, when she would normally be closed while she went to Newbury to make necessary copies. I was put to work recording data with a fountain pen (oh, the pressure) into the big journals that were kept in the vault. Her unhesitant trust in me was awe inspiring, and went a long way in developing my personal self-worth, for that I am eternally grateful.”


·        Goldie and George Welch with their Grandchildren


See if you can recognize any of these children who are all grown up now. (Goldie and George were the parents of Ida Dennis.)



·        Wood Bat Softball


Big goings on at Puffer's Field up by the Upper Valley Grill.  The Big Woody - Wood Bat Tournament was hosted Labor Day weekend in Groton and S. Ryegate.  32 teams participated.  Mizzy Construction from Conn. won the Upper Division and Blue Moon for the Mt. League in Randolph won the Lower Division.  Trophies and t-shirts were given for 1st to 4th place in both Upper and Lower Divisions.


The organizers were a bit nervous with all the rain earlier in the week.  Wednesday had Puffer's Field with standing water.  They moved the grass tight to the ground out about 20 feet and by the first game Saturday the field was barely damp.  After a light shower Saturday morning, the weather cleared off for a perfect softball holiday weekend.  The Upper Valley Grill was hopping and Bill Kane, owner and operator, says he'd like to see it that busy year round.  He would like lighting installed at the field to extend its season.


This tournament in one form or another has been held since 1979.  David Eastman of Eastman Trophy is a key organizer and has a busy September planned.  A Women's Tournament is scheduled for Sept. 10 -11; a Men's League Tournament Sept. 17 - 18; and a Benefit One Pitch Tournament Sept. 24 - 25. 


If anyone is interested in signing up a league or tournament give Eastman Trophy a call at 584-4420.


·        Boulder Beach 2005 Swimming Lessons


Another successful year of swimming lessons at Boulder Beach.  27 children from the area attended the lessons.  Groton residents pay $6 and non-residents pay $35.  The town of Groton pays the park fees and the red cross instructor fees.  An average of 50 people a day associated with the swimming lessons used Boulder Beach for two weeks this summer. These swimming lessons have been going on for over 40 years and have taught generations of Groton residents how to swim and enjoy the water safely.


·        Groton Revitalization: Why, When and What


The Groton Revitalization project has been documented in more detail and this is currently available in a Why, When and What format.  The following is the first paragraph from the “Why” section.  To learn more, click on Why, When or What.


“The present library was completed around 1955 and originally, it occupied all of the space currently used by the library and the town clerk’s office.  The town later took half the space for town offices.  Over the years it was able to expand to include a children’s room and book discussion room using the very limited basement space at the town hall.  The need for library services has continued to grow but available space has actually shrunk. The town offices and library are both crammed into inadequate spaces with no room left for expansion without going into the kitchen.  So the library began looking for a solution. “


·        We’re Raising the Roof at the Groton Library


In fact, workers from Summit Construction have the entire former Goodine house up on cribbing while they construct a new foundation as part of a top-to-bottom restoration of the building which will be the new home to the town’s library next year.


The library is presently located in the Community Building, its home for the past 50 years.  The library has expanded its book collection and services over this time, resulting in cramped conditions.


The new library will offer a large children’s room, separate young adult/tutorial room, reading room, stack room, and community room.  The library's space will double, and the Trustees anticipate expanding the hours that the library will be open. Not only will the new library have the needed space for the traditional services, but the building will also provide an accessible place for the community to gather.  In addition, the moving of the library will provide needed additional space for the Town offices.


The restoration of the new quarters for the library will be funded largely by grants, and now the residents of Groton have an opportunity to help. The Trustees and Friends of the library have launched a capital campaign to raise $125,000 of which $70,000 will be spent for construction and fit- up of the library space.  The remainder will be invested in an operating endowment fund. To date, we have received pledges for more than one-third of the goal.


Every contribution is important for this community endeavor, and donors of $100 or more will be included on a plaque in the new library.  Remember, all gifts are tax deductible.


To make a donation, please make checks payable to Town of Groton, with Library Building Fund noted on the memo line. Please include your address, and mail to GFPL Building Fund, Box 6, Groton, VT 05046. 


Please note that specific rooms are available for naming opportunities by individuals, businesses, and organizations.  Please contact any member of the GFPL Fundraising Committee listed below to discuss any giving opportunity.


Harold and Janet Puffer, Honorary Chairs

Stewart Gates, Chair        

Fred Bramon                     Deb Orelup

Susan Gordon                   Tracy Puffer                        

Deborah Jurist                   Patrick Shattuck

Brenda Oliver                     Nancy Spencer


·        A Time to Read


The library has the following bestsellers (as reported by the New England Booksellers' Association) available for patrons: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, Saturday by Ian McEwan, 1776 by David McCullough, and French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano.  There are also several copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.


·        Cub Scout Thank You


The Cub Scouts of pack 702 wish to thank community members for their support at the Groton/Ryegate Recycling Center!


You may continue to leave your redeemable bottles and cans at the center to be picked up by the Pack through the winter months. The Cub Scouts will be back at the Center to help you with your recycling next spring!


·        Did You Know?


·        That 2005 is Groton's 50th Chicken Pie Supper.


·        That Groton volunteers have served over 50,000 people and cooked approximately 6000 chickens and 3000 pies for the Chicken Pie Supper.


·        That the Groton Foliage Parade started in 1929 as part of a fund raiser for the Groton Public Library.


·        That Groton, with 10 miles, has the longest segment of any of the 10 towns on the Cross Vermont Trail?


·        That the Post Office in Groton now accepts applications for Passports and passport renewals.


·        That the Recycling Center in East Ryegate now collects plastic bags (labeled #2 or # 4, like from Shaws, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, etc.)?  For more information on the East Ryegate Recycling Center, click here.


·        Why they call it Owls Head Mountain?  Take a look - click on picture to enlarge, and on “Back” to return to this page.   



· Statistics


Statistics on the summer operation of the web site:


                                                         June      July         August

Average visitors/day:                     22          33            25

Avg pages viewed per visitor:    4.31       3.28        2.89


Most popular pages in order of their popularity:

·        June: Revitalization, About Groton, Miscellaneous, Town Newsletter, Business  Directory

·        July: Revitalization, Miscellaneous, About Groton, Town Newsletter, Calendar

·        August:  Revitalization, Town Newsletter, About Groton, Miscellaneous, Business Directory


The busiest hours:

 June      1)  7:00-8:00 a.m.      2) 1:00-2:00 p.m.   3) 7:00-8:00 p.m.

 July       1)  7:00-8:00 a.m.      2) 2:00-3:00 p.m.   3) 12:00-1:00 p.m.

August  1)  11:00-12:00 a.m.  2) 7:00-8:00 a.m.   3) 12:00-1:00 p.m.