Oral Histories of Barre

Your local history has been uncovered. Tucked away in our storage room, we had recorded audiotapes that featured approximately one hundred interviews conducted by Andrew Sachar from April 1976 to August 1977 for the Aldrich Public Library. Up until now, you either needed a reel-to-reel tape deck or audiocassette player in order to listen to them. One of the blessings of the library closing for COVID-19 was having the time to digitize all of these oral histories so that our local history can be preserved for all to hear. 

At your fingertips are recountings and memories of Barre's past, including its diverse communities who came from Italy, Sweden, Scotland and Lebanon for new beginnings, its rich history of industry and manufacturing, devious tales from the era of prohibition, and more. Enjoy. 

Hannet Shadroui Acker

She has many vivid childhood memories, discussing how her children used to entertain themselves, and Barre's Lebanese "colony."

Click here to listen (1 hr, 38 min)

Sofia Rossi Bielli

Born in 1892, her memory is very active and she reminisces charmingly about the Italian community of Barre.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 05 min)

Yvonne Brassard

Guiliano Cecchinelli

In a very interesting interview from 1977, this young sculptor from Carrara is outspoken about the granite industry. He also talks about his training in Italy.

Click here to listen (45 min)

Mark Cutler

Memories of his father's livery business and early automobile dealership.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 20 min)

Emma Friberg

A bit of information about Barre's Swedish population and their customs.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 07 min)

Mary Robins Guinn

This interview is good for information about the Barre Granite Association for whom she worked for from 1916 to 1921.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 58 min)

Roy Lebaron

Mr. Lebaron has memories of old Barre. He attended the Admiral Dewey reception in Montpelier in 1898.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 37 min)

Hildreth Martin

He talks in his well-trained basso about his father's medical practice and his own career as a singer.

Click here to listen (50 min)

Lina Monti

An Italian-Swiss immigrant, she describes the married life of women of the Italian community in the early days-hard work, simple living, cheerful devotion to family, and a real sense of 'America, the Promised Land.'

Click here to listen (1 hr, 42 min)

Ralph C. Olliver

Although he was Barre City Clerk for fifty years, he doesn't say much about politics. He does have a lot of memories of his youth, spent about Ayers Street and the old Trotting Park.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 06 min)

Sergio Pasetto

He talks about growing up in the North End (Italian) neighborhood and remembers the 1927 flood, strikes and grappa (fermented wine).

Click here to listen (1 hr, 38 min)

Anne Peduzzi Piro

Her father was a mason and worked on the Aldrich Public Library building in 1908. She also describes how immigrant boarders were kept in her house. 

Click here to listen (53 minutes)

George Robins

This tape includes a walk up and down Main Street as Mr. Robins remembers the stores of fifty years ago. He also discusses the grocery business and how it changes over the years.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 08 min)

Sylvia Jarvis Smith

The daughter of Barre's famed Dr. Jarvis tells what it was like growing up in a household where the butterscotch pudding turns out to be made of cod liver oil. Many anecdotes illustrate Dr. Jarvis' interest in and encouragement of Barre youth, his enormous energy, and his thirst for knowledge. 

Click here to listen (1 hr, 33 min)

Albertine Tetrault

With Margaret Guilmette. Memories of farm life, French traditions and the changing French-Canadian culture are topics articulately discussed by Mrs. Tetrault.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 47 min)

Loren Allen

A recording from June 1976 about his family lumber business and how it has changed over the years. 

Click here to listen (45 min)

Marjorie Bailey Bixby

She talks a lot about her father's medical practice in Graniteville, and has other memories of "The Hill."

Click here to listen (1 hr, 38 min)

Leona Reynolds Brown

Mrs. Brown remembers all the unusual place names in Barre.

Click here to listen (36 min)

Joe & Cordelia Cerasoli

One of Barre's oldest retired stonecutters talks about his experiences.

Link Coming Soon.

Rachel and Lucy Dix

A charming discussion by the two cousins and their early Barre City years.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 50 min)

Magencio "Andy" Garcia

An interesting story of his "odyssey" from Spain to Barre. He then talks about the granite industry and union struggles.

Click here to listen (1 hr)

Bernard Higuera

Mr. Higuera tells about Spanish family life and Prohibition days in Vermont.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 35 min)

Faith Linsley

A long-time teacher at old Spaulding High School, she tells about her career and changes she has seen in her 90 years (recorded in 1977)

Click here to listen (1 hr, 35 min)

Morris Maxfield

An amateur historian, Mr. Maxfield has a good knowledge of local history and he has much to say about Barre.

Click here to listen (54 min)

Richard Nye

A well-known amateur historian and compiler of scrapbooks, Mr. Nye discusses his life and Barre history.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 42 min)

Karl Olsen & Kenny Lunde

They grew up on the same street and reminisce mainly about Barre's Danish population and culture.

Click here to listen (41 min)

Manuel Paz

His parents were both Spanish immigrants and he tells about their disillusionment with Catholicism and the reasons for it.

Click here to listen (23 min)

Dr. Howard Reid

Too modest to say much about himself, Dr. Reid gives an interesting talk about old Barre, especially horses and their training.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 34 min)

Martino & Mari Rossi

A stonecutter from Switzerland and an Italian emigree discuss their arrival in America, childhoods, courtship. Mr. Rossi contrasts working conditions in the granite industry in Switzerland and Barre.

Click here to listen (54 min)

Mattie Holt Snow

Mrs. Snow discusses her life. She was born in 1889 and delivered by an ex-slave.

Link Coming Soon.

Antonietta Antivi Tomat

She tells about the Methodist Community House and other memories of Barre Italians.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 40 min)

Baseball in Barre

Click here to listen (2 hr, 03 min)

Garth Blow

He remembers well the bustling Barre of the '20's, the days of Prohibition, bootlegging, and a little about his mayoral career.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 01 min)

Cecile Camire

Memories of teenage years on a farm in Barre Town and information about Franco culture.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 25 min)

Adelina Frattini Clace

Mrs. Clace is articulate and knowledgeable about the Italian culture and experience in Barre.

Click here to listen (2 hr)

Wendell "Tim" Dudley

He talks about his occupation as a railroad worker and recalls the "roaring twenties."

Click here to listen (1 hr, 27 min)

Cornelius Granai Sr.

The origins and history of the Italian community in Barre.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 40 min)

Elizabeth Ellis Knutson

In a short interview, she talks about her family, one of Barre's old ones.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 27 min)

Kitty Murray Lombard

Kitty Murray Lombard and family reminisce about growing up in Graniteville and her sister Mary describes her career as a nurse.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 02 min)

Franklin McKeage

He reads some of his poems and remembers boarding house life in old Graniteville.

Click here to listen (42 min)

Mary Dowers O'Grady

This interview is well worth hearing. She has vivid memories of turn-of-the-century events. She talks about midwives, Scottish customs, Barre personalities, strikes and her own life. 

Click here to listen (1 hr, 03 min)

Sadia Parker

A retired teacher and principal, she recounts some of her many experiences in Barre. 

Link Coming Soon.

Ralph "Gene" Pierce

Mr. Pierce discusses childhood memories and his career in the retail business. The 1927 flood in well-remembered.

Click here to listen (50 min)

John Rivolta

Mr. Rivolta talks about the fire department, the granite industry, prohibition, and recalls his boyhood.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 38 min)

Benjamin Rubel

This tape includes his description of his adaptation to Barre after moving from New York City in the 1930's.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 27 min)

Stanley Tassie

He colorfully describes old Barre and his father's butcher business. Later he recalls Prohibition and the Depression and his years in the fuel business.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 34 min)

Maurice Watkins

A retired granite manufacturer, he discusses the business and some interesting items about sculptors.

Click here to listen (1 hr, 34 min)

Aldrich Public Library

6 Washington Street

Barre, VT 05641

(802) 476-7550​  Main Branch 

(802) 476-5118  York Branch 

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