|VERMONT SECRETARY OF STATE - Jim Condos|
Vermont Centennial Nonprofit
A project of the Office of the Secretary of State
A project of the Office of the Secretary of State
2007 Centennial Nonprofit Winners
Gifford Medical Center Auxiliary (Randolph), est. 1906
Waterbury Center Community Church, est. 1833
Gaysville Community Church, est. 1864
2007 Centennial Nonprofit Winner Profiles
Since the early 19th century, Northfield has had private and public lending libraries at various locations. However, when the Northfield Free Public Library was burned out of its Union Block location in 1904, the community was without a permanent home for its collection.
Fortunately, within two years as a result of a generous donation from Northfield born philanthropist, George Washington Brown, a new library building was constructed at the corner of Main Street and Slate Avenue. The new library was dedicated on August 21, 1906, and at Mr. Brown’s request, was named the Brown Public Library in memory of his parents and grandparents.
This building served as the library for 91 years. In 1999, after several years of planning and fundraising, the library building was renovated and expanded. The library is now handicapped accessible, has a large community meeting room, and offers public access to computers, the internet, and online databases.
On September 24, 2006, the Brown Public Library was rededicated in a celebration that included George Washington Brown’s great-granddaughter and his great-great granddaughter.
Gifford Medical Center Auxiliary was founded in 1906. For many years members made and mended thousands of items of hospital linens.
Since 1956 the Auxiliary has operated a Thrift Shop, staffed by volunteers, with proceeds going to support Gifford, and providing annual Nursing and LNA scholarships. It also provides low-income families a source for affordable clothing.
Beginning in the 1950's, the Auxiliary has contributed to Gifford Capital Campaigns for the New Medical Doctors Office Building, the Ambulatory Care Wing, the Day Care Center, and currently the Menig Nursing Home, with over $1,500,000 donated since 1976.
In 1906, Julia Smith Wheeler and a group of young Burlington women founded the Visiting Nurse Association to bring quality nursing care into the homes of their neighbors in need. In our first century we have grown from a small team of nurses traveling the streets of Burlington on foot and bicycle to over 650 staff and 600 volunteers delivering care to residents of every community in Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties. Last year alone we cared for over 5,000 individuals and their families through programs which span a lifetime from prenatal care for young mothers to comprehensive end-of-life care services.
In 1907, the Morristown Cemetery Association was founded to manage seven historic area cemeteries: Riverside, Wheeler, Mountain View, Greenlawn, Lake View, LaPorte and Randolph. Under the guidance of the association, the grounds have been tidied, fences rebuilt, sunken graves filled, and stones cleaned and repaired.
The earliest of the15 homecare and hospice organizations that merged to form the VNA & Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire began in Windsor, Brattleboro and Woodstock, Vermont in 1907. Springfield was the next to establish visiting nurses in 1912. Agencies in Randolph, Norwich, Bradford, Orford, Hartford and surrounding towns started in the ‘50s and ‘60s.
With the passage of Medicare and Medicaid and the opening of more hospitals, demand for visiting nurse services grew and care became more complex. To manage these changes and continue to survive, the Visiting Nurse Alliance was created in 1991, merging seven home health agencies. By the end of the twentieth century, a total of 15 agencies had united to create administrative and operational efficiencies that allowed them to survive changes in reimbursements and a new complexity in operations.
In 2004, the agency name was changed to the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of VTNH to better recognize the increasing importance of end-of-life care.
Now serving 86 towns, 70 in Vermont, the VNA & Hospice cares for more than 8,000 people each year, making 140,000 home visits to people of all ages and at all stages of life.
Organization of the Congregational Society occurred in 1789. Meetings were held in a barn near the Heath Farm. In 1802, meetings were moved to the new courthouse owned by the town. Church construction began in 1811 and was completed in1813 under the direction of Nathan and Harry Hale. In 1848, important changes were made; the galleries were taken down, space being left on the east wall for the choir and the building became two levels. In 1876, the building again underwent major changes, leaving it much as is it seen today.
In January of 1890, the Congregational Church was incorporated, and in December the Congregational Society deeded all of its property to the Church and ceased to exist as a society. In 1929, the Congregationalists and the Methodists joined, forming The United Church of Chelsea, UCC & UMC.
Congregational Church was founded in 1792, eight years after the first
permanent settlers arrived, by four men, three of them Revolutionary War
officers. Highlights include the Sunday School founded in 1831, the 1851
dedication of our second, present church building, incorporation in 1890, a
1938 decision by the East Charlotte Baptist Church to worship with us, and
1961 joining the United Church of Christ. The church has had 22 ministers
plus about 17 interim pastors. The present minister is the Rev. Will
Burhans. The membership of 242 emphasizes peace and justice.
On February 5, 1792, 27 residents met with the Rev. Aaron Hutchinson and founded the Tunbridge Congregational Church. At this same meeting Mr. David Williston, a Yale graduate, was given a “call” to settle in Tunbridge. Williston was offered 300 acres of land and an annual salary of 50 pounds. He was also provided with 30 cords of wood.
Work began on the meeting house in 1795 and completed in 1797. The Tunbridge Congregational Church is now 215 years old.
Freemasonry, the world’s oldest and largest fraternity, is an organization that is based on morality and strives to improve the condition of the community, state, and nation by improving the character of its members through allegorical lessons taught with symbols of the ancient stonemasons’ trade. Freemasonry was introduced into Vermont in 1781 by a charter granted by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. This original charter is located in Windsor, Vermont. One of the original signers was Paul Revere. Two of Vermont’s most prominent citizens at that time, Ira Allen and Thomas Chittenden, were made Masons in Vermont in 1782.
The Grand Lodge of Vermont was organized at a communication in October 1794 in Rutland and currently has lodges in 88 towns and cities in Vermont. The Grand Lodge of Vermont will hold its 213th Annual Communication in South Burlington on June 12 & 13, 2007.
The Trinity Church has been at the heart of Rutland area Anglicanism for over 200 years. Early area Episcopalians held services as early as 1794 in the State House in Rutland. Their first church was built on North Main Street in 1832. The current church was constructed in 1865 and reconstructed in 1890. Trinity celebrated its bicentennial in 1994 and continues to offer activities and programs that extend into and beyond the community.
In 1798 the Town of Berlin voted to call James Hobart to settle in Berlin in the work of the ministry. On October 13 of that year the church was founded and then voted to unite with the town and call James Hobart to be their minister. The church has sustained worship almost without cessation for over two hundred years. The first “house for social and public worship” was built in 1803 and burned in 1838. The present church building was erected in 1838. The Church has through the years endeavored to be a center for Christian worship and a community center. Each generation has found its call to service and outreach as an expression of its faith. This call has been manifested in such efforts as the 1914 statewide promotion of a safe Fourth of July (at the time fireworks were not regulated and many children were injured); war time work with the Red Cross, food administration, and comfort kits for Berliners in the army; assistance to neighbors in need; support of the Good Samaritan Haven and other community outreach efforts; and providing a space for community meetings and events. The church continues in its efforts to be center of worship and Christian discipleship, and to respond faithfully to the needs it perceives in our community and beyond.
The Universalist Society of Strafford was organized on October 21, 1798. The call for the meeting said: “Calling all inhabitants of Strafford believing in the universal restoration of all mankind to happiness.” It was the first religious group in Strafford, Vermont, and called its first minister, Rev. Joab Young, in December 1798. Until 1832, when the Vermont Legislature abolished church taxation, the Universalist Society was the town’s “official church.” Today’s church building was erected in 1833 and the Universalist tradition lives on with a small but dedicated congregation.
On September 24, 1801, the first Congregational Church of Richmond was organized by the Rev. Jeremiah Hallock and the Rev. Jedidiah Bushnell, missionaries from Connecticut. For 12 years after the organization of the church, meetings were held in school houses or private dwellings.
About 1812, movement was started for the building of a house of worship, but no one denomination was able to bear the expense, so five (Congregationalist, Methodist, Baptist, Universalist, and Christian) raised funds together. In 1813 the Round Church of Richmond was built.
In 1849, a Congregational Church building was built across the river, and used for worship and Sunday school until 1903 when building a new building seemed to be better than repairing the old one.
The Congregationalists and Universalists joined on January 1, 1920, to become the Federated Church of Richmond, which continued until 1940. In 1957, the Richmond Congregational Church joined the United Church of Christ. In 2001, the church undertook an extensive renovation of the foundation, completed in time for the church’s Bicentennial celebration on September 24, 2001.
Methodism in Burlington began as early as 1798 by circuit riders who met with small groups of people in homes and schools. The church was officially founded on October 22, 1823, with the signing of the Articles of Association of the Methodist Episcopal Church by 15 subscribers. Before these early Methodists had a church building, they sometimes met in the Burlington Academy or the Red School House. A church was built in 1832 on the present site; a larger church was constructed in 1870.
A strong emphasis on spirit-filled worship, the ministry of music, caring for neighbors, and outreach through missions has characterized the life of this congregation over the years.
The First Baptist Church of Bennington was founded on April 11, 1827. The church overcame several challenges, including losing the building to fire during the early decades and experiencing declining attendance in the 1970s, to successfully celebrate its 180th birthday in 2007. The church is currently undergoing a revitalization, noting an increase in attendance, growth in community involvement, and a desire to diversify its ministries and mission.
The Waterbury Center Community Church was organized soon after the initial settlement of Waterbury Center. The building has served continuously as a local community religious and social gathering place since its construction on Vermont Route 100 in 1833. The building is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.
The church was built the same size as it now stands of brick and slabs of native stone for the underpinning. The interior was one big room with box pews and three galleries. In 1858 a second floor was built and stained glass windows added. In 1919, the church merged with the town’s Baptist Church.
The first recorded action towards the establishment of a church in Wells River took place on May 24, 1838, when subscribers to a proposed new meeting house met to appoint a committee to choose a church site. The Wells River Meeting House Society found a site and dedicated the church on January 28, 1840.
The church continues to serve the community in a variety of ways. To name just a few, the church is host to the North Country Chorus and is headquarters for the WIC program. In late 2006, the church took the gigantic ($150,000.00) step towards making the church more welcoming and affirming by voting to install a handicap accessible lift along with many other upgrades to help the church better serve the community. The current Pastor is BettyAnn Abild.
The Washington Unitarian Universalist Church was formed in 1843 as the North Washington Universalist Society. For the first five years, occasional meetings were held in an old church about a mile from the current building and in the village school. In 1848, the current building was constructed. According to the historical sketch written by Mrs. Ellen Powers in 1898, “…the Church was built, not by the wealth of a few, but by the united effort and steadfast purpose of the many.” Of the seventy families who owned pews or shares of pews during its early years, only four families remained in 1898. Mrs. Powers spoke of the young ministers who took their training within the walls of this glorious structure. In addition, a “Ladies Sewing Society” was formed in 1849 for the purpose of generating income for this active society. “All this was done by hand, for this was only four years after the first sewing machine was invented.” On October 11, 1876, a society known as the “Ladies Mite Society” was formed to support the organization’s charitable work. Now a summer only congregation, the Washington Unitarian Universalist Church is seeking to reconnect with the village of Washington and its residents to continue the valuable work begun by our fore brothers and sisters.
The Bennington Museum, housing over 60,000 objects of fine art, decorative art, and historical value, is one of Vermont's oldest and largest collecting institutions. Incorporated in 1852 as the Bennington Historical Association, the organization built the Bennington Battle Monument, organized historic markers throughout Bennington County, and started the collection that would become the Bennington Museum. The current museum building was created from the former St. Francis de Sales Catholic church in 1928. The museum was subsequently expanded in 1938, 1960, 1974, and 1999. The name changed over the years as well, from the Historical Association, to the Bennington Historical Museum and Art Gallery, to the current name of Bennington Museum in 1954. At that time the museum turned operation of the Battle Monument over to the State of Vermont. One of just a handful of Vermont's museums to be fully accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Bennington Museum today serves the historical and cultural needs of its southern Vermont community.
The first record of Gaysville’s Ladies’ Mite Society is from January 30, 1861, and states “for the purpose of social and religious improvement and for raising money for such religious or charitable objects as shall seem most obligatory upon us.” It is interesting to note even though it was a “Ladies” society, there were 68 ladies and 17 men on the rolls.
Indeed, over the years they supported many needs of the town such as voting to serve ice cream and cake for “Decoration Day” in the early 1900’s. Over the years it has continued to make quilts, pot holders, and many numerous other crafts to sell at bazaars, Old Home Days, and any event available to them to make money so their charity can be extended.
Early days saw them meeting in private homes, but in modern times they meet at the Gaysville Community Church, on the second Tuesday of each month.
The Fairfax Cemetery Association (also known as Sanderson’s Corner Cemetery, located on Fletcher Road in Fairfax) was approved as a corporation by the General Assembly on December 1, 1862. The first meeting of the association took place in Fairfax in January 1863. The bylaws were adopted in 1868 and remain in effect today. The duties of the association are to sell lots with a deed for recording in the town office, maintain the grounds by mowing the grass and keeping the drives in good condition, and to prudently maintain the funds. There are currently over 1,700 burials in the cemetery.
Current trustees are: James Woodward, President; Robert Howard, Vice President; Sally Sweet, Secretary/Treasurer; Marian Chaffee; Mildred Warren; Elaine Kirkpatrick; and Theresa Gross.
The Gaysville Community Church was erected in 1864 and was known as the Gaysville Congregational Church. The proud white church stands on Vermont Route 107 going through the middle of Gaysville Village in the town of Stockbridge.
The Gaysville Church was once the neighbor to two other churches in Gaysville, one in Stony Brook, and the “meeting house” on the Stockbridge Common. The Gaysville Church started out as a Congregational Church, but as time went on it became part of the Tri-Valley Parish with Pittsfield and Killington. As more time passed, it joined the Green Mountain Baptist Association, but of late is known as the Community Church. It is now the only functioning church in town and is available to all.
The membership of approximately 30 people is proud of its longstanding history.
Need help with a web site technical issue?
Questions regarding this page's content?
Please Contact us.