“We’re at the Peacham Historical Association Archives and Research Center,” Mike Hoey said. “So, what within the ARC — as they call it here — brings us here?”
“A few years ago, the Vermont Historical Society — our organization — gave the Peacham Historical Association an award for a really great book (called Preserving Peacham’s Past),” executive director Steve Perkins said. “It (offers a look at) Peacham through 100 objects stored here and in their museum next door, so I thought we would come and talk to Steve Galinat, who’s their president.”
“You’ve pulled a few objects from the collection that we find in this book, and one is right in front of us,” Perkins said to Galinat. “Can you tell us about this?”
“This is really a unique thing,” Galinat replied. “This is called the (Cowles) Map, and this map was drawn freehand (in 1908) by a gentleman when he was in his 90s. (Timothy Cowles) had moved (from Peacham) to California during the Gold Rush, and he had information about the town, and we needed it. And so he hand-drew what the village looked like (in 1824) and the lay of the land, wrote notes pertaining to all the property.
“Now — why this is special to me, though, is that for a while, my son was the town clerk. And he called one day and said, ‘there’s a map; where is it? It used to be on the wall over here’. And he said, ‘it’s now in the historical society and we really need it. We got two lawyers here that are fighting over something. Can you find it?’. The attorneys start looking at it and in two minutes, they said, ‘okay, we’re done here. We’re all set.’ And they left. They were ready to go to court over some issue.
“Another item that we have is from World War I. I had the opportunity to play Jim Quimby as one of our ghost characters (in an historical reenactment) one year, and this is his overcoat. He lived in town; his daughter-in-law became the town clerk at one time.”
Perkins asked, “Can you tell us a bit about some of your programs and assets?”
“Well, programs that we have, every year we pick a theme and we try to go with it for the whole summer,” Galinat answered. “This year’s theme is going to be ‘Rags & Riches: The Haves and Have-Nots’. At the top of the hill, we have a roller barn, which is the only roller barn museum, I believe, in the state and maybe in the country. And during the winter, they used to roll the snow on the roads so that the cutters could go along fast, and it was the only way that you could clear the roads.”
“We just saw (a snow roller) in Stowe, shooting a couple of installments that we just did at the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum,” Hoey noted. “They had a very large one.”
“Yes, we had one here,” Galinat said.
“I noticed also, Steve, this lovely research center itself is named after a Quimby,” Hoey continued. “Speaking of Quimbys — any relation?”
“Yes. Lorna Quimby (is the) daughter-in-law of Jim Quimby,” Galinat aded. “And she was, for probably — maybe 15 years — she was like the driving force of the historical society.”
Perkins asked, “If people want to participate or visit, how do they do that?”
“The best way is to go to our website,” Galinat said. “In there, you’ll find an email address and you’ll find a real physical address if you want to.”