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Letters to the Editor

Woodstock Times
Letters to the Editor - June 30, 2011


Last Saturday the Woodstock History Kids Club, an ongoing program of the Historical Society of Woodstock, presented a wonderful program titled Talking Houses. As part of the program local school children selected and researched the history and the stories of a number of buildings in town. As I listened to their presentations, I was reminded that our buildings have their own tales to tell and that they are integral part of what makes Woodstock, well...Woodstock. I want to thank the members of the club for all the hard work they put in researching and uncovering the history behind our structural landscape. I also want to thank Jill Olesker for her work leading the program. Her continued efforts towards instilling in young Woodstockers a sense of history and a respect for our past is a reminder that the responsibility for our local history is one that falls to all of us.

As Woodstock debates the fate of Town Hall (don’t sell); as what remains of Meads Mountain House is soon to become a memory, the messages of the children last Saturday seemed to hit home even harder. When buildings are no more or are altered beyond what they once were, our town is also altered. Imagine the additional stories club members might have uncovered if the old Longyear House, or the once proud Woodstock Hotel still stood. It matters not whether they meet the strict criteria for inclusion on the state or federal list of historic structures, rather, it concerns what each building brings, in its own unique way, to that which we call Woodstock. To some, they may be nothing more than an assortment of lumber and/or bricks, but, as the members of the Woodstock Kids History Club reminded us last Saturday, each building has a story to tell, stories that, when woven together, help form the foundation that is our shared history.

Richard Heppner,
Town Historian