Overview by John Malcolm
The Pawlett Historical Society was first organized July 18, 1973 with Dorothy Offensend as President of a Board of ten Trustees and seventy-nine charter members. The name “Pawlett” replaced “Pawlet” in 1975 to reflect the spelling in the town’s original charter issued in August 26, 1761 by the colonial Governor of New Hampshire, Benning Wentworth.
Over the years, the Pawlett Historical Society has organized and hosted many events and programs, usually four to six a year with a variety of speakers and presenters, including celebrations of the Pawlet and U.S. bicentennials. The Society not only archives and preserves its collection but also maintains two of Pawlet’s remaining one room schoolhouses. Its most recent endeavor has been to arrange with the Mettowee Valley and Northeast Cemetery Associations to lease the Chriss Monroe Chapel and remodel it as a space for exhibition and storage of the collection and as a place for events and programs.
We are currently working on programs of interest to members and the community at large. Whenever temperatures permit, we offer our programs at the Chriss Monroe Chapel; otherwise our programs are held at the Pawlet Town Hall.
Our monthly board meetings are held every second Thursday at 7:00 PM and are open to the public. From May through August we meet at the Chriss Monroe Chapel on Cemetery Hill Road in the Pawlet village center; from September through April our monthly meetings are at the Pawlet Public Library on School Street in the Pawlet village center.
- The purpose of the Pawlett Historical Society shall be to bring together those interested in the history of Pawlet and its environs, to maintain its property, the North Pawlet School (operated 1847-1951) and the Braintree School (operated 1852-1934) and to use these buildings for the storage of its collection and for interpretive exhibitions and educational programs.
- The Society shall collect, preserve, catalogue, and make available for public exhibitions and programs and research archival materials, records, photographs, and artifacts that document the history of Pawlet.
- The Society shall educate the public about the needs and uses of its historical collection and cooperate with historical, cultural, and other groups having a common mission.
Officers and Trustees
The Officers and Trustees of the Pawlett Historical Society are: Barry Meinerth (President), Rose Smith (Treasurer), John Malcolm (Secretary), Martha Schoenemann (Historian), Judy Coolidge, Theresa Jones, Ken Major, Keith Mason, Marlee Mason, Sarah Rath, and Steve Williams.