Safe cracker?

For many years we wondered exactly what was inside the safe located at the Clerk’s Office in Carolina.  The safe dates back to 1882 and the treasure it contains is its interior structure.  The mystery was solved thanks to a local locksmith, Thomas King (

20180710_145507 (1)


A history buff, we look forward to him sharing the historical artifacts he has collected, along with perhaps some anecdotes involving his business.



Recent Acquisions

We recently  received two donation from members.  The first, from a long time member, Roberta Whelan, a Webster’s Dictionary, published in 1937.   This  belonged to her mother, Mary (Taber) McCutcheon, who taught school for many years in Quebec, Canada.

Dictionary Donation 2018.4.

Roberta requested the dictionary be displayed at the Bell School, where it is now located:


The second acquisition is from a new member, Mark Trimmer, who is also a member of the Varnum Continentals (  According to Mark, they are a “private group and own/ maintain an historical mansion (that was once General Varnum’s…home) and an Armory with a comprehensive museum”.  Five display cases from the museum were donated to us:

After a coat of paint, they will soon be ready to hold some of the treasures from our Archives.

Recent Events

Lauri Arruda, author of the new Richmond Historic Cemetery Book  was  at the Bell School, for a book signing, on Saturday, June 16, 2018.  Additionally, on July 14, 2018, 9 am – noon, Laurie will  be at the Richmond Town Hall, along with a number of other local authors, for a book signing.

Lauri Arruda book signing June 16, 2018

*Note: On September 16, 2018, 2-4 pm, Lauri is due to speak about the book, at the Chapel at Wood River.


Additionally, the  Annual Meeting  of the Richmond  Historical  Society was held Thursday Evening, June 21, 2018.  

The purpose of the meeting was for the election of new officers and  board members for the coming year.  Reports of activity for this past year, along with  planning for upcoming events, were discussed.  We welcome new members and all ideas.

If you are interested in joining us, please print out and complete the membership application.



Also, the Memorial Day theme was used in the display case at the Bell School during the month of May.


This has now been replaced with cemetery documents to reflect the theme of the book signing:

Cemetery Display June, 2018 (9)

We hope to increase the docents in order to open the school on a more regular basis.

Clark Library

We are fortunate for the generosity of Clark Library in allowing us to use some of their space for our archives.  It has proven to be an asset for us both.

In 1979 funds were raised for the “new” building, which presently houses both the library and our archives.  The past twenty nine years has taken its toll on the building.   Things begin to wear out.  As a result there have been a number of challenges to the staff in its maintenance.

New Clark Library

Eleanor Smith, one of the  founders of the Richmond Historical Society (and mother of our archivist), left us a mountain of newspaper clippings.  It is an ongoing project to sort through these.  She is pictured here in 1987 commemorating a special anniversary at the library.

Clark Library 100th Anniversary

In 1990 we have a captioned news photo of volunteers getting ready for a book sale.   These continue to be part of Clark’s fund raising.

Clark Library Book Sale

During one of those quieter days when there was time for “the clippings”.  To my amazement, one  was  a youthful picture of one of our archivists doing a project at the library in 1992.

Kate Desrochiers

A Society member and librarian, Johanna Wolke sums it all up:

Johanna Wolke


Now is a good time to both recognize and thank our benefactor, Clark Library, and to share part of our genealogy.


The holidays are all about cooking!

Or so it was in 1995, when the Richmond Historical Society published its’ one and only cookbook titled “Down Country Cookin”.


The news article is accurate in the fact that this book contains a lot of additional historical information.  I believe there are still a few faded copies available for sale at the Bell School House and Archives located at Clark Library.

Teacher’s Bell Acquisition

We recently acquired a teacher’s bell we were told, by the donor, was used at the Bell School.  According to the donor, her grandmother, who was an avid antique collector, always represented this as being used at the School.  She further stated her grandmother kept meticulous records and she feels the authenticity is true.

The bell now resides, along with other similar objects, in Bell School.

Teacher Bell Oct. 2017 (2)

Everything has a story………

So the story begins:

On June 26, 1850 Thankful Lillibridge and Deborah Lillibridge “for an inconsideration of Six Dollars….Said Lot of Land Being Purchased by the Inhabitants of Said Town (of Richmond) for the Purpose of Building a Publick Town house on the Same to hold Town Meetings Town Councils and Courts of Probate in the same forever………”

(This land was part of a farm owned by the Lillibridge family.   Meadowburg is still a working farm and presently owned by the Kenyon Family.)

At this point in time, Richmond had been a Town for a little over 100 years.  A town house was built on the property and used for the purposes as laid out in the original deed. 

In 1883 the Town House needed repairs.  John L. Kenyon, Halsey P. Clarke, and N. K. Church were appointed to form a committee to “ascertain the practibility and probable cost of a new building…….”  They reported that “the gable ends are gradualy working in & that a part of the North side & Northwest Corner we belive to be unsafe….”  They provided an estimate of $1200 for a new building, 40’ x 28’ to be placed upon a stone foundation.

So the story continues:

At a Town Meeting held November 4, 1884, it was voted to build a shed on the Town Hall Lot.

On December 1, 1885, Nelson K. Church,  “Quitclaim…the Town of Richmond…a certain tract or parcel of land…conveyed for the use of the public for the purpose of having placed thereon that part of the Town shed…”

If “…said portion of said shed…should be removed therefrom then this Deed shall become null and void…and the above conveyed land shall immediately revert to the said grantor his heirs and assignes forever…”

In 1993 the fate of the carriage shed was in question as there was an order to raze the building.

Carriage Shed 001

Michael Feraco, the new building and zoning official abolished the order and a needs assessment committee was formed.

Carriage Shed 002

Carriage Building Options

The rest of the story….

The Richmond Town Hall is still located on the land deeded to the Town in 1850.  The carriage shed just a memory………