Dorset Vermont Historical Society Bley House Museum

Events & Exhibits


April 20: STUMP THE HISTORIAN. 2-4pm at Bley House. Come with your questions about the history of Dorset and see if the answer can be found at the DHS. View the exhibits on display. Locate your house on an 1869 Beers map. Find out how many artists had ties to Dorset and the Southern VT Art Center. Plan a visit to one of Dorset’s many marble quarries. Take a tour of historic village houses. This is a chance to learn more about the history of Dorset.

May 21: SIR WILFRED GRENFELL OF LABRADOR AND VERMONT, 7:00 p.m., Long Trail School. A household word in Canada, Grenfell is virtually unknown in Vermont, which boasts important connections to this remarkable man. A British doctor, who brought the first medical help to Labrador and Newfoundland at the end of the 19th century, Grenfell built hospitals, hospital ships, clinics, and more there. Raising money widely, he had outlets in major cities for products of the Grenfell Industrial, which marketed “Grenfell mats” drawing on the traditional hooked rugs made by local women. Dorset’s Jim Gilbert will tell of his time as a collegiate volunteer in Labrador with Sir Wilfred in the late 1930s. Paula Laverty, author of Silk Stocking Mats, and curator of three major museum shows on this art work, will show and discuss the designs of the Industrial’s mats, now much valued in the antiques world. A joint meeting of the Dorset and Manchester historical societies.

June 14 &15: MANCHESTER ANTIQUE and CLASSIC CAR SHOW. Dorr’s Tractor Field Route 30

June 18: EAST DORSET WALKING TOUR. Time tba. In conjunction with Manchester Historical Society.

June 21-22 VERMONT HISTORY EXPO. “Inventions” Tunbridge Fair Grounds

July 27: IT'S ALL ABOUT MARBLE. Dorset's Marble Heritage, 12 - 5 PM at Bley House. A celebration of the history of Dorset’s quarries and marble industry. Visit all the museum's exhibits which include the recently completed marble gallery. The event will also feature the unveiling of a sculpture carved out of marble from the Norcross-West Plateau Quarry. The afternoon's activities will include topical speakers, marble carving demonstrations, food and balladeers. This event is part of the kickoff weekend opening the Vermont State Marble Trail. For more information call (802) 867-0245.

August: ICE CREAM SOCIAL. Date tba

October: ANNUAL MEETING. Date tba

December: HOLIDAY INN AND HOUSE TOUR. Displays of old toys, skis/sleds, and clothing.

Permanent EXHIBITS

The Dorset Historical Society dedicated the reopening of their home and museum, Bley House, on September 24, 2006, after a year of work moving and renovating. The building is an exhibit in and of itself as the abandoned house was first moved to Dorset in the 1930s from Hebron, NY. Some permanent exhibits now on display include:

Age of Dorset Marble - c. 1785 – 1920 complete with three dimensional model locating the quarries in and around Dorset.

Fenton Pottery – produced in Dorset and E. Dorset and finally Bennington c. 1800 – 1830

Dorset Artists – Past and Present including works by Elsa Bley, Edwin B. Child, Claude Dern, Cleade Enders, Wallace W. Fahnestock, , Lorenzo Hatch, David Humphreys, Arthur Jones, John Lillie and Reginald Marsh.

Jessica Bond - Collected stencils and patterns

Railroads in Dorset - Pictures and histories starting with the Bennington-Rutland RR on the E. Dorset side built in the 1850’s and the Manchester-Dorset-Granville established to carry marble and workers between those three towns. The first section from the mill in Manchester to the Norcross-West quarry on Route 30 was the only section ever built.

Dorset Historical Society
P.O. Box 52 · Route 30 at Kent Hill Road
Dorset, VT 05251 USA · 802-867-0331 · Fax 802-867-0412