by Dennis Devereux
The Mount Holly Community Historical Museum is pleased to announce that the Vermont Division of Historic Preservation will provide an historic site marker for the Will White Blacksmith Shop Museum in Belmont Village. The marker will recognize the 100th anniversary of Mechanicsville being renamed Belmont Village on September 2, 1911.
By the early 1800s, the village called Mechanicsville was known for its water-powered businesses, including a sawmill and gristmill. Later, furniture shops and the Chase Toy Factory were in operation, with several blacksmiths also located in the village. As manufacturing declined, the area became popular with vacationers. The railroad that still shipped products was now used to bring in summer guests. Citizens petitioned to change the village name, which was implemented on September 2, 1911.
A marker dedication could not be held on September 2, 2011, on the 100th anniversary, due to a delay in production. The Museum Board hopes that the marker will cause a greater appreciation of the role the village had in the early settlement of our area. There are plans to have the newly renovated Blacksmith Shop open for Cider Days Weekend in October. We also hope to offer a tour of the village. For further information about the history of Mount Holly, or to make an appointment to also visit the Perkins House Museum, call (802) 259-2460 or 259-2646.