GOSHEN – The town, which tends to be a little quiet, this year had quite a kick to it and way many interesting things that not only affected the residents but also broke milestones in the state.
The biggest and most fun event was the town’s 225th celebration, which took nearly three years of planning, but went off excellently under the leadership of co-chairs Jim Brazeau and Anthony “Tommy” Thomas.
Constable Norman Hathaway was recognized for his 43 years of dedicatedly standing out in the pouring rain and freezing snow to help the citizens get to church and town meetings safely. He and his wife Jean were given the honor of being the parade marshals.
There were awesome fireworks at the Tilton Town Farm; Kit Rock gave historical trolley tours; Don & Cathy Boisvert led children and adults in old-fashioned games; Roger Culver drove a 1956 truck full of his 13 grandchildren, and in general the whole town pulled together for a great time, one that will hopefully be remembered at the 250th celebration.
Beloved Fire Chief Francis Dresser, who is probably the longest serving chief in the state, retired. He stepped down at the age of 81, but while he turned over the chief’s badge, he did not totally step down from his 55 years of volunteer service on the Fire Department. He’s still helping out and keeping track of what’s going on.
In another milestone, Chief Dresser handed over his position to the first woman fire chief in the state, Sue Labrie. In her first few months Chief Labrie has proven to be hard working and productive. The volunteer crew has stood behind her, and they have all handled many accident calls, and participated in a great jaws-of-life training session. Labrie continues her pioneering and cooperative work with the Chesterfield Fire Department in teaching the S.A.F.E. program at New Hingham, and in general preparing the fire department for all the changes that the new year will bring.
One of the biggest names to visit the town in a while was Edie Clark, who writes a column for Yankee Magazine. Her visit drew writers from all over the Hilltowns who came to listen to her practical advice on writing.
The old Goshen Center School or town office building also underwent some major changes. The basement was renovated and now holds the Learning Loft, a day care center. The Hilltown Food Pantry also makes its home on the lower floor, and the Selectboard is looking towards making further improvements to the heating system in the near future. And the town now has high-speed internet access thanks to a T-1 line at the town office building.
To top it all off, at the very start of 2006, one of the first Country Journal articles included a report that the town made the AP wire with a Denver Post article calling it “Like You’re in Hobbitville”.
The headline wasn’t terrible flattering but the article pointed out, fair enough, that the town is a great place to live with lots of recreational advantages.