Fire Department RFP: REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL FOR VERNON FIRE STATION FINISH WORK AND PAINTING Town of Vernon, Vermont   The Town of Vernon, Vermont, (“Town”) is soliciting proposals from qualified companies or individuals for Vernon Fire Station-Finish work, painting of all exterior walls, doors, windows, soffits and trim. Sealed Bids are due by December 6, 2021 at 4:00 pm to: Inquiries and submissions to: Vernon Selectboard, c/o: Shelly Walker Town Administrator, Town of Vernon 567 Governor Hunt Rd., Vernon, VT 05354 (802) 257-2138 Email: Bid opening: Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at 6:30 PM during the Select board meeting. Proposal requirements are available at the Town Clerks office during business hours or via email This bid request invites responses from experienced and professional contractors to complete finish work on exterior wall around rear garage doors, resurfacing/stucco on cement block walls where needed, repair/replace exterior trim and soffits where needed, caulking around doors and windows as needed, paint the exterior walls, doors, windows, trim, soffits of the Town of Vernon Fire Station located at 2842 Fort Bridgman Rd., Vernon, VT. Submit questions concerning this RFP via email per the schedule outlined above.   The Town reserves the right to reject any or all bids submitted. Bids will be evaluated by the Town based on experience and reputation, understanding of Town requirements, clarity, completeness and price. During the evaluation process, the Town reserves the right, where it may serve in the Town's best interest, to request additional information or clarification from bidders.  


Historians’ corner: The Bushnell Museum

By Sandy Morrison

Did you ever wonder what the story was with the large building overlooking the pond and dam on the site of another building housing the Vernon Post Office? While the building as it stands now was rebuilt in 1973, it actually has an interesting history.

Born in Lincoln, Massachusetts in 1797, Marshall Whithed settled in Vernon at the age of 23, becoming an enterprising businessman and a substantial landowner.  His store and hotel (next to today’s Union Church where the entrance to the Town Garages is) were the only ones in town for several years.  In partnership with David Ball of Winchester, New Hampshire he built a towering three-story mill on Town Brook, sometime between 1839 and 1856.  The stone dam and wheel pit were constructed for $6,500, while the slate-roofed building cost $800.

Power was furnished by a 25-foot overshot water wheel.  The basement held the gristmill, a sawmill was at ground level, and on the upper floor was a bone mill.  There, skeletons of farm animals were collected and crushed, producing bonemeal, an ingredient in chicken feed.  Reportedly the top floor was used for fairs and dances.

In 1867, Ball had full ownership and he sold the mill to John Hunt.  Then Lafayette Whithed, Marshall’s son, regained the property in 1869.  Much of the year the water supply couldn’t keep up with the demand for power and one crew of workers would saw lumber in the morning to allow the millpond to refill.  A night shift arrived later to grind grain, quitting at midnight so that water could once again restore the pond.  Succeeding generations of the Whitheds followed other careers and the family deeded their holdings to Vernon in the early 1900’s.  The town stored its snow roller and other machinery in the mill.

Jason Bushnell in his museum

In 1927, Jason Bushnell, a Brattleboro grocer, purchased the mill property, using it to house his vast and varied collections.  He called the property the “Old Red Mill,” but it has been known as “The Bushnell Museum.” It was described as “evidence of the packrat instinct at its worst.”  It held everything from a cassowary egg to cowtail holders, much of it for sale. An interesting attraction for visitors and local folk, the building and its contents were lost to fire in August, 1962.

In 1971 the site was transferred from Bushnell et al to the Nick George family. “The mill” was rebuilt in 1973 to overlook the pond/brook once again. The one story adjacent building, the site of the Vernon Post Office, was constructed in 1988. Both buildings have housed various businesses over the past 30 years.