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SIA 2010 Fall Tour
Vermont • September 16-19, 2010

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Press Release from Division for Historic Preservation State of Vermont.

September 20, 2010

State Welcomes Industrial Archaeologists

MONTPELIER, Vt. (September 17, 2010) – While archaeology often conjures images of dinosaur bones or Indiana Jones, one group of archaeologists sees the historic beauty of an old copper mine or an antique sawmill.

The Society for Industrial Archaeology is in Vermont for its Annual Fall Tour this weekend, and will be visiting such sites as the Elizabeth Mine in South Strafford; Green Mountain Power’s Plant No. 19, which has been generating electricity at Hubbel Falls on the Winooski River since 1917; and Ben Thresher’s 19th-century sawmill in Barnet Center.

“Vermont is remarkable for its contributions to early American industry, as is much of New England,” said Jay McCauley of San Jose, Calif., the president of the Society for Industrial Archaeology. “From colonial-era mills to Springfield and the Precision Valley, a world center for machine tool making, these sites were critical to the development of our modern society.”

Roughly 100 people from around the country will be touring areas like the Precision Valley; the granite quarries and sheds of Barre; and the industrial sectors of Burlington and Hardwick Saturday and Sunday.

“We’re very pleased to welcome the Society for Industrial Archaeology to Vermont, particularly since September is Vermont Archaeology Month,” said Giovanna Peebles, director of the Division for Historic Preservation and Vermont State Archaeologist.

“Vermont’s history of technological innovation is still well-preserved and we are very proud of it.”

Founded in 1971, the Society for Industrial Archeology (SIA) encourages the study, interpretation, and preservation of historically significant industrial sites, structures, artifacts, and technology.

According to McCauley, the SIA’s membership is not limited to archeologists but includes members from such diverse disciplines as architects, engineers, industrialists, museum specialists, planners, historians, preservationists, teachers, students, retirees, and non-professionals interested in industrial archeology.

Each fall the group organizes a tour of a North American city or area that features a significant legacy of industrial activity. Past tours have included Syracuse and the Hudson River Valley in New York; Sarnia, Ontario, the birthplace of the Canadian oil industry; and Youngstown, Ohio’s early iron and steel industries.

“Our industrial heritage is an important part of our culture,” McCauley said. “Our goal is to raise awareness of these sites and artifacts with an eye toward preserving them through continued or adaptive use, so that future generations can appreciate how these technologies shaped our present world, and understand how industry may impact our future.”

The Division for Historic Preservation is the public agency designated to be the advocate for historic and prehistoric resources in Vermont. It is located within the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
To learn more about the Society for Industrial Archaeology visit:

Division for Historic Preservation State of Vermont.

Message to all Fall Tour attendee's from Jay McCauley, President of the SIA

I'm really looking forward to the 2010 Fall Tour. The organizing committee has created an excellent, highly varied program. One of the destinations, Shelburne Farms, is the subject of an article in the Sept/Oct issue of the National Trust for Historic Preservation magazine.

Here's the on-line version:

I'd like to encourage everyone to share their experiences and images as part of our on-going efforts to make use of social media and photo sharing sites to reach out to folks interested in IA, but who might not be aware of the SIA. These sites allow images or prose snippets to be tagged to make them easier to find. Please use the tag #sia2010vt The more general #indus_heritage is also a good one to use. We'd also encourage geotagging images, that is supplying the lat/lon coordinates where the image was taken. Smartphones can do this automatically, or you can do it manually after uploading the image.

See you in Vermont!

Yours in IA,
Jay McCauley

Cornish-Windsor Bridge over the Connecticut River, the country's longest at 450 ft

This year's fall tour will take us to the Green Mountain state of Vermont. Headquartered in Montpelier, the smallest U.S. state capital (pop. 8,035). We will also spend time in the granite quarrying center of Barre, visit the tool making legacies of Windsor and Springfield in the Connecticut River valley, the copper mining district of eastern Vermont and Burlington in the west.   

The Tour Headquarters and primary lodging venue will be the Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA), located within walking distance of Montpelier’s downtown. Tours will depart from and return to VCFA. Most tours will have an early departure (7AM or so) due to the distances to their venues. 

Tours will include characteristically Vermont dairy, lumber, covered bridges, some unique outdoor museums, and important extractive industries including copper and granite. Make your plans to visit and tour the scenic industrial archeology of Vermont!

The Fall Tour brochure was mailed to all current SIA members on July 14, 2010.


Weather in mid-September can be variable, with hot humid days still possible, and cool nights. Rain is possible. 

All of the usual SIA Road Rules will apply. Take special note of the hard hat requirement for the Friday Granite Tour (F1) and the shoe requirements for the Saturday Copper Mine Tour (S1). Please note the SIA Policy on Refunds. Tours and content are always subject to change, including cancellation.

Society for Industrial Archeology
Tel.: 906-487-1889

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