Updated October 4, 2022
The East Hardwick Neighborhood Organization (EHNO) asked geologist Dave Gross to explain the creation of the East Hardwick area as we know it today. They used his work as the program for the EHNO’s annual meeting during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program starts and ends with one minute of music and pictures of East Hardwick.
Hardwick sits within the vast forested regions of North America. On February 27, 2019, the Woodbury Library presented this program on the primeval forests of Northern New England.
Before European settlers created the farms and governments that now dominate the area, several bands of indigenous people used the forests. In the summer of 2018, the Greensboro Historical Society presented this program on the people who inhabited the region 1200 years ago.
In 1872, a mainline railroad, known most commonly as the St.J. & L.C., brought passengers and freight to Hardwick. In 1896, the Hardwick & Woodbury Railroad brought granite from the quarries in Woodbury to the sheds in Hardwick. The HHS presented this program on May 18, 2016; it recaps the history and importance of those two railroads.
Between 1902 and 1914, George Bickford, General Manager of the Woodbury Granite Company, oversaw the activities of the company which created Hardwick’s granite boom. Find out about the man and the industry.
In 2018, the Vermont State Library organized a Vermont Reads program featuring the book Bread and Roses, by Katherine Patterson of Barre. Set in 1912, the book describes the Bread and Roses strike conducted by textile workers in Lawrence, MA, including Barre’s involvement in that strike. This program, sponsored by the Jeudevine Library and the HHS, compares labor conditions in Hardwick to those in Lawrence.
In 2019, the Woodbury Community Library presented a program sponsored by the Woodbury Conservation Commission and the Woodbury Fund which featured John Patoine, former supervisor of the Fletcher Quarry for 28 years. The granite that made Hardwick great in the early 20th century came from the Fletcher and Woodbury Granite Company quarries which abbuted each other. In his presentation, he shares stories, including the methods used to extract granite and advancements made over time.
In 2022, Hardwick Community Television (HCTV) sponsored a competition for local film makers. One of the winners created a look back at East Hardwick in the mid-20th century. Another winner looked at the railroad culverts that allowed water to pass under the railroad in the 19th century and now support a recreational rail trail.
In the middle of the 20th Century, Hardwick Academy had a tradition of ringing the school bell to signal to the community that “the team” had won an “away” game. When the 1892 Academy building could no longer serve as the high school, Hardwick schools merged with Greensboro schools to form the Hazen Union school district, and the HA school board had the old building demolished. The last graduating class — Class of ’70 — worked to have the bell preserved. It wound up hanging in the back corner of Memorial Park on Church Street. It no longer rang out victories, and Hazen students walked past the park on their way up the hill to school, completely unaware of the bell and its tradition. In 2019, a Hazen student heard about the tradition of the bell, and he ran for President of the Student Council at Hazen on the platform that he would get the bell tradition revived for Hazen and the community. Here’s his story as told on the radio documentary Rumble Strip; the producer Erica Heilman, won a 2022 Peabody Award for this piece which reflects aspects of the Hardwick community of today.