Rich Holschuh | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Rich Holschuh 
Member since Jun 24, 2015


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Re: “Exploring Mt. Philo With Historian Judy Chaves

The article includes an example of the minimization of a 10,000 year-long indigenous presence in the landscape, exemplifying usage patterns as ephemeral and insubstantial. This biased trope is deployed in comparison to later European practices such as fences/walls, permanent structures, commoditized agriculture, and extractive industry. Here, the statement is made: "There's no evidence that Native Americans lived on the mountain, but they may have used it as a strategic lookout." This in spite of the fact that post-Contact history was and is exactly that as well.

The Champlain Sea was near 450 feet above current Lake levels. Mt. Philo was an island at the time, projecting only a fraction of its mass above the surrounding water. It would have been utilized by the region's first inhabitants for occupation, food processing, and reconnaissance. With a broad perspective on the landscape, the eminence would play a significant role for their Native descendants. The Abenaki have their own name for the landmark: Mategwasaden - Rabbit Mountain. Immediately west, Thompson's Point remained a significant Abenaki community well into recent times.

In an ironic twist, the management plan for Mount Philo State Park states: "In the late 1800s, William Higbee, a Charlotte resident and journalist, wrote that Mt. Philo was named for an Indian fighter and famous hunter named Philo who camped on the mountain. One of the first written references to the Devils Chair was in an 1896 article that describes a natural rock outcrop by that name." People who are able to "read between the lines" will recognize here another displacement trope: the Devil epithet is often attached to Native sacred landscape features, and a description of "chair" or "seat" can refer to an elevated ceremonial site, used in recognition for its exposure to the sweep of landscape and sky.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rich Holschuh on 11/01/2018 at 12:19 PM

Re: “Wealthy Mormon Buys Up Vermont Land for Massive Settlement

This quote got me: "By the way ... my ancestor, John Alexander, was one of the first martyrs in the struggle to protect Vermont from the depredations of [French king] Louis XV and his allies ... I think that by inheritance, I have ample right to take environmentally friendly development of the area to the next level. Lots of fun ahead for all!"
By my accounting, he is referring to John Alexander, a Deerfield-born soldier stationed at Fort Dummer, who died in an attack by unnamed "Indians" while working in the woods in 1755, a particularly bloody year in our area. I am sorry Mr. Hall, but the use of the words "martyr" and "depredations" do not bestow "inheritance" and "right to take." That process is, and has not been, fun for all, both here in Wantastegok and muchfurther afield.

14 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rich Holschuh on 04/14/2016 at 3:28 PM

Re: “River Roost Brewery to Open in White River Junction

Another area brewery was omitted from the mentions in the last paragraph, much closer than Tunbridge: Jasper Murdock's Alehouse at the Norwich Inn http://www.norwichinn.com/norwich-pubs.php This little gem has been in business since 1993. And a stone's throw over the river (granted it may not be on your VT beat) is Seven Barrel in West Lebanon.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rich Holschuh on 10/15/2015 at 10:54 AM

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